7 Ways to Get Ready for Ski Season

September 16, 2015 D'Arcy McLeish

I like this time of year. Summer is giving way to fall and in the high country, light dustings of snow appear a few mornings a week, giving us a hint of what’s to come. Winter is around the corner and by all accounts, if you’ve been reading the weather forecasts lately, we’re in for a doozy. Sounds good to me. Here in Southern BC, we could use an epic winter. People have almost started to forget what bottomless turns are like.

This Is What We're Prepping For.  Photo - Willi Kunz
This is what we’re prepping for.
Photo – Willi Kunz

Fall tends to be all time. The riding is amazing, the climbing is epic and the days are cooler. I love the fall. But fall is also a time for preparation. Much like the Doomsday preppers, working away in their off grid hideaways, awaiting the end of the world, skiers go through a preparation every year for the coming winter season. So here’s bit of a list of things you can do to get ready for what will hopefully be a winter filled with blower pow, epic days and the deepest snow you’ll ever ski.

Boo Ya. I Hope We Get Lots Of This, Come Winter.  Photo - Reuben Krabbe
Boo ya. I hope we get lots of this, come winter.
Photo – Reuben Krabbe

7. Buy the Powder Magazine Annual Buyer’s Guide: I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager when posters of Glen Plake and Scot Schmidt littered the walls of my bedroom. It’s a ritual. Go out to a local shop, grab what is really the skier’s winter bible, and make your way to a coffee shop to sit and spend an hour or two lost in the world of skiing.

6. Don’t go to the gym: You heard me. Why would I go to the gym? So I can get my ‘ski’ legs back? Sure. I’ve tried. And regardless of what I do, after the first couple of days in ski boots, my legs are SORE, no matter what. In fact, the only thing that gets my ski legs back is SKIING. Besides, gyms are boring. How could a mountain bike, climbing rack, hiking boots, a dog or a comfy couch and good book ever be less interesting than going to a sweaty gym to work out with a bunch of strangers? Ya. Forget that.

5. Go on holiday: This might be the most important one. And go late. What I mean by that is wait until the very end of autumn, and then go spend a week or a month somewhere on the ocean where the beverages are cool, flip flops are the norm and the waves are perfect. It’s a good re-charge, especially after what feels like 25 inches of rain through October and early November. Why stick around for that?

It Never Gets Old.  Photo - Dave Silver
It never gets old.
Photo – Dave Silver

4. Buy new skis: Even if you don’t need ’em, get some anyway. New skis always make everything better.

3. If your partner doesn’t ski, it’s time to move on: Ok, this is a big one, but seriously, do you really want to spend another winter negotiating between pow days and quality time with your significant other? Ditch ’em. Then find someone who skis.

2. Get your boots fitted: Don’t spend another year in pain, my friend. Go. Now. See your local bootfitting ninja and get a pair of ski boots that actually work for you.

1. Watch The Blizzard of Aahhh’s: This is hands down the best ski film ever made. Period. Rent it, buy it, borrow it, do whatever you have to do. But the night before opening day, watch it. Then…well then you’ll be ready.

Be safe, ski hard.