Gifts for skiing, boarding last all winter long

Some Christmas presents are better if they don’t fit under the tree or keep on giving long after the first round of batteries is exhausted.

One of those evergreen gifts is the gift of skiing or snowboarding, and here are some offers sure to make the holidays last all winter long:

Wednesday is the final day to register for the Buddy Werner ski program at Powderhorn Ski Resort. The program, named for the three-time Olympian from Steamboat Springs, is a learn-to-race program for skiers 5-14 years of age.

This is not a learn-to-ski program, and all participants must be able to ski at least one of the intermediate runs at Powderhorn.

“That’s right, this is a learn-to-ski-race program,” said Dara Hartman of the Powderhorn Buddy Werner program.  “It’s a great way for a young skier to learn new techniques and improve their racing.”

The program is held on Sundays from early January through February with races on Wonderbump.

Information and registration forms are available at www.

Not coincidentally, January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month in Colorado, according to the ski-industry group Colorado Ski Country USA.

Resorts around the state are offering ski lessons at reduced prices, as well as sponsoring special programs for experienced skiers and riders looking to improve their skills.

Additionally, in an effort to build that skier and rider base, Colorado Ski Country is introducing its new First Class program as a complement to its popular 5th Grade Passport program.

The First Class program offers one free beginner ski or snowboard lesson, including equipment rental, during January to 5th Grade Passport holders new to the sport.

“Initially we started the 5th Grade Passport as a way to give every kid who grows up in Colorado the opportunity to learn to ski,” said Melanie Mills, chief executive officer of Colorado Ski Country USA.

“By introducing First Class to the 5th Grade program, we are expanding this introduction beyond free lift tickets for fifth-graders to also teaching them Colorado’s favorite sports.”

The 5th Grade Passport program provides all fifth-graders three free lift tickets to each participating Colorado Ski County member resort.

The 6th Grade Passport program provides sixth-grade students four lift tickets at the same resorts for $99.

Information on 5th and 6th Grade Passports and First Class is available at or by calling 303-866-9707.

Powderhorn is offering a Learn to Ride Program for first-time skiers and snowboarders. For $350, professional instructors take skiers and riders for three full-day lessons, including lessons, rentals and lift tickets.

After completion of all three sessions, the student is awarded a free season pass. Information is available at

A similar program is offered at Telluride Ski Resort. The Beginner Skiing Adventure and Learn to Ride Beginner Snowboarding packages are for first-time skiers and boarders and include three days of lift tickets, lessons and rentals, for $340. This is what a normal two-day package costs.

Information is available at


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