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The SkiPA pass includes a free learn-to-ski/board package. Photo provided by SkiPA

The Pennsylvania Ski Areas Association (SkiPA) wants to make it easy and fun for families to learn a new sport and stay active this winter. The Snowpass program provides every fourth and fifth grader the opportunity to ski or snowboard for free, up to three times at 21 participating Pennsylvania area ski resorts, when accompanied by a paying adult.

Now is the perfect time for families who are not already skiing to learn a new sport with some cool added incentives for fourth and fifth graders. In celebration of the sixteenth anniversary of the Snowpass program, SkiPA has partnered with SHEETZ and Gilson to give away over 100 FREE skis and snowboards.

The first 60 skiers and 60 snowboarders to reach five days on the mountain with their Snowpass will win a FREE Special Edition pair of Gilson Youth Skis or Gilson Snowboards. There is no need to enter, the Snowpass automatically counts the visits and winners will be posted on the SkiPA web site.

A Snowpass includes a free "learn to ski/board" package that includes a beginner lift ticket, lesson, and equipment rental as long as the student is accompanied by a paying adult. A 50% off adult "learn to ski/board" package is also included with the Snowpass. They may be purchased through the SkiPA website.

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Skiing and snowboarding provide families the opportunity to exercise outside together during the winter months. A ninety-pound youth can burn between two and three hundred calories per hour skiing and / or snowboarding depending on their activity level.

The participating ski area resorts include: