Just a few words of advice:
(1) LOCAL. BIKE. SHOP.
They know what they’re doing, you don’t (yet), and bike fit is important.
(2) BUY ONCE, CRY ONCE.
This is not a cheap activity, but the incremental approach can lead to spending more on a series of bad bikes than you would on one decent bike. I know this because I’m guilty of it. Turns out I don’t miss the money I spent on the bike I wanted all along.
Make sure your equipment is designed for the terrain. You might not like how a CC bike handles at a ski park.