I’m on top of the biggest mountain I’ve ever seen in my life. I pull down my goggles and brace myself for the task ahead. Our fearless instructor, Jim, skies about 12 feet off the edge and stops, motioning for us to follow.
The two miniature daredevils to my right gleefully shove off and wedge to a stop next to him. Then goes a teenager with spiky black hair, rolling his eyes at our leader’s caution. Then there’s the woman who goes before me, teetering a bit at the end, but managing to stay upright.
Then they are all looking at me, waiting.
I take a deep breath and push off. The next thing I know, I’m flying past the astonished group at what feels like 60 mph. I’m skiing! I’m not stopping. I’m falling.
Born and bred a Southerner, I consider anything below 60 degrees freezing. Needless to say, I never learned how to ski. But accepting an invitation to a ski trip when I’ve never even seen snow may sound a little crazy.
I struggle to my feet and continue on with my “Discovery Beginner” lesson at Big Boulder Ski Resort  in Lake Harmony. By the end of this “learn to ski” program – I’ve mastered the necessary skills to ski down the mountain on my own – well, sort of. “Mastered” is a bit grandiose.
But I’m proud of myself. And now I’m entitled to celebrate.
There are countless ways – in addition to night skiing – to entice the senses in the Pocono Mountains – and across the state – this winter season.
Drink deals and jam bands play throughout the month at Pennsylvania’s 22 ski areas, and special events this January showcase the diversity and creativity of the resorts. In the Pocono Mountains, Camelback Mountain Resort’s  Captain Morgan Weekend January 14-15 sounds ship shape. Mark your calendar, too, for these other great events at area ski resorts including Elk Mountain’s  Winterfest January 20, Winter Carnival January 29 at Ski Big Bear  and Hidden Valley's  Spring Festival March 10-11.
Get a laugh in February 3 at Liberty Mountain  with comic Earl David Reed or come by the next weekend to honor the 80s.
This is what après skiing is all about – even if you’ve spent the day working your way down the bunny hill.