I just spent last weekend at, what has become, my home mountain in recent years, Mount Snow. We hit up many of our favorite local spots in the surrounding areas, took in the wine and soup stroll in downtown Wilmington and even visited our, go to, spot for Bloody Mary's, The Bullwheel. There was no shortage of fun, with live music there and at the base, and even though the temperatures soared up to near 90 all weekend long, it felt like we were in peak après ski season form.
I know the current heat wave would suggest otherwise, but winter will be hear before you know it and despite these record high temps here in the east, quite a bit of snow is falling elsewhere across the country in places like Alta, Jackson Hole and Mammoth. A-Basin has even started making snow and who knows with them, they might be open within the next month.
Photo Credit: Bill Leclair
Yes, ski season will be here in the blink of an eye and with that comes après ski season. At this moment, you have to be asking yourself, am I ready? Has my off-season training been demanding enough this summer to prepare me for the rigors or a serious post pow party? If you are having doubts or even if you are not, here are some surefire tips to help you get in shape for après ski season.
Bloodies for Brunch
No good ski day is complete without a hearty and tasty Bloody Mary. Excited from you arrival you became a little too overzealous and downed a few too many on Friday night. Enter the ultimate hair of the dog hangover cure, the Bloody Mary. Complete with all the vitamins and nutrients you need for a day on the slopes and often-times garnished with something excessive like chicken wings or sliders, you'll snap right out of it once it hits your lips. Start getting accustomed to drinking these now though. Although they are tasty and revitalizing, they can be a bit filling. So I encourage you to have at least one every Saturday and Sunday morning around 11 to help prep your stomach for these conditions.
Infuse Your Diet With Nachos, Wings and Burgers
I know, you've been hitting the gym all summer and kept your diet in check just so you could get an ab for the beach. However good this training may be for your body (and your skiing and riding stamina) it does you no good when it comes to après ski. No one at the bar is eating a grilled chicken salad. They're downing fatty, carb-laden foods like nachos, wings and burgers, complimented with copious amounts of beer. To be able to handle this type of dietary intake is a skill that takes practice...and you need to start now. Begin expanding your stomach, that has basically shrunk to the size of a pea this summer, back into carb-load form. So stop ordering the side salad and apple slices now and start eating poutine!
Combine Day Drinking With Exercise
Speaking of getting your body in a shape that's not round, you should continue to train for the actual ski and snowboard aspect of the winter. It is, after all, an athletic activity. However, I highly recommend that instead of a protein shake for recovery, you replace it immediately with an ice cold beer. Day drinking, in and of itself, is a skill but when you add in a full day of gnar shredding that skill is multiplied ten fold. You need to practice this and develop your stamina or the combination of day drinking and skiing/snowboarding will become a lethal one, ultimately limiting your weekend to a few runs and a ton of time on the couch. So go out and grab a case of PBR and start your new exercise regimen now.
Institute Mandatory Shotski Practice With Your Friends
The shotski is the ideal tool for making friends. No matter where you are, if you take your shots from a shotski, there is an instant bond with those you have done it with. However, this is an art, especially when doing this with people who are taller and/or shorter than you. I have seen more alcohol spilled as a result of height differential than in any other situation. No one wants to be "that guy," or girl who commits this party foul. So don't be! Line up some friends or varying sizes and start working on your shotski drinking technigue. You'll have your mojo from last winter back in no time.
Dance...In Your Ski Boots
There is so much that goes into a good apres ski party, and as you know, I am a sucker for live music. Coming right off the mountain and heading to the bar can pose a number of problems, none more annoying than your clunky ski boots. Ski boots be damned, you can't let them ruin a good time, especially when you want to dance like you're Channing Tatum in the movie Step Up. But in your ski boots? Yep! Your moves might be a little choppy. You may lose a toe nail or three. However, that is why you should start now. Get your popping, locking, dropping down pat and begin to pre-numb those toes for the apres ski season. You'll thank me for it in the long run.
Drink Beers in a Hot Tub
Everyone loves to chill in the hot tub after a day on the hill. The hot water relaxes your aching muscles and joints and rejuvenates them for the next day. However, don't sell short the social component of the hot tub and the beers/cocktails that go with it. Let's face it, a prolonged period of time in a hot tub without drinks can wipe you out. Throw in a 6 pack and, you'll really be primed for the next day. Prep for this by getting out there on these cool fall nights and tossing back a few in the old hot tub. You don't want to end up like Zach Galifianakis' character in Out Cold. Trust me, you'll thank me for it in the long run.