January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. The goal is to encourage skiers to seek out professionally trained instructors for learning to ski and snowboard. A lot of the time, we think of this as being for the beginners. However, those who have been skiing before can also benefit from lessons.
Many of our local resorts offer intermediate or advanced lessons for skiers in addition to beginners. Many of the lessons offered for advanced skiers are private lessons. However, there is an alternative. Many of the resorts will offer special camps or events to help skiers improve their skills.
One such program is Subaru’s Master the Mountain Program. The program features a schedule of mini-lessons that are taught by certified instructors. These lessons are part of the Confidence in Motion Series and are completely free. Each lesson is about an hour and a half long. The series includes the following mini-lessons:
- Breaking the Wedge
- Control on Blue Terrain
- Short Radius Turns on Steep Terrain
Master the Mountain is usually held as a two day event, on Saturday and Sunday. Each of the lessons is held once each day. Registration takes place at the Subaru Event Tent or Igloo. This location also has refreshments such as hot cocoa and coffee as well as a video about skiing and snowboarding. In addition there are also giveaways.
Your next chance to take advantage of a Master the Mountain program is this coming Saturday and Sunday at Hidden Valley, January 19 and 20 from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. The schedule of lessons is the same for each day. Breaking the Wedge starts at 10:00 a.m., Control on Blue Terrain starts at noon, and Short Radius Turns on Steep Terrain starts at 2:00 p.m. Sign-ups for the lessons start at 9:00 a.m. each day. The giveaways at Hidden Valley include Nordica Skis, Swix Ski Poles, and POC Goggles. So stop by the tent to register for the giveaways even if you are not taking a lesson. Hidden Valley is located about 50 minutes southwest of Johnstown.
If you can’t take advantage of the program this weekend, there will still be two more chances at Johnstown area ski resorts. The program will return to Hidden Valley on February 16 and 17 (President’s Day Weekend). The week before that, February 9 and 10, the Master the Mountain Program will be at Wisp Resort in McHenry, MD. The event at Wisp will also include a Ski Patrol Mountain Tour each day. Wisp is located about an hour and forty-five minutes south of Johnstown.