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Skiing 101

What first-time skiers really need to know to hit the slopes

What first-time skiers really need to know to hit the slopes

January 02, 2009|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

Skiing shows that freezing-cold weather is good for at least one thing.

But the process of buying all the gear can be daunting if you're attempting it for the first time.

Groups like the Pennsylvania Ski Areas Association are trying to make it a little less scary for newbies. The trade group has declared Thursday, Jan. 8, "learn to ski" day.

We tapped Bikle's Ski Shop in downtown Hagerstown to demystify the gear. Co-owner Barbara Tritle and Dax Zomboro, the shop's head mechanic, helped us out.

First-timers might experience some sticker shock. The gear shown here totaled $1,618 at Bikle's before Maryland sales tax. It does not include the cost of your base layers and socks. But this is not a recurring expense. After the first hit, you're only paying for maintenance. You can also rent some of the equipment at the slopes for much less.

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So take advantage of the cold weather - hit the slopes with your family.

Want to ski?

Here are a few places within arm's reach of Hagerstown. Approximated travel times were generated through Google Maps and are based on the distance from Hagerstown. Find more places from the Pennsylvania Ski Areas Association at www.skipa.com.

Whitetail Resort, Mercersburg, Pa.

Travel time: 34 minutes

717-328-9400

www.skiwhitetail.com

Liberty Mountain Resort, Fairfield, Pa.

Travel time: 56 minutes

717-642-8282

www.skiliberty.com

Ski Roundtop, Lewisberry, Pa.

Travel time: 1 hour, 38 minutes

717-432-9631

www.skiroundtop.com

Blue Knob Ski Resort, Claysburg, Pa.

Travel time: 1 hour, 54 minutes

814-239-5111

www.blueknob.com

Hidden Valley Resort, Somerset, Pa.

Travel time: 1 hour, 56 minutes

814-443-8000

www.hiddenvalleyresort.com

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