Don’t be the person on the hill who forgets any of these five crucial items. Check out the list below to ensure that you have all of the essentials for a day on the slopes, as determined by me, a genuine-real-life-person who rides regularly – basically an expert!
This one is often overlooked but dry lips on the chair is probably one of the worst feelings in the world. Knowing there’s no salvation in sight and that you just might have to ask the crusty bro next to you on Sunrise to use his lip balm is an unacceptable option. Be prepared and take care of that smile of yours before it’s too late. Find a lip balm that you like, maybe with some SPF in it (see below for that rant), and hit the slopes with soft lips. Tip: keep a tube ready to go in your bibs or your jacket and leave it there for the duration of the season. You’ll be happy to find it on that bluebird day when your lips feel like sandpaper, trust me.
Yes, it’s incredibly basic and shows up on almost every list out there but that’s because it’s really important! Many people who are religious about sunscreen in the summer become more lax in the winter. I get it, more skin is covered up, the skies are grey – it’s easy to forget, but don’t! Sunscreen is vital all year long, in all sorts of weather conditions. UV rays are more intense at altitude (say at a ski hill perhaps) so your chances of sunburn are higher there than at sea level.
Additionally, that lovely, beautiful light that makes everyone’s skin look great in outdoor photos is the sun reflecting off of the snow. Sure it makes everyone look dreamy, but the snow can reflect up to 80% of the sun’s UV rays, effectively doubling your exposure.
Find a sunscreen that works well with your skin type, one that won’t sweat off immediately, and apply it at least 30 minutes prior to being on the hill. (Don’t be like me, think ahead!) The drive up the canyon is a perfect time to get your ‘screen on, and then you don’t even have to think about it again. Bam! Do it.
This one takes up almost no space in your kit, and can become invaluable when you’re the only person in your group with one. Any wipe for a lens will do, as long as it’s not abrasive to your sunglasses or goggles (this includes paper towel or kleenex – don’t do it!) A soft, microfiber cloth is ideal for the outside of your goggles. Newer models of goggles do not recommend that you wipe the inside of the goggles, so focus on the outside when cleaning them. This really comes in handy for those days when it’s not quite dumping snow, but not bluebird either.
This one is purely for aesthetics – keep a low profile beanie on you at all times! No, this is not for wearing under your helmet (which I find to be bulky and too much heat anyway.) Rather, this is for après at the Thirsty Squirrel! If you’ve had a great day shredding, your helmet hair will tell everyone in the bar faster than you can and it won’t be pretty. Do yourself a favor and make a beanie a part of your mental checklist as you leave your car for the day. Your gnarly helmet hair will offend no more when you swiftly pop into the bathroom before your group finds a table, and swap the helmet for the cute beanie. No one will ever know what a hideous mess you are hiding. Perfect.
You can’t après without an ID in the great state of Utah! Having your ID on you at all times ensures that you’ll be ready when it’s Beer Thirty and won’t be ostracized when you have to trek back to the car for your license. (Extra points lost if you’re doing après in Solitude Village but you parked down by Eagle. See ya’ never!)