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Discover program an introduction to skiing, boarding

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Finally there's no excuse not to dig out the old skis or strap on a brand new snowboard for the first time.

Ski areas across the country are offering discount packages designed to introduce skiing, snowboarding or cross-country to beginners or to re-introduce these sports to those people who thought they would never hit the snow on boards again.

The packages are called Discover Skiing, Discover Snowboarding and Discover Cross-Country. They include a pass, lesson and rentals for around $30 – the price varies according to the different ski areas.

The Discover packages include a ticket for beginner lifts or trails, rentals of all the equipment and a one-hour group lesson with a certified ski or snowboard instructor.

In B.C. the discount packages are available at Big White, Cypress, Apex and Sun Peaks, among others.

Some of these packages will be subject to even further discounts during the Nissan National Ski and Snowboard Week, from Jan. 19 to 27.

If the discount packages give you a little taste of life on skis or a snowboard, and you like the taste, there are also three-lesson Discover Skiing and Snowboarding packages to whet that appetite even further.

Pros from the Canadian Ski Instructors' Alliance and the Canadian Association of Snowboard Instructors can help new skiers and riders get better and better.

For information about the NSSW or about the Discover packages log on to the Canadian Ski Council's web site at www.skicanada.org

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