Summertime has ended, and ski season is right around the corner. For those of you in Montana, preparation starts now! Be sure to heed these 5 tips to get the most out of your ski season.
1. Don’t Get Soft on Us
You backpacked all over the treasure state this summer, bagging peaks and discovering every “hidden” lake out there. But now it’s fall, temps are dropping, school has started, you don’t hunt and all you want is for winter to get here… Buck up! Preserve those summertime calves of steel by putting your pack together with winter gear, (good idea anyway but we’ll get to that) grab some friends and hit the trail. It will not only keep you in shape, but it will start acclimating you to the colder temps that lie ahead. Your body may be summer hard, but your mind is summer soft! Not sure where to go? Start booting up to some of the spots you may want to skin to later in the season; Beehive, Fairy Lake or Hyalite.
It’s one of those things we all know we should do, but rarely do. By starting before the season when we have nothing but time, we can build good habits that carry into the season. While a quick google search can provide lots of options, don’t be afraid to look for professional help. Montana State University has great resources for students and many local gyms and physical therapy offices have other options for learning to prevent injuries and increase strength and flexibility.
3. Check Your Self, and Your Gear
Winter sports are gear intensive, it’s hard to get around that. If you haven’t seen your kit in 6 months or so now is the time to start rounding everything up. Put your pack together, remember how you carry your skis and maybe throw a tune on whatever you ride. If you think you’ll be riding in avalanche terrain make sure you have the bare minimum gear; beacon with new alkaline batteries every year, shovel and probe. If you haven’t already subscribed to daily avalanche reports through GNFAC, https://www.mtavalanche.com/, definitely sign up. The avy center is a great daily resource and can connect you with educational courses as well.
4. Be Patient
Every year we all know that one person who gets a little too excited for the season to get started and ends up rolling through a patch of rocks. It will snow, the mountains will fill in and you don’t want to end your season with an injury before it gets good out there!
5. Find Work that Doesn’t Interfere
Don’t be beholden to a strict work schedule that will keep you from riding the best days this winter. Flexible work opportunities allow you to load up your schedule and pad your savings when we are in the middle of a dry spell and commit to riding when the next big storm cycle blows in!
These are just a few tips as you anticipate the ski season. What do you think? Have any tips to add?