The first big snowfall has just arrived on some parts of the Alps and it’s time to get ready for skiing.
Here are some tricks to make your first day of this season as smooth as possible!
If you’re a good student, you should have waxed yours skis last spring. Don’t forget to scrape off this extra wax, otherwise it will stick to your skins…bad luck!
If not, then it’s definitely not too late to wax them. At this time of the year, cold snow sticks easily on our skis when dropping from a nice sunny summit to a cold powder gully. It will be better with wax but only if you scrape and brush it all away.
Take this chance to put a plastic scraper (and a piece of wax) in your backpack for the season. It will avoid you to tell your banker that his credit card is too fragile…
Always as a good student, you’ve been loosening the springs of your bindings at the end of the season, so same thing: don’t forget to tighten them again! Or you can imagine what will happened dropping in your powder gully… Not to mention that combined with a possible lack of glide it might come as a big disappointment !
Check also that the length is correct for your shoes. Between 3 and 5 mm for pin bindings, depending of the brand. It is also the good time to choose a good screwdriver, and not your Leathermann. And put it also in your car for the season, if not in your backpack!
Beeper: as good students you took the batteries out last spring, so now you have to put brand new ones. Better put Alcaline ones and avoid rechargeable batteries Their unload curve is very bad for that use.
Check also if you have to send it for service, most of the time a sticker in the batteries compartment tells you when. And take a chance to remember how does it work: on/off, sending mode, search mode, group test… and make an exercise outside!
Probe: assemble it several times with gloves and take the opportunity to throw away the little bag which will cost some time in case of trouble. Most of the backpacks have their own probe pocket.
Shovel: same exercise to remind you how it does work and stop putting the handle in the probe’s pocket… all of this have to be always fast accessible!
Where to go?
Gear is ready but we have to decide where to go. Generally speaking, it’s not the good period to shred the line that you’ve been dreaming about those last 5 years… Take a deep breath and realx, winter is just starting!
-If you don’t really know, choose a closed ski resort but WATCH OUT: people are working there and everything is possible.
To get the slopes ready, a preventive triggering is possible even during the day, look for informations.
Motor vehicles can also be dangerous because they think that they are all alone. Always skin up on the side of the slope and watch out for the snow canon bumps. Be also aware of the possible presence of the grooming machines and their (very!) long cables: it can be in the snow under your feet! ( more informations here)
Snow dome due to snow canon can also be painful. Despite the fact that they are high, the snow can also be very wet and will stop you immediately… ouch!
-If you want to go away a bit further, watch out during downhill. The snowpack is not thick and dense, the rocks and the tree stump are not far under your skis. The informations in the avalanche bulletins are scaled down because only some ski resorts are open, so they don’t have a lot of informations from the mountains.
Finally, think that in December, the days are short. So, despite the sun have not too much effect on snow, leave early in the morning will guarantee you a good light for skiing and some hours left before night in case of trouble.
This is for sure a non-exhaustive list but it will help you to have a good start of winter. And please share your own tips here in the comments !
Have a good time on skis,