The Art of Spring Skiing

Outside of some basic technical facts, there are few rules that apply to skiing in general, but when it comes to spring skiing, there’s a capital advice that should always be considered very seriously: Do it early in the day!

Even if you are on vacation, it’s always worth getting out of bed early. Program your cell phone or your clock radio, so your morning wake up call comes with all the lead time you’ll require to get ready, eat a hearty breakfast (believe me, you’ll need it!) and do everything possible in order to reach the nearest ski lift by opening time.

When you and your gear are ready for some action, with plenty of suntan lotion and a pair of sunglasses on hand to take over your goggles as “eye-wear-of-the-day,” spend some time doing some basic orientation. Ask a resort employee, a ski instructor, a lift attendant or a well-informed front desk clerk to tell you which slopes and ski runs get hit first by the sun.

If you listen carefully and with a tiny bit of common-sense, observation and ability to orient yourself, you should be able to locate the right spot at the right time. That’s right, you want to begin your ski day by visiting the runs that are first on the path of a rising sun. From that point forward, you’ll have to focus your efforts in picking the next ski run, using the principle of “following the sun” and visiting the slopes that are successively receiving the early morning rays, working your way to the next ones and so on, until you have looped the loop and your legs are now begging for some serious rest.

If you follow this advice, you’ll be one of the lucky skiers dashing through corduroy and doing “first tracks” on that heavenly material that never fails to give early-risers a subtle, but out-of-this world “foot massage.” After these “good vibrations,” what comes next is that wonderful stage in which the snow, that was corduroy, becomes perfectly polished and slowly begins to melt so slightly, turning into a magical, creamy substance, long before it becomes spring slush. As you move to your next run, you can repeat this terrific sensory experience.

Lastly, don’t overstay your welcome, know when to fold, and that’s generally much earlier than you usually do or end up doing in most cases. If you get caught muddling through slush at 3 pm, you should probably have quit an hour earlier!

Now, with still plenty of sunny days and acres of gentle spring snow left for you, put all that fine spring skiing strategy to work…

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