The Deseret News Ski School, now in its 41st year in offering low-cost quality instruction for beginning skiers, opens Nov. 12 with a dryland session at Sugarhouse Park.
And if the weather man cooperates, the school will move to Alta the following Saturday for the first of three on-slope two-hour lessons.The school begins each year with an introductory lesson on dryland when the students learn the fundamentals of walking, turning and other skiing techniques along with ski safety from a corps of instructors. The lessons, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., are for beginners only between 8 and 80 years of age.
Lessons are offered in cross country or downhill with approximately 10 to 12 students in each class. Cost for the four sessions and lift rides when part of the lesson is only $10. However, students are to provide their own skis, poles and boots.
Ski equipment is required for all four sessions, especially the dryland clinic.
Following the first dryland lesson at the park, located at 13th East and 21st South, classes are scheduled at Alta on Nov. 19, Dec. 3 and Dec. 10, skipping the Thanksgiving weekend.
During the past four decades, thousands of Utahns have learned to ski in the newspaper-sponsored clinic.
The classes are for beginners or those who have skied before but want to learn the latest style and techniques, according to Alf Engen, ski school director. Purpose of the ski school is to introduce Utahns to the same winter sport that attracts skiers from around the country, and to encourage safety and controlled skiing at all times.
During the opening session, students are introduced to their ski equipment, either downhill or cross country, and then taught the proper way to walk on skis and to follow ski safety rules.
Ski equipment may be borrowed, rented or purchased, but students are urged to try on boots and skis at home before attending the first lesson.
"We don't want students to wait for the first lesson to discover that their boots are too small or too large, or that they do not fit their particular ski bindings. Downhill skis cannot be used for cross country, nor cross country skis be used for downhill," a ski school official said.
Bus service, for those without private transportation, is available for the Alta sessions at $7 round trip each day. Buses leave park 'n' ride lots at Olympus Hills and Cottonwood Mall at 8:30 a.m. and leave Alta for the return trip at 1 p.m.
Students may register by mailing the registration form in the Deseret News (including a self-addressed, stamped envelope to receive clinic materials and identification tag) or register at the newspaper office, 30 E. First South, or at the Lift House Sports Shop, 3698 E. 7000 South.