So, it’s your first trip to the snow! Now’s the time to do some research and plan your trip so you can get the most out of it. Here’s a few tips and tricks to get you started.
- Take a lesson
Your mate may be offering to show you the basics, but you’ll learn much more quickly and be in a safer environment with a professional. Ski and snowboard instructors spend years training and know how to get you ripping around the mountain with the best technique. Most resorts package a beginner lesson with the lift ticket, meaning a few hours with a professional is free!
- Buy your lift tickets online
You’ll avoid waiting in a long ticket lines so you can hit the slopes early before the crowds and you can sometimes save a few bucks!
- Protect yourself from the elements
Mother Nauture is in charge in the mountains and she can turn on a range of wet and wild conditions. Invest in waterproof gloves, jacket, pants and good goggles so you can comfortably ski longer. Your jeans won’t cut it.
- Connect on social
There’s loads of facebook groups full of snow enthusiasts doing everything from car pooling to the mountains, trading gear through buy/swap/sell and organising a meal or drink at the bar.
- The early bird gets the worm
Hit the slopes early in the day before the crowds and enjoy the wide open spaces.
- Take advantage of shoulder season deals
As a beginner you won’t be skiing the whole mountain just yet, and lift tickets and accommodation can be much cheaper at the start and end of the ski season.
- Slip, slop, slap isn’t just for the beach
At altitude the suns rays can be stronger than down the beach, and the snow is more reflective than water so make sure you protect yourself by slipping on a buff to cover your face, slop on sunscreen both morning and midday to cover any exposed skin and slap on some sunnies or goggles to protect your eyes from snow blindness.
- Cover yourself
Before you make the pilgrimage to the snow check that your ambulance cover is up to date because in the case of an injury, a helicopter or van off the mountain can be mighty expensive.
- Buddy up
It’s a good idea to have someone else nearby in case you fall, get hurt or loose your way. Even better if that friend is also a beginner, so you can laugh together.
- Don’t forget that it’s a sport
Pre-season fitness will go a long way, as will stretching before and after. And remember to pace yourself through the day with regular breaks for fuel, hydration and a warm up.