Getting Ready for the Backcountry Ski Season

Tweet #winteriscoming and you’ll see it. The fever is catching and backcountry enthusiasts are itching to dust off skis. But, even though the word is out that La Niña is gearing up for another return (read: lots of snow), we’ve still got a bit of time on our hands. What to do while we wait for more than a dusting of the white stuff?

Winter is coming! (Photo: Megan Kopp)

Bump up the Training

  • Although skiing year-round is the best ski fitness training, few of us can afford to follow the snow.
  • Try adding a few more miles to your trail runs or mountain biking circuits.
  • Pick up the pace of strength training workouts – and yes, rock climbing and yoga count as much as weight lifting and core workouts.
  • Power hike steep hills for help build up quads – or, in lieu of steep hills, use an exercise ball on a wall behind your back and slide down until knees are at 90 degrees. Hold, release and repeat.
  • Just be sure to start slow enough that you don’t damage your body in training!

Brush up on Your Wilderness First Aid Skills

  • Torqued knees, twisted ankles – yup, it never fails that someone is going to end up with a ski going right while the body goes left. Knowing how to take care of injuries in the backcountry is a valuable skill. Book a refresher course now.
  • You might also want to review how to put together a rescue sled, as seen on this Brooks-Range YouTube video.

Stoke the Ski Fever

  • While we wait for snow to accumulate, keep enthusiasm levels high by watching a ski movie or two. Can you say Warren Milleresque flickfest?
  • Get social and add a few more backcountry ski tweeters to your lists, read a couple of backcountry ski blogs, or drool over friend’s Facebook snow pics.
  • Unlimited budget? Take a trip Down Under for a little spring skiing this fall.

What are you doing to get ready for the upcoming ski season?

© 2011

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