Local ski areas attempt to break ski school world record on Jan. 8 | SummitDaily.com

Local ski areas attempt to break ski school world record on Jan. 8

Summit Daily staff report

This month, even never-ever skiers can get into the Guinness Book of World Records for skiing.

On Jan. 8, SnowSports Industries America — the nation's largest winter sports industry group — is coordinating the world's largest ski and snowboard lessons. Beginners are invited to sign up for a lesson at one of more than 160 resorts across the country to break two records and set two brand-new ones: largest single-venue ski and snowboard lesson, and largest multi-venue ski and snowboard lesson.

Now, this doesn't mean a group of teachers will lead hundreds of skis and boarders down the slops. If 100 people register at Breckenridge, those 100 students will be split between classes and teachers as usual.

"We are not talking about giant lessons at each venue," said Mary Jo Tarallo, director for the snow sports industry's Learn to Ski and Snowboard month. "If a venue has 100 people that may mean 10 lessons with 10 people. It depends on the venue." Right now, the current single-venue record is roughly 500 people in a single day at a single resort. With more than 160 resorts signed up for the attempt, students skiers and snowboarders on Jan. 8 stand a good chance of making the records a reality.

The event takes place at 10 a.m. and is the "unofficial" kick-off for SIA's Learn to Ski and Snowboard month. This snow sports industry initiative has introduced thousands of children and adults to ski and snowboard lessons since its inception in 2009.

For the first time, records will be set for the world's largest multi-venue ski lesson and the world's largest snowboard lesson. From this group, the single-venue ski lesson and the single venue snowboard lesson record will be determined. Ski and snowboard lessons are not taught together.

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January is also National Safety Awareness month at ski areas across the country. Copper, Keystone and the majority of other Colorado ski areas are hosting avalanche clinics, safety awareness talks and other events throughout the month. The record ski lesson promises to be a fitting kick-off. After all, what better way to celebrate safety than simply learning to ski — and making it into the history books?

"It will be fun whether we can set all four records or not," Tarallo added. "Who wouldn't want to set or break a Guinness Book of World Records? We hope current skiers and riders will tell their newcomer friends and family members wanting to learn."

Ski school world record attempt

What: A joint effort by more than 160 ski areas across the country to set two official Guinness World Records and break another two: largest multi-venue ski and snowboard lesson, and largest single ski and snowboard lesson

When: 10 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 8

Where: All Summit County resorts (Breckenridge, Keystone, Copper and Arapahoe Basin)

Cost: Varies by resort

The world record attempt is the unofficial kick-off of Learn to Ski and Snowboard month, held this January by SnowSports Industries America. For more information, including all host resorts and other details, see http://www.learntoskiandsnowboard.org.