Sierra-at-Tahoe treated their experts to new terrain last winter, but this winter, the resort is targeting beginners. Improvements on the beginner slope increases opportunities for skiers and snowboarders mastering basic skills, and the resort returns their popular learn to ski or ride program back to the menu.

The resort's Easy Street slope, which incorporates the Broadway and Easy Street runs along with the Easy Rider Express, will sport two new carpet conveyor lifts and four more acres this winter. The two carpets total 700 feet in length, which will aid first timers with more slope length for mastering turns and stops. First timers will head to the top carpet, which is flatter, and then progress to skiing or riding down the bottom one.

The area also contains Sculpted Smart TerrainTM designed specifically for beginners. It mixes a flat snow surface with little spines, hips, and banked turns. "It puts students into turns rather than them having to make turns," Kevin Mitchell, director of the ski and snowboard school, told OnTheSnow. "With very strategic placement of the carpets, the angle of snow makes it easy for snowboarders to come to a stop."

The resort also introduced a $35 Learn to Ski or Ride package last winter. "A lot of beginners came to try out our hill. In fact, we saw double the number of beginners that we usually see," said Mitchell.

The program proved so successful that it will be offered again this winter. It is open to first timers 13 years old through adult. The beginner package includes a 2.5-hour lesson, gear rental, and a lift ticket for the two carpets and two lifts. The package must be purchased online 24 hours in advance. It is available Sundays through Fridays all season long with the exception of Dec. 18 - Jan. 2, Jan. 15 - 17, and Feb. 21 - 27.

Follow up programs are available for graduates. "We're not satisfied with them coming for one day. We want to get them into the sport to become skiers or snowboarders rather than just trying it for one day," said Mitchell. After $35 deal, skiers or snowboarders can add two more days of the learning package for $65 and then three more days with full mountain access for $99.

More information. Or call 530-543-3150.