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Freebies at area ski resorts this weekend

Article Published: Jan. 6, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Freebies at area ski resorts this weekend

A rider hits the terrain park at Appalachian Ski Mountain.

Photo submitted

This weekend, local ski and snowboard resorts offer freebies and exclusive winter sport adventures for those new to snow sports, as well as novices and experts, alike.

Snowshoe for free at Sugar

On Saturday Jan. 8, Sugar Mountain Resort in Banner Elk hosts its fifth Winter Trails Day. Sugar Mountain is among hundreds of resorts and Nordic centers across the country participating in the 16th annual National Winter Trails Day.

"We offer children and adults new to snow sports the chance to snowshoe for free," Kim Jochl, marketing director of Sugar Mountain Resort, said. "We have complimentary snowshoe guided tours, which include the snowshoe rental."

There is a tour every hour from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jochl recommended that patrons arrive at the Ski/Snowboard School Building 15 minutes early, because the free tours fill up fast. Children's tours are for kids between the ages of 8 and 11 years old.

"It's about 45 minutes per tour around Sugar Mountain Ski Resort, and it just depends on the ability level, group size, mood and what they want to do," Jochl said.

Snowshoeing is a great way to explore the winter trails without ruining the snow for cross country skiers. Snowshoes compact the snow without turning it into mush and non-skiable conditions.

If you can't make it to Sugar Mountain for the free opportunity to snowshoe this weekend, don't worry. Sugar Mountain hosts guided snowshoe tours throughout winter.

Typically, one hour tours are held Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 3 p.m. and Saturdays at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Snowshoe rental is included with the purchase of a $20 guided tour.

For more information, click to or call (828) 898-4521.

Fresh Friday 2 and Ladies Park Night at App Ski

Appalachian Ski Mountain hosts the second Fresh Friday of the season on Jan. 7 and the first Ladies Park Nights on Saturday, Jan. 8.

Both events involve freestyle terrain parks, much like a skateboard park with snow. Park features include rails, jumps, banks, and boxes for skiers and snowboarders to maneuver and show off their skills.

"With Fresh Friday, we change the setup of our terrain parks to create something riders have never seen before," Drew Stanley, marketing director of Appalachian Ski Mountain, said. "We have over a dozen features created over the summer that we utilize and get creative with pushing snow, to make something brand new and unique. Something people will enjoy."

Register for Fresh Friday 2 at the registration desk on the upper level of the lodge between 5 and 6:30 p.m. The event is from 7 to 8 p.m. Awards are given out immediately afterwards.

On Saturday, Appalachian Ski Mountain will change a separate freestyle terrain park and close it off for women and girls.

"We think about our Lady Park riders and what they want to hit, and we design features that are more conducive to progression and learning," Stanley said. "Sometimes, when our park gets crowded, it can be a little intimidating when a lot of people are dropping quickly."

Register for Ladies Park Night at the registration desk on the upper level of the lodge between 5 and 6:30 p.m. The session starts at 7 p.m. "If there are quite a few ladies, we will leave the park closed, and they can run for as long as they want up to 10 p.m.," Stanley said.

These events are not competitive.

"It is a laidback atmosphere," Stanley said. "I would call it a jam session. Riders and their friends can hit features in any order and as many times as they want."

Recess Skate and Snow will be on hand emceeing and throwing out trick tips and prizes. Fresh Friday 2 offers standout awards for innovative and technical moves, while Ladies Park Night has a raffle for those who register. Participants can walk away with goggles, T-shirts, gloves and hoodies.

Both events are free with the purchase of a lift ticket: $25 for students, $21 for juniors/seniors and $29 for adults.

For more information, click to or call (828) 295-7828.

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