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Please help me ski

I have been packing for my ski trip this weekend when I suddenly realized I don’t know Jeremy, Jane or Jack Schitt about skiing. I know you’re supposed to go down the mountain. I know you’re supposed to avoid trees. I know I will fall on my ass many times. And that is it.

So dear readers, what else do I need to know about skiing? Please give me your secret snow skiing tips. I have my long underwear. I have my winter coat. I have my gloves and scarf and hat. Am I missing anything vital I was supposed to pack that I cannot rent for affordable prices?

I am also finally starting to get excited about this trip, which is a nice change from the general malaise towards life I have felt lately. I’m crossing my fingers the plane does not go down in flames and prove my optimism wrong.

PS – They are doing work on the web servers sometime in the next 24 hours (or they might have already done it). If anything goes wonky, that is why. The good news is once the work is done there will no longer be any massive data losses (crosses toes, since my fingers are still crossed about the plane).

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90 Comments

JEM • January 9, 2009 at 10:51 am

I know next to nothing about Skiing, I went twice a decade ago and barely remember…but I hope you have an amazing time!! Take pictures!

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Rachael • January 9, 2009 at 10:55 am

I’m a Florida native, so I know less than you about ski trips, but if you ever need to know what to pack to avoid a heat stroke I’m your gal!

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Karen • January 9, 2009 at 11:10 am

I’ve been a beginner skier a few times – it’s a wonderful sport. My tips: don’t forget chapstick and sunscreen, read the map carefully so you don’t ride the lift to a Black Diamond expert slope by mistake, and watch out for the advanced skiers who will criss cross in front of you, OVER your skis even. (the latter happens where expert and beginner slopes intersect). When you are finished, find the hot tub! (Final hint: don’t forget your swimsuit!) Better yet, find a masseuse! Enjoy the trip!

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Brandi • January 9, 2009 at 11:16 am

I am a silent reader but I wanted to let you know that I used to work at a ski resort and you cannot rent anything cheap. Keep that in mind. Also, if you have never skiied before maybe you can get a few lessons in with some instructors. They don’t usually cost too much especially if it’s not during a holiday week. Make sure to pack some extra socks and undergarments…you might need them. Also lotion for your face and lip balm will be good. Don’t forget your goggles either. =) Have fun with your trip and good luck with the skiing.

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KellyQ • January 9, 2009 at 11:17 am

I’ve only been skiing once (falling down and being cold didn’t seem to be my thing) but long johns for the cold and sunglasses for the glare off of the snow if it’s sunny, were invaluable.

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Faye • January 9, 2009 at 11:20 am

If it’s especially cold, you can get hand and feet warmers at the ski shop. Also, wear wool socks! Skiing is fun once you get the hang of it, so keep on smiling even though you’re on your butt for most of the day. When you fall, your skis will often cross over each other. The best way to get up is to make them parallel. If you have a good solid camera, keep it in your pocket and take pictures on top of the mountain and of your buddies on the ski lift. Just don’t drop it! Good luck and have fun!

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Monica • January 9, 2009 at 11:21 am

Chapstick

Sunscreen

small comb/brush (hat hair sucks)

hand/toe warmers (those little packs you put in your gloves/boots)

tylenol

Most important part of learning how to ski

1) learn how to snowplow asap! this means keeping your knees bent but not locked and angle your skis toward each other so the tips almost touch. This form keeps you going slowly down any hills

2) absolutely positively NEVER cross your skis. you will go down faster than a ton of bricks even if you’re standing still

3) worse than falling while you are skiing is falling while getting off a ski lift so be super careful, but you will do it as we all have done it. So accept that fact going into it and you’ll be ok.

Most important HAVE FUN! and laugh at yourself!

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Alexia • January 9, 2009 at 11:23 am

If you don’t know how to stop, and you have to choose between landing in a shallow creek or skiiing into one of the ski lift supports, choose the creek. Trust me. ;-) Have fun!

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Jenni • January 9, 2009 at 11:25 am

Definitely chapstick, sunscreen and sunglasses! And I like to take and extra set of gloves to change into midday. Also, socks to change into when you are ready to go home is nice, because then your toes can get warm again.

And the “snowplow” position is your friend!!

Have fun! And your next ski trip should be to Utah, because we have the best snow : )

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Jenn • January 9, 2009 at 11:25 am

Keep in mind I have only been downhill skiing once- but it was only a couple of years ago, so it’s fresh in my mind!

Ski-socks, if you have time, go to a sporting store and get some- they are very warm, wick away moisture (eww!) and are padded on the shins. YOU WANT THAT PADDING.

When you are skiing- lean forward over your feet. It will feel all wrong, as we women tend to keep our gravity in our hips/butt, but really, leaning forward will help you stay upright.

Also, if you happen to accidentally knock over your ski instructor in the first 10 min. or so, it’s ok, it’s happened to him before. Not that I have ever done that or anything. Have fun!

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lisa • January 9, 2009 at 11:26 am

I don’t know anything about skiing, either. I envision skiing as curling up with a hot mug of something in front of the fireplace, while wearing a comfy sweater with a snowflake pattern on it. Wait, that doesn’t really help you.

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Susan • January 9, 2009 at 11:30 am

Can’t emphasize sunscreen enough. It’s really easy to not realize you’re burning, because it’s cold, but on a sunny day you’ll get regular sunlight plus glare off the snow. Burning the underside of your chin is so not sexy.

Have fun!

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EG • January 9, 2009 at 11:46 am

This is very, very important. Bring an entertaining book. Harry Potter is an excellent choice. Find the lodge. Find the fireplace. Order hot chocolate. Adult hot chocolate if desired. Repeat as necessary.

Also dress really really warm.

And if you make the foolish decision to actually ski, don’t lean back. You won’t be able to steer, and you’ll fall off the trail and hit a tree. Luckily the trail is “Easy Street.” Then people will have to dig you out, ’cause the snow off the trail is really, really deep. Trust me.

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Erin • January 9, 2009 at 11:50 am

I’m excited that you are coming to Colorado because, well, I think it’s pretty great. To echo others, definitely wear sunscreen. As far as skiing, try and stay relaxed, and don’t tense up, it makes things much easier. Bend your knees, and remember the fall back “pizza”, wedge, “snow plow” whatever you want to call it position where you angle the tips of your skis towards each other to come to a stop. If all else fails, there are always lovely decks where you can sit and watch others ski and drink hot chocolate (or beer) and enjoy the beautiful weather. Where will you be skiing?

On another note, I knew a family once that moved here because it literally cured one of their children’s serious illness, so maybe the magic snow and thin air will have similar effect on you.

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lilli • January 9, 2009 at 11:50 am

sunscreen especially important for lips without I always get, I think it’s called in english, cold blisters. Spesial sun glasses for skiing.

have fun :)

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metro15 • January 9, 2009 at 11:52 am

If you have them, I would suggest snow pants. They’re not just for kids, they’ll keep you both dry and warm. Ski goggles are also sometimes your friend, but you can buy them there if you need them (trust me, you’ll know if you need them.)

Oh and I would say lessons are essential! Like so many things, you’ll have more fun if you know what you’re doing. Have fun, skiing is awesome!

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Girl Healthy • January 9, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Yay for you for getting out in the cold and exercising in the snow!! I’m more prone to hibernation than perspiration when there’s snow on the ground!

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jesser • January 9, 2009 at 12:01 pm

Take a lesson. Very few people can/should teach friends to ski. That said, skiing is awesome, and I hope you grow to love it … not a bad calorie burner either. ;) Enjoy your time in my home state. I love it here … hope you’ll enjoy it as well.

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Linz • January 9, 2009 at 12:04 pm

I have to agree with others about LESSONS. If you’ve never been skiing before, even a half day of instruction will do wonders. I haven’t taken lessons since I was a kid, but they taught us “french fries” (parallel skis to go faster) and “pizza” (skis angled toward each other in front and away from each other in back to slow down and stop). Sounds a bit like the snowplow.

Definitely remember your sun protection including sunglasses, even if it’s FREEZING. I sunburned my eyeballs once…not fun.

Oh, and if you aren’t wearing water resistant ski gear, Scotchguard the crap out of your pants and sleeves before you leave.

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Ashley • January 9, 2009 at 12:16 pm

Snowpants, goggles, and chapstick! Also, when you fall, try to relax, the stiffer you are, the more likely you will hurt yourself!

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Dawn • January 9, 2009 at 12:18 pm

I’ve heard the recommendation to take a lesson too. Have fun!!!

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Sarah • January 9, 2009 at 12:26 pm

I haven’t been skiing in ages, and never really learned how to do it properly, but this is what I can share from my novice experiences:

1.) Snowplow right from the get go. This means, point your toes in such a way that the tips of your skiis almost cross, and ride the inner edge of the skiis. You will go slow this way, and if you start out that way, you can gradually ease up until you find a speed you’re comfortable with.

