Pre Season Check List
Alison takes us through her pre-season check list before hitting the slopes. Keep your eye out for the next post from James on avalanche safety kit for the winter.
1. Buy your lift pass
Most resorts will offer a pre-season discount on the purchase of season tickets and the closing dates for these will be ending soon. https://www.chamonix.com/ski-passes-compagnie-du-mont-blanc,225,en.html#rc
You may have to decide between buying a season pass or day passes – always a difficult choice but try not to just do the sums – think of what you gain in having a season pass by not having to queue up to buy a pass each morning, and being able to put in a few turns on bad weather days when you’d not shelling out for a day pass. However buying day passes can give you the flexibility of trying out different resorts depending on the snow and weather conditions.
2. Make an equipment shopping list
Make sure your equipment is all ready to go so that when the first snow comes you can jump straight into your skis and go without having to run around trying to find things. Spend time sorting through your ski equipment; what needs replacing, is there anything that needs repairing, are there things you can sell and what do you need to buy. If you have stored your skis waxed for the winter, remember to scrape them before heading to the slopes.
If you are heading out on a holiday and plan on hiring ski make sure you reserve them in advance.
3. Be pro active about any pre-existing injuries
If you have any pre-existing aches and pains, or injuries that you know have caused you trouble in the past then be proactive to make sure you don’t have the same problems this season. Make an appointment with your local physiotherapist or osteopath and get them sorted before the season begins.
4. Pre season fitness
It can be hard to motivate yourself for pre-season fitness before we can see snow on the hills – but it is essential and should not be forgotten about. We see many incidents where people come out to ski poorly prepared, ski hard and wonder why they get injured. Don’t let it happen to you. There are plenty of pre-season ski exercises available online.
If you find motivation difficult then why not join a group or hire a personal trainer. Many resorts offer pre-season programmes and they are also appearing in UK gyms. Check this out in London http://www.palecek-principles.co.uk/ski_lates.htm We also like to use the Be Fit Apps, an excellent way to get in shape.
5. Service your skis
As well as making sure your body under goes some pre-season tuning you’ll need to do the same for your skis. If you don’t have any ski tuning equipment as home then take them along to a local shop that comes recommended to you. Hand tuning is preferable to machines. Take them in early before everybody else does it and the shops get busy.
Check your DIN setting is correct too. This should be set in relation to your ability and weight. If you are unsure then ask in a ski shop.
6. Decide where you first turns are going to be...
If you live in the UK and are coming to Europe on a ski holiday make sure you get it booked early. If you prefer to wait until the last minute to see where the snow is best make sure don’t forgo the above “to do list”. Still have the holiday marked in your diary and prepare for it, even if you haven’t decided where you are going. You can always get some pre-season turns in on your local dry ski slope or indoor Snowdome. Keep an eye on snow conditions in Scotland as over the last few years conditions there have been very good.
If you live in Europe then Tignes, Zermatt and Saas Fee all provide good early season options. Remember, don’t go hard at it on the first run or even the first day. A few hours skiing on your first day of the season is normally more than enough, build it up gradually.