Tuesday, February 9, 2016

What makes a Snow Day Epic?

                     For the second time in TEN years the Vail school district has called a snow day.  Our child is grown and in College (at CU Boulder, which also called school), so we don’t need this excuse to take an opportunistic Snow Day of our own!!  
But what makes this day BETTER than any other so far this year?   One word, powder.  LOTS and LOTS of powder!  Other than the ‘white love from above’ there are a few more things you can do every day to make ANY day on the snow EPIC.

1.     Wake up and have a BIG glass of water!  Most Ski resorts sit above about 30% of the atmospheric oxygen; along with making you breathe harder this also dehydrates you because at altitude a lot of the moisture is below you. Remember to stay hydrated throughout your day!!

2.     Take a stretch!  This is one of the most important yet oft missed parts of the pre-ski routine.  Give a quick ‘around the world’: with feet shoulder length part, stretch hands over the head, stretch to the left, hang between your legs with your hands on the ground, stretch to the right and back up over the head, the whole move should take about two minutes (BEST stretch for Snowboarders), stretch those quads, calves and give the ankles a few good rolls.  Now you are ready to GEAR UP!!

3.     Put on your layers!   The base layer should usually be some ‘unnatural’ fiber (or wool, we like Icebreaker from New Zealand), think polypropylene or just about anything by Under Armour.  Cotton will keep you cool when you want to be HOT!! A lined jacket or fleece vest can go a long way to keeping you warm on a snowy day or on a quick chairlift too!

4.     Don’t forget your hands and feet!!  Tight boots and big gloves can cause a world of misery!  Be sure to wear wool or synthetic socks that have some thermal quality.  The thicker the sock, the tighter the boot, we like Smart Wool’s variety of socks to find the best for your foot and boot.  Toe wiggle is important, so wiggle on!!  Hand-wear that is too loose will stay cold as there is too much space between the fingers and lining.  If your gloves or mittens fit well, are tons of thermal (we like Swany and Gordini) but you are still cold DON’T be too proud to try hand-warmers, they work.

5.     Head Gear, it’s not a naughty word anymore!!  Don’t think orthodontia, think cranial safety!  Helmets are more and more popular (some shops won’t rent without them), more stylish and innovative as the ski seasons pass.  If yours includes ‘head speakers’ please make sure you can hear the world around you AND listen to your favorite Phat Beats at the same time.  A good helmet fits the head well and does not leave a gap between the top of the helmet ‘face’ and the goggles (gaper gap, oh no!).  Try a few friends’ helmets on at Après Ski or go see what your favorite shop has.  Brain safety is worth it!!

6.     Have a Plan.  Know where you are going to ski (front side, back side, laps on Chair 4, etc) and have a time and place to meet up.  Not only does this give you piece of mind if someone is running late or patrol needs to be called it also gives you the opportunity to brag about all your amazing runs over lunch in the lodge!! If you do not know the mountain, carry a trail map (no one has to see you use it).

7.     And speaking of lunch, or food in general; a granola bar from the lift ticket office and a banana before the first chair makes a filling and FREE (minus the cost of your banana) breakfast, which is virtually unheard of at a ski resort, anywhere!!  For lunch, split it or bring a sammy in your pocket (and a bag of course).  Most Lodges have public microwaves in special areas for ‘brown baggers’ to sit and enjoy their food in cozy, warmth.  If it is a sunny, spring day why not find an on mountain deck with picnic tables to satiate your hunger in nature’s fine surroundings (just watch out for the squirrels, they love lunch too). 

8.     Listen to your body and End the day STRONG.  When the legs start to shake take a break!  This is a mantra to ski by; did you know that a large percentage of the injuries sustained on the hill happen late in the day when the body starts to fatigue?  You owe it to yourself to get the absolute MOST from your Snow Day or Snow Sport Vacation, this does not necessarily mean riding first chair to last.  It can mean getting the best benefit day after day, consistently by skiing hard in the morning and taking a more mellow approach to your afternoons, groomers, short mogul fields or nice, open gladed tree runs are some of our favorites from 2pm on. 

9.     Après with people you don’t know!  That cool couple, dude or chick you met skiing by themselves on the chair, ask them to get a drink with you after skiing (Après Ski).  Share stories about your EPIC day, make new friends and find out who really has the BEST wings in town!  Many lasting friendships have been forged over Après drinks and food.  All the people on your chairs goobers?  Make friends with the table next to you (buying a round of shots usually breaks the ice pretty well). 

10.   Take a load off. Has that hot tub been calling your name since you got off the hill? Take another ‘around the world’ stretch, feel those muscles you used and abused!  Get into a hot tub or bath and give those thighs and calves a rub!!  Five minutes on each leg can do wonders to your recovery and good feeling on day two (or three, or four…..).  Drink a BIG glass of water, replenish those fluids before retiring.  Count sheep in a comfy, supportive bed and dream of another Epic Snow Day tomorrow!!

We hope you have found these tips entertaining and helpful!  If you want your next Snow Day to be EPIC give Snow Sport Vacations a call, we can get you THERE!!  866-981-SNOW

#icebreakernz #underarmour #smartwool #swanygloves #gordiniusa #epicsnowday #snowsportseason

Have a blast powder hounds!!!!!!  Love, Irish =)

Monday, February 1, 2016

El Nino is here

Everyone talked about El Nino this past year. Forecasts showed a lot of snow for Colorado, Utah and California. Did we believe it? Well, I guess they were right. Just the last 3 days it has been dumping and all ski resorts got tons of snow! Yayyy!
Here are just a few numbers of how many inches of snow the following resorts only got YESTERDAY:
Aspen/Snowmass: 14’’
Beaver Creek: 12’’
Vail: 12’’
Crested Butte: 7’’
Steamboat Springs: 7’’
Breckenridge: 6’’

And this is just what they got yesterday. It has been snowing all night so imagine what it looks like today. Here are a few pictures for you from some of the resorts live cameras on Tuesday, February 2, 12:31PM:


                                         Beaver Creek



I bet you are excited if you already planned your trip!
If not let us help you find the right resort for you!

We look forward hearing from you!