So you want to give skiing or snowboarding a try this winter?
If you live in the Dubuque, Iowa, area, consider yourself lucky.
Sundown Mountain, one of the lower Midwest's larger ski areas, is offering first timers the opportunity to try it for $10, which covers a lesson and rental equipment. It's arguably one of the best offers in the Heartland.
The lesson takes place on Sundown's beginner hill, which has a chairlift and a conveyor lift so that each person can advance at their own comfortable pace. The offer is good Dec. 3-24, and you must be at least 9 or older. Reservations are required, and openings are limited. Follow the link below for more information.
Once you give skiing or snowboarding a try and discover you like it there are all kinds of options for follow up. There are group lessons, private lessons and three- and five-week learn-to-ski-or-ride programs. The area has one of the largest instructional programs in the Midwest, according to GM Mark Dietz.
"We routinely have around 120 instructors per season, and two of them have been nationally recognized for their contribution to the sport," the longtime general manager told OnTheSnow. "We've been at this for over 25 years and feel like we've developed a pretty good teaching program for our region of the country. Thousands have gone through it."
Early season lift tickets, through Dec. 17, will be $20, and a lift and rental package will be $40.
Sundown, with a vertical drop of 475 feet, is located along an escarpment above Dubuque. You can see three states from the top of the ski area: Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin . The runs, carved through a century-old cedar forest, deliver a scenic, almost Western-like experience.