Skiing Manual: Part I

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Setting it up

So, you had the bold idea of going skiing in the middle of winter? Crazy- how bold of you! Skiing is definitely filled with negative connotations such as “oh my God, I bet it’s so cold on the mountain,” or “skiing is for rich people, I can’t afford to do it!” or the classic, “skiing looks so hard!” Well, I’m here to educate you on these certain topics about skiing, and give you kind of the logistics around skiing on vacation itself. Why of all people am I advising you on a subject like this? To that I say, I’ve skied a lot. 

Look, you don’t have to be a Mikaela Shiffrin (an Olympic skier) to have fun skiing at a ski resort. You don’t have to go fast when you’re skiing on the mountain—to those who have never skied before on a mountain, you don’t have to go to the very top of the mountain at first. What you’ll need to do first is do your research. Throughout this blog I’m going to be referencing research because it is extremely important that you do so. You want to make the most out your skiing experience.

First, you’re going to want to book some private lessons with the instructors at the resort. Look at the different rates of each different resort- no matter the distance. Speaking from personal experience, we live around 6+ hours away from the nearest ski resort in Colorado. Once you get there, you’ll need appropriate lodging, which you need to do your research on. Usually you can find a nice AirBnB which isn’t too costly. Also, stick to smaller accommodations given that the majority of your day will be spent out of the rooms. Transportation to the actual resort is also something you need to think about. Usually, at these ski resorts there will be buses available for transportation from a car park to the actual resort. If you have your car or a rental van, there are designated places where you can park your car and walk to the slopes, but aren’t we forgetting something before you get there?

Proper attire is integral for a comfortable and warm ride down the mountain. Before you buy any of your ski attire, do your research. If you do plan to ski again, you should keep all of your skiing stuff instead of renting or borrowing.

  1. Now, you want to get the right jackets; the layering is composed of an inner layer such as a thermal, an outer layer such as a light jacket, and then the outermost layer for complete coverage. If it’s a cold day out, or you just want a little extra warmth, you can also put on a sweater or long-sleeve shirt. A few of these layers you might already own from other activities. It really depends on the jackets themselves, the material, and the size. Don’t buy something that you don’t need- such as top-of-the-line overalls. 
  2. For the pants, you’ll also need an inner layer (usually tights/leggings will work), and an outer layer. Y’all can use a belt or wear overalls for keeping your pants up because chances are, the pants will be a little baggy which is definitely okay. 
  3. Next, you need some socks. These you can find online. I tend to use more synthetic socks which are like polyester and some other stuff, but wool is definitely the best material for skiing socks. 
  4. Finally, the most important parts of coverage are for the head. You can rent the helmets wherever you get your skis from as well as some goggles. I should note that if you REALLY think it is worth purchasing any of these rented items, then go ahead. Buying should occur after you’ve gone skiing a couple of times, you’re familiar with the sport, you go often enough, and you’re an adult that has halted growing any more. Also for gloves, you’ll need inners and outers following the same format as the pants. North Face, Columbia, Spyder are three brands that I’ve used to purchase the necessary equipment for skiing.
  5. And you can’t forget the skis and boots- they’re the most important pieces! You don’t have to research what skis you are going to need because the people at the rental place can help get you started out. When you’re getting fitted for your skis, you can ask for additional tips and tricks about skiing for the first time. Ski rentals are available at the ski resort but they can charge you more than if you rented it out at a nearby ski rental place. 

Okay, you’re finally ready to get on the slopes. The car’s parked, the kids are super excited, and your significant other is questioning your sanity. No worries though just click on my next blog to find out tips and tricks when beginning to ski! Hopefully this outline really painted a picture for how to better navigate yourself in the process of skiing for pure leisure.

Dilanka (Dil) is a rising senior at Manhattan High School and in addition to volunteering, he enjoys hanging out with friends, practicing piano, and reading classics! At school, he’s started the Civic and Community Engagement Club, is currently serving as Student Body Vice President, and has been a State Officer for the Topeka Model UN for the past 2 years! In these unique and disconcerting times, we require proactive leaders in our society today. With IYAB, he helps lead those who will take us to a better tomorrow!

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