January is National "Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month," which means you can learn how to ski or ride for as little as...well, nothing, at certain points over the next few weeks.
Unfortunately, all of Maine's 141 free lessons have been reserved, but New Hampshire is running its free week Jan. 7-13. Registration is now available at skinh.com at a number of participating areas including Wildcat, Black, Watervile Valley, and Loon. It's first-come, first-serve at each resort, and each free lift ticket does come with a free set of rentals and a lesson.
In addition, various resorts throughout the Granite State will offer their own "Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month" packages throughout the month. Check skinh.com for a complete rundown.
In Vermont, the deal lasts all month, except that the cost "skyrockets" to $29 per person, and is limited to different minimum ages at certain resorts. The $29 deal also includes lesson, beginner lift ticket, and rentals. Email Ski Vermont with the following information: name, phone, and zip code, which resort you would like to visit, and how many people in your group will be signing up.
Eric Wilbur is a lifelong recreational skier who spends most of his winter and spring in the mountains of New England. He does not ski in jeans. You can read more of Eric's work here.
Heather Burke is an award winning ski journalist with over a decade of ski news coverage. As a former ski instructor and a ski parent, she knows the ski biz from the inside out. She and her family visit New England ski resorts, as well as the West and Canada, to report on the latest trends and their best family finds. Her husband Greg takes all the accompanying photos, and their work can be seen at www.familysktitrips.com and www.luxuryskitrips.com.