Final Countdown: Preparing for Ski Season
“Hey, is it ski season yet? Now…? What about now…?” Ski season is still two months out and my boyfriend is already tired of me asking if it’s time to swap sandals for ski boots.
For now I’ll have to busy myself with prepping for ski season. What does that look like in my house? Here is a behind-the-scenes look at the Wiggins home 64 days and counting to ski season plus tips on how YOU can prepare:
Fitness Training - I train throughout the year to stay on top of my outdoor game. Depending on the season, I mix up my routine. In general, I train using whole body polymeric exercises, Olympic lifts and cardio. Squats and lunges keep my legs ready for the forces of both skiing and backpacking. Yoga moves added to the end of each workout help me to maintain flexibility. For tips on getting fit for ski season, check out this guide produced by the University of Utah on Strength Exercises for Skiers.
Save Up Sick Days – Powder Day Flu is a vicious affliction, be sure to save up your sick days. Check out Powderhound Cat’s post How To: Perfect Your Powder Flu for tips on using your sick days effectively. Luckily I’m self-employed, so I just write myself a note.
Get Psyched – Tis the season for skiing and riding porn. Yup, I just went there. While I love drooling over the pages of Freeskier and several sick Instagram accounts, I also watch instructional skiing/riding videos on You Tube. They help me visualize ripping up the slopes in good form. Basically I work to rebuild the mind-body connection after a summer off, not to mention it gets me STOKED!
Still want more? This collection of movies is sure to have you clutching your boards with anticipation: Utah Ski Movie Premiers 2014
Book and Buy Early - Save on lift tickets and lodging by purchasing ahead. Many hills offer early season pass deals and some even offer buy early discounts on lift tickets and lodging. This is a great way to stretch your budget.
Buy New Gear Before the Rush – If you need to buy gear, especially boots, off-season is a good time for sales and gaining the attention of the staff. Because I plan to ski backcountry this year, I ordered new skis and bindings with advice from the pros at Rossignol this week.
Ski swaps are an excellent way to clean the closet and acquire new-to-you gear. Here is a list of 2014 Utah Ski Swaps to mark on your calendar. I have a pair of skis ready to swap out this year.
Brush Off the Cobwebs - Nothing makes me feel connected to ski season like fondling my gear. Okay…. I’ll confess I do it sporadically throughout the summer. I caress my skis, clutch my (still funky from last season) snow pants up to my waist, and walk around the house wearing ski boots…yes I’m a freak, don’t judge.
All humor aside, a month out is a good time to pull out your gear to have any repairs or maintenance done well before a powder day shows up on the extended forecast. By then you’ll be at the back of the pile behind everyone who planned ahead.
Also take a moment to clean out old passes out of your pockets; they will confuse RFID gates now that they are out of date. You might want to chuck the half-eaten CLIF bars, apple cores, and used hand warmers while you're in there. You might even want to wash that funky odor out of your pants and coat (your buddies will thank you).
Follow these tips and you’ll be ready to go. See you opening day!