Skiing is not everyone’s favorite winter activity: It turns out that those who didn’t learn to ski in childhood develop an understandable reluctance to strap on two pieces of metal and plummet downhill. The older a non-skier gets, the more likely he or she is to remain a non-skier. All of which means that passionate skiers are sometimes at a loss during the winter, if their families and significant others aren’t interested in hitting the slopes. Choosing a family winter destination with other activities is one answer; Going solo is another.
Tips for Solo Skiing Vacations
A singles ski trip can be as simple as a day or two alone on the slopes, or as extensive as a whole solo ski vacation. Weekdays are best for solo skiers, who will be more likely to be sharing the mountain with other ski fanatics, and not hordes of families. Some skiers enjoy the freedom to ski at their own pace and level of difficulty all day; others hope to hook up with a ski buddy.
- Take a lesson. A ski lesson is always a good idea, to brush up on skills. For solo skiers, a group ski lesson is also a chance to socialize a bit, and maybe even meet someone to ski with in the afternoon.
- Apres ski socializing is another chance to meet potentially compatible ski partners. Many ski areas have a base lodge (or a summit lodge) where skiers can gather. Eating and drinking establishments in nearby towns also often have a thriving night-life.
- Meeting people on the lifts can be an opportunity to strike up a conversation, and, occasionally, meet someone to ski with. On a small ski mountain on a weekday, skiers are likely to see the same people several times, and skiers who seem to be traveling up and down the mountain at the same general pace sometimes hook up for a few runs or take a lunch break together.
- On crowded weekends, take advantage of the singles lane! Lift lines for triples and quad lifts frequently have a singles lane for skiers without partners. These lanes pair up people so that each chair goes up at full capacity, and the lift lines move faster. The singles lane moves a lot faster than the regular lines, so take advantage of single status.
- As with any solo travel and outdoor activity, always leave word about skiing plans with a family member, just in case there is an accident. Most mountains have effective ski patrol programs in case of problems, but solo skiers should always have contact information and medical insurance cards in their wallets, carried on their person.
Single Skiers Vacation Packages, Ski Trips, and Ski Clubs
Single skiers might also find that local ski clubs sponsor trips that are a great way not only to ski, but to meet like-minded people. Indeed, some singles ski trips are as much about the apres ski as they are about the skiing.
- Join a local ski club. The in-town meetings are a chance to socialize and share war stories, and maybe find a compatible ski buddy.
- Skiers should be honest about their ski level when pairing up with others to ski with. A double black-diamond hot shot isn’t going to want to babysit a newbie all day on the bunny slopes.
- Check out the ski vacation packages offered by ski clubs: These can be a good choice for solo travelers, because pairing up with another club member for hotels helps avoid the expense of the single supplement. Plus, there may be a group discount.
- With a bit of creativity, even solo skiers who don’t have skiing families and friends can join in on the fun of socializing on the slopes.
Ski Slope Survival
This holiday season many take to the slopes for a ski or snowboard vacation, such as visiting one of the famous resorts in Colorado or experiencing the champagne powder at Park City, Utah. For those who want to have some fun on the snow during the holidays, the following survival tips may come in handy.
Get a Packaged Deal
Resorts, such as Vail Resorts, often offer packaged deals that include a room rate and a lift ticket. This can be cheaper than buying individual lift tickets each day, and easier, as one pass is good for the entire vacation. The price may even include rentals for ski or snowboard equipment, although rental shops in town will also have package deals for the length of a stay.
Dress for the Weather
Knowing how to dress in layers is a winter necessity. In Colorado, it can be very warm during the day, with the snow reflecting heat and UV rays from the sun. During nighttime skiing, the thermometer can drop below freezing, and with wind chill it can be even colder. Bring plenty of clothes to stay warm and dry.
Get There Early, Leave Early
There’s nothing like skiing first tracks in the morning, when the slopes are freshly groomed. By getting in those runs during the morning and early afternoon, one can relax later in the day and rest those muscles in the hot tub.
Take a Break
Resting tired muscles s is not only relaxing for a skier, but can also help reduce accidents and injuries due to fatigue. After a few runs, take a break in the ski chalet to sip hot chocolate, warm up the hands, and chat with fellow skiers.
Know the responsibilities of skiers and snowboarders on the slopes. When in doubt, ski in control, not going so fast as to cause an accident, and giving other riders enough space to maintain control. Also, stay on slopes that match ability level. Those who ride black diamonds on smaller ski hills back home may be out of their league at the big resorts. Keystone Resort has a Skier Responsibility Code, and has tips about skiing at high altitudes, as well as information about it’s Mountain Watch program.
Take a Class
Ski resorts offer professional instruction for all ability levels at the mountain ski school. Consider signing up for a class to sharpen skills to become a better rider. Maybe this is the year to jump from skiing blue runs to black, or to learn how to ride a snowboard in the terrain park. Learning new skills can not only be educational, but can add a new level of fun to the vacation.