6 TRUTHS & TIPS FOR EARLY SEASON SKIING IN BRECKENRIDGE
(1) Truth: You will be excited. The first snow in the area gets the blood flowing and the mind fantasizing about choosing the best lines and piloting ourselves on snow covered slopes. Hence, you will be psyched to get out there on opening day to make your dreams a reality.
Tip: Everyone else will be exited too! You are not the only one with visions of skiing dancing in your head … everyone else has had the same fantasies, but might be a bit rusty on the snow. In this early season you will face a mix of skiers/riders that are tentative and/or over-eager in addition to the challenges native to early-season skiing.
(2) Truth: Your feet and ski boots will dislike each other. No matter how comfortable your ski boots are, they are ultimately just that … ski boots. They are clunky and heavy and not designed for everyday wear. So, this cool technology rarely equates with absolute comfort, especially on the first day out.
Tip: Wear your boots before hitting the slopes. Unless you have hardwood floors, wear your ski boots around the house to wear them in and get your feet used to being in them. This way your feet won’t suffer total shock when they are buckled in on opening day.
(3) Truth: You will get tired. No matter how much you exercise and prepare for the ski season, you will get tired on opening day. Swimming, running, cycling, lifting weights and practicing yoga are all great for you, but nothing can adequately prepare your body for the intricacies of skiing. Sport-specific machines can mimic the motions of skiing, but nothing duplicates the unpredictable and every-changing environment of actually being on the mountain. The combination of altitude and the first runs of the season ultimately will add up to tired legs and lungs.
Tip: Pace yourself. Take breaks often and remember to stop before you get too tired. When you’re ready to call it a day, think about downloading. The lower runs tend to be more sparsely covered and icy during the early season and those tired legs of yours might not give you as much control as you want/need at this point. Downloading will overcome these issues and offer you a different view of the mountain and resort.
(4) Less open terrain = more crowded runs. Early season conditions usually dictate less open terrain which means more skiers per cubic foot on the runs.
Tip: Start early. If you hit the hill as early as possible, there’s a good chance you will miss most of the crowds and skier congestion.
(5) You will deal with less-than-ideal conditions. Just because the resort is open does not mean the entire mountain is open. And the limited area that is open will typically have a majority of artificial snow which tends to be wetter and can get icier much quicker.
Tip: Break out the old skis. If you know there is not going to be great coverage, why not break out the rock skis or old pair of skis? This way you can take some scrapes without ruining your primo pair.
(6) Soreness is inevitable. The laws of gravity govern your day on the hill. Skiing requires balance, strength, flexibility and endurance and in the early season it is much more common to catch and edge or cross your tips and do a face-plant or have a yard sale.
Tip: Stretch before and after. Stretching before and after your early season ski day will help you with those sore muscles. Also spend some après ski time in the hot tub and take some of your favorite over-the-counter painkillers.
By Reid Tulley
Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties