Friends Don’t Let Friends Teach Them How To Ski

Winter lasts until May here in Vermont, so you’d better have a favorite winter sport so you can actually enjoy winter.

At Sugarbush, our chosen sport is fairly apparent—skiing and riding. And we often ski and ride from Thanksgiving right through the first weekend of May. Guests have been known to wrap their season sipping a Kentucky Derby Mint Julep or local Sip of Sunshine at Timbers Restaurant in the Lincoln Peak courtyard. Sounds fun, doesn’t it?

This winter’s off to a good start—much more promising than last year.  We’ve received 177 inches of snow so far—surpassing last year’s season total of 158 inches on New Year’s Eve. We’ve had all 111 trails open at various points this season, though right now (per the Jan. 17 snow report), we are holding at 90 trail (with snow in the forecast tonight). We have three terrain parks open—our big Riemergasse Park at Mt. Ellen, and two beginner parks on Slow Poke and Easy Rider at Lincoln Peak.

If you’re not a skier or snowboarder, January is the best time to become one. But allow me to share some words of advice to beginner skiers and snowboarders: don’t let your friends teach you how to ski—take a lesson and learn the right way. We’ve heard far too many stories about beginners getting led to the top of the mountain by a friend and told reassuringly “you’ll be fine.” After a terrifying descent, where the friend is nowhere to be seen, they never want to ski or snowboard again. So here are some tips for the right way to learn to ski and ride:

It’s National Learn to Ski and Ride month, which means there are lots of deals out there to entice first-time adult skiers and boarders (ages 13+). At Sugarbush, we offer a superlative program for first-timers called the First-Timer-to-Life-Timer package—a three-lesson all-inclusive beginner package (equipment, lesson, and lift ticket included) for only $280 that rewards graduates with a FREE SEASON PASS so they can practice their new sport. Many participating resorts, including Sugarbush, offer a First Timer Learn-to Ski or Snowboard lesson for just $49 in January —again, equipment, lesson, and lift ticket all included. (You can upgrade to Sugarbush’s FTLT program for an additional $175.) Come on and give it a try, or send a friend who wants to learn.

For those of you seasoned skiers and riders, here are some other ways to ski and ride economically this season:

If you’re a fifth grader, or know someone who is, you can ski or ride all winter for free with the Ski Vermont Fifth Grade Passport program.

Are you free on Thursdays? If so, check out Mt. Ellen’s $30 Thursdays—a $30 lift ticket at Mt. Ellen (non-holiday) at Sugarbush for the day, plus live après music in the Green Mountain Lounge.

Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day? You can at Sugarbush, with a $14 lift ticket on Valentine’s Day and a $17 Mt. Ellen lift ticket on St. Patty’s (costumes encouraged, and Irish food and drink aplenty).

Lastly, skiing and riding here at Sugarbush is just as much about camaraderie as it is about adventure. We have lots of fun and unique events upcoming that offer a convivial environment for apres socializing. . .

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Firkin Fridays and Raw Bar at Castlerock Pub—know what a firkin is? A cask used for conditioning beer the old-fashioned way. We tap a different firkin each week, and I guarantee you, we serve up some special beers here.

Base Camp at Mt. Ellen on Saturdays through the end of March—if you like skinning up the mountain, or taking an evening snowshoe, this is for you. Hang out in front of the bonfire after your adventure for wood-fired pizza, beer, and good times.

John Egan Hall of Fame Induction Celebration on Sunday, Jan. 29th—Sugarbush’s own Chief Recreation Officer John Egan has been named the 420th inductee into the Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame, along with his brother Dan. Come celebrate with John, a true master of skiing who has starred in over 14 Warren Miller films and claims first descents all over the world. John is also offering a series of free guided ski tours on select Sundays this winter, and is available for private half-day and full-day bookings.

We have lots more events scheduled all season long, leading right into our Sugarbush Brewgrass Festival in June. Come on out and celebrate winter with us at Sugarbush.

-Candice White

Vice President of Communications and Guest Services

Sugarbush Resort

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