Step 1: Before You Head to the Mountain

Before Your Adventure Begins

If you're new to skiing and snowboarding (or winter in general) follow these easy tips to make the most out of your visit to Loon.

Dress in Layers

The best way to stay warm in cold weather is to dress in layers. Start with a wool or synthetic base layer, like long underwear, that will wick sweat away from your skin. On top of that, you'll want to wear a mid-layer for insulation - wool, fleece, or down all work well. Finally, your outer layers - a jacket and pants - should be windproof and waterproof.

Always Wear A Hat & Mittens or Gloves

Your mom always nagged you about wearing a hat, so wear one! You lose a lot of heat from your head, and a hat will keep you nice and toasty. Gloves or mittens are also essential for keeping your hands warm and preventing frostbite. They're also necessary on warm spring days, the snow is very abrasive to your bare skin.

Consider a Helmet

You wear a helmet biking, so why not skiing and riding? A good helmet will not only keep you safe, but it will keep you warm, too.

Wear Sunscreen and Lip Balm

Believe it or not, but a sunny day on the snow can be just as damaging to your skin as a day at the beach. Since snow reflects sunlight, you'll need to wear sunscreen and lip balm to protect yourself from harmful UV exposure, which is stronger at altitude than at sea level.

Goggles and Sunglasses

Whether you want protection from sun or snow, eye protection is essential. During the midwinter months, you'll want goggles to shield your eyes from wind, snow, and sunshine. When it's time for spring skiing, sunglasses will protect your eyes from damaging UV rays.

A Checklist

Do what Santa does by making a list and checking it twice. It's never fun when you realize you've forgotten something at home, so make a list of what you'll need in the mountains before you make the trip. If you do forget something, odds are we've got it at Loon Mountain Sports.

Understand Your Fitness Level

If you're new to skiing and snowboarding, or if it's been a while since you hit the slopes, take it easy at first. You'll be using muscles that haven't seen much action, so pace yourself and don't overdo it.

Warm Up and Cool Down

Your muscles are high-maintenance, so treat them with respect. Warm up before you hit the slopes, and you'll reduce the risk of injury. Cool down at the end of the day, and you'll cut down on muscle stiffness and soreness the next day.

Drink Plenty of Water

You don't have to feel sweaty to be dehydrated. Cold, dry winter weather will drain your body of moisture (think about your chapped lips) which is why you need to hydrate while skiing and riding. You'll also want to stay away from caffeine and alcohol, since both are diruetics that will further dehydrate you. Staying hydrated will keep your muscles limber, and keep you warmer overall.

Eat and Sleep Well

You don't have to be a doctor to understand that proper nutrition and adequate rest are important. Eat healthy meals and get 8 hours of sleep a night, and you'll perform at your best. Eating a healthy, substantial breakfast will keep you fueled in the morning, and regular snacks throughout the day will keep you going strong. A hearty dinner is also a great way to replenish nutrients at the end of the day.

There's nothing quite like grabbing a beer in the Paul Bunyan Room after a day on the slopes, but be sure to drink in moderation. And please don't drink and ski or ride. Alcohol will slow reaction times and place you and others at risk.  

Winterize Your Car

Before you travel to the mountain, make sure your car is ready for the colder alpine environment. Top off all fluids, including antifreeze and windshield washer fluid. Add lightweight winter oil if necessary. If your car is not equipped with snow tires, you should buy and carry a set of tire chains. In time you may want a rooftop rack to carry skis, snowboards or other snow toys.Make sure to zip your car keys into a secure pocket when you leave the car. As a back-up, give an extra set to someone else in your party.