2. When all else fails, fall down. In fact, to this day, this is the only way I know how to stop.

3. Do not look down when you’re on the chair lift. I did that once, and saw a puddle of blood on the ground. ‘Nuff said.

4. Try it without the poles. The last time we went, kids were zipping by us left and right with no poles. When we got to the bottom we talked to them and they said it was easier that way, so we tried it. I totally agree. I don’t know what the hell to do with the poles anyhow besides gain momentum, and considering I spend the entire trip down the mountain trying to stop gravity, they seem kind of counter productive to me.

Good luck, and have fun!

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liz • January 9, 2009 at 12:33 pm

SKI SCHOOL!!!!!! Take a lesson first thing! In fact, I like ski school so much that sometimes I take lessons every day. It’s like paying for friends but you are with people that ski at your own level and an instructor that has to be really nice to you. Don’t try to keep up with your friends who ski well or you might get killed. And try not to end up hanging from the lift with no pants on like that poor guy at Vail last week.

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Madison • January 9, 2009 at 12:34 pm

sunglasses or ski goggles? the snow can get pretty bright~

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Jennifer • January 9, 2009 at 12:36 pm

Waterproof gloves. Those knit gloves/mittens just won’t cut it.

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Christina • January 9, 2009 at 12:38 pm

The only thing you need to know about skiing is that snowboarding is better. :)

Have fun and be safe. Oh, and if you fall getting off the lift, get out of the way ASAP.

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Rochelle • January 9, 2009 at 12:51 pm

Pull wool socks over your regular socks!

Watch for ice…! I hit ice and flew headfirst into the woods 12 years ago and broke my femur. Haven’t been skiing since.

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Sheila • January 9, 2009 at 12:52 pm

Lessons, lessons, lessons!

Zigzag always! Going straight down the hill (known as schussing) is much harder to control and is even forbidden at some places.

Quit when you’ve had enough. By mid-afternoon, I’m so tired that my poor body actually forgets how to ski, and I spend all my time falling down and getting up. That wonderful apres-ski adult beverage relaxes me and makes me want to come back next time.

Have fun!

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victoria • January 9, 2009 at 12:55 pm

Keeping your head warm will do more to contribute to keeping you warm than any other one thing. Wear a nice, warm, cute hat. Have fun.

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Ruth • January 9, 2009 at 1:04 pm

Delurking to say: You will go in the direction your head is looking! If you look to the side, you will veer to that side. If you look straight down the mountian. You WILL go straight down the mountain at top speed.

They did not teach me this in class until we were on the slopes. It is an invaluable lesson and so simple. Sometimes the most important lessons are the simplest.

I also agree that going without poles for a bit is a great way to really connect with how your body needs to move.

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kara • January 9, 2009 at 1:10 pm

I’m an avid skiier and can’t ever hit the slopes for a day without hand and toe warmers. Best invention ever! Have a great time! Ski some for me…I can’t this season because of the babino growing in the belly.

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missy • January 9, 2009 at 1:13 pm

I’ve skiied 3 times in my life. Two of those times I took the beginner lesson.

Remember two things

PIZZA (snowplow – toes together, ankles apart) for going slow or turning

FRENCH FRY (skis parallel) for going straight and speeding up

Bring sunscreen, lots of socks, chemical hand warmers, and liquor :)

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deanna • January 9, 2009 at 1:16 pm

Glove and toe warmers, ski poles, fall down if you feel you are going out of control, snow plow, snow plow, snow plow – free ski lessons, or just skip skiing, use the hotel gym, go to the lodge in your gear look cute and sip hot coco!

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Carolina Girl • January 9, 2009 at 1:26 pm

I’ve only been skiing twice in my life, but this is what I remember:

1) Take the lessons. It’s TOTALLY worth it.

2) Don’t let the fear overtake you. Once I started to just let go and go for it, I was way more in control of things. But you will go down on your butt many times before this happens! :)

3) Don’t panic if you get turned around or going too fast.

4) Rent the waterproof suit/bib that goes under your clothes. Also, wear thick waterproof gloves.

5) Chapstick and sunscreen (I know that’s been said but it bears repeating)

6) Spend as much time as you need on the bunny slope and don’t let anyone make you feel bad about that.

7) Wear layers, because I got hot after awhile, especially if it’s sunny.

That’s all I can remember. But mostly..have a BLAST!

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JoLynn Braley | The Fit Shack • January 9, 2009 at 1:28 pm

Hey there, welcome to the BEST Winter Sport EVER….at least that’s what I have to say about it. ;) Downhill skiing is my #1 passion in life.

With that being said, the best suggestion I have for you is to Take A Lesson….I never would suggest getting out on the slopes without a lesson from a pro first. They’ll show you everything from how to start and stop and how to use the lift. Of course get a lesson from a good ski resort, but I bet you’re already headed in that direction. ;)

Have Fun With It!! :)

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ladyloo • January 9, 2009 at 1:33 pm

Dorky snowpants are your friend.

