Late winter and spring skiing and snowboarding tips.
We absolutely love the winters here in Summit County, Colorado! The beautiful scenery is only enhanced by our abundant snowfall and glorious Colorado Blue Bird days soaked in sun!
This time of year is just fantastic! By mid February, the holidays are over, the days are getting longer and we have accumulated enough snow to form a safe base and allow access onto most of the mountain areas. More terrain, longer days and less people! Prime time!
Summit County, Colorado is known for its variety of local Ski Resorts. Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Keystone, and Arapahoe Basin all provide unique settings and varying terrain within a few miles of each other. All these special resort areas provide amazing days with plenty of amenities and great perspective on this fantastic region of Colorado.
Here are just a few tips to keep you going through these longer winter and spring days to help you enjoy the mountain to the best extent!
Keep an Eye on the Weather!
For a few reasons..
It may be quite chilly in the morning, but if the forecast suggests warm temperatures (above 30 degrees or so) make sure you dress accordingly! Unless you will be carrying a backpack or don't mind a trip to the vehicle mid-day, wear lighter layers and less insulated jacket or shell. Once the sun comes out and you're working the mountain, too many warm layers or a heavily insulated coat will slow you down and certainly make you sweat more than necessary! High waterproofing is great for these conditions as well as some of the snow will be melting and release more moisture.
Also, keep an eye on the forecast for your ideal skiing and riding conditions. If snow is expected and you want fresh runs - get up there early! The conditions will be best while the temperatures are still cooler, and of course before too many people get up top! As the day progresses, powder runs will get more tracked and warmer temps can cause the remaining snow to condense and become more heavy.
If no snow is in the forecast, your call! Conditions may be a little more firm before the sun hits and and softens it up, which is great if you like to power lap for exercise. If you're looking for more of a leisurely day, don't be afraid to slow down and enjoy your morning! Right around 10:30 - 11:00 am the sun will be high enough to offer warmer temperatures (dress accordingly!) and softer runs.
Drink lots of water! Planning on getting on the mountain? Drink a big glass of water first thing, keep sipping on your way to your destination and enjoy some more before you leave the vehicle or condo to head towards the lifts. Staying well hydrated is critical to good health and stamina in exerting exercises. At our high elevation it is crucial! Our thinner air, blazing sun, and physically demanding recreations such as skiing and snowboarding will all take their toll on anyone participating. Start your morning well hydrated and make regular stops to the lodges for water and refreshments throughout the day to keep you going and feeling good enough to get back at it the next day!
If you are experiencing what you believe to be Altitude Sickness, water can be a huge key to adapting to our high alpine environment and relieving many of the discomforts and headaches associated with Altitude Sickness. Seek professional advice from a licensed physician before attempting physically demanding activities at high altitude... but if there's one thing the locals will confirm: Drink Plenty of Water!
Sun Protection! Soak up that glorious Colorado Sunshine intermittently for a generous dose of good ol' Vitamin D, but be sure to moderate your exposure. SPF is recommended for the face and neck or areas that you may have exposed to the sun. Look for an ultra lightweight face masks that will not hinder your breathing or mobility but will provide a thin shield or protection for your face and neck.
Make sure you have your darker lenses if the sun is shining! Sunny days call for different lenses; too light a lense (what you might use for a snowy or cloudy day) will leave you feeling blinded by the end of the day and can actually damage your eyes. Make sure you have a darker or reflective lense for our sunny days to alleviate squinting and watering eyes trying to tolerate the bright conditions. The darker lenses will not only improve your vision but will add comfort and relaxation to your recreation.
Healthy Snack Ideas!
Nuts - especially Walnuts, Almonds, Pecans - they pack well and offer great nutrients and healthy fats that will keep you going!
Dried Fruits or Fruit Leather - again, they pack well, are soft and conform to your body and movement and offer great nutrient content and vitamins to keep you feeling energized.
Fruit - Apples, Pears, Oranges or Clementines, even Grapes are great options if you plan on eating it your first lift ride up or will be carrying a pack. Stear clear and keep the bananas for the smoothies at home!
Healthy Cookies or Bars - we suggest healthy because they are just that - more healthy! Whether they are supplemented with protein or incorporate nuts and fruits, super seeds, they are quick, easy to eat and will keep fairly well on your person. A touch of chocolate in there may not be a bad idea either. . . . Stop by Blue Moon Bakery in Silverthorne for the Local’s Favorite Seven Layer Bar!
Temps cool enough? Cheese Sticks, Smoothies (if you have a backpack) and most other goodies will keep better in the colder temperatures so long as it’s not too cold (below 25 degrees or so) Fairly warm? Leave the Chocolate or candy snacks at home. If it is warm and the sun is shining they will probably melt and you might find yourself with a mess in your pocket or backpack! Eat them early or save them for when you get home.
Just a few ideas to help you enjoy skiing and riding in the high rockies to the fullest!
Hope you can get out there with your loved ones and have an excellent time tearing it up making turns!