Written by @HammockLiving

I grew up in Florida and not in a skiing family. After living in LA for nearly nine years, I’ve finally (in my, let’s just say, early 30’s) hit the slopes. After record rain and snowfall in and around LA over the past months and especially the past week, some friends pulled together a last-minute trip to Big Bear, about two hours east (without traffic). We hit the road after work on Friday for a weekend in the (rented) cabin. Trying skiing only for the first time as a grown adult, here are some of my big takeaways:

Key Tips for Beginners 

  • If you don’t have gear, buy cheap stuff to get you through the weekend. Or rent it. I opted out of the $140 pants and went for the $40 overalls, and I gotta say, they did me right. I’m kind of obsessed with overalls now – you don’t have to worry about your pants slipping down, layers riding up, snow creeping in, etc. They are not flattering, by any means, but this is about efficiency, not style (at least for your first time).
  • Take Ibuprofen before you even start skiing, or at least with lunch. Your whole body – especially your lower half – will HURT. The boots suck after six+ hours, there’s just no way avoiding that. Your muscles will ache. You’re going to want to get ahead of all that as much as possible. And stay hydrated (we chose beer + water).
  • You were so excited. You didn’t think twice about buying the two-day pass. Now, after day one, you question that decision deeply. But don’t jump to conclusions. One day at a time. if you have Jacuzzi access, use it. And go to bed early.
  • When you wake up, you may realize you’re not as sore as you thought you might be, because YOU’RE AN ATHLETE. Eat a big breakfast, and get back on the mountain. Day two awaits.
  • Stick with people who share your level of skill. You don’t want to be holding back others who could be shredding gnar (is that a ski term?) on steeper slopes, and you don’t want to be heldup by slower skiers yourself – you have a lot to practice. Buddy up with someone with a similar ski sense, and go practice that pizza!

The first four hours of day two are GREAT. You’re building on what you learned yesterday and getting more and more comfortable and brave. Then your muscles just stop working. Your thighs are tired and your calves are screaming. Perfect time to find yourself a hammock and kick your feet up!

man hammocking in the snow on a mountain

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Belinda Neff