First of four Saturday sessions in the Deseret News Ski School gets under way at Sugarhouse Park Saturday morning.

Hundreds of beginning skiers will be on hand for the first session in the newspaper-sponsored ski school, one of the nation's oldest, for instruction in downhill or cross country skiing.The two-hour classes begin at 9:30 a.m. in the park, located at 21st South and 13th East, to acquaint the beginning skiers with walking and turning on skis before moving to the slopes at Alta for the last three sessions.

Open to anyone between the ages of 8 and 80, the Deseret News Ski School offers all four lessons for only $10. Cost includes lift rides at Alta (when part of the lesson) but students must provide their own equipment, especially for the first lesson Saturday.

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 decide at time of registration which instruction they want to receive 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.

Thousands of Utahns have learned how to ski in the Deseret News-sponsored program since it was organized in 1948, Engen said.

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

Bus service for the Alta classes 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, students are to meet at the Lake Terrace south of the lake. 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.

Students may register at the first lesson Saturday before classes at Sugarhouse Park, at the Deseret News, 30 E. 1st South, or at the Lift House Ski Shop, 3698 E. 7000 South.