Opening day checklist for ski season

Ski season is upon us here in Western Canada, with four Alberta ski resorts open by Nov 11, including Lake Louise and Norquay (as of Nov 3), Nakiska (Nov 4) and Sunshine (Nov 11). Through the month of November, more Alberta ski areas and then BC ski areas will follow suit, until everything is open by mid-December.

Which means it's go time! But are you ready? Our SnowSeekers team has some tips for how to make your opening day of skiing or snowboarding as smooth as possible.

Put in a little advance prep so you can click in and ski away on opening day.

Opening Day ski checklist:

be ready for opening days

While mountain staff scramble to get the slopes ready you should take a look at your gear and make sure you're ready as well.

Nothing worse than a mad dash the morning of your first day on the mountain; this ski and snowboard pre-season checklist will dial you in. 

  • Pick up your season pass, savings card or RFID pre-load card before opening day. Lineups can be madness in the ticketing office, and you may encounter new staff who need a little extra time.

  • Get all your gear our and arrange on the floor. This allows you to inspect your gear while also giving your stuff an opportunity to breathe and air out. Extra points for putting it all on and practising your butter/manual in the living room.

  • Scrape off storage wax and/or get a fresh wax suitable for early season conditions. Get more tips for tuning and waxing here.

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  • Take the liners out of your boots to make sure the foot bed and liners are dry and still in good shape.

  • Wash and dry any soft goods that don't smell nice – the last thing you want is a musty, crusty neck tube against your face all day.

  • Make sure you change out your goggle lens if you need to adjust the tint for November riding.

  • Pack a small rubber-backed mat (welcome mat or bath mat) in your vehicle to rest your foot down on while getting your boots on in the parking lot. Check out this story on more hacks every SnowSeeker should know.

  • Do a warm up before you get on the lift.

Here's a really handy, simple ski warm up from Warren Miller Ski Academy.

  • Have FUN and take it easy. It is the first day of the season, and many get caught up in the excitement and make bad decisions that have repercussions for the whole season. Obey mountain signage, keep your speed in check (with limited terrain, runs are more crowded) and stay on opened runs only (there is a reason they didn't open that tree run). 

Happy Opening Day! Share this with your crew and make sure everyone's dialled in for their first day on the mountain. And be sure to sign up for SnowSeekers enews for the latest updates on snow, skiing and snowboarding, and stoke in Western Canada.

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