Once again, the Deseret Morning News will be offering Utahns the opportunity to learn to ski and snowboard this winter through its teaching program.

This will be the 59th year of the ski program and the seventh year for the snowboard program through the Deseret Morning News Ski and Snowboard School.

Ski classes will be at Alta, and snowboard classes at Snowbird.

Once again, there will be a split session in the snowboard program at Snowbird. The first session will start at 9 a.m., and the second at 1 p.m. There will be a maximum of 150 applications for each session.

Because of the limited number of snowboard openings, those interested in the program will need to pick up applications through Canyon Sports, 1844 E. 7000 South.

Interested skiers can register through the Deseret Morning News or one of the three Canyon Sports locations.

There will be three lessons offered — Nov. 18, Dec. 2 and Dec. 9. Cost of the lessons and lift access for the three classes is $35. Each class will run for about two hours.

Realizing it's not always easy for beginning students to get the right equipment, Canyon Sports will be offering special rental programs to Deseret Morning News students.

Students can pick up their equipment prior to the first class on Nov. 19 and return it after the last class Dec. 10.

Cost of the four-week rental for skis, boots, bindings and poles is $31. Cost of the four-week rental for snowboard, bindings and boots is $35.

This year, enrollment will be limited for both groups — 400 students for skiing and 300 for snowboarding.

Those planning to take the snowboard school must register at Canyon Sports — 1844 E. Fort Union Blvd. (7000 South). Entry forms will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Students need to be sure to register for either the morning or afternoon class.

Skiers will be able to register at Canyon Sports, the Deseret Morning News offices, 30 E. 100 South, or by mail. Ski school coupons will periodically be printed in the newspaper.

The school is intended for first-time skiers and snowboarders ages 8 and older. This means skiers and snowboarders who have yet to feel the crunch of snow underfoot or the feeling of exhilaration that comes from moving while standing perfectly still — same as the Olympians, only a little slower in the beginning.

The Deseret Morning News school is the longest running ski teaching program in the country. It started on the slopes of the Bonneville Golf Course 59 years ago under the guidance of the late Alf Engen, one of the truly great legends in skiing.

It was his dream to make skiing available to any and all who wanted to sample it. Thousands have graduated from the program. Many have continued to make skiing a lifetime sport.

The procedure is simple — fill out an entry form, pay a fee of $35 and then show up at Alta for three ski lessons taught by certified ski instructors. Or, show up at Snowbird for three snowboard lessons, again taught by certified instructors.

It's a great opportunity to try skiing. By the third class, students will have learned the basics of the sport, those being the ability to make left and right turns on gentle slopes and, most importantly, will have learned the art of stopping.

Loaded with this information, a student can go to any resort and ski. All resorts have beginning slopes. Many have beginning lifts and designated areas for new skiers.

From this point on, skiers can go as far as they want. They can return the skis and try bowling, or they can continue on and, as thousands have, and as Engen wanted, find that skiing is a great way to cure winter boredom.

For information call 942-3100 or 237-2135.

E-mail: grass@desnews.com