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Snowboarding and skiing may seem daunting to the timid, perilous to penny-pinchers, and time consuming to the average person. One of the most common reasons that students in NYC choose to abstain from this particular sport, however, lies within the misconception that ski resorts are located in Canada, Massachusetts, Vermont, and other places that break your (or your parents’) gas bill.
This is not the case. Many ski resorts are accessible to any student within an hour and a half or less. Students should take the chance to cool off from school and relieve some stress, simultaneously learning a new skill. Even if you’re not brave enough to risk your neck to go cruising down a black diamond*, there’s quite a lot to do in the ski resorts around New York.
For instance, Mountain Creek (200 Route 94 Vernon, New Jersey 07462) does not only offer trails for beginners, intermediate, and advanced skiers/ riders; this particular resort also offers a snow tubing drop zone, and dedicates an entire mountain to “terrain parks” (This is where all the skiers/ snowboarders show off their tricks). Snowtubing tickets are set to $20, Monday through Friday, and $25, Sundays and Saturdays. Snowboard and ski rental (includes helmet) is $44.95, and with a $40.99 lift ticket (price varies by day and age), the total cost amounts to $85.94.
If this seems a little too pricey for you, check out Mountain Creek’s Learn To Packages, which include rental, lessons, and lift tickets. As January happens to be Learn to Ski or Snowboard Month, Mountain Creek offers a Buy One Get One Free Learn-To Ski or Snowboard Package Coupon. For further information check out the resort’s website: www.mountaincreek.com.
Ski Campgaw, in Campgaw Mountain (200 Campgaw Rd. Mahwah, NJ 07430), has shorter and fewer trails and lifts than Mountain Creek. However, it has a snow tubing area ($18-$24, depending on day, time, and occasion) and a little terrain park. To compensate for its size, Campgaw’s prices are much cheaper than those of other resorts. Depending on the day, occasion, and time, prices can range from $18 to $36 dollars. Snowboard rentals cost $39.55 total (helmet, boots, and board), while ski rentals (skis, boots, poles, helmet) cost $34.55 total. Ski Campgaw is a great mountain for beginner skiers and snowboarders- not only is it cheap, but the level of difficulty of its trails is not high. If you are interested in skiing or snowboarding at this mountain, go to: www.skicampgaw.com.
Belleayre Mountain is a state-owned and operated ski resort located off of State Route 28 in Highmount, NY. (Other resorts like Campgaw and Mountain Creek are privately owned.)
The resort consists mostly of intermediate trails, and the prices, therefore, are not hospitable to beginners. The price for a lift ticket can range from $42-$53, depending on the time and occasion, and rentals cost $77-$87 for ages 8-17. Belleayre also offers a Learn-to-Ski or Ride 1-2-3 Package, which includes 3 days worth of rentals, lessons, and lift tickets for $131.
Of the many beginner package deals that I have encountered, the Learn-to-Ski or Ride package is probably the most worthwhile, in both time and money. Buyers are not obligated to take the lessons in consecutive days, and may return during the 2013 season, when convenient, to take the remaining sessions. To learn more about Belleayre Mountain, visit www.belleayre.com.
*The name for steep, hilly, and/or icy trails suitable for more advanced skiers/ snowboarders
**Also, all of the above prices are for 1-day lift tickets for an individual. 2-day lift tickets are cheaper, and group tickets are usually even more so. So go with friends!