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Category Archives: Winter Sports

Spring Break Ski Trip Tips

spring break skiSpring break is virtually synonymous with places like Daytona Beach, South Padre Island, Cancun, and other warm weather destinations. However, not everyone desires the sand, surf, and teeming hordes of students at this time of year, which is why ski trips are becoming increasingly popular among spring breakers. If you’d rather party in the mountains than in more traditional locales, check out these spring break ski trip tips we’ve collected here.

  • Gather the whole gang together: Try to book travel and accommodations for as large a group as possible to reduce individual expenses. Once at your destination, you can decide whether to break up into smaller groups and go your own way or stick together.
  • Look for lift ticket discounts: Paying full price for lift tickets can really eat into your budget, so look for discounts wherever you can find them. Buying in advance, purchasing group packages, and taking advantage of birthday specials are just a few ways to get a better deal.
  • Check the weather forecast frequently and dress for the conditions: Being underdressed for a day of skiing or snowboarding is the quickest way to kill the fun. Avoid this problem by checking the weather forecast before you go out and dressing in layers. Wear a battery-heated vest or gloves for adjustable warmth all day long, and use an electric boot and glove dryer to make sure your gear is ready for the next day as well.
  • Take lessons before hitting the slopes: Chances are not everyone in the group is a competent skier, so we recommend taking lessons first in order to help prevent injuries. Most resorts offer beginner classes for complete newbies, as well as refresher courses for those that simply need to review the fundamentals.
  • Spend time away from the mountain: Many top ski destinations offer a wide range of off mountain activities at this time of year. From beer, film, and food festivals to shopping, sightseeing, and a variety of nightclubs, you’ll find something appealing for everyone in the group.

Do you and your friends want an alternative to the usual spring break scene? Then skip the beach and use the above tips to help plan an unforgettable ski trip instead.

Tips for a Better Ski Season

couple_skiAre you going skiing for the first time ever this winter or are you returning to the slopes after a long absence? Did you get some new ski gear for Christmas that you’re looking to break in? If so, you might be tempted to book a room at the nearest lodge and get on the mountain as soon as possible. But rushing out before reviewing our tips could lead to discomfort, disappointment, or maybe even injury, so read on to learn how to enjoy a better ski season.

Give yourself time to acclimate to the environment
When spending several days at a ski resort, it would be a good idea to give your body time to adjust to the cold weather and higher altitude. Instead of skiing on the first day, try alternate activities such as taking in the sights, walking around town, or even running or stretching in the lodge gym. Then turn in early for a good night’s sleep to be sure you’re completely refreshed and ready to ski the next morning.

Use gift cards instead of carrying cash
These days many resorts offer gift cards that can be used for everything from equipment rentals to food and drinks. Gift cards are better than cash because they do not get soggy or unusable after being in your pocket all day long and are more convenient than credit cards because they don’t yield personal financial information if they get lost or stolen.

Pack light and pack well
No one wants to be encumbered with a bunch of suitcases as well as skis, poles, helmet, and boots, so pack light but well for your trip. To reduce bulk, wear battery heated apparel like our heated base layer, heated puffy vest with zip-on sleeves, heated socks, or heated gloves. And use our heated boot and glove dryer to ensure you don’t have to pack double the gear in order to have dry equipment every day.

Ask for resort packages, discounts, and coupons
Most resorts offer special deals—even during peak season—to entice skiers to their slopes. For example, some places will throw in free rentals when you book rooms, while others might give lodging and lift ticket discounts for large groups. A few resorts even provide checked baggage reimbursement vouchers for guests to offset the extra fees airlines typically charge for checking skis.

Keep safety in mind
Beginners should take lessons before attempting any run on their own, and regardless of skill level, nobody should try to get in “one last run” when they are tired or sore or the lighting or weather conditions are poor. For a successful ski trip, safety must remain a priority at all times.

Quick Tips for a Great Family Ski Trip

family skiingTaking a family ski trip can be a fun and exciting way to break up the otherwise monotonous days of winter. But as all good parents know, any activity involving children must be carefully planned out beforehand in order to avoid potential problems that could spoil the whole day. So before you book accommodations and buy lift tickets, check out these quick tips for having a great family ski trip:

  1. Choose a ski resort with the facilities and amenities best suited to your familys needs. Not all resorts cater to the same kind of clientele, so you’ll need to do some research to verify that your desired destination is geared towards families. Depending on your children’s ages and experience levels, this could mean anything from offering free entry for kids and child-friendly lifts to having wide terrain, gentle slopes, toboggan runs, or supervision/babysitting available to guests.
  2. Dress for the weather. The quickest way to derail a fun day on the slopes is to be underdressed for the elements, so be sure to check the local forecast regularly and prepare accordingly. Layering is always a smart move, especially when you combine base garments with Gerbing Gyde battery heated jackets, fleece vests, and gloves. Battery heated clothing is ideal for children because of the ability to manage the heat output and make adjustments up or down as the day becomes colder or warmer.
  3. Have the kids take lessons before sending them out on the slopes. If your kids are relatively inexperienced, then the first order of business should be to enroll them in the resort’s ski school. Beginner’s lessons can last anywhere from one to two hours, and will give your kids enough technique and confidence to tackle the bunny hill on solo runs for the rest of the day.
  4. Be willing to cut the day short if need be. No parent wants to admit defeat, especially after ski and boot rentals and lift tickets have been paid for. But if things clearly aren’t going well—due to bad weather, general crankiness, or similar reasons—and aren’t likely to improve quickly, be willing to call it a day and return to the lodge or home earlier than expected. You might lose out on some cash, but preserving everyone’s sanity and preventing injuries is more important in the end.

Before booking your next family ski trip, take the time to research resorts, order Gