Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Ten Tips for New Skiers (Resort Skiing)

At AAI, we teach backcountry skiing skills. These skills require a strong proficiency in resort skiing first. Many of you are headed to ski areas across the country to learn how to slide down snow for the first time, so that at some point, you can get away and check-out the backcountry.

Like many things, learning to ski can be frustrating, especially if you don't come from an area or a family with a lot of skiers. Even the basics can be difficult. So to alleviate some anxiety, REI has produced the following video. Check it out:

In review, here are some things to think about:

Arrive Early

Parking can be an issue at many ski resorts. Additionally, lines to purchase passes may be long. And if it's a powder day, expect people to line up at the lifts very early.

Carry Equipment Well

It's hard to describe how to do this. Please watch the video.

Food and Water Breaks

Be sure to fuel up before you start your day. It's not a bad idea to carry snacks on the mountain. And be sure to use the bathroom before you depart for the hill (facilities may be limited).

Lift Tickets

You may be able to buy tickets online early. But if you do, expect to stand in line to pick up a physical copy. 

It is possible that you will need to carry an electronic ticket in your pocket, which will open lift gates. If so, keep it away from your cell phone. It may not work if it's too close.

"Sticker tickets" are placed on a "wicket" and threaded through a zipper. It's good to put these on a pant leg zipper or a pocket zipper. If it's near your face on your primary zipper, it may whip you while you ski.

Gloves or Mitts

You should use what works for you...but whatever it is, should be waterproof.

Avoid Taking Out Your Phone on the Lift

It is easy to drop.

Clear Unload Zone

It's important to get away from the unloading zone when you get off the lift. This is particularly important for snowboarders who may sit down to clip their foot in. The last thing you want is have an out-of-control skier/boarder run into the small of your back.

Keep Googles Dry

Make sure to keep the inside of your goggles dry. When you take off your googles while snowing, lift them away from your helmet to ensure that no snow gets in. This will decrease fogging.

Rest on the Side of the Run

Many ski really fast, and sometimes out-of-control. Don't stop where people can't see you or where people are skiing. Indeed, if you fall below a rollover, get up right away and clear out. You do not want to get hit from above.

Take a Lesson

The very best thing you could do as a beginner skier is to take a lesson. You will improve way faster than trying to learn on your own.

And finally, don't give up. Your very first day out is going to be hard. Expect that. You'll get better...

--Jason D. Martin

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