"Like anything, you'll improve the most when you receive some guidance. The best way to become a good skier or snowboarder is to take a lesson," [R508R, Winterplace] says.

Professional instruction and proper equipment can mean getting off to the right start in a sport that will give years of enjoyment.

"Dress in layers. Layering allows you to accommodate your body's constantly changing temperature," Winterplace says, sounding kind of like mom, and she often is right.

"Be prepared. Mother Nature has a mind of her own. Bring a headband or hat with you to the slopes; 60 percent of heat-loss is through the head. Wear gloves or mittens - mittens are usually better for those susceptible to cold hands," the area urges.

"Know your limits. Learn to ski and snowboard in control. If you're tired, stop. Injuries usually result from fatigue. Have a seat and enjoy the people around you. Most of all, have fun," Winterplace says.

The area's list of what to bring is quite extensive, and includes hat, waterproof gloves or mittens, goggles or sunglasses, jacket or parka, warm base layers, ski pants, warm socks, sunscreen, and lip balm.

Don't forget a snack, trail map, ID, money, and dry clothes for the trip home.