Skinning up the resort is a task.
Having grown up as a resort skier, I always laugh when I find myself skinning underneath lifts, whose chairs sit hanging, taunting my premature excitement. But I figure… it’s excitement nonetheless.
Off-season, mud season, or whatever you’d like to call it is a very unexciting time unless you have a bartender’s bank roll that allows you to surf in Costa Rice. So in search of cheap thrills and awkward turns, skiers slap on skins in some resort parking lot before opening day.
While others may laugh at this seemingly nonsensical effort– there they are, huffing and puffing towards a summit that is normally accessed by a 5 minute lift ride.
5) No Crowds
Skiing the resort without another person in sight can be a transcendental experience. It’s like something completely wild got tamed, then got wild again.
4) Favorite Stash
Everyone has their favorite run but accessing that run when the resort is closed is a special feeling. It’s as if you’re getting your daily dose of winter’s special, but the special isn’t on the menu. You just ordered it.
3) Dodge, Dip, Duck, Dive, and Dodge
The five D’s of dodgeball are also the five D’s of off-season resort skiing. Because when you’re skiing the resort leading up to ski season, chances are you’ll be startled by snowmakers, groomers, and the occasional maintenance crew. So as you ascend and descend, you will most likely have to employ the 5 D’s. Especially when skiing around snowmakers.
Coverage is normally what keeps the everyday, 100+ day skiers off of early season slopes. However, the resort normally offers some of the safest terrain thanks to trail maitence crews clearing downed trees in the summertime.
1) It’s Skiing
Bottomline, skiing early season skiing is skiing nonetheless. So put down that beer for an hour, be kind to the mountain ops, and go skin up and ski the resort.