Northern Wilds Magazine

Get Stoked for Snow

By Melissa Kean

Prepare for Downhill Skiing Season 2013/14.

While you might not have finished your fall yard chores and are still enjoying the rich fall colors the state is famous for, winter and with it ski season, are just around the corner. If you live near a ski resort then you’ll know that preparations have been underway for months to ensure this ski season runs as smoothly as possible, with several Minnesota resorts offering improved runs and new lifts for 2013/’14. So how can you prepare for the downhill skiing season? Here are some hints and tips to make this your most successful ski season yet.

The Snowy Season is Nearly Here!

In some of the highest Minnesotan mountain peaks ski season is just a few short weeks away, with several resorts, such as Lutsen mountains opening at the end of November. According to Iglu Ski, winter arrived across Europe at the beginning of October and just days before that, California experienced its first snowfall of the season too. Both Mammoth Lakes and Lake Tahoe received their first dustings of the season over the weekend; Squaw Valley in North Lake Tahoe received 3-4” on the upper mountain, and between 4 and 6” was found on the top of Mammoth Mountain. Here in the Northern Wilds, Lutsen mountains experienced 3 inches of snow on November 9, leading them to exclaim that their opening weekend was just weeks away: the resort will open for the season on November 23-24.

Buy Your Ski Passes in Advance

Many popular resorts, such as Spirit Mountain for example, offer ‘early bird’ rates with discounts available if you buy your season ski passes before the season begins, so this is a great way to save a few dollars. If you’re new to skiing then many resorts will also offer ‘beginners bundles’ giving you your ski passes for the season combined with unlimited equipment rentals so you don’t have to go to the expense of buying your own ski gear. If your local resort isn’t advertising discount rates for early booking it can’t hurt to ask if they will offer an advance purchase discount: the worst that can happen is they say no! If you are more interested in cross country skiing then you will need a Minnesota Ski Pass from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in order to access all of the ski trails in the state’s parks or forests. Again, the sooner you can book this the better: and remember the more that you use your ski passes the better value for your money.


Now’s The Time to Get Back in Shape!

Many snow sport enthusiasts fail to exercise during the other three seasons of the year and instead get in shape while shredding the slopes. If you follow this train of thought then it’s time to reevaluate, as this will lead to increased risk of injury on the slopes: it could even lead you to hurt yourself and be out of the action for the whole season! Instead, start your pre-ski season exercise regime now. Cardiovascular exercise should be your first priority: why not go for a walk and enjoy the fall leaves, or even get to work with a broom to sweep them off your front lawn. If you enjoy more energetic exercise then bike riding is a great form of exercise to build up your resistance before skiing. It will stretch the right muscles and leave you feeling more flexible: perfect preparation for hitting the slopes!

Check Your Equipment

Dig out all of your ski equipment and check that it is in good condition and ready for the season ahead. If anything needs repairing then you have plenty of time to take it to the shop and have it made slope-worthy. Once you are reassured that your equipment is in good repair all that’s left for you to do is wait for the powder to settle and hit the slopes!

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