Skiing is a great way to combine a social activity with a satisfying workout. But it’s still not a go-to vacation choice for many in the Black community, partly because of the misconception that it will be a pricey adventure. But in 2015—thanks to the thousands of domestic and international ski resorts—it’s easy to find a vacation rental or high-end luxury hotel that’s perfect for your budget. And there’s no need to fear being stuck on the bunny slopes. Many resorts cater to different ski abilities by offering specialized lessons at comfortable elevations.

Frank Cartwright, the first and only African-American examiner in the PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America), an organization dedicated to setting standards for teaching ski techniques, stresses that skiing brings people from all walks of life together and builds lifelong friendships. “Even though I am only one of a handful of African-Americans skiing on my home mountain, there is no color barrier,” he says.

There’s no time like the present to throw caution to the wind and plow through the powder. Be adventurous and step out of your comfort zone. Try one of these great ski retreats to get started.

Advice for first-time skiers
What are you waiting for? Get on the slopes today. Here are three tips from Frank Cartwright, PSIA instructor:
>“Don’t be afraid to start on your own—you’ll make friends. Find a small local mountain (some offer free first-time lessons). You can also get ski-trip deals through the National Brotherhood of Skiers.”
>“Make sure you wear warm and water-resistant clothing. If you’re trying hard enough, you’ll most likely make contact with the snow, and there’s nothing worse than a wet bottom.”

Read more in the February issue of EBONY Magazine.