If you’d like to learn to ski, there’s more to it than just figuring out how to walk in boots, use your poles or make a pizza to stop. We asked the ski patrol at Breckenridge Resort what are some of the most common mistakes for first time skiers. First, be prepared for the altitude change. Altitude sickness is due to the lower amounts of oxygen in the air at high altitudes. Altitude sickness can manifest itself in breathlessness, throbbing headaches and fatigue to name a few. To avoid the effects of altitude sickness, especially if you are coming to Breckenridge (or any mountain town) from sea level, is to gradually increase the altitude. If you are visiting Breck, spend one night in Denver first. This will give your body an adjustment period at 5,000 ft. prior to going up to 10,000 ft.
What else do you need to know? Here’s what else the Breck Ski Patrol had to say about common mistakes of first time skiers.
Learn to Ski: Common Mistakes of First Time Skiers
- Be prepared. Bring hat, goggles, gloves/mittens, plenty of warm layers and avoid cotton base-layers as they don’t wick moisture away from your body. The saying goes, “there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear”. Dressing appropriately will keep you comfortable and enable you to enjoy your experience.
- Likewise, use modern equipment. Ski, snowboard, boot and binding technology has made leaps and bounds over the last decade and learning the sport is now much easier than it once was. Take advantage of this by ensuring you are renting equipment that is no more than three years old.
- Ease into it. Beyond just the altitude, remember that you are pushing your body in ways it is not accustomed to. Drink plenty of water, take breaks, and don’t try to tackle that double-diamond on the last run of the day when your legs are gassed.
- Pick up a free trail map and use it. If you’re still a beginner skier, don’t hop on a lift that only services intermediate and above terrain- no matter what your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend/brother/sister/cousin/etc. suggests you should do.
- Don’t forget that skiing (snowboarding) is a wonderful adventure. Embrace it. You’re going to get cold, tired, scared, and you’re going to fall down. No matter; you’re still sliding around a beautiful mountainside with boards attached to your feet- have fun!