Attempting to get down a snow-covered hill on a pair of skis or astride a snowboard for the very first can be a very daunting experience. Not only do you have a strange apparatus attached to your feet, you're cold, wet and miserable.
Then there's the cost of rental gear, lessons, and lift tickets to add to the misery quotient.
It's enough to make anyone seek a pastime something less intimidating and costly, like neurosurgery.
Well, the good people in the North Lake Tahoe-Truckee area feel your pain, and they have a way to soothe those newby anxieties with their annual Learn to Ski and Board Weekend Dec. 13-14.
You get gear, group lessons, and an all-day beginner lift ticket for $25, at any one of these North Lake resorts: Alpine Meadows, Boreal Mountain Resort, Diamond Peak, Granlibakken, Homewood Mountain Resort, Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe, Northstar-at-Tahoe, Squaw Valley, or Sugar Bowl.
Reservations are not required to take advantage of the Learn to Ski and Board Weekend; just show up at your chosen destination with $25 in hand and head for the resort's ski school. They'll take it from there.
If there isn't sufficient snow coverage at the resorts on the specified weekend, most will defer the promotion until later in the season. Check with the individual resorts for possible restrictions.
Remember: They may be able to teach you to ski or snowboard, but they can't do anything about the weather.