Deseret News ski schoolers got a jump on the season. While other skiers were wishing, Deseret News students were out skiing last Saturday. The resort opened its lower runs just for the school.

The resort did not officially open until Tuesday.About 500 skiers, from the very young to grandmothers and grandfathers, showed up on the grooms and manicured slopes at Alta for the second session of the four-class ski school.

Having learned the very basics of the sport the week before on the grassy slopes of Sugarhouse Park, they transferred their new-found skills to the glittering white snow last Saturday.

It was, as one student said, "A perfect day."

Alta crews had the lower runs groomed perfectly. One skier said it was like standing on cotton. Another asked how they could get the snow so smooth and soft. Blue skies and a warm sun helped make it a perfect ski day.

Students will have the Thanksgiving Holidays to practice, then will return to the slopes Dec. 3 for class three and Dec. 10 for class four, both at Alta.

What students learned this past week was to control their speed with turns and to work on balance. They made straight runs on gentle slopes, tried right and left turns, learned to walk and step up hills, and spent a little more time becoming more familiar with their equipment.

For the third class, they will work on wedge turns and on keeping balance while moving on skis. For the final class, students will be introduced to the chairlift. Those that are ready will ride one of the beginning lifts and ski down.