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Sassy Molassy • January 9, 2009 at 1:38 pm

I hope you have waterproof ski pants and some good gloves b/c those are key! And, as a beginner, you should be sure to pay to take a group/private lesson. That will make your day so much better and give you confidence on the slopes in the future. In addition, arm yourself with chapstick and maybe something to chew on if you get hungry on the slopes. it’s cold out there so you’ll be burning more cals than usual! And it takes a while to get unclipped and undressed just to go inside for a quick snack. And finally, arm yourself with a positive attitude no matter how many times you fall. That alone can make or break your day. Good luck!

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Chris • January 9, 2009 at 2:22 pm

First of all, have fun and remember to laugh at yourself. You will fall a lot in the beginning but that’s just part of learning.

At least your first hour on skis should take place during a lesson. They’ll start you on level ground and just have you do some basic moves that will help you far beyond anything your friends can explain on the ride up the chairlift. Try to take a couple lessons and you’ll be amazed how quickly you go from “terrified” to “cautiously optimistic”. In time you will become very comfortable on skis but don’t expect that right away. Just enjoy the journey!

Also dress in layers and don’t wear anything cotton, especially socks! Wear the thin liner socks under comfortable but thick wool socks and you’ll do alright.

Have so much fun on your trip, I haven’t skied for years and I’m really jealous right now.

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janis • January 9, 2009 at 2:23 pm

The most important thing to learn is how to exit the lift without falling on your ass, then getting whomped upside the head with said lift because you can’t get up on your feet fast enough. Not that I would personally know anything about that. Nor would I know that it really pisses off people who are stuck sitting on the lift in -20 temps, as they stop the whole thing waiting for you to get up. But you can’t because you’re torn between blind rage, embarrassment, and peeing your pants laughing, still unable to get up on your feet and out of the way of the lift. Not that I would know anything about that personally, of course.

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elife • January 9, 2009 at 2:26 pm

Renting skis:

- Should be shorter than normal for your height since you’re a beginner

- Get the parabolic ones, so much easier (I haven’t skied 8 years, so someone correct me if there’s a better kind now!)

Starting out:

- A lesson is a great idea. Otherwise, have your friends teach you how to snowplow ON THE BUNNY HILL.

Gear:

- Goggles if it’s snowing; sunglasses if it’s bright

Have fun!

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Emily • January 9, 2009 at 2:38 pm

I didn’t read all the comments, so sorry if this has been mentioned numerous times. My 2 cents is lessons are well worth the money.

I went last year and had only been once before and couldn’t stop. By the end of the day I was in seventh heaven and loving it and was very sorry that only one ski day was built into my vacation.

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Debbie • January 9, 2009 at 2:39 pm

I have all the ski gear (in many/various sizes to accommodate my many/various sizes!) and you are welcome to borrow any of it if you are coming through Denver. Whether it’s the snowpants, the gloves, the goggles — this Colorado girl has it all! Feel free to contact me – Email me and I’ll send you my phone contact info! But above all — I hope you relax, have fun, and get some pain relief – naturally or via the fine Mile HIgh beverages! Just be careful … that high altitude makes you do silly things MUCH faster than at sea level! : )

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Jen • January 9, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Sign up for ski school. It is fun and helpful. Tell all the employees it is your first time. They will be nice and give good advice.

Watch out for icy patches. Make sure your ski boots are as comfortable as you can get. Wear sunglasses. Quit when you are tired.

You might clip some other skiers or run into them. Give yourself room. Good luck and God speed. Too many instructions from different people may make you crazy.

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Kim • January 9, 2009 at 2:42 pm

I went snowboarding two years ago for the first time, the following plus what you already listed proved VITAL!!!

Ibuprofen

Sunscreen

Sun glasses / goggles

Lessons (professional, not from your friends)

IBUPROFEN

Hydration H2O, saves you from altitude sickness and give yourself 24 hours to acclimate before exertion.

Open mind

Positive spirit

Small, sturdy camera

Did I mention Ibuprofen?!

Also, make sure the boots are laced up correctly and tight enough. I suffered and ankle injury the first day out due to a loose boot but stuck it out the next two days and was finally able to go down a run on my own! Which was the only goal I really had.

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Rebecca Hoover • January 9, 2009 at 2:44 pm

Let’s see, first time I ever went skiing it took me about an hour to get down. I felt like crying. By the end of the day I was doing better. This was when I was about 15. Fast forward to last year, I took my 14 year old daughter. She cried, literally, down the hill. By the end of the day she was digging it. It’s hard work, don’t let anyone fool you, I discovered muscles I didn’t even know existed. You’ll have a great time, ….and maybe a wee cry. :) And I ditto the ski pants, I’m always to cheap to pay for them but sometimes you can find them at Thriftshops (oh the horror), but you probably don’t have time to search the endless seas of unwanted ski clothes.

