Free Ski School 75 Years Old at Lookout Pass
Lookout Pass powder run. (Lookout Pass/Facebook)
Who says there’s nothing free in the world? Every Saturday at Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation, dozens of youngsters will hit the slopes for instruction in skiing and snowboarding – without cost.
It’ll be the 75th year for free instruction at the day-trip mountain on the Idaho-Montana border, near Mullan, Idaho. More than 500 young skiers and riders between 6 and 17 years old have signed up for the 10-week program. Snowboarders must be at least 7 years old to participate.
The ski school has operated as a nonprofit since 1940. It draws students from across the Spokane area, northern Idaho and western Montana. In the last eight decades, volunteer instructors have introduced nearly 60,000 children to skiing and snowboarding.
Registration filled up quickly, according to resort officials, and sessions run every Saturday until March 14 – both beginner and advanced classes.
The program at Lookout Pass, which sits right along I-90 about half-hour drive from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and an hour-and-half drive from Spokane, is believed to be the only completely free ski school – including instruction for advanced participants -- that runs for the majority of the season. It runs separately from the standard Lookout Pass Snowsports School.
Many other resorts offer free lessons for beginners during the January Learn to Ski and Ride Free promotion, and a few offer a limited number of lessons at no cost to get youngsters onto the slopes – with hopes that they will return.
Lookout Pass has 540 acres of skiable terrain and 1,500-foot vertical on three aspects: Montana Side, Idaho Side and North Side.