Your First Ski Trip
Beach season is over. The weather is getting colder and “whitecaps” have a whole new meaning as snow starts to fall in the mountains. Most seasoned skiers get excited about that fresh powder and can’t wait to hit the slopes, but if you’re new to skiing, there are a few things you need to know about planning your first trip.
What to Book in Advance
Just like any other trip, find a place to stay in advance. Ski resorts stay full for a long time since most ski trips take about a week. If you are flying, you may have to rent a car if your resort does not provide transportation. If you are driving and bringing your own skis, make sure that your vehicle is properly equipped to transport skis. Keep in mind that most resorts have everything included in their packages.
What You Need to Bring
The goal of your trip is to enjoy your time and have the most fun out on the slopes. However, being cold can instantly ruin the enjoyment of being out in nature. You will quickly realize that packing for a ski trip is very different than packing for a beach vacation. Your luggage will be larger and heavier because you are packing warmer clothes, and you probably won’t be able to fit as many items as you want. Here is a checklist with must-haves:
The base layers are typically a warm long sleeve shirt, leggings or tights, and very warm socks. All these items must be very comfortable and warm. Always keep an extra shirt in your backpack when skiing. Sweat can freeze and it is a good idea to change your shirt during a long break.
Even though they are bulky, having a snow jacket and snow pants is critical. They are designed to keep you as warm and dry as possible. You may want to put a fleece jacket on top of your undershirt and under the ski jacket. Remember, it is easy to remove a layer.
Warm hand mittens and a scarf or neck gaiter are accessories that you must have. Getting frostbite on your fingers can be very painful and dangerous. You should also consider safety gear like a helmet and ski goggles. If you do not want to wear a helmet, a warm hat is highly recommended. You will also need warm boots that are easy to put on and take off.
Finally, you will need skis, proper ski boots, and ski poles. If you do not own any and do not want to invest in any of this equipment, ski resorts often have a shop where you can rent everything you need.
Before you get to the slopes, pack a backpack with some snacks, water and an extra base layer of clothing. Get dressed and put on your warm boots. When you get to your destination, change your boots for the ski boots. Always put your skis on only where there’s enough snow. Rubbing the bottom of your skis on gravel or concrete will damage them and your ride won’t be as smooth. Enjoy your ski trip and stay warm!