In Idaho, 5Th And 6Th Graders Can Ski Free

If you have a 5th or 6th grader who loves to ski or snowboard or one who’d like to learn, you’ll want to take advantage of the free skiing program offered by the Idaho Ski Areas Association, a.k.a. Ski Idaho.

The Idaho Peak Season Passport lets 5th and 6th graders ski or board 18 mountains for only 18 bucks.  The program allows 5th graders to ride three days for free at all 18 Gem State ski resorts and offers 6th graders two days free at 17 mountains. It is open to any child from any state or country -- NOT just Idaho kids.

Complete the application available online at skiidaho.us/passports and pay an $18 processing fee to order a passport for your child. Ski Idaho will email you a passport you can print out prior to hitting the slopes or pull up on your smartphone when you walk up to the ticket window. Your child must have a parent or guardian present to use the passport, and it must be shown at the resort in order to receive the lift ticket.

Participating resorts include:

Bald Mountain, Bogus Basin, Brundage, Cottonwood Butte, Grand Targhee, Kelly Canyon

Little Ski Hill, Lookout Pass, Lost Trail, Magic Mountain -- magicmountainresort.com,

Pebble Creek -- pebblecreekskiarea.com, Pomerelle# -- pomerelle.com, Schweitzer, Silver Mountain,

Snowhaven, Soldier Mountain, Sun Valley -- sunvalley.com, Tamarack -- tamarackidaho.com

“The family friendly reputation of Idaho ski resorts is well deserved,” Brundage Mountain Co. president and Idaho Ski Areas Association board chair Bob Looper says. “Our incredible, uncrowded terrain offers some of the most spectacular skiing and snowboarding on the planet regardless of your age and ability, and our Idaho Peak Season Passport makes it a lot easier for families to take advantage of our good wintertime fortune.”

Participating ski hills reserve the right to limit passport use for ski racers, on race days, and on any scheduled blackout dates that may apply. Visit skiidaho.us/passport-blackout for a list of scheduled blackout dates, and check with your ski hill for full details.

Looper suggests Idaho-based skiers and riders also consider purchasing the Ski Idaho specialty license plate for their vehicles since that program helps fuel the Idaho Peak Season Passport.

“Nearly half of Ski Idaho’s funding -- about 45 percent -- comes from our license plate program,” he says. “It’s our biggest source of income and allows Ski Idaho to do important work like marketing our fantastic resorts to potential visitors and offering our acclaimed Idaho Peak Season Passport.”

Why 5th and 6th graders?

The Idaho Peak Season Passport from Ski Idaho targets 5th and 6th graders because a lot of them don’t know how to ski or ride yet and nationwide ski resorts have found that kids in those grades are at an age where they can learn quickly and enjoy the sports of skiing and snowboarding.

In addition, keeping children active in winter can be challenging, plus 5th and 6th graders are at a crucial age in their development where they are choosing healthy lifestyle activities -- including lifelong sports like skiing and snowboarding -- over more sedentary activities.

Plus, a lot of middle schools and high schools offer after-school ski programs or have ski teams or ski clubs, so 5th and 6th grade is a great time to prepare kids for that.

It’s also a good time to reengage former skiers and snowboarders. Their kids are old enough the whole family can enjoy skiing and riding together.

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