The night before skiing a new mountain is like the night before Christmas. The fresh powder calling your name for first tracks. Ski resorts are some of the most magical places on Earth, but there is so much to do and see. Take it from someone who has been lucky enough to have so many winter adventures; here is how to explore a new mountain!
1. Do your research
All the resorts provide plenty of information about the mountain and village on their websites. While you will be given more than enough information from the travel&co team, you can get a feel for the vibe through the website. Have a look on the trail and village maps to get your bearings. Special shoutout to the programmes such as Big White’s virtual mountain tour that give you the true experience.
2. Find a local
Most ski resorts have local staff trekking around most of the time. Panorama’s Mountain Friends, Silverstar’s Free Guided Mountain Tours and more offer daily tours up to twice a day to show you the best parts of the mountain for your ability. All the resorts also have friendly ski patrollers, lift operators and ski instructors who happily will share the best places and trails, do not be afraid to have a yarn with them.
3. Start on the central lift
Most resorts have a central lift which is close to the village. This often has some simple greens and blues (as well as being close to the magic carpet) to warm up and get started on. Get a feel for the snow, then lead out into the higher and wider lifts. Make sure you check off the top lift before you go, it provides the best views!
Bonus! Take the lift slow, and focus on watching as you sit down! These new lifts can come in quick and slow down as they arrive, keep your eyes on your seat and let it pick you up! Mistakes have been made previously, you have been warned!
Take some the day or morning before to discuss with your ski buddies some areas you want to get to. Going with the flow is awesome, but having a basic idea of which lifts you want to hit ensures you don’t get lost out of your depth. While internationally, most resorts use the green, blue, black scale, they may not be rated the same. From experience, New Zealand runs are categorised easier than others, so when beginning off, start off of some greens and work up as you warm up.
5. Find an on-mountain coffee spot
Check out the trail map and find a couple coffee spots to try and hit during the day. Not only does this give you a chance to take a breathe with some yummy food, but also provides a path for more trails to explore. This is perfect for extending your runs and finding some new favourites.
6. Take it day by day
The best way to explore a new mountain is to add on a new lift or couple runs a day. Don’t expect to know the whole mountain in one day. It can be so overwhelming, especially when there never seems to be enough time. Continue to plan your days, find new views and coffee spots. Slowly you will find yourself being an expert!
7. Have fun!
Smile wide, breathe deep and enjoy being on the mountain! No one has time to hit every single trail and there is nothing wrong with repeating your favourites. Stick to the trails that you enjoy but don’t be afraid to push yourself! Get out there, get amongst it and fall in love with the mountain.
Hopefully you can take something from this and have learnt some tips for how to explore a new mountain!
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