With cooler temps and the first sight of snow, we all start to dream of groomed runs, powder turns, and long days in the backcountry. However, it’s important to set yourself up for a successful and full season. We all know how that feels on the first powder day when after a few runs, your legs are screaming!! It’s not only a bummer, but it can be dangerous. The last thing anyone wants is to start their season with an injury. Along with your body, it's important to ensure all your gear is in good working order and that you have the correct gear for long days in the cold. These are some suggestions to ensure you get off to a good start!!
Check your equipment
Get those skis or board off the rack in the garage. If you took the time to tune your gear at the end of last season, then sit back and start daydreaming. If not, you should think about waxing and tuning your equipment. This can be done at home or at your local ski shop. You will also want to make sure that your equipment is functioning properly.
Get out all your layers, socks, gloves, hats, helmets, and bags. Make sure you have everything you need for different weather and snow conditions. Make of list of any items that need repair and a good list of new gear you might need or want. This makes a great start for your holiday wish list!!
Early season conditions
It can be hard to hold back your excitement the first few weeks of the ski season but remember that early season conditions exist. Watch out for unmarked obstacles, and stay out of the trees until there have been substantial amounts of natural snow.
Know the rules
Looking over the Skiers Safety Act; the big one that I find most people don’t know is that the downhill skier has the right of way. If you collide with a skier and you were uphill of them, then you are at fault and can be held legally responsible for any injuries. It doesn’t matter that someone “just turned right in front of me” you should always ski in control and be able to stop or avoid all downhill traffic. This is especially important on those early-season days when there is limited terrain open.
Know how to get help
Whatever resort you ski, make sure you have the Ski Patrol phone number, it's also important to carry a map and know what run you are on in case you are involved in an accident or come across someone needing help.
The earlier you can get a head start on winter conditioning, the better, you are probably an active person in the summer as well, but winter sports can use different muscles. Be sure to incorporate cardio, stretching, and strength exercises in your early-season routine. Making sure to focus on your core, hips, and the larger muscles in your legs that offer support for those precious knees. Go to that extra yoga class or join a ski fit program. Make sure to ease into winter, so you don’t ruin your season with an injury in December.
It’s important to eat full meals knowing that you’re not only fueling your body for movement throughout the day but also burning calories by staying warm. A good option for hydrating is Tailwind Endurance Fuel, and my favorite is their Chocolate Recovery Mix, served like hot chocolate at the end of the day!!
Stay safe out there!