It will be a busy weekend -- and week -- for snow sports enthusiasts.
It starts today when Hidden Valley welcomes the free Subaru Master the Mountain program and Seven Springs hosts the 2013 TransWorld SNOWboarding TransAm Tour and launches National Ski and Snowboard Safety Week.
Hidden Valley guests are invited to visit the Subaru tent in the plaza beginning at 9 a.m. for coffee and hot chocolate, free giveaways and an opportunity to enter a drawing for Nordica skis, Swix ski poles and POC goggles.
Beginner/novice, intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders can sign up for free lessons at 10 a.m. (Breaking the Wedge), noon (Control on Blue Terrain) and 2 p.m. (Short Radius Turns on Steep Terrain). The lessons will be repeated at the same times Sunday.
Hidden Valley will host the annual KDKA and Pittsburgh CW Family SnowBlast Thursday through Jan. 27 with a variety of on and off-mountain events. Although the activities are free, the snow tubing event requires a valid snow tubing ticket.
Jeff Verszyla, KDKA meteorologist and accomplished skier, will broadcast live from the resort for the afternoon and evening newscasts Thursday.
There will be a party from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Friday in the base lodge and a variety of family-friendly competitions Jan. 26 and 27.
Registration for the TransWorld SNOWboarding TransAm Tour presented by Skullcandy will be from 8-10 a.m. at the Yurt. At the base of The Spot, competition will begin at 11 a.m., and the finals will start at 1p.m.
First-place male and female winners automatically qualify to compete in the finals at Park City Mountain Resort in Utah. They also will receive free airfare to and lodging at the finals.
Organizers said the event continues to be a work in progress that's focused on "trying new things and having fun. That's what this contest has always been about. We give away sweet prizes, play loud music and build weird stuff that [participants] might only ride one day in [their] entire lives."
Seven Springs invites guests to stop by its National Safety Week table in the base lodge from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. today to learn about staying safe on the slopes and trails.
There also will be activities today for children enrolled in its Tiny Tots program.
And, from Tuesday through Thursday, the resort will provide free helmet rentals to the first 100 guests who rent skis or snowboards those three days.
The resort said members of its ski patrol and mountain ambassadors today "will keep an eye on skiers and snowboarders who are demonstrating safety while on the slopes and reward them with a special gift."
The provisions of the safety code flow from the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
Boyce Park re-opens
Boyce Park, one of the best -- and most economical -- places to learn to ski and snowboard, re-opens today for two sessions -- 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., and 4-9:30 p.m.
Its snow tubing lanes will be open for 2 1/2 hour sessions beginning at 9:30 a.m.
Although only the beginner slope and its lift will be open today, single digit overnight temperatures forecasted for Monday and Tuesday -- ideal for snowmaking -- should enable it to open more terrain by midweek.
Information: www.alleghenycounty.us/parks/fees/ski.aspx; 724-733-4665.
For women only
Hidden Valley's Women's Series is offering four hours of professional instruction Jan. 26 to women 18 and older who want to improve their skiing and snowboarding skills. The cost is $79 per person.
Information: www.hiddenvalleyresort.com; 1-814-443-8000, Ext. 308.
Larry Walsh writes about recreational snow sports for the Post-Gazette.