Tackle Cross-Country Skiing

If you're like most women, your ideal camp scenario entails being athletic by day and rejuvenating in a luxurious setting by night. Lone Mountain Ranch gets the mix just right, offering not only a place to discover a new passion but a comfortable environment where you'll be happy to hang out and relax.

Lesson plan Throughout the five-day, six-night camp, you'll get to test new equipment so you can find the gear that fits you best. With the help of pros like 2005 world champion Abby Larsen, you'll work on speed, control, balance, climbing and descending hills and turning. You'll be able to try classic cross-country as well as skate skiing, which involves shorter skis and a side-to-side skating motion. On day four take a snow coach tour in Yellowstone Park ($120 extra) or stay at Big Sky and try telemark skiing, a downhill technique in which your heels aren't attached to the skis (lift ticket, $69, and ski rental, about $30, not included). On day five you'll test all your new skills on a backcountry tour in Yellowstone.

After hours Savor the gourmet fare served each night with such dishes as pan-seared halibut topped with strawberry-kiwi salsa followed by lemon tarts with Chantilly cream. You can hear live music at the ranch or go out to the Carabiner Lounge, in the Mountain Village section of Big Sky, for acoustic sets from local acts. One night you'll take a sleigh ride to an old cabin for dinner.

What about your guy? Men can ski on their own or take coed clinics, and they're welcome at evening activities.

Burn it off Cross-country skiing blasts 530 calories an hour.

Details The six-night camps are offered from Dec. through Jan. Prices range from $1,585 (for a small cabin that sleeps two) to $2,090 (large cabin that sleeps up to four) and include gear rental, lodging, three meals a day and all instruction. Call (800) 514-4644 or go to lmranch.comm.

*All calorie counts are estimates for a 145-pound woman.

** Rates are in Canadian dollars.

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