By Sneha Pujani, Staff writer
I have always been in awe of the people who glide down the slopes on skis or snowboards and spray some snow when they do their turns and acrobatics! They always seemed in command of the snow. It was always on my to-do list to be able to glide through the snow just for the hell of it. When I realized Thunderbird is in the desert land, my dream was squashed. It was a couple of weeks back that I realized that Arizona Snowbowl offers ski/snowboarding lessons with a lot of bells and whistles! Read on to know the details, the deadline for this season and my experience from the first lesson.
Arizona Snowbowl is approximately 150 miles from downtown Phoenix. It takes 2.5 to 3 hours of beautiful drive. The learn in 5 sessions is right at Snowbowl. ( Link: https://www.snowbowl.ski/the-mountain/ski-ride-school/learninfive/). It costs $225, including the gear rentals (ski/snowboard, poles, helmet) and 5 sessions in groups of three to six, a free pass for the rest of the 2019-2020 season ( usually lasts till early to mid-April) and a 50% discount for 2020-2021 season. The gear doesn’t include your apparel, goggles, and gloves. The last day to buy tickets for this program is 29th Feb [today!]. The parking is free at Snowbowl with courtesy buses from the parking lot to the Hart Prairie Lodge. You will get to rent your gear here, rent a locker for $5/day and get ready for the day of fun!
My first experience was full of falling on the ice, making new friends and feeling lost on the giant snowy playground. The funniest part was to see little kids own the slopes while I struggled to stand up. Kurt, my instructor was a fun and energetic trainer. He fell with us just to teach us how to get up! He has been skiing for 30 years! The first session was supposed to be only 90 minutes, but we ended up spending over two hours on ice. We learned to glide, turn left/right and walk uphill with skis on! My main take away was that falling on ice is perfectly okay and is unavoidable.
Keep in mind to carry your food. It is very cumbersome to get out of the gear and walk up to the café to get some food and gear up again. Remember to hydrate, the snow gives an illusion of being chilly but the gear and the exercise makes you sweat a lot. You will be parched after the session, so carry a bottle with you. Amazon has pretty good deals on snow pants, ski jackets, goggles, gloves etc. Snowbowl also lets you rent these items but it has to be done a week in advance so plan it out.
I cannot wait to be back on the slopes and fall on my face again! No point denying that eventuality. Although the joy of making my first turn, coming to a stop and gliding smoothly makes me want to go back! The option to learn is out there, gang up with your pals and try out this new adventure! Plus, the ski goggles look amazing! You will get tons of pictures/videos out of this experience!