Bigrock and [R54R, Black Mountain] have joined [R96R, Camden Snow Bowl], [R218R, Lost Valley], [R436R, Sugarloaf], [R443R, Sunday River] and Titcomb Mountain in offering what sounds like a pretty good way to learn to ski or ride, and to get some time on the slopes.

Ski instructors say it takes three outings for newcomers to get comfortable on skis or board, and the Maine Learn to Ski and Ride Card provides those three days of skiing and riding, including one lesson the first day. Cost is $89.

It works like this.

Day one gives card holders a lift ticket, rentals, and lesson at Titcomb Mountain, Lost Valley, Camden Snow Bowl, Bigrock, or Black Mountain.

Day two gives card holders a lift ticket and rentals at any of those same mountains.

Day three gives card holders a lift ticket and rentals at either Sugarloaf or Sunday River.

"The huge success we saw with the Maine Learn to Ski and Ride Card last year encouraged us to expand the program this year," said Sugarloaf's Brad Larsen. "By adding Bigrock and Black Mountain we're able to extend this great offering to additional Maine communities and help to encourage more people to experience the joy of skiing or snowboarding."

The Maine Learn to Ski and Ride Card eliminates many of the impediments to learning to ski or snowboard by packaging three days worth of equipment and lift tickets, and one lesson.

Skiers spend their first day in a lesson and become accustomed to being on snow before venturing out on their own on the second day. By the third day they are prepared to explore the slopes of Sugarloaf and Sunday River, two of the East's biggest destination resorts.

This year's cards will be available for purchase at Camden Snow Bowl, Titcomb, Lost Valley, Bigrock, and Black Mountain.

More information. Or call 866-266-7081.