Do you remember the little rodent thing named Sacha on Noah's Island? It used to say 'Oiski Poiski' all the time - I don't remember why - But my hashtag for this series of blog posts on skiing reminds me of that character every time I see it. #abzski #abzski
The little person you can see in that picture up there is Shaun and it was taken in Vail Colorado in 2013 on my first ski holiday ever, this is one of my favourite photos from that year. I'm too excited to go skiing again and whilst it'll only be my second time I definitely learnt a few things from my first ski holiday, things I've taken note of and will be remembering for this time around; contact lenses - check, buff - check, improve fitness - I'm on it! If this sort of thing is of interest and you don't want to make the mistakes I did then carry on reading. Or if you just want to know how much of a newbie I was then you should carry on too.. :P
Last time I tried to wear glasses under my ski goggles but they kept slipping off (plus I looked really cool..) so I went without any most of the time. This made things quite difficult because I couldn't tell the icy parts from the fluffy snow nor any bumps or dips along my line. This time will be different because when I got back to the UK last time I signed up for the Boots contact lenses scheme and I have lenses sent to me every month.
a back pack
I didn't have a back pack so I din't have a drink, in fact I took nothing up the mountain apart from myself, my skis and poles. This time will be different, I've got myself a hydration compatible mini rucksack that I found in Surfdome's backpacks section. It will contain a small bladder of squash because I get a little thirsty up the mountain and it also means that I can take up a lip balm, power bar (just incase I feel weak and need a boost) my phone in case of emergencies and some money! I don't need much but I definitely feel these things are crucial to me making the most of my time up there.
This isn't really a ski-thing but more of a 'cold holiday' tip because my walking boots and Uggs weren't sufficient at keeping my tootsies warm on the days of the storm and heavy snow so since publishing my winter boots wishlist I've ordered a pair that are waterproof, warm and not bad to look at either.
endurance & strength
Before our trip in 2013 I focused on working on my legs and strengthening my knees ready for a hard days skiing and whilst that was good and working in my favour I didn't work on my endurance and was getting out of puff sooner than I'd liked. Recently I've been aiming to increase my heart rate for a longer period of time by doing more endurance exercising, mostly on my exercise bike.
fluff is a friend
This is a bit ridiculous.. I thought that the more flat the snow, the easier it would be to ski.. for some reason I had it in my head that I would hit deep fluffy snow and my ski's would bump into it or get stuck and I'd fall over - It took my the first week (and a heavy storm) to realise just how wrong I was! The fluffy powder is much more fun than ice and compacted snow!
grow a pair and suck it up
Oh the tears from my first holiday still haunt me. We actually think I had a spot of vertigo but I'd approach a run to ski down and burst into tears unable to explain why and unable to move. I did get over it and I really really hope that it doesn't happen again; I just need to remember to suck it up and get on with it remembering how much fun I have once I'm doing it!
I don't like margaritas
Again, not totally relevant but I still learnt it during the daily apres ski at Bart & Yetis. I did however love every other drink, the atmosphere, live music and their hot wings are awesome!!
get yourself a buff
I used a fleece neck gaiter on the mountain and it was horrible because when I needed it over my mouth and nose condensation built up inside. I've since got hold of a new buff that is thinner and breathable but keeps out the wind, it's also really diverse so I could wear it as a headband if it gets too warm or as a balaclava if it becomes too cold.
I ski better when nobody is watching
This is definitely a confidence thing that I'm sure will change over time but I'm not there yet. I know people just want to help but I really don't like being watched. It makes me nervous and that's when I make mistakes.
gloves that fit
Make sure your gloves fit properly, there's nothing worse that gripping at ski poles with gloves that are too big and trying to hold on to them at the same time.
I think that's it.. aside from actually learning to ski and loving visiting america and learning about how they do things over there. I can't wait for Vail CO 2015! :D