Learn to ski, board for $25 | NevadaAppeal.com

Learn to ski, board for $25

by Sam Bauman

Tahoe ski resorts are giving novice skiers and snowboarders the opportunity to learn at bargain prices. The Seventh Annual Learn to Ski and Board Weekend, this weekend, costs $25 and includes an all-day beginner lift ticket, group lesson and gear rental. First-timers have their choice of many resorts. For details, visit http://www.puretahoenorth.com/specials.

The $25 is just about half of what a standard group lesson costs, and you can be sure that the instructors (or coaches, as Heavenly calls them) will be professional PSIA members. So pick your resort and learn how to. As a sometimes snowboarders we keep meaning to take a refresher course – well, make that a beginner class as we never really took lessons.

SKI RACK WOES

Last year we bought a new ski rack to go with our new (then) car. It was a three-ski rack from Thule, a major maker of ski racks. We labored to assemble it, little knowing that it wasn’t designed for a Hyundai Tucson. We finally turned to the Sporting Rage shop on 395 south. After a couple of sessions we got it all together and on the car. I then wrote of the problems of getting it in place.

The company saw the article and contacted us and eventually sent us another rack, this one for six skis. Confident we had problems licked, we tried to assemble the 5401 model. It’s a beauty, strong, wider than the old one. Precision made.

Well, it went better than last year, but again we had to consult with Sporting Rage – twice. It took two of us to put the two sides together – one holding, one pushing. It’s now all together. However, it doesn’t fit my Hyundai roof rack. We put the old one back on and we’ll send the new one back. Thanks, anyhow to the Swedes at Thule for trying.

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THE MOON LIKE A BIG PIZZA PIE

Full moon snowshoe tours are in full swing Saturday on the West Shore. Participants will meet at the entrance to Ehrman Mansion at Sugar Pine Point State Park, 7:30 p.m., for a guided tour with a ranger. Call West Shore Sports at (530) 525-9920 for reservations and info.

DIAMOND PEAK DISCOUNTS

For the first time in five years Diamond Peak Ski Resort will open earlier than its scheduled opening date – today will be opening day for the resort, nearly a week earlier than scheduled. Cold temperatures have allowed Diamond Peak’s expert snowmaking team to make snow nearly 24 hours a day for more than a week. Diamond Peak Ski Resort Manager, Ed Youmans, anticipates opening top to bottom with limited terrain and three lifts.

Early season discounts include $35 for an all-day adult ticket; $27 for half day. Youths 13-17 rates are $28 and $21. Kids and seniors, $13 and $10, 5 and under and seniors, free. See http://www.diamondpeak.com or call (775) 832-1120. Snow Phone is 831-3211.

PRO SNOWBOARDERS PARTY

Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort will host 35 of snowboarding’s top professional riders at The BLOCK Party 2006 with riders competing in the MONSTER Schoolyard Rail Jam on Saturday. The weekend kicks off tonight with parties and plenty of sponsored giveaways for the public.

The MONSTER Schoolyard Rail Jam will include a 20-foot swing set rail, a 24-foot box, eight miniature jib bonks, and a 30-foot stair set with a rail and a box on either side. Event sponsors will be giving away free schwag and product samples.

SQUAW PARTY TIME

Squaw Valley welcomes winter with an official three-day Winter Solstice Celebration this weekend.

The party starts 2 p.m. today with the Uphill Fixed Binding Race, a wacky ski and snowboard contest at the base of Exhibition, open for all ages and includes, men’s and women’s ski and snowboard classes.

On Saturday, Squaw hosts the Solstice Slalom. In this free open-class race, competitors vie for the grand prize, a Squaw Valley “Stay and Ski” package. The race begins at noon on the Exhibition race course.

On Sunday, Squaw Valley USA hosts a mountain-wide Scavenger Hunt that begins when lifts open at 9 a.m. Look for the hidden magnetic Solstice snowflakes on lift towers around the mountain and base village. At 4 p.m., the Resort at Squaw Creek hosts a program featuring Benjamin Britten’s “Ceremony of Carols” – $5 for adults and free for kids 12 and under. Call (530) 583-6985.

SNOWSHOE THE RIM TRAIL

The Tahoe Rim Trail Association will offer its second year of Winter Trails Snowshoeing Program. The association will be hosting several snowshoeing hikes and events on the trail. Great for first-timers to try snowshoeing free. Call (775) 298-0231 or e-mail to: alexiso@tahoerimtrail.org.