Not that “R” word — the one that has to do with precipitation. The other “R” word — the one they’ve been bandying about on the news lately. Recession.

It’s official. We’re in one. And I don’t have to tell you: skiing isn’t cheap. So how can you still participate in your favorite sport, while minimizing the financial pain?

Here are some tips, suggested by members of

  • Get a season pass: The initial outlay is large, but if you ski a lot at the same mountain, it can considerably reduce your cost per day. A season’s pass can have other benefits, too. Some provide discounts on lift tickets at other resorts, nearby lodging, and on-mountain retail locations.
  • Bring your lunch: Food at the mountain can cost nearly as much as a pass. So bring something that costs less, tastes better, and is much healthier for you: food from your own kitchen
  • Get a job: The cheapest way to ski yet. Work at the mountain, and they’ll give you a season’s pass. You’ll even earn a few bucks in the process.
  • Carpool to the hill: Yes, gas prices have come down. But the last time I checked, gas still wasn’t free. Drive with a friend.
  • Join a club: If you don’t live close to a mountain, join a club that has a house or lodge. Weekend rates are far cheaper than the cost of hotel and sometimes even include meals and a cook — which can make life very nice after a day of skiing.
  • Buy ahead off site: Sometimes you can get a deal on a day ticket if you buy before you go, either from the resort’s web site or at designated ski and outdoor shops. It’s not a huge discount, but it’ll save you a few bucks.
  • Pick a card: Some resorts offer their own discount cards. At Mt. Snow, for example, a “Fan Fare” card costs $99, and gives you 50% off during the week, 25% off weekends and 10% off on holidays.