One of the nation's oldest ski schools - based right here in Utah - opens Nov. 10 for beginning skiers between the ages of 8 and 80.

The 43rd annual Deseret News Ski School, offering four Saturday sessions for only $10, opens with a dryland session at Sugarhouse Park followed by three sessions at Alta.Students may sign up for either downhill or cross country, according to Paul Jones and Alf Engen, co-directors. Jones, who directs the Alf Engen Ski School at Alta, said students must indicate at time of registration in which course they wish to enroll and to provide the proper equipment.

It is important to have the right equipment for the course selected, because the skis, boots and poles are entirely different for the cross country compared to downhill, Jones said.

"The ski equipment must be brought to the first class at Sugarhouse Park even if there is no snow," Jones said. Purpose of the dryland session is to acquaint students with their skis and to learn how to walk, turn and get back up if they fall.

Lift rides, when part of the lesson, will be free to registered students. Thousands of Utahns have learned how to ski in the Deseret News-sponsored program since it was organized in 1948, Engen said. And many of these students have either had children or grandchildren in the program as students or as instructors, he said.

The two-hour sessions will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Nov. 10, Nov. 17, Dec. 1 and Dec. 8. There will be no classes on Thanksgiving weekend.

Bus service will be available for those without their own transportation at $8 round trip from park 'n' ride locations at Olympus Hills Shopping Center and Cottonwood Mall.

For the first lesson at Sugarhouse Park, 13th East and 21st South, students are to meet at the Lake Terrace south of the lake and near the playgrounds. Alta classes will meet at the Albion Day Lodge where restrooms, cafeteria and ski rental shop are located.

Ski school officials emphasized that when selecting ski equipment, whether to rent or buy, students should not overlook proper clothing. Skiing is a winter sport and it may be cold and snowing during lessons, even at the "dryland" session.

It is better to be over-prepared with adequate clothing, including headgear and gloves, than to be cold during lessons.

Lessons will be held even in a snowstorm, officials said. However, if the weather is considered too cold, lessons will be shortened or canceled to avoid hypothermia.

Students may register by mailing the registration form on this page or signing up in person at the Deseret News, 30 E. 1st South, or at the Lift House, 3698 E. 7200 South.