Make Sure Your Vail Ski or Snowboarding Trip Starts Out Right, Plan Ahead
On the second day of your Vail ski vacation, you wake up to almost two feet of fresh powder. To ensure you get fresh tracks down your first run, you left your condo over an hour before the lifts opened. As you stand there, admiring the fresh powder and your coveted spot in line, you realize you left your lift ticket in your condo. There is no way the lift operator is letting you ride without it. Even though you can get your ticket or pass reprinted without going back to your condo, you’ve still lost precious time on the mountain and the guarantee of fresh tracks on a powder day.
While leaving your lift ticket in your condo will inconvenience your schedule, not checking your gear before you head out can compromise your comfort and safety. Before you leave your condo, ensure you are prepared for a full day of skiing and riding. You probably won’t forget your shell, boots, or skis or board, but it isn’t uncommon to leave some of the smaller items. Carefully laying out the gear listed below the night before will make for a quicker exit in the morning.
Goggles are essential for a couple of reasons. They protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, which can be amplified by the white snow. A good pair of goggles can also help keep your face warm. Most importantly, however, they provide a barrier from objects you encounter on the mountain, such as snow, rocks, and trees. While you are shredding the glorious tree runs back in Blue Sky Basin, goggles will help keep bark and needles out of your eyes in case of an unfortunate encounter with a conifer.
For the love of warmth, do not forget your gloves. With temperatures often dropping below zero during Vail’s peak season, frostbite on one’s extremities is a common occurrence for those unprepared. Not to mention, just about everyone has to touch the snow at some point during the day– whether it’s from a fall or for the fun of it.
Sunscreen for your face and lips
Keep a small tube of sunscreen and lip protectant in your jacket or pants pocket at all times. While, yes, you will be the envy of everyone in the office when you come back from your Vail ski vacation with an epic goggle tan; it is unhealthy and possibly uncomfortable. And chapped lips aren’t going to make anyone jealous.
This is an optional safety accessory, but one that comes highly recommended. If you plan to venture down some of the more difficult runs, such as Lover’s Leap or the terrain parks for the first time, bring your helmet.
Vail is a huge mountain, with over 5200 skiable acres. Keeping up with your own map, with your favorite trails and relaxation spots marked, will make your day easier. Even though this isn’t something you need to remember before you leave your condo, because you can pick one up in the villages or mountain bases, you DO need one before you go into some of the back bowls – especially on a first trip. A GPS wouldn’t be a terrible idea, either.