9 Ways to Maximize a Ski Day

Skiing and snowboarding can be so much fun. A day on the mountain is exhilarating but for many of us, it's hard to find the time and money to go as often as we'd like. Here are some ideas to help you get the most out of a ski day.

Ways to Maximize Your Ski Day


1. Rent your gear the night before. Don't waste your precious time getting fitted at the ski shop. You can avoid lines at the rental shop by going in during the late evening the night before you plan to ski. They'll still only charge you the one day rental but you'll have them ready to go to catch that first chair.

2. Don't forget anything. Seriously, make a list of all of the gear you will need and pack it. Nothing is worse than getting to the mountain only to realize you left your pass back at home.

3. Start early. If you want to pack in as many runs as possible, get up early and catch that first chair. Most people start slow and have other things to get done in the morning so the largest lift lines don't start until 10:30 or 11:00am. Beat that rush and you'll be on the backside of the mountain while everyone else is waiting at the main lifts.

4. Know which part of the mountain you want to ski. Study the map. If you like steep blue runs, find an area with that type of terrain and hit it hard. Don't waste a lot of time on the wrong types of terrain.

5. Take the singles line. When the lines get really long, hop in the singles line. You'll get up the hill faster and can meet your buddies at the top. Who knows, maybe you'll even make a new friend.

6. Go with people who ski at your level.  If you're an advanced skier, it's no fun to spend all day with a beginner. Split up with people who ski at about the same ability. You'll all have more fun and you can catch up for apres ski later.

7. Rest on the lift not the hill. The average lift time can be 8 to 10 minutes long. If you want to pack in a lot of runs, catch your breath on the lift. Stopping a bunch of times on the runs and again at the bottom before you get on the lift can burn a lot of precious time.

8. Bring snacks. It's important to eat and to stay hydrated. Bring a small backpack an you can snack all day instead of taking a longer lunch break.

9. Take short breaks. It's important to rest but try doing it in short breaks instead of one long lunch. If you're tired and take a long lunch break you'll feel lazy and be more likely to call the day early.
Andy Hawbaker
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Andy Hawbaker
Andy is a hiker, backpacker, snowboarder and outdoor fanatic. When he isn't exploring the Rocky Mountains, burning marshmallows or scratching his dog behind the ear, he shares his experiences here on the Sierra Trading Post Blog.
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