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Five things to know for your first time out on the slopes

Skiing and snowboarding are great ways to enjoy the wonders of winter. While learning to ski or snowboard may appear to be quite an undertaking, the reality is that anyone can learn – and much quicker than you might imagine!

Roundtop Mountain Resort, Liberty Mountain Resort and Whitetail Resort all feature nationally recognized snow sports schools. By following the helpful hints listed below, and arriving excited to learn, you will be well on your way to a lifetime of winter fun.

1. Dress for success. Part of the thrill of skiing and snowboarding is enjoying the refreshing winter weather. By dressing properly, you'll stay comfortable no matter what Mother Nature throws at you! Here are a few simple guidelines:

a. Dress In Layers – If you have multiple layers on, then you can make adjustments if you get too warm or too cold.

b. Water and Wind Resistant is Best – Moisture and wind are the biggest reasons people get cold. If you can stay dry and block the wind, you will stay more comfortable.

c. Mittens are Warmer – Mittens allow your fingers to share heat. If you get cold hands, go for mittens.

d. Don’t Forget the Sun Protection – The snow is like a reflector so the sun’s rays hit you from all sides. Be sure to use at least an SPF 15 sunscreen and sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB.

2. Stay Close to Your Comfort Zone. Skiing and snowboarding allow you to be in control of your fun. Choose to stay on slopes that are within your ability. Each slope is clearly marked. It is OK to challenge yourself, but do it in small steps.

3. Rent Your Skis or Board While You are Learning. The resorts select rental equipment that makes learning easy and staff can fit you with the best equipment for your size and ability. You will improve quickly as you are learning, and so renting equipment also allows you to use equipment that always matches your ability. Once you have some experience under your belt and know the style of skiing or snowboarding you prefer, then you can buy equipment that will fit your needs.

4. Take a Lesson. Roundtop, Liberty and Whitetail all offer affordable packages that provide everything you need to learn. Avoid the temptation to let a friend or family member teach you. You will learn faster and have more fun if you take a lesson. What’s more, most of these packages come with family plans, so you can make your ski-day part of a fun family trip. “We gave our children and grandchild a learn to ski trip for Christmas,” says Rachel from Arlington, VA. “It was the best decision we could have made. Even though it was very cold, they all had a great time and can’t wait to return. They said the staff was extremely friendly and helpful and they were all skiing together before lunch. Thank you for giving my family an activity they can all enjoy together.”

5. Make It Your Own. One of the best parts of skiing or snowboarding is that you can make it into whatever you want it to be. Like to cruise down groomed runs? Go for it. Like to catch some air? The terrain parks are waiting. Have the need for speed? Look into racing programs. The entire family can enjoy a day on the slopes together and yet have completely different experiences.

Anyone and everyone can learn to ski or snowboard. All you need is the desire to do so. Roundtop, Liberty and Whitetail offer the best mountains in the area, and can make this loveable pastime a lifelong passion. Contact any of their three offices to learn more about how they can get you out onto the slopes today!

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