The temperatures are dropping, the snows falling and I love it. There are so many wonderful outdoor activities that you can only do in the cold temperatures. Skiing/snowboarding has always been a huge part of my life as I come from a family of avid skiers. I’ve been lucky enough to snowboard in not only Canada but the USA and Japan as well. For the most part, a ski trip is the same deal: you drive to a resort, get a place to stay, ski/snowboard and go home, right? Well that’s the jest of it but after doing snowboard trips in 3 different countries I’ve come to realize that us Canadians do things a bit differently. Here’s a step by step guide on how to do a snowboard trip like a Canuk!
Step 1- Wake up early.
Very early. Being in the northern hemisphere the amount of sunlight per day depends on the time of year. And with it being winter, you’re going to be rising in the dark. In fact, you might think you accidentally got up in the middle of the night. Any reputable skier/boarder knows that in order to get first tracks (which are awesome btw) you have to get going first thing in the morning. Believe me, it’s worth it!
Step 2 – Stop at Tim Hortons
Since you dragged your ass out of bed before the early bird even began to think about getting the worm, you’re going to need a caffeine boost. And what’s more Canadian than stopping for a Double Double at Timmy’s? Might as well grab a breakfast sandwich and a donut while you’re at it (and a box of Tim Bits for the road!).
Step 3 – The Drive
No matter what the weather, your going. The only reason you need to look at the forecast is to judge how early you need to get up as the weather will affect your drive time. But what does the weather man know anyways? Who cares if its puking snow and the roads are barley drivable? That just means you’re going to have an epic powder day, which has got you even more stoked and glad you paid a bit extra for the good winter tires on your car. No one ever cancelled a ski trip because there was TOO much snow!
Step 4 – Arrive. Finally.
After what seems like hours (ok, well it probably was a 2-3 hr drive) you’ve arrived! Hooray! As you tumble out of the car (along with a few empty Tim Hortons cups and that half eaten box of Tim Bits) you begin to feel that surge of excitement. The snows falling gently as you grab your gear and start getting suited up right there in the parking lot. It’s going to be an awesome day!
Step 5 – Buy your ticket / Bathroom break
You and your buddies have this down to a science. One of you waits in the ticket line (if there is one) while the rest run to the bathroom to use the facilities (now your regretting that extra large coffee). As much as you’d rather just run to the lift, both of these are a necessity so try and be patient for a few more minutes.
Step 6 – Hit the Slopes!
Woohoo! Just look at all that powder! You head off in the direction of your favorite run whether it be a groomer, the glades, chutes or bowl. Which one you head to depends on what you like skiing/ riding and the conditions on the mountain. If your new to this particular mountain, then try and talk up a local while your in the lift line and get the low down on where you should head to first. Spend the day making fresh tracks though the beautiful powder!
Step 7 – Apres Ski
Since you kept skiing/riding right through lunch (no one takes breaks on powder days, that’s why you keep a power bar in your pocket!) you need to find a place that serves poutine and micro brew beer. Trying the local brew is always fun and whats more Canadian than eating a well deserved bowl of french fries, covered in gravy and cheese curds? Mmmmmm…. poutine….
Step 8 – Hot Tub!
Once you’ve checked-in to your hotel/condo, head straight for the hot tub! Relaxing your sore muscles in the soothing waters of a hot tub will make you feel relaxed and refreshed. It’s also a good way to meet like minded people on similar ski trips.. You can exchange notes on where the best powder stashes are and make mental notes to check out those gems tomorrow.
Step 9 – To The Bar or To Bed?
At this point, what you choose to do is dictated by the weather. If its dumping snow again, you’ll probably head to bed so you can get up for first tracks again tomorrow. Because nothing beats first tracks in fresh, deep powder. If the forecast for the next day isn’t that appealing to you, you might opt to spend your night partying it up on the dance floor, drinking Redbull Vodka’s to keep your tired body moving all night. Lets face it, the party scene at the ski hill is a fun one, full of energy, live music and plenty of dancing with other liked-minded souls!
Step 10 – Get Up & Go Skiing/Snowboarding
Whenever you find the energy to drag your tired, sore, butt out of bed, you put on your uniform of long johns, snow-pants and snowboard boots, brush your teeth and get back out there. The fresh morning air will help clear your head (especially after the long night at the bar you just had) and make you feel alive, as you look out at the amazing view from the top of the mountain. This is what life is about!
What and where was your most memorable ski/snowboard trip?
Any traditions/rituals for your ski/snowboard trips?