Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire has proclaimed January "Learn a Snow Sport Month." Most of the state's ski and snowboard resorts offer learn to ski or ride programs, but some have added on extra programs to help promote snowsports.
Crystal Mountain launched a Bring a Beginner program. Those who bring a first time skier or rider up to enroll in a learning package get to ski or ride for free. The program, which runs through Jan. 29, offers a free midweek lift ticket for anyone bringing a new person who signs up for one of the resort's midweek first timer packages.
The resort is adding two ways for beginners to get tips. Every half-hour the rental shop will give beginners a free introduction to their equipment and quick tips for getting off to a good start. Crystal plans to send rovers out on the slopes to look for beginners who need help. The rovers will dole out tips, and guests trying the tips get a coupon for a 10 percent discount on a group lesson.
Other Washington resorts are offering beginner lessons and packages. Bluewood offers a free group lesson to all first timers who buy a platter pull ticket or a platterpull package.
One-day packages for learning to ski or ride are available at most Washington resorts, including Mt. Baker, Mt. Spokane, and others. The packages include a starter group lesson, lift ticket, and rental equipment. Rates for the package range $47-69.
Many of the state's resorts, including Crystal Mountain, 49 Degrees North, Mission Ridge, Stevens Pass, The Summit at Snoqualmie, and White Pass, offer first timer packages that bundle up three days of group lessons, lift tickets, and rentals for $109-155. The three days may be used any time during the season, but check with each resort on restrictions.