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Lynne • January 9, 2009 at 2:50 pm

TAKE A LESSON – Don’t rely on friends to show you. You will hate them in the end or they will ditch you because you are a crying mess.

SKIING IS FUN… just not on the first day. You will feel awkward and clumsy and fall ALOT. Keep positive and no matter how bad you feel, go for day 2.

Don’t break a leg.

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Andy L • January 9, 2009 at 3:12 pm

Ok, skiing is probably most like ice skating. Lift, glide, then lift the other foot/ski, glide. To stop, point your toes together (like a V) and lean forward, bringing your knees together. This is called a wedge stop. It’s good if you aren’t going too fast. If you ARE going fast, lay down on your hip/side and put the skis perpendicular to the slope (so that all the snow gets scrapped off the mtn ahead of you – brings to light some interesting patterns from the rocks on your butt).

Don’t go too fast.

Good gloves, a must. Hat, neckwarmer, and sunscreen all good. Cash for the bar/cafeteria. Aspirin if you are going to try snowboarding – this is truly a bad idea if you only have one day.

Are you flying out to CO to ski?

Sitting in the bar drinking hot apple cider with a splash of run IS considered skiing. :D

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Kimberly • January 9, 2009 at 3:15 pm

I’ve got nothing. I’ve never skied in my life. Well, I have water skied but somehow I don’t think it is the same thing.

All I can do is wish you well and hope you have tons of fun!

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farmwife • January 9, 2009 at 4:25 pm

My family LIVES at the ski hill in the winter, since it is local.

Take a lesson.

Start on the bunny hill. You may not ever make it up to the big hill on the first day or two, and that’s OKAY!

Make sure you are wearing knee hi socks or your boots will rub.

Don’t forget sunscreen and chapstick.

Enjoy the lodge :)

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Carolyn • January 9, 2009 at 4:29 pm

I’ll give you the list assuming you are going to be skiing in cold, windy, perhaps snowy conditions,

- Take a lesson! (Lot’s of places offer beginner packages with lift ticket and lesson included)

- Goggles or wrap around sunglasses (it’s hard to ski with watery eyes). Make sure your goggles have clear or yellow lenses if you are going to be skiing in flat light.

- wool socks – also sock liners and glove liners (very thin socks/gloves) are good to add an additional layer of warmth (I don’t like itchy wool against my skin)

- ditch the scarf and get a turtleneck (a ski turtleneck with a thick weave at the neck)

- wool sweater

- snow pants (waterproof) – you will spend a lot of time on your butt

- make sure your gloves are ski gloves and waterproof as some one else mentioned. As a beginner you will be pushing yourself up from the snow a lot.

- is your winter coat windproof? If not, get a real winter jacket.

- tissues for your pocket!!!

- gentle moisturizer to put on your wind burned face that evening

- make sure your hat has a tight weave so the wind won’t whistle through your hat and chill you

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Jen • January 9, 2009 at 4:31 pm

Maybe this is obvious to you, but TALL SOCKS/KNEE SOCKS.

I went skiing for the first time in October and i still have the scars from awful blisters on my calves where the ski boots rubbed constantly.

Also make sure that your boots fit you well.

My did not and I was miserable the entire day.

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Mary • January 9, 2009 at 4:43 pm

I agree with all the votes for goggles, snowpants and neckwarmer (windproof is better). All key.

Also important — look at the view from the top of the mountain — one of the best things about the sport!

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earthmamma • January 9, 2009 at 4:57 pm

don’t eat yellow snow.

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Morgan • January 9, 2009 at 5:42 pm

I would recommend taking 1 lesson. If you do a group lesson it’s not expensive, and you’ll learn a lot.

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KateG • January 9, 2009 at 5:43 pm

I agree – take a lesson. Be careful. Try not to be over-ambitious.

Don’t feel bad if you are not a natural b/c I think the older you are when you start the harder it is for you.

Not that you are “old” by any means!! But I mean the trips I’ve been on literally the young teens have taken to it the easiest.

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kyle • January 9, 2009 at 5:53 pm

I learned how to ski on the Andes mountains, with no lessons, just my mom pushing me from the back, going “Don’t be a PUSSY!!!!” J/K, those weren’t her exact words, but she did say something along those lines as she threw me over the edge of a cliff. anyways, point being, if my horribly uncoordinated 12 year old self can do it, so can you. The key is just to not be afraid!

