Resort set to celebrate mountain activity and safety 

National Ski and Snowboard Week coincides with Avalanche Awareness Days

With feet of fresh snow on the mountains and weather systems passing through every few days it’s perfect timing for Avalanche Awareness Days and the National Ski and Snowboard Week.

Both start this weekend with the NSSW, sponsored by Samsung and organized by the Canadian Ski Council, running through until Jan 21.

The council’s main event will take place at Intrawest’s Blue Mountain resort in Ontario. But Whistler-Blackcomb, like scores of other resorts across Canada, is hosting its own program to coincide with the event and encourage people to get out and try winter sports.

So this weekend will mark the start of Learn to Ski/Ride Week on the mountains.

"The whole premise is to open up the possibility of learning to ski and ride during this one week," said Whistler-Blackcomb spokeswoman Christina Moore.

"Last year we had over 3,000 beginners who took part in the week."

"And this year we wanted to use this event again to participate in the (NSSW) program that is going across the country. We want to make sure that skiing and snowboarding is accessible for everyone to try at an affordable price."

During the promotion adults can get lift tickets, equipment and lessons for $71.50 per day or go for three days for $174.50. (For more information about what is going on at Whistler-Blackcomb go to )

The Canadian Ski Council started NSSW nine years ago to celebrate winter activities on the slopes across the country. It is a week full of great deals, promotions and parties at winter resorts.

"(It) is our opportunity to get Canadians out sliding on Canada’s slopes," said Colin Chedore, President of the National Ski Council.

"It is to raise some awareness for people to get active and healthy and get out there and enjoy the winter. We live in a winter climate in Canada and this is an opportunity to get out and enjoy the 280 ski areas we have in this country.

"We want people who are sitting around and who have tried it but haven’t done it for a while, or those who have never tried it, to get out and enjoy it."

Obviously by raising awareness of snow sports it is also hoped that participation will increase. According to the Council’s most recent statistics this year for the first time the number of skiers, cross-country skiers and snowboarders fell below 3.8 million, a decrease of 364,000 participants or 8.7 per cent compared to the previous season and a decrease of 3.6 per cent compared to 2002.

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