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Across the country right now, it’s so snowy, you can practically slalom down Main Street.

Yet in sunny SoCal, it’s a bit tougher to get our winter sports fix. But we’ve just discovered a ski miracle in Santa Monica, where Virtual Snow L.A. has everyone from beginners to experts “hitting the slopes” via five-foot-square treadmills. 

Our instructor lent us boots and skis, then had us hop onto a Seussian contraption with a slanted, carpeted conveyor belt bolted to two ballet barres. We donned a padded belt that was snapped onto one barre, and we lightly gripped the other. Then our teacher flipped a switch and the belt began slowly moving--allowing us to ski as the instructor showed us how to bend, lean and hop. 

Virtual Snow L.A. maintains that one hour of studio training is as hard on your muscles as a day of skiing on a mountain. (After just ten giggly-fun minutes of sliding back and forth, our burning calves are inclined to agree.)  

In six hour-long lessons ($675), students run through drills focusing on core, thigh and back strength as well as learn cool lingo--so even if you don’t make it out of the ski lodge, you’ll look fit and sound like a pro.

Virtual Snow L.A., 3105 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica; 310-264-4800 or

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