Hidden Valley has a new three-step program in place at Wintersports U, the resort's Ski and Snowboard School. The program is called Smart Start, and is designed to help shorten the learning curve for people skiing for the first time.

Smart Start is a graduated learning process that takes guests from their first trip through the rentalshop, to the snow at the resort's new beginner teaching area, to the first chairlift ride, ending with the ability to make linked turns.

Once a skier has the ability to make linked turns, he or she has the freedom of the hill, to go where interest leads.

How many skiers remember learning to turn, first to the left and stop, then to the right and stop?

How many remember that magic moment when one turn led into the next, and the next, and the next, all the way down the beginner slope?

That first set of linked turns was based on hours of practice, which led to a feel for movement, and a sense of balance on the skis.

Smart Start is aimed at helping beginners master that feel and sense of balance, and help them reach that magic moment when one turn ends and the next begins in a fluid and seamless flow.

More information, call 814-443-8000.