Ski resorts turn to terrain-based teaching

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NORTH CONWAY, N.H. (AP) — When it comes to learning how to ski, early lessons usually focus more on how to stop than how to go. But that's changing as some resorts embrace a new approach called terrain-based learning.

The idea is to use shaped and sculpted snow features to control the student's speed. Instead of worrying about sliding down the mountain out of control, students can focus on their building skills because the banks, berms and bumps naturally slow them down and nudge their skis in the correct direction.

Hot spots for terrain-based learning include Breckenridge and Vail in Colorado, Northstar in California and Mountain Creek in New Jersey. This winter, three New England resorts started terrain-based learning programs — Vermont's Bromley Mountain, Jiminy Peak in Massachusetts and Cranmore Mountain in New Hampshire.

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