10 new year resolutions for skiers and boarders

If you ski or snowboard and you’re the kind to make New Year’s resolutions then here’s a list just for you for 2018. May the powder be with you.

Take that roadie

You never know when the powder is going to fall so when it does make the most of it, jump in the car, take that roadie, drive those hours to where the powder is, do it alone, do it with friends, find friends on the way, make friends there. Just go. Because you never know what’s going to happen between now and next season, no matter how many excuses there are to stay home on the couch in the warmth of the fire. One day you’ll wish you had simply because you no longer can. Jackson Hole this week, anyone?

Take the singles line every time

Endeavour to meet more people. The singles line in the chairlift is the way to do it. Not only will you get on the chair quicker but you’ll get to ride with strangers who can become friends, you’ll expand your ski horizons, bond over your love of snow and feel more cheerful when you get off at the top. Win win.

Do your boots up

Life is better in the morning when your boots are done up the night before. It’s that simple. Leave them undone at your own foot wrestling peril.

Do that avalanche course

As my year 6 teacher, Mr Foster, used to tell us “don’t think about it, do it.” 2018 is the year to get it done, people.

Be kinder to yourself

So your mate skis the terrain park better than you do and your cousin only wants powder found from a helicopter, while you’re still making your way down the groomed blue runs. It takes all kinds to love life and why wish you were skiing something else while you’re skiing what you’re currently good at. Thank your body for getting you down that slope, feel inspired by, not jealous of, your friends and get out there and rock whatever you do best from pizza pie to French fries, big air and bigger mountain. Know your limits and embrace them.

Get fit before you ski, like, all year before you ski

No more binge and purge, stop and start just weeks before the slopes. Get a fitness program you love, mix it up, then mix it up again and do it all year long. Combine running with hiking with pilates reformer with spin bikes with mountain bikes with stand up paddle boarding, yoga, roller blading, whatever your jam. When the alarm goes off in the morning say one thing to yourself “you got this” then get up on auto pilot, get out, do your jam and we promise you that you won’t regret it. You might just fit into your ski pants each winter too. Yes, I was talking to myself throughout this paragraph.

Stop acting like a privileged white person

This is a hard one. Diversity isn’t skiing’s strong point and those that can afford to ski are automatically privileged. Though some act it out way more than others. Next time you hear yourself complaining about a lift line or a lift pass or the lack of snow or too much snow just remember your privilege. Better yet, invite someone who hasn’t skied before to come skiing with you, pay for them, introduce them to the joy of gliding on snow and ask them to pay it forward.

Embrace the Aldi brigade

Rather than spit on those that dare to wear Aldi on a slope where you think Moncler should be de rigeur, embrace them. Better yet, hug every Aldi wearing person in the lift line, high five them and congratulate them on their frugality because it’s that frugality that allows them to still hand over their first borns to pay for a lift pass. It keeps the industry alive.

Pay it forward

Next time you have to pay a toll at the National Park just quietly pay for the car behind you as a surprise. If you’ve got the cash pay for the lift ticket for the person behind you at the ticket window. Shout some strangers a hot chocolate, help carry the kids skis of the woman you see struggling with all of her children’s gear. Let someone into the lift line ahead of you. Check in more regularly with your mountain friends and see if they are OK. 

Give it back

Reduce your consumerism. Do you really need that new ski jacket? If you do then donate your old one to the homeless to stay warm in winter. Take your own KeepCup or thermos to the snow and fill it with your latte or flat white and reduce your single use of plastics. Think about the environment that gives us ski slopes and donate to Protect Our Winters or WIRES for the orphaned wombats on the highway. Practice gratitude. 

To be honest if you just take on one of these as your mantra for 2018 then you’re living a better life in your own making. Resolutions are harder to achieve and maintain the more of them you have. Mine involve skiing in Antarctica, Greenland and India but realistically I know, time wise, I may only achieve one in the year ahead and for that alone I am grateful.

So grab one from the above or make up your own and have a peaceful new year filled with powder.

See you on the flip side.

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Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of SnowsBest.com. A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017, a former columnist for Mountainwatch and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.

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