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schlubba • January 9, 2009 at 5:56 pm

i would suggest renting a helmet, wearing goggles, and buying a few hand and to warmers for you gloves and boots!

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Barb • January 9, 2009 at 5:58 pm

Don’t go with experienced skiiers (not teachers) who take you to an “easy” slope (not bunny slope), forcing you to fall on yourself (making you unable to ski the rest of the trip) to prevent yourself from falling off the mountain because a 30-second explanation isn’t enough–IMO

Have fun! Snow’s a blast.

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Katie • January 9, 2009 at 6:21 pm

Hope you love skiing and Colorado is great!

I recommend:

Water

Snack: peanuts or an energy bar because you will be tired and the lodges get pretty expensive.

Ski bib: the waterproof version of a band uniform. It’s no fun to have snow in your pants.

Chapstick and sunscreen

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epp • January 9, 2009 at 6:36 pm

Wow I went one time, took a lesson, went down the bunny slope a couple of times, busted my arse a lot, was wore out.

Said ok! This is vacation not work. Rented a snow mobile took a couple of trips had a great time and still got plenty of exercise.

It takes a while to get good enough to realy enjoy? Have a great time. My moto

If it ain’t fun it ain’t done.

enjoy

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Rhonda • January 9, 2009 at 6:36 pm

First time I went skiing (and last) was with my boyfriend (now husband). OMG…It was awful. I hated it. Especially when little 5 year olds were cruising past me. The absolute worst thing for me was the stupid ski lift. Be ready to sit quickly! My husband was a really good skier and I had never been before. I knew he was so super bored waiting for me and trying to teach me. He never said anything, but I knew. Also, when he tried to get me to go up the bunny slope, I wasn’t prepared ….so, I didn’t do it. Can I just say that was probably 16 years ago and I still remember it sucking. :) Have fun!

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Stephanie • January 9, 2009 at 6:54 pm

This may have already been mentioned before, but it’s the one thing I remember from my one and only time snow skiing, and that is that you should ski with the front of your skis almost touching like an upside down V.

Also, if you have the change you should try intertube-ing (?) in the snow. You sit in an intertube and hold on while they sort of ski lift/pull you up the hill and then slide down!!

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Lurlene_tx • January 9, 2009 at 7:04 pm

1) Lessons make all the difference–trust me. Just a 1/2 day beginner will help a lot.

2) Ski pants or bibs will be very helpful to keep you dry after all those 1st-time falls (bibs are a bitch when you have to pee though). Maybe you can borrow ski stuff or find a resale shop (or e-Bay or something). I’d loan you my old stuff, but 1990 might call and ask for them back (not so much skiing when kids come along).

3) Ski boots feel weird at first. Be careful about too many layers or you’ll cut off your circulation and be very cold. Of course lots has improved since my first trip in ’79. Another tip–keep your boots uncinched to walk around–much easier!

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Lori E. • January 9, 2009 at 7:06 pm

@lisa – This is exactly my vision of skiing as well.

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Beverly Carney • January 9, 2009 at 7:30 pm

Pack toe warmers and hand warmers, especially the toe warmers. They are thin and charcoal activated and stick to your socks and keep your tootsies warm. $1-2 a pair at outdoor type stores and probably at the ski place too.

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Judi • January 9, 2009 at 7:34 pm

Don’t let anyone talk you out of ski school if it’s your first time.

Be sure to knock all the snow off your boots before snapping your boots into your skis, this is so important because otherwise if you fall, your ski may not come off. Happened to me and I tore up my knee, had surgery. I still ski though.

Try to relax and it will help you not get aches in your quads.

Lean forward and push off a little with your free hand when getting off the lift.

HAVE FUN!

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Deb • January 9, 2009 at 8:12 pm

I can’t tell you how to ski as I have only done it once, totally sucked at it, and hated it. What I can tell you is falling down and getting up again over and over at high altitudes is really good cardio! :-)

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Shawna • January 9, 2009 at 8:49 pm

As some one who has tried skiing on many occasions and still doesn’t really get what all the fuss is about, I would say the following… no matter what the instructor tells you, it IS possible to over-tighten your boots! Rental skis are generally not made for womens’ calves and over tightened ski boots can lead to major major pain (if you are in so much pain that you want to hack your legs off after a few runs down, it is likely that your boots are over tightened … hopefully this will not be your experience). Also, if you try the skiing and don’t like it, try cross country … it’s a much better workout, and the boots are super comfy :)

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Lauren • January 9, 2009 at 8:54 pm

