7 Ways to Satisfy Your Pre-Season Snow Craving

Get In Snow Shape

As you read this, an epi­dem­ic is spread­ing. Across the con­ti­nent, par­tic­u­lar­ly  in places such as Col­orado, Utah, Cal­i­for­nia, British Colum­bia, the Pacif­ic North­west, and New Eng­land: peo­ple are spend­ing extend­ed peri­ods stand­ing with heads inside their freez­ers. They stare long­ing­ly at the planks rest­ing in their clos­et. The diag­no­sis: snow fever.

While the days are get­ting short­er and evenings are feel­ing cool­er, the real­i­ty is that there are still many months to go before most north­ern hemi­sphere ski resorts open their doors. Short of engag­ing in a pas­sion­ate snow dance, the fol­low­ing sev­en activ­i­ties will keep you busy until that first snowflake falls from the sky.

Prep Your Gear
Admit it: you’ve avoid­ed tak­ing care of your gear because you couldn’t bear the thought of miss­ing a few hours on the moun­tain while it got repaired. That means you had a sub-opti­mal first day with dull edges and fad­ing wax. Now is the time to fix any­thing that needs some atten­tion. Pull out your gear and exam­ine every­thing close­ly (and feel free to strap in, in the mid­dle of your liv­ing room). Tight­en and clean every­thing thor­ough­ly, includ­ing your smelly win­ter clothes. Take inven­to­ry of any­thing that’s beyond repair and that will need replacing.

Get In Snow Shape
It’s prob­a­bly been a while since you’ve affixed a plank or two to your feet. Skip the sore­ness of your first few days on the slopes by con­di­tion­ing your body. Start with squats, and lots of them. Wall-sits are a great way to work your thighs, and planks will let you know pret­ty quick­ly what areas you need to work on.

For sport-spe­cif­ic train­ing, skiers might dare to try roller skis. Sure, your neigh­bors will laugh as you fly down the street in your ski/roller skate hybrids, but you’ll be the one laugh­ing when they hob­ble into the lodge after their third run. Snow­board­ers, get your­self a bal­ance board. Stand on it while iron­ing, watch­ing TV, or doing any oth­er activ­i­ty that requires you to stay in one spot. You’ll be good to go come snow season.

Buy Now!
It might be hard to drop your hard-earned mon­ey on ski pass­es while most peo­ple are still wear­ing shorts, but many resorts offer sig­nif­i­cant ear­ly bird discounts.

Gear is often more expen­sive in-sea­son, so pick up last year’s mod­els while they’re still on sale. Con­sid­er buy­ing used: believe it or not, for some peo­ple, win­ter is the last thing on their mind. They might be will­ing to take less mon­ey for you to give them some extra stor­age space. 

Get Up a Moun­tain
I know, I know, it’s not the same with­out snow. But, your favorite ski resort might be open for alpine hik­ing or moun­tain bik­ing in the sum­mer. Head up the chair­lift and mar­vel at how dif­fer­ent your favorite zones look in the sum­mer­time. To keep your lungs con­di­tioned to the alti­tude, take a stab at alpine run­ning. Your lungs will burn like crazy at first, but you’ll find your­self hik­ing the back coun­try with ease come winter. 

Get Up a Mountain

Ski Movies, and Lots of Them
Pull down the blinds and turn on the TV: Noth­ing sat­is­fies snow-stoke like a marathon of ski and snow­board flicks. The ide­al set will include a clas­sic ski film (Bliz­zard of Aahhh’s is a good place to start), a retro ski com­e­dy (Ski School or Out Cold should do the trick) and a new favorite (you sim­ply can­not beat The Art of Flight). Gath­er some like-mind­ed bud­dies, pour the hot choco­lates, and don’t move for five hours straight. 

Start Your Home­work
Is this going to be your best ski or snow­board year yet? Start set­ting goals. Maybe you’re going to try explor­ing the back­coun­try this year, or maybe you’ll final­ly take the time to con­quer the park. Per­haps you’d like to vis­it a new resort (or ten new resorts!). Once you’ve estab­lished your goals for the sea­son, think about what you’re going to need to accom­plish them. Plan trips, invest in gear, and look into lessons or train­ing that will take you to the next level. 

If the Snow Won’t Come to You…
…then you must go to the snow. While those of us above the equa­tor still have awhile to go before win­ter, half the world is already there. If you sim­ply can­not sat­is­fy your crav­ing for snow any oth­er way, then pull out the cred­it card and book your tick­et. Queen­stown, New Zealand;  Bar­iloche, Argenti­na; Por­tillo, Chile—these are just a few of the spec­tac­u­lar and snowy spots in the south­ern hemi­sphere. Get there quickly—spring is just around the corner!