How to Prep for Utah's Ski Season

By Local Lexi Oct 13, 2023
After a record-breaking season and a beautiful summer, it's time to get ready for skiing and snowboarding in Utah! Here's your autumn checklist...
How to Prep for Utah's Ski Season

As the mountains shed their greenery for cloaks of colorful fall foliage we skiers and snowboarders focus our attention on the impending (and hopefully rapid) descent of winter's frigid rewards. There are a few things every skier and snowboarder needs to check off their list in order to kick off a successful snow season. If you're anxiously awaiting the first day to activate your ski pass or planning a trip to Utah, here's your checklist for the best winter ever! 


First thing is first. If you haven't been mailed your ski pass or if you aren't using the MyEpic app, it can really pay to pick up your pass before opening day rolls around. Check daily operating hours and roll up to your resort of choice to pick up your pass in person prior to the BIG day.

If you simply cannot commit to a season pass, don't miss Ski Utah's Yeti Pass - good for one lift ticket at all 15 Utah resorts at less than $50 per day—grab one here. The Ski Utah Passport for 4th, 5th, and 6th graders is also an amazing deal! For just $69, students can score 45 days of skiing. This offer is eligible for children anywhere, they do not need to be residents of Utah. Prices will increase to $89 after December 1, so grab one for your mini shredder now.

If you're local to Utah, you'll know we have an enthusiastic community of avid skiers and snowboarders. For those on a budget or kids who constantly grow out of their gear, check for local ski and snowboard swaps across Utah beginning in October. October and early November are the perfect times to hit gear swaps. Many of the local ski teams and shops will host ski swaps. Resorts also often host swaps for the local community so keep an eye out for these to score big deals on gear from last year, demo fleets, or used equipment. 



Having gleefully arrived at the resort on opening day, I've lost track of the number of times I've shown up on gear that badly needed tuning. Do yourself a solid and tune your gear NOW before shops get busy and backlogs pile up. October and early November are the primo time to prep your gear for the season. Whether you do it yourself or pay a pro, attending to this oft-neglected chore before opening day is highly recommended. You can grab a great local tune from shops like Lone Pine Gear Exchange, Christy Sports, Sports Den, and Ski 'N See

        Tips for Prepping Your Snowboard Gear - Click Here

        How to Edge Tune & Wax Your Own Skis - Click Here

For the duration of the ski season, I keep all my gear in my Basin XT Duffel 55L from Stio. I rarely forget things because everything I could possibly need for ski season lives in this durable duffel all winter long. I'll even pack extras so when my ski or shred pals inevitably forget something, it won't ruin our day! I always take time in the fall to dump my duffel and perform a roll call. I'll then do a once-over on all my gear and apparel to check and see if any repairs are needed, check pockets for expired snacks and surprise money stashes. Any gear repairs I'll drop off at Lone Pine Gear Exchange with ample time before the lifts begin to spin. I've also had amazing success and great experiences offloading used gear for cash or credit at Lone Pine or Gear Room, they both do a fantastic job!

My ski duffle is stuffed with the following items: 



  • Spare baselayer
  • Spare down layer (vest or thin jacket)
  • Lip balm
  • Sunscreen
  • Emergency snacks
  • Water bottle
  • 2 pairs of ski socks
  • 2 pairs of Smith Optics goggles and lenses for sunny or foggy days
  • Ski helmet
  • Smith Optics sunglasses
  • Avalanche transceiver 
  • Spare batteries 
  • Avalanche shovel (metal, NOT PLASTIC!) 
  • Avalanche probe 
  • 2-3 buffs/gaiters of different weights/thickness
  • Extra $20-25 in cash
  • Swimsuit ( never know where aprés will lead)
  • Pack towel
  • Change of clothes for more formal aprés occasions
  • Beanie or trucker hat 
  • Extra set of leggings
  • Extra set of gloves or mittens
  • A packet of hand warmers for extra cold days
  • Book
  • Ski Pass
  • Phone/battery charging bank
  • Flask of High West whiskey
  • Party shirt


If you're reusing your outerwear—good for you—don't forget to wash out the grit and sweat while beefing up the performance of your breathable/waterproof membranes. You can accomplish this with a number of products, but my favorites are from Nikwax. They offer a full line of cleaning and care materials to protect high-performance outerwear, leather gloves, climbing skins, etc. so you can give your gear a long and fruitful life. 

We here at Ski Utah just love the awesome leather gloves made by Hestra. Hestra has been making gloves since 1936 and this family-owned business is now run by the fourth generation of Mangnussons. Design and development takes place in the headquarters in Hestra, Sweden so you know these gloves mean serious business when fending off cold and moisture. 

To care for your leather gloves or mittens and ensure they keep you warm and dry, take a moment to treat them with a reputable leather balm. This will help keep your gloves soft and supple while restoring the waterproof barrier to keep your paws dry during winter's most fearsome tempests. 


Whether you ski or snowboard, boots are simply the most important part. Much like snow tires, boots are your connection point to the snow and you need a pair that fits and feels good. You'll find the best selection and receive more attention during the boot fitting process if you plan ahead. For ski boots, boot fitting is absolutely an art, so be sure to ask around and gather a lot of feedback before you make your decision on where to obtain boot fitting service. For more information on ski boot fitting dos and don'ts, click here.

If you are heading to Utah via the coastlines or a low-elevation state, chances are you are definitely going to notice the altitude. Worst case, you'll suffer from Acute Mountain Sickness. Best case, you may feel the effects of altitude such as dehydration, headaches, and shortness of breath. The best thing you can do to prepare for a trip to Utah is to find yourself regularly exercising, getting your heart rate up, and performing muscle-strengthening exercises. For more info on how to recognize symptoms and better prepare yourself for skiing or shredding at altitude, click here.

Additional inspiration on workouts and fitness from Ski Utah are included below: 

Lastly, the best thing you can do to prep for ski or shred season is to simply stay active. It can be tempting to remain indoors and veg when the weather turns foul and chilly in November, but this is the prime time to prep your body for the demands of a rigorous winter. Keeping active and maintaining a strong core and legs will also do a great deal for injury prevention.



Hit the gym, go trail running, or climb indoors at Momentum Climbing and Fitness. The list of activities and outdoor or indoor pursuits in Utah is nearly limitless. University of Utah Health offers a fantastic ski and snowboard conditioning class series. You could book a session or camp and hone your skills at Woodward Park City. Whatever you do, just keep moving! 




Utah Ski Resort Employment Opportunities - Click Here

Visit the Alf Engen Ski History Museum in Park City - Click Here

How to Find Your Favorite Ski Resort in Utah - Click Here

Winter Running Guide - Click Here

Sleeping at Altitude - Click Here