Head to [R416R, Spirit Mountain] Sunday, March 1 if you live in the Duluth area and have ever thought about learning how to ski or snowboard. Lessons and equipment are free that day, and you'll still have a month left to enjoy a new found snow sport.

Spirit is providing free ski and snowboard lessons for beginners -- 13 years and older -- at 10 a.m. or 3 p.m. The lesson, which normally runs $45, also includes free equipment rental. Reservations need to be made at least 48 hours in advance of the lesson day. Call 800- 642-6377 to reserve your spot, but don't delay. Its first come, first serve and spots will fill quickly. Don't be left out. If you've been thinking about giving snowsports a try, it's time. If, by an unlikely chance, you don't like sliding on snow, you haven't lost a thing.

Those who already know how to ski and ride, remember Spirit Mountain and [R152R, Giant's Ridge] announced earlier this season a joint marketing venture that will provide a nice savings. You can bring a daily lift ticket from one resort to the other and qualify for a "buy one, get one free" lift ticket offer. It amounts to getting half-off your lift ticket price at the second ski area. It doesn't matter which one you visit first, just save your 2008-09 lift ticket.

Giant's Ridge is located about an hour northwest of Duluth on Minnesota's rugged Iron Range. The two ski areas compliment each other nicely. Spirit looks out over Lake Superior and the Duluth harbor, and the Ridge looks out over an endless stretch of northern Minnesota forest and inland lakes. It makes a nice package for weekend visit.