7 Tips and Tricks For Mountain Happiness

Written by Robert Shirk • Nov 11, 2015

1. Avoid Wet and Damp Ski Boots

When it comes to skiing, your ski boot must fit and feel great for you to have a comfortable experience on the mountain. Trying to put your foot into a cold, wet ski boot that has been left in the car's trunk overnight is extremely hard, can be painful and can cause your boots to develop moisture inside the liners, leading to wet and cold feet while skiing.

There is a way to avoid all of this! After skiing, simply take your ski boots inside and place them near a heat source for the night. Now, grab a few pages of a newspaper or magazine and roll them up vertically. Slip the pages into the ski boot liners and leave them in overnight. The heat source will ensure the boots are warm for the next day and allow for easy entry access while the newspaper or magazine pages inside the liner will absorb any excess moisture left behind from the previous day of skiing.

2. Thinner is the Winner!

Wear thin socks inside your ski boots! “Thicker socks keep your feet warmer” is a common misconception. Actually, the opposite is quite true. A thick sock may bunch itself up inside a ski boot leading to discomfort, less control over your skis and most importantly, can cutoff blood circulation in your feet; leaving them prone to frostbite. A slim sock made of silk, nylon or thinly woven cotton is your best bet to avoid any of these occurrences from happening. Thin socks promote good blood circulation, won't bunch-up or pinch your skin and will ultimately give you more maneuverability over your ski equipment.

Another aspect to remember is that most newer ski boot models are made with much thicker, padded liners than in previous decades. These new liners are insulated and designed to retain heat that is naturally released from the body. Choosing a thinner sock rather than a thick sock will ensure a more enjoyable ski experience. This is especially true if you plan to spend a full day on the mountain.

3. Fix Foggy and Iced-Over Goggles

Anyone who has skied or snowboarded before most likely has been here. It almost seems like no matter how new or high-tech your goggles are, a good wipeout in powder will leave the lenses steamed-up and snowy on the inside. If you wait long enough to dry them, that steam may turn into a coat of ice. Trying to wipe the lens at this point may cause scratches. Don't panic, the solution is simple! Just head into the nearest on-slope lodge or restroom and hold the goggles lens-side-up under the automatic hand dryer for a minute. The ice will melt, and the moisture will evaporate leaving a good-as-new viewing experience. This is a surefire way to avoid reoccurring foggy vision inside the goggle. Now get back out there for some crystal clear riding!

4. Comfort for the Sole

Before going on a ski vacation, you will want to consider not only how to stay warm on the mountain, but also while engaging in other outdoor activities, exploring the town, going to dinner and experiencing the nightlife. Walking around a ski village for extended time in the winter can make your feet uncomfortably cold in shoes and boots. Along with your head, armpit and groin, extremities such as your feet are prone to substantial heat expulsion from the body. To avoid freezing feet in these situations, cut inserts from wool into the shape of the sole of your foot, and insert them into your shoes. First, trace your foot's outline on a sheet of paper with a pencil. Cut the outline out and place it over any wool fabric that you don't mind mincing. Next, cut around the wool fabric and the outline of your foot's sole. Place the wool cutout inside a shoe or boot, and you now have an extra layer of insulation for your shoe's sole while you are out exploring.

5. Cheap Cell Phone Save

Who isn't skiing with a smart phone these days? Smart phones have made the mountain easier to navigate, and with the use of certain apps, more thrilling. However, typically skiing with electronics leaves them vulnerable to being surrounded by water in one of its states. In any given ski week I can usually find at least four different cell phones that have either been abandoned on the side of a run, or fallen directly under the lift. To give the device an extra layer of water protection while you retrieve it, simply store it in a plastic sandwich bag with a zip lock. This will help prevent water damage, especially on spring ski days when the snow retains more water weight than on frigid, winter-like days.

6. Power Through It

Some days on the mountain are just too much fun to take a break from; even to eat lunch! When the fun of the sport is too good to cease, pack protein enriched snacks in your outerwear pockets for quick energy on-the-go. Variations of these types of snacks could be peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, granola bars, nuts, chocolate, beef jerky, energy bites or fruit slices. Consuming protein enriched snacks and healthy sugars will allow you to keep skiing with sustained energy and a happy belly.

7. Single, and Loving It!

Last but certainly not least, is making use of the singles' lift line. If you are skiing alone and want to make the most runs with the time you have, utilize this line at the base of the chairlift to avoid waiting in the crowd. Going through the singles line will typically get you to the loading area faster, you won't have to worry about finding a group to ride the lift with, and who doesn't like convenience on a vacation? Also, using the singles' line is an absolute must-do for anyone skiing alone on a powder day!

There you have it, a short list of ideas to keep in mind while planning and enjoying a ski vacation. Detailed planning is key when it comes to ski trips, but sometimes a mix of common sense and improvisation can save the day!