Loveland Ski Area – Dustin Schaeffer
A great day skiing and riding on the mountain is commonly enjoyed with friends or family, but that doesn’t mean it always has to be. Skiing or riding by yourself can be just as fun and rewarding experience as going with someone else or a group. If the reason you’ve missed out on a few days this year is that you’ve had nobody to go with, consider following some of these pointers I’m going to give and go by yourself – I assure you, you won’t regret it.
The first thing that totally sets the tone of your day alone is just to embrace it. This is your chance to take it all in, get better, and go enjoy the mountain at your leisure. You’ll be on your own time schedule. If you approach the day with a bad attitude or with the mindset that you’re not going to have as good of a time, then you’re setting your day up for failure.
Enjoy the Preparation
Because you’re on your own time schedule, you can take as little or as much time as you want to get ready in the morning and getting to the mountain. That is, only if you are your own transportation; otherwise, you may be on the time schedule of a bus transportation service. If you are driving yourself to the mountain you can wake up when you choose, enjoy that cup of coffee, and make a hearty breakfast if that’s how you like to start your ski days. You can completely eliminate the morning stress that sometimes comes with a ski day with a group of people. If you are using a bus transportation service, you can still enjoy all these things, you might just have to set your alarm accordingly.
Appreciate the Drive, Don’t Dread it
I know that for many, the biggest hassle of going skiing or riding is finding the right transportation method. Either you don’t have a reliable vehicle, or you just don’t like driving. If you don’t have a reliable vehicle, then you may have to rely on a bus transportation service. Either way, it’s critical to enjoy the drive. I mean, it’s hard not to, but whether you’re driving or not, take the time to take in your surroundings. The Rocky Mountains have some of the most beautiful sights in the world and really taking the time to appreciate them will create a positive outlook on the day. It doesn’t hurt to listen to your favorite music playlist or a good podcast either.
Set Some Goals for Yourself
It’s always good to set goals for yourself, whether you’re going by yourself or with others. However, it may be easier to accomplish the goals that you set when you’re out there all by yourself. You may not have the competition aspect of pushing yourself against your friends or family, but you can always compete with yourself and try things you haven’t before. That doesn’t mean ski or ride irresponsibly and do anything unsafe, but you can always find little ways to improve.
If you have the Ikon Pass, you can use their new app to track your day; this will allow you to see what runs you hit and how many times you hit them, how fast you went on each run, what lifts you took, how many miles you’ve traveled, how many vertical feet you’ve gained and how many hours you’ve been skiing. This can be a helpful tool when setting specific goals.
Take Your Time, Take It All In
As much as you still want to push yourself, it’s okay to take your time. It’s all about finding the right balance. You have no one that you’re waiting on and nobody that’s waiting on you, so ski or ride the mountain at your leisure. If that means stopping frequently to snap a cool picture, go for it. If it means taking an extra-long lunch to enjoy the day’s weather, all the power to you. It’s your day to enjoy. And just because you’re out there by yourself, doesn’t mean you can’t make some new friends. The days I’ve gone by myself are when I find myself the most social and having the best conversations with strangers on the lifts. Going by yourself also means you can call it a day whenever you want, obviously unless you are relying on a bus service to transport you home.
Après-Ski as You Please (Responsibly, Of Course)
It was your day to enjoy the mountain, so it’s your day to après-ski as you please. If you like to enjoy the end of your ski days with an après-ski drink, then have at it, but just remember to drink responsibly, especially if you are driving. If your idea of après-ski is ordering a bunch of appetizers at the lodge and pigging out, that’s a good option too. Whatever your idea of après-ski is, enjoy it because it can be a great ending to a great day. Just remember to keep track of time if you are one of the skiers or riders using one of the bus transportation services.
Reflect on Your Day
The drive home can be just as enjoyable as the drive to the mountain, even if it’s dark outside. If you’re driving yourself, you can take the time to mentally reflect on your day and how you went about accomplishing the goals you set for yourself. If you’re not driving yourself, you can also reflect on your day but without the hassle of driving. If you think you got some good footage of the day, you can take this time to look back and see how it turned out. I tend to think if you don’t reflect back on your day in some way, you are missing the opportunity to better prepare yourself for the next time you get out on the mountain.
The moral of the story is, just cause you’re not going with friends or family, doesn’t mean you can’t have a great day. I guarantee if you follow these simple pointers, you’ll find yourself really enjoying skiing or riding by yourself, barring no major issues. So, get out there and give it a try. Besides, the more days you can spend on the mountain the better.