First Trax

Story by Mike Doble – [email protected]

We're in the midst of an awesome MLK Weekend where conditions at all of the resorts of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic are as good as they've been all season long. On top of that – it is SNOWING like crazy outside of my back door this morning and I am seeing rather significant snowfall happening all around the area via the LIVE CAMS at ResortCams.com.

From what I'm seeing in the local forecasts for each of the resorts, this snowfall is going to be "for effect only" meaning that we're not expecting deep snows anywhere, but a dusting to 2" most everywhere – which is pretty sweet considering that it is WORLD SNOW DAY today.

Numerous organized efforts have popped up over the last several years to bring new people to the slopes and the two most notable are "WORLD SNOW DAY" and "LEARN TO SKI AND SNOWBOARD MONTH".

Since World Snow Day is a one day shindig (today) I'll give them some props first.

The vision of World Snow Day is for skiing and snowboarding to be the first choice winter sport and recreational activity. Recent research has shown that the number of people participating in snow related activities has dropped over the past years. World Snow Day is one of the key initiatives being introduced by FIS to promote snow activities as a healthy leisure recreation, notably for the young.

World Snow Day is not only about increasing numbers it is also a day to educate and inform. During World Snow Day they aim to promote:

The Environment: (from their website (with permission))

The young generations are the future guardians of the snow. The children of today are the ones who will be running the factories, industry and other big polluters in the future. The younger generations need to grow up caring for the environment so they and their children, too, have snow to play on in the future. Furthermore, by conserving the environment to preserve the snow, other natural environments will benefit as well.

Health Benefits:

The health benefits of snow sports are obvious and well-known. One big advantage that snow sports offer over many other sports is the “awe” factor the natural environment provides. We need to pull children off their snow video games and put them on real snow. And they will discover there is more enjoyment in real snow activities than virtual ones.


Obviously it is to promote getting off your butt and on to the snow, but it is a lot more than that. I'll bet you didn't know that sixty percent of the country's downhill skiing capacity is located in National Forests.

Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month in January encourages children and adults to learn by taking lessons from professional instructors. It also challenges current skiers and snowboarders to improve their skills through lessons. Ski and snowboard areas offer lesson programs all winter but LSSM special offers take place in January.

LSSM makes it easy for children and adults to find venues and learning programs that best suit them. Skiing and snowboarding are lifetime sports. Starting out smart – taking lessons, dressing to stay warm and fueling the body with sensible foods – is the first step. Current skiers and snowboarders can increase their expertise with advanced lessons and brushing up on "best practices".

Did you know there are 122 ski and snowboard areas located on national forests across the United States? Besides alpine skiing and snowboarding, many of these locations also offer cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, sleigh rides, dog sledding and educational Junior Snow Ranger programs. January is "Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month" so plan a trip to celebrate winter and bring a friend or the whole family. Take lessons from professional instructors and learn how to ski, snowboard or master your techniques.

This winter, throughout the country, kids can learn to ski and snowboard for free! The “Free 4 Kids” program offers both free and affordable lessons.

All of our ski areas of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic take part in this great program and Joe Stevens' of our own "Snow News is Good News" column is also the official spokesperson for the West Virginia Ski Areas Association and he and all of the WV ski area owners and GMs will be at a press conference with the Governor of West Virginia on Tuesday to bring further recognition to the program. (They've done that each of the last several years.)

The new media picks that up and the hope is that it inspires more people to hit the slopes.

In reviewing the information for this great intiative I was surfing their website and found where they gave SkiSoutheast.com credit for helping to publicize the program. Thanks guys and thanks Joe. (I'm certain you had more than a little something to do with that.)

Portions of this story incorporated content from Learn to Ski & Snowboard's website (with permission). They asked that we share this bit of press release below:

Learn To Ski & Snowboard Month – January 2014
Humans Were Never Meant to Hibernate!

January 2014 is Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month. Ski areas and resorts in 34 states are celebrating with special offers to get children and adults out on the snow and taking lessons from a professional instructor.

The Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month website, www.skiandsnowboardmonth.org, provides a listing of states with locations where learning programs are taking place. The site helps those new to snow sports with practical information on getting started and also includes tips for those who want to improve.

Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month is an industry initiative organized by the National Ski Areas Association, the Professional Ski Instructors of America-American/Association of Snowboard Instructors, the National Ski Patrol, SnowSports Industries America, numerous state and regional resort associations, industry partners and the snow sports media.

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