Looking to ring in 2018 on a positive note? Consider committing to one (or more!) ski resolutions for a happy new year.
Take an Avalanche Safety Course
Even if you’re not aiming to one-up Jeremy Jones, or crush steeps in avy-prone terrain, take an AIARE Level 1 course (the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education’s beginner class). It will make you a more well-rounded skier or snowboarder, and give you a basic level of snow science to take with you on even mellow backcountry hikes. And if you are looking to crush steeps in avy-prone terrain it’s an absolute must to better understand what to ride when.
Visit a Ski Resort in the Southern Hemisphere
There’s nothing better than the novelty of sliding on some snow (and working on your goggle tan) while your friends are sitting poolside. Argentinian resorts like Bariloche and Las Leñas are popular with skiers and snowboarders migrating south for summer, as is Queenstown, New Zealand, which has five ski areas within driving distance. It might not be the same as home, but it’s sure to give you a whole new perspective on the sport – and your powder fix in the process.
Take a Ski Road Trip
Can’t swing a trip down south to hit the slopes? Plan a ski roadtrip instead. It doesn’t have to be some multi-state excursion that costs weeks of vacation time – consider planning a long weekend at a resort in a neighboring state, or book an overnight visit at an in-state resort you’ve yet to visit.
Try a New Snow-Sliding Discipline
Skier? Try snowboarding. Snowboarder? Try skiing. Or tele-skiing, snow skating, snow biking, cross country skiing – anything! Get outside your comfort zone for a day – at the very least it might give you a new appreciation for your favorite method of downhill transportation.
Sure, going downhill is our preferred direction, too, but why not spend a day earning your turns? If you’re not comfortable planning a backcountry skin or hike, consider booking a tour with a local outdoor company, or contact your local resort and ask their policy on snowshoeing up the slopes. Plenty of gear shops in ski towns can also give you advice on guiding companies to book with, or often organize their own early morning or evening skins during the resort’s off hours.
Plan a Hut Trip
Plan a ski tour to a backcountry hut or yurt. Many states have some sort of backcountry hut systems, or private yurts that you can book, and you can hire a guiding company if you’re unsure of how to plan one yourself. One of our favorites (accessible from the Front Range and within a day’s drive from Denver International Airport) is Shrine Mountain Inn off Vail Pass, which consists of three private cabins that can be rented out on a per-night basis, and surrounding mileage and terrain that are somewhat beginner friendly.
Up Your Après Ski Game
Why not? You only live once, and there’s really nothing better than regaling friends and family with the day’s ski stories over post powder day beers, anyways.