Hi! I hope you have fun out here in beautiful Colorado. One of the most important things that I think was only mentioned once above is to definitely rent a helmet! A colleague of mine went skiing 3 years ago with her husband (she was a rather skilled skiier) and an out of control snow-boarder going way too fast slammed into her and she died the next day of brain injuries (she was not wearing a helmet). The kid was 16 and was charged and found guilty of manslaughter (I can send you a link to the news article)! Who knows how differently things would have turned out if she had been wearing a helmut, but I am sure everyone wishes that she had been wearing one! Staying on the beginner slopes definitely lessens how much speed others can pick up, but I am a fan of being safe rather than sorry and personally do not mind looking like a dork while doing so :) Be safe and have an awsesome time in this beautiful state!!!!

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Eva • January 9, 2009 at 9:32 pm

Hello from Norway :-)

I do hope you have a nice time skiing, it can be a whole lot of fun!!

Try to relax your body, and be flexible in knees and hips. (The ideal position is when your knees are right above your toes, and your hips above your heels)

Your upper body should be slightly bent forward. I found it much easier to ski when I grasped that I didn`t have to be afraid to let the tips of my skies point directly downhill just before I made a turn.

And another thing: I found that it became easier when the front of my upper body was turned towards the valley(downhill) while my lower body twisted the direction I was skiing Puh!! This was difficult to explain in a foreign language, and I hope you can understand what I mean …The important thing is HAVE FUN ,and not to get too tired. Who knows ; fresh air, a little skiing, nice breaks, laughter, computervacation, might do wonders about your headaces

GOOD LUCK!

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anji • January 9, 2009 at 10:09 pm

Hey PQ,

I don’t have time to read all of the above comments to see if this suggestion has been made already….

I took ski lessons a few years ago, when I was about 210 pounds. It was crazy but fun! HOWEVER…. I could NOT for the life of me, ski on regular skis… the longer ones. However, they also rent these mini-ski’s called BLADES. They are about 1/3 of the size and are not as awkward to move around… less likely to trip on yourself, etc. They are used almost the same way as regular skis but you have greater control over them. If you rent big skis and you feel clumsy and like an oaf, try renting blades for a few hours. You wear your same ski-boots, so you can keep those.

You can ski with poles on these but, I found that it was funner skiing WITHOUT poles. Essentially, one less thing to trip on.

The secret (from a still-beginner, who actually really enjoyed it!) is, to turn right, place more weight on your right foot/leg while turning (the leg closest to the top of the hill) and less weight on the foot that is closest to the bottom of the hill. If you do that, you will probably fall and roll down the hill like a big snowball.

If you think you’re gonig to fall, don’t stop yourself from doing it… LET yourself fall. If you TRY to stop falling and tense your muscles, you will get hurt. Just accept it and don’t fight it. Most people who break arms when falling, are trying to STOP themselves from falling and bracing which crushes their bones. Instead, use your ass to fall but try to fall FLAT… like, if you can disperse your weight so you are falling on your butt, your legs and spread out your arms kinda, you will stop sliding faster and the impact will be dispersed and not concentrated.

If you’re going to fall, try to fall UPHILL. This sounds crazy too but – if you fall and are falling downwards to the hill, you will slide and roll like the big giant snowball mentioned above. Falling UP the hill is way better.

Try some ski lessons (they are quick) and, save yourself grief and ask for a private instructor. You will get more learned in less time and then can go play off on the hill by yourself!

and, my biggest ski injury was actually falling going UP the hill on the bunny hill run on one of those leg/butt tow bars. The big seat ones are fun but the butt tow bars, are scary and are awkward to use.

So, please remember to try the BLADES which are mini-skiis. Try it WITH or WITHOUT poles and see which you prefer. I found blades to be most like ice skates in how your turn or slow down, etc… so if you’ve skated before, it’s a lot like that.

Keep your knees bent, head up and EYES focused on cute guys…. enjoy your trip!

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s • January 10, 2009 at 12:38 am

omg, i can’t believe all these have gone skiing. i fall into the category of landlockedforaverylongtime so i have no skiing advice. it sounds really fun though :) i hope it is a blast!

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karen • January 10, 2009 at 2:19 am

I have never been, but it sounds like you are ready! Have a good time! The snow should be fun!

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I Love Pasta! • January 10, 2009 at 3:43 am

OMG! Screw skiing! Get yourself a snowboard! You’ll love it. So much more fun than skiing (which is also fun, actually).

Best of luck!

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Karoline • January 10, 2009 at 8:57 am

Don’t EVER cross the tips of your skiis, and if you are unsure of whether you can make it down the hill in one piece, just sit down and scoot your way down the hill on your butt – there is no shame in preventing bodily harm to yourself! Good luck, and have fun!

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Heather • January 10, 2009 at 11:42 am

Hey PastaQueen,

I am avid skier. The first thing I believe in is taking a lesson from a professional. After one or two lessons you’ll be able to snowplow and make wide turns to get yourself down the hill.

Be prepared to fall and be sore. This is the best part of learning something new–you get beat up.

Be prepared to fall a lot.

You can rent your equipment at the hill. I don’t necessarily think a beginner needs a helmet considering you wont be going on any expert runs.

Snowpants.

Have fun, skiing is the best solo sport on the planet.

I hope you take a shine to it.

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brass.lady • January 10, 2009 at 3:45 pm

have a great time p.q.!

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Valerie • January 10, 2009 at 7:27 pm

The one thing I remember from skiing, all these many (20!) years ago: when they say “bend your knees,” the feeling you should aim for is “butt on heels.” You won’t really be squatting that much, but seriously, you need to bend your knees a lot!

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PastaQueen • January 10, 2009 at 8:14 pm

Thanks for all the advice, guys! I wish I had read the part about sunscreen before my face got a little burned walking around today. Breckenridge is very idyllic and tomorrow I’ll be hitting the slopes, or more likely the slopes will be hitting me.

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kareen • January 11, 2009 at 1:06 am

Show me the picture where you fall on your ass ya? haha.. xoxo

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John's Weight Loss Blog • January 11, 2009 at 12:52 pm

I know a bit about skiing having been out to Colorado a couple of times and living 15 minutes away from a decent ski hill here in Minnesota. In fact just last night I dropped my son off there for a night of skiing. No, I didn’t go myself. I really need to get off my lazy bum and start it up again this year. But it was SO cold…

Anyway, here are some tips:

1) Long underwear is great but not enough. Highly recommend waterproof snow pants.

2) Rent a helmet and wear it.

3) Do you have goggles? You will want goggles.

4) If you get a chance to take lessons, take them. Even better is private lessons if you can afford them.

5) The sooner you get off the bunny hill the funner time you will have.

Colorado is awesome, have fun!

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Jessica Nelson • January 11, 2009 at 1:36 pm

My tips: Make sure you have spf chapstick on hand and you may be “working out” more than you think. I snowboard, which is different, but I often find that I do not need my jacket afterall.

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MB • January 11, 2009 at 6:02 pm

I’m sorry I missed giving you my skiing advice (wear good gear so you’re not cold, learn how to stop and don’t get on trails that are past your ability level).

I LOVE winter sports and skiing is one of my favorite things to do. I’m so jealous, I’ve always wanted to go to Colorado and ski on powder.

I hope you had a blast and the high altitude knocked the pain right out of your head.

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PastaQueen • January 11, 2009 at 6:21 pm

Everyone who suggested I didn’t need poles is going to have to buy me a lot of chocolate before I forgive them.

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Annette • January 11, 2009 at 7:39 pm

Skiing is about having fun outside in winter and the cold. So, take your time, enjoy the mountain. Enjoy your friends. Laugh when you fall down … don’t put to much pressure on yourself. If you’re tired, stop … go into the lodge, have some hot chocolate. Get a cute ski instructor and have a good time.

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Sheila • January 11, 2009 at 10:58 pm

@PastaQueen – @PastaQueen – IMHO, the no-poles advice is more appropriate for little kids, since they have a lower center of gravity. Don’t settle for hot chocolate; demand hot buttered rum, at least!

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Sheila • January 11, 2009 at 11:01 pm

@PastaQueen – IMHO, the no-poles advice is more appropriate for little kids, who have a lower center of gravity. Don’t settle for hot chocolate; demand hot buttered rum, at least!

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Perry • January 13, 2009 at 3:48 am

I am SO jealous…but it’s another thing I can look forward to next year when I’m in better shape. Have FUN, it’s amazing how many people you will hear constantly complaining when you are on the slopes. I try to remember to LOOK AROUND and realize what awesome scenery is right in front of me. Hope it is everything you need in a vacation….my best vacation memories are the ski trips to Colorado.

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jennywenny • January 14, 2009 at 4:44 pm

Have fun! I love to ski although I’m a bit rubbish! My secret tip is to try not to think too much, force yourself to smile and it will be easier. I found it a bit frustrating and then lightened up a little and it got easier. Having a beer at lunch also helped a lot!!

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Ab Workouts • February 3, 2009 at 9:48 pm

Im going skiing at the end of the month so I enjoyed reading the advice. As long as I come back with no broken bones or torn ligaments (knock on wood) I’ll call it mission accomplished.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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