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Rhon Bell

Rhon Bell, an outdoor enthusiast, spends his time exploring the Maine Woods and documenting his journeys. Growing up in Aroostook County, he embraced the outdoor lifestyle at a young age. Living today near Portland, he spends weekends and week-long adventures hiking New England summits, canoeing the historic Maine waterways, and ice fishing for lake trout. Follow the journey as Window to the Woods discovers new destinations, and check out his other blog, Backwoods Plaid.

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Window to the Woods with Rhon Bell
Posted: January 23, 2014

Ski lessons and a trip to Maine's Saddleback Mountain

My first skiing experience was 10 years ago. I was 18 and took the big hill without a single lesson. Just moments into the first run, I realized I didn’t know how to slow my downhill approach. My rental skis tumbled through the air – into the woods –  just seconds before I followed behind. It was a bad experience to say the least. That all changed last weekend. Since I began working at L.L.Bean, I realized everyone enjoys alpine skiing and I should give it a second chance. So, I headed West.

Saddleback’s Riding School was rated #2 for Top Ten Places To Learn To Ski In New England in 2013 and they boast plenty-of-face-time, individually-tailored ski lessons on classic New England terrain. It didn’t hurt that 2-hour lessons were only $75 each (including rentals and lift ticket). And if you buy two lessons, your third is free. If you’re looking to learn to ski – ask for “Lori” – she provided the best experience we could ask for. This isn’t to say that other Maine mountains don’t have a superior program – I was simply looking for affordability.

In 2 days , 4 lesson-hours and 12 full hours of mountain time, I left able to control my speed, confident in my turns, well-versed in proper form and really excited about my new sport. Saddleback Mountain is definitely a haul for those of us near Portland, but the locals say you can count on beautiful drive, smaller crowds, a family atmosphere and some of the lowest ski prices in New England.

What to look for:

$29 Maine Days (available to Maine residents on Feb 2, Mar 2 and Apr 6)

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