Illustration and article by Mike Roth


By Mike Roth – Over the years I have heard horrific stories when I ask someone if they skied? Usually the response was, “well many years ago I went with my buddies and they brought me to the top and left me there! It took me hours to get down and fell hundreds of times and was cold and wet.  I will never do it again!” I understand that can be a  turn-off for anyone who has even the least bit of fear in their sole.

The other day my grandson was going to go skiing with 2 friends, one of which had never ever skied or snowboarded. So here was my opportunity to give my lecture of learning to stop and turn before you try anything stupid.  I lectured about the learning curve and taking a lesson or 2 and this guy just looked at me and it was in one ear and out the other (as with most 18 year olds!).  They went to Gore Mountain in NY the next morning and my grandson explained the do’s and don’ts of how hard it is to learn snowboarding. No matter what he said this guy new better. He went to the top and proceeded to go down Ruby’s Run. Well, and hour later while his buddies waited at the mid-mountain  lodge, they asked some people if there was anyone with a problem on top. Lo and behold there was a snowboarder stuck on top with the ski patrol assisting.

My grandson walked back up (I give him credit for that!) and found his friend who had fallen numerous times in the first 100 yards and was sitting there not wanting to move any further. The Ski Patrol convinced him to take a snowmobile ride back up to the top and to take the gondola back down. I guess he finally agreed to that and down he went. He spent the rest of the day on the bunny hill and by day’s end he had not progressed much without having a lesson. but……. stubborn is stubborn.  There were many sore spots from his aching tailbone to his knee and from what I understand he tried one more time and now he has to stay off the knee for the rest of the season.

In this case it was too bad he didn’t listen to me or even his friends because they did try to talk him out of going to the top. But, as I was told he’s a big boy and he can make his own decisions. Unfortunately, not good decisions!

So here we are approaching January and coincidentally, Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month nationwide. In the spirit of spreading the love of winter to new enthusiasts, many resorts are offering specials. These packages are for BEGINNERS ONLY and for the 2017/2018 season. For instance, the majority of Vermont resorts, where they have some of the best instructors in the world and plenty of terrain for those starting out, will be offering a $49 beginner lesson during the month of January, excluding Holiday periods. The beginner package includes equipment rental as well as a lesson with a professional instructor (lesson duration varies by resort) and access to the beginner terrain. Due to the deeply discounted price, the offer is for one beginner package per person. See participating resorts with details and instructions for reserving your lesson. Most reservations must be made 48 hours in advance of the desired lesson start time. t

Last year, I experienced the lessons at Bromley and the new skiers that came with me were making it down the slope by days’ end and having a great time. I also brought some newbies to Gore and they had a very positive experience as well.

As I have said above January is learn to ski and snowboard month nationwide. There is no great need to plan a big vacation to go learn to ski or ride. Wherever you are in the nation (unless you are in the warmer states in the south, then you will need to do this as a vacation) it is right in your back yard and only a day trip away. So if there is an inclination to learn to ski or ride don’t miss out on this opportunity. There is no excuse, if you have a good first and second experience you will want to come back. There is even a strong possibility that you might begin to look forward to the winter as I do and have for the past 50 plus years.

HAPPY SKIING AND SNOWBOARDING and don’t forget to watch the Winter Olympics in February!