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BellaOnline's Winter Sports Editor

First Ski Day Of The Season

There are not many ski areas open this early in the winter season, but the few runs that are open still offer an opportunity to get on your skis and clear the cobwebs. Before you go charging out onto the ski slopes, consider these tips that will make your first day on skis more enjoyable.

Dress appropriately. Folks often have the tendency to overdress or under dress for the conditions. Either one can make your day miserable. Looking at the weather forecast the day prior will help you determine your layering choices. Alpine skiing can be hard to dress for as you are typically experiencing some wind chill while riding up the lift, yet work up a sweat while skiing down. If your first day out typically consists of groomed runs, dressing in moderate layers will probably be best. Donít forget to ditch the cotton in favor of synthetic layers. That goes for not only shirts and long underwear, but for socks too.

Check your gear. Just rounding up your ski gear could require a serious effort. Skis, boots and poles may be hard to find, depending on the organizational effort put into your garage or storage space. Do your skis need waxing? Do your bindings need to be checked for proper release settings? Dropping off your skis and boots at a local ski shop to get these things taken care of could save you from misery and injury.

Find your soft goods. Have you an exact recollection of where your ski clothes, hats, gloves, goggles, and neck gator are located? If you do, youíre already ahead of the game. If you donít, you may want to start looking for those items now, so youíre ready to go when the slopes are calling.

Prepare the car. Do you have seasonal ski racks you need to put on? What about studded or winter tires? If you have all season tires, consider rotating them before the onslaught of winter. This will give you more stability in your steering and traction and ensure that you make it to the slopes. Maybe leave a small shovel in your car for the season, just in case you get stuck in the snow.

Take it easy your first day out. It takes time to get your skiing feet and legs comfortable. Rest before you get tired, drink plenty of fluids, and bring a few snacks that will fit in your coat pockets. If your ski boots start bothering you, seek help from the nearest ski shop to alleviate any discomfort.

These tips will help make your first day of the ski season a fun event, as opposed to a stressful one. My mantra before leaving the driveway isÖskis, boots, poles, ski pass. Whatever helps you to get out the door and go skiing is worth trying!

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