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Hello Everyone –

So pop quiz time, do you know the significance of January 2010? No not just another year of missing the NFL Playoffs for the Washington Redskins, but is officially national Learn a Snow Sport Month (LASSM). Bet you didn’t know that did you? Well I am here to tell you all about the special month.

The Learn A Snow Sport Month, started last year by a group of industry officials, encourages children and adults to try a snow sport if they never have done so and also encourage those already involved to try a new snow sport. You can find out more about the program by going to www.learnasnowsport.org and there is plenty of information there for everyone to take in.

The Southeast Ski Areas Association and the West Virginia Ski Areas Association have both endorsed the program which is designed to grow the sport. Here is hoping that the North Carolina and Virginia associations follow suite. West Virginia’s Governor Joe Manchin will be reading proclamation on Thursday, declaring January as Learn A Snow Sport Month in the mountain state of West Virginia.

In its first year, LASSM attracted 20,000 children and adults to learning programs for alpine skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing and snowshoeing. It would be great if that number is topped this year. If you haven’t noticed, but one of the best, if not the best places to learn to have fun on snow is in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. The terrain is perfect from North Carolina to Maryland to make those first turns. Not only is the terrain perfect to learn, but every resort in the region has instructors that are geared for those first timers. You can find out information on each resort’s learning programs by going to the resort’s website. To find out more about West Virginia programs go to www.goskiwv.com and click on a resort link.

Now for the learning tip of the week, learn from a professional and not a friend. Even if that professional is a friend. You won’t try and impress a professional instructor and your friend won’t have to work not to hurt your feelings. Seriously, let the first timer learn from a pro, your friendship or relationship will be the better for it.

That’s it for this week, more to come as the season continues, just remember whether it be cold or whether it be hot, we’ll weather the weather, whatever the weather will be. Think about it! See you on the slopes. Happy Holidays everyone

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Joe Stevens, a member of the southeast ski industry since 1990 is a regular columnist for skisoutheast.com and serves as the Communications Director for the West Virginia Ski Areas

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