BELLEVUE, Wash. — Did you know that you can learn to ski in the comfort of the great indoors, year-round?
Mini Mountain owner Tom Waldron has been turning wannabes into hot-on-skis since 1983, by teaching downhill sports on carpeted ramps that look and operate like giant, sloped treadmills.
"If it didn't work, there's no way that we'd be around for the last 40 years," said Waldron's son, Kevin, who helps run the business.
Instructors keep the 20-minute classes casual, fun, and fast-paced. They'll even help you conquer the scariest part of skiing: the chairlift.
"We can practice loading and unloading the chair," Waldron said. "And it's really similar to how you unload at the top of a mountain with getting right onto our ramp."
Mini Mountain keeps kids active off the carpeted slope, too.
"We have indoor ski camp, and then also outdoor rock climbing camp, and then an outdoor adventure camp where we bring them hiking," Waldron said.
If you're looking for a place that's going downhill fast this ain't it.
"Our top speed is about 4 miles an hour," Waldron said.
But if you want to accelerate the learning curve in comfort, take a ski trip to Bellevue.
"We have great success with people doing between five and ten lessons indoors here, and then that first day they go on snow they're able to make turns and stop and get on and off the chair lift," Waldron said. "So we kind of expedited that process."
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