Welcome back winter in Colorado. Here are some tips to help make your season start off right.
We have successfully opened up Arapahoe Basin with the usual white ribbon of death. Weekends are sure to bring in the crowds but if you are looking to have a little less traffic, try to make it to the hill on the weekdays. As the other mountains open up, the crowd will gradually disperse as the regular skiers frequent their favorite area instead of venturing to others. Although we have had some great fall snow, we are thankful for Vail Resorts improvements and addition of snow making at the Basin. Without it we would always wonder when they would open and now we are almost guaranteed to open in October.
After all, our seasonal passes are good for the entire season no matter when it starts or ends. We Ski Bums need to gt the most value out of our Epic Passes and 120 days just does not cut it anymore.
With Halloween just passed and more snowfall on the way, the locals are getting jazzed up and ready for their first deep powder morning. Without practice and a little warm up on the whit ribbon your legs will just not have the stamina to keep up on that first POW day. Here are some helpful tips to help ensure that you are ready and able to compete for fresh POW tracks at your favorite resort.
First: Those new boots you bought at the end of last season or at a summertime sale will also have to be broken in at some point. Here are always some kinks in the new boots that can only be worked out while skiing and this early seson is the time to do it. You do not want to be that guy who has to cut his powder day short because his boots hurts. That sort of thing is for rookies and people who only ski once a year. Boots are the most important piece of equiptment and mut be fit correctly in order for you to perform an be comfortable. If you are unsure, go see your local boot fitter at Base Mountain sports or your local ski shop and have hem help you in your fitting process. It will still take a least 7 days of skiing for your boot to break in and conform to your foot but the boot fitter can help fix certain pressure points and rub spots along the way.
Second: Remember that if you are like me and have had your feet in summer flipflops for the last 6 months, then it may also take a few extra days of skiing to get your feet to cooperate. No matter what excuse you have to make to get yourself to brave the white ribbon of death this early season it will be worth the trip. We all need a little time to warm up and refresh those muscles that have been unused during those summer months. Your legs will thank you, your feet will thank you and your soul will thank you for getting you back to what we all love; Fresh air, time with friends, and that fabulous feeling of carving turns on the white gold.
Third: Of course riding snow is our favorite activity, here in Vail, that gets us hungry for the fabulous cuisine in the high country. It is best to ease into the season with a handful of runs a day instead of trying to do a full eight hours. As the days progress you will find it easier to stay on the hill longer. You can make some turns in the morning and walk with Vail Valley Food Tours in the afternoon. The Food and drinks will help you forget the body pains from your first days on the hill.
Fourth: Try to get into the habits of doing a little exercise every day. Whether it is a cross-training session at the gym, daily runs to A-Basin, or simple walks around the lake, those good habits will help you build up strength for the season. I consider our season passes to the ski hill like a gym membership anyway. It is rare that I have time to ride all day. A few hours a day gets me plenty of exercise and a peace of mind to help me cope with the stresses of regular life. But when that first big POWDER day hits you can be sure that my legs will not give in early and I will be doing my best to beat the other guy to the untouched lines.
Fifth: Treat your body right. Go get a Massage, indulge in some spa time, and remember that just because you are behind me and have to plow through the chop of tracked up snow, It is still pretty fun and better than being at work!
Enjoy the early season for what it is, Training for the big days. Go get your turns!