It’s now November, the snow in Steamboat has once again begun to fall and everything seems right with the world. Looking at the white-capped mountain towering above downtown, it appears that conditions are ripe for what will hopefully be an epic winter season.

As I prepare for the first day of skiing, I’m reminded that there are a handful of things I need to get done in order to maximize my enjoyment of the sport. The first of which includes the obligatory equipment check.

Typically I tend to throw things like helmets, gloves and goggles in a bin at the end of the season, only to forget about all summer long. So when I prepare to gear up again, I often need to go through it all and inspect that I’m good to go.

Checking for what my kids may have outgrown and what I have worn out is crucial to kicking things off on a positive note. I’ve made the mistake in the past of grabbing my gear without a proper once-over and regretting it later. So my advice for anyone planning to hit the trails early in the season would be to get your equipment in line now.

The second thing I like to do (better late than never) is make sure my body is ready to tackle the slopes. Skiing can be a bit taxing on one’s physical endurance and so I like to focus on my overall flexibility beginning a few weeks before I get back into skiing shape. I generally maintain decent fitness throughout the year so I don’t often feel the need to increase my workouts a whole heck of a lot. But staying limber and loose is something I’ve found helps immensely. So stretch those hamstrings, touch your toes and keep those calf muscles loose as a way to enjoy a full day of activity on the mountain.

Hopefully, if your equipment is primed & ready and your body is in shape, you’re ready to go. So get yourself psyched, because the 2018/2019 season is about to begin. Giddy Up!

Dave Wittlinger, Alpine skier
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