A steadily increasing number of ski resorts in every region of the nation have set up leam-to-ski programs for older persons who have a long - buried, or suddenly bom, desire to join their grandchildren on the slopes. Instructors are inevitably themselves seniors.

Almost every ski area in the United States also offers seniors discounts on lift tickets. Many offer free skiing to members of the 70+ Ski Club. Free or heavily discounted lift tickets for seniors are customary throughout Europe. In addition, special discount packages are widely available to seniors. The following are examples of the programs generally available at major destination resorts:

Sun Valley, Idaho. Prime Time Special discount packages in January and early February for skiers 60 and over include a welcome reception and a special evening dinner with dancing, plus a lift ticket for five out of six days, lessons, mountain tours, and a senior race. For information: (800) 786-8259.

Purgatory, Colorado. The SnoMasters Classic programs for skiers 55 and older include a reduced-rate lift ticket and discounts on rentals, lodging, food, and lessons. For information: (303) 247-9000.

Waterville Valley, New Hampshire. The Silver Streak program involves a host of discounted activities, as well as discounted lift tickets. For information: (603) 236-8311.

Aspen, Colorado. Fit Over Fifty offers seminars on subjects from nutrition to finance, and a five-day program that includes lodging, lessons, and lift tickets. For information: (800) 952-1616.

Park City, Utah. It’s Never Too Late, for those 50 and older, includes leam-to-ski programs, and mountain classes for experienced skiers. All instructors are seniors. For information: (801) 649-8111.

Stratton, Vermont. Club 62, for skiers 62 and older, offers lessons and mountain tours twice weekly. For information: (802) 297-2200.

Badger Pass, Yosemite National Park. Silver Skier, for those 60 and older, includes a free season pass and beginner lessons. For information: (209) 372-1330.

Because of the steady increase in the number of ski areas that run special programs or offer discount packages for seniors, ask your favorite ski resort what its policies and programs are. If it doesn’t offer seniors a discount, hey, go elsewhere.

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