I got to experience skiing for the first time. I’m going to tell you all the good, the bad and the ugly of my experience skiing in North Carolina. Hopefully, you all can learn from my rookie mistakes.
First of all, let me cover where we stayed. We stayed at Country Inn and Suites in Boone, NC. If you like the hotel experience and being close to a small downtown this would be a great place for you to stay. But just a heads up about the downtown experience, Boone is a VERY small town. When my husband and I went to explore downtown Boone on a Friday night, everything was shut down by 10 pm with the exception of a small handful of bars.
If you are looking for a more authentic mountain experience, I suggest looking into some local cabin rentals. Or even look into Airbnb. Some of our friends stayed one night at the hotel and quickly realized it wasn’t for them. They were able to find a really awesome Airbnb space for the rest of the weekend.
Now for the skiing. The first tip I have for planning your first skiing trip is to try to plan your trip around the weather. The more spontaneous you can be with your ski trip the better. Watch for a fresh snow and cooler weather (below 40 degrees). We planned our trip around a 3 day weekend when we were all available. This 3 day weekend came with 50-degree weather on the slopes. Let me tell you, I was NOT expecting to be drenched (and I mean DRENCHED) in sweat while skiing. Being hot while skiing was super, super frustrating.
Tip #2 for skiing for beginners is to know what gear to bring. For clothing, bring layers and be ready to shed some layers, especially if you go on a warmer day. Believe it or not, you will get hot, you are going to be carrying around heavy gear and walking up and down the hills, and falling up and down the hills. I personally wore sweat resistant leggings, snow pants, a sports bra, long sleeve tech shirt, sweater, water-proof winter coat, gloves and a hat. By the end of the day, I was down to just my leggings, snow pants, sports bra and tech shirt. I was so hot I would have taken off my tech shirt had it not been inappropriate.
Know what gear you want to buy and what gear you want to rent. The basic rule I heard from experienced skiers over the weekend was that you want to wait to buy skis until you’ve been doing it a while. If you are going to buy something a helmet is a good thing to start with. Helmet rentals are generally around $10 (at least at the places I’ve been). You can find a pretty good deal on some helmets on Amazon. You can normally get away with just renting your ski boots, poles, and skis. And remember, the fewer items you have to rent, the less you’ll have to stand in line waiting for gear.
Skiing is no time to be a lady. When my husband first told me how to stop, he told me to do “pizza” by throwing my legs apart and crossing the front of my skis. The biggest mistake I kept making over and over again was putting my knees together when I tried to stop by doing “pizza”. Skiing is no time to be a lady. Throw your legs apart if you want to stop. Otherwise, you will fall over and over again like I did.
Just keep trying and take frequent breaks. Skiing for the first time (unless you are a natural) is going to be frustrating and hard. Just keep practicing and take a break when you get tired. It is pretty exhausting lugging heavy boots and skis around so don’t get discouraged if you get tired pretty quick. It’s just part of the process.
Most importantly have fun!! Enjoy the slopes and laugh at yourself when you fall. Believe me, you won’t be the only one out there falling and awkwardly trying to figure out how to get up. Just have fun with it.