As a diehard skier trying to spend every day that I can on the slopes, I get a lot of questions. When it’s chilly out, I can never complain because people always ask “You’re a skier, don’t you like being cold?”
So I thought I’d do a little Q&A with the questions I frequently get from friends and family.
Q: Doesn’t being cold make skiing less fun?
A: I enjoy skiing so much that cold doesn’t bother me, but I don’t want to stand around in -10 weather.
Q: Isn’t it boring to ski green (easy) or blue (intermediate) trails once you are an “expert”?
A: I enjoy the advanced terrain, the moguls, the deep pow, but I also like a nice meandering trail with a view or a freshly groomed beginner trail with no one else on it. Skiing for me is about having fun – whatever the condition.
Q: Is ski racing an event where everyone lines up and tries to get to the bottom first?
A: That sounds kind of like skier-cross, which includes banked turns and jumps as well. I would totally give that a try. However, traditional ski racing is a little more organized and looks like this.
Q: Doesn’t gravity do all the work for you? Why do you need to be get in shape for skiing?
A: Gravity helps, but there’s technique involved. It’s a workout, and the mountain sure knows how to kick my butt. Getting in shape helps make the ski season more fun.
What are the most common questions you get about your hobbies?
Who else is looking forward to some powder over the holiday weekend? I remember skiing small, crowded resorts on holiday weekends as our yearly family ski vacation. While it is nice to have the mountain to yourself, nothing beats having some friends stay for a long weekend, and skiing in a group, regardless of ability, or crowds. The ski bum life isn’t for everyone, but it’s nice when everyone can get together and ski bum it for a weekend!
Some more cool skiers to follow on Instagram:
Scrolling through my feed in the morning helps get me through a long day of work by pumping me up for the lines I’ll make on the mountain on the weekend.
Cody Townsend has got some sick pics that will make you crave the slopes. Check him out here.
Living out west was the best decision I ever made. Well, maybe second to asking my girlfriend for her number…
Mostly because I don’t have to carefully save my vaca days to get a nice week of skiing in.
But I have plenty of friends on the east coast. Heck I’ve been skiing out there quite a few times over the years. Mad River Glen is always an adventure.
But when you don’t live nearly as close to the slopes, a ski weekend isn’t always doable. I know a few of my buddies who moved to the Mid Atlantic are struggling to figure out how they are gonna get their powder fix. I tell them to visit me all the time! But travel and work and spending time with your family can be a tough balance. We all have our priorities.
How many days on the slopes do you guys normally get every year?
Now that the holidays are over and everything is on sale, and winter has finally hit the east coast, you guys might be looking into some new gear!
These are my essentials for staying warm on those bitter cold days when sane people won’t even go outside.
Buff headwear. I don’t love being frozen solid while I ski, but I especially hate getting sweaty under all those layers. You get colder on the lift, and it just makes you uncomfortable for the whole day. These extra long, multi-use neckwarmers are thin and lightweight. They keep the frigid air out, but allow you to breathe and feel a little wind on your face.
Ski socks that are warm, but thin. In your tight stiff ski boots or snowboard boots, you need air to circulate to keep those feet warm. Layers of socks won’t help, but a high quality wool pair will. Spend a little more to get the good ones.
A windproof/waterproof shell. Seems like a no brainer right? You’d be surprised how many people I see out there in puffy down coats, or what looks like their everyday winter jacket. Down or synthetic is a great mid layer – but it won’t stop howling winds. Also down won’t stay warm when it is wet.
Glove liners. These changed my life. Seriously. My hands are the only thing that gets frozen numb. I added a pair of synthetic glove liners to my mitts, and I’m good as new.
When all else fails – go to the lodge and grab a hot chocolate, and maybe a beer. Then get back out there!
When it’s been a long day on the slopes, my legs are beat and I am starving, because I like to ski through lunch and sometimes I forget to eat it altogether.
So some of my essentials are:
- Thermos full of coffee and a big breakfast to start the day off right.
- A king-size snickers bar – Clif bars and gu’s just don’t do it for me. I’d rather chomp on a candy bar on the lift.
- A crockpot dinner (made by my lovely girlfriend) so we can have a hot, delicious meal waiting when we get home.
Minimal effort, maximum enjoyment is my philosophy when it comes to food.
What about you? How do you fuel for a day of skiing, hiking, or climbing?
What is your favorite thing to do when you get home?
The outdoors is where I’d spend all my time if I could. Mountain biking, hiking, skiing, anything to get my daily dose of adrenaline. But when the snow is blowing so hard I can’t see my car in the driveway, I let mother nature win.
If I can’t make it to the mountains, I might go to the gym, organize my garage, or watch an outdoor movie, staying warm, but living vicariously through the pros.
Here’s a good list of movies to kick off a nasty weather movie marathon when you are wishing you could be outside.
What are your favorite ways to wait out the nasty weather? Or do you just brave the storm and head for the slopes?
Now that it’s fall, it’s almost ski season! I’m not sure where the time has gone off too, but it’s October, and I’m behind on preparing for the winter. Thankfully, Colorado Ski Country has a handy checklist for people like me!
Figure out your ski pass
They suggest deciding how many times you’re anticipating hitting the hills, what your budget is. Options range anywhere from the Colorado Gold Pass to daily lift tickets. Find out more here!
Get your gear in order
Based on how many times you ride a year, it might make more sense to rent than to own. But if you’re going to buy new, start your shopping with last season’s models. Make sure any and all of your clothing is still weatherproof, warm, and clean. Definitely make sure it’s clean. Also make sure your goggles still fit snugly, as does your helmet. You only have one head and two eyes, don’t risk them. Also, if you’re stuck between buying gear or renting, do yourself a favor and buy some boots. Then have them fitted. It’s worth itCheck your gear over.
- Make sure nothing is broken, chipped, dull… you know the drill.
- Make sure you’re in shape for this. Cardio will help your endurance in high elevations, and strength will keep you going.
Make a bucket list: life is short, the ski seasons are shorter.