How to Make the Most of YOur Springtime Ski Season
It’s getting close to that time—to that slumping shoulder of winter when the sun stays longer in the sky, the temperatures rise pleasantly, and the snow starts to turn slick and thrillingly fast. As March skiing commences, skiers can lose a few layers, put their shades on, and enjoy the trails without dreading the cold.
To best prepare for this bonus ski season, it’s worth stocking up on a few essentials and applying a little planning to your ski trips. Let’s start with the clothing. As with any cross country skiing, you want to be prepared for anything: this means layers, layers, layers. Though it might be warm out, if you dress too lightly a sudden burst of snow or rain, or a gust of wind can catch you off guard and chill you. On the other hand, if you see that it’s just beneath freezing and dress too warmly, sweat is almost bound to collect—and once that sweat freezes, you’re cold again! The solution is really good layering. If the sun’s really shining you might even start with a T-shirt base layer, covered by a light long sleeve, then perhaps a thermal layer, and finally a wind/water break layer. This way if you start to overheat, you can either drop down to a T-shirt and soak up some rays or wear the T under your windbreaker for a cool-yet-protected fit.
Though we will be talking about spring ski gear in a separate piece, there are a few key non-technical items that any spring skiers should have on hand. First, water. This one is pretty self-explanatory: it’s hot out, hydrate yourself. Second, sunscreen. Again, Bright sun with little cloud cover and lots of reflective snow around equals easy burns. But skiing is not all about keeping yourself perfectly safe—spring skiing should also be a blast! So thirdly, don’t forget to bring some fun ski activities. If you’re tromping around with the kids, a ball or frisbee can make for some fun (and challenging) on-ski games. Also throw in a shovel for building jumps, snow forts or sculptural masterpieces with that sticky spring snow.
As the air gets less brisk and the days last longer, outdoor après ski sessions are even more appealing than they were in the dead of winter. Pack a set of folding chairs, a cooler with your favorite brews, and invite your closest ski buddies. In terms of beverages, warm weather means it’s time to switch from heavy, darker beers, wines and cocktails to lighter, clearer fare. For beers, a crisp pilsner or zesty saison offers a quaffable recovery, while for cocktails a mojito in the sunshine is a recipe for a summer atmosphere.
Check back for the follow up to this article, where we will delve into the nitty-gritty of post-season ski maintenance, sales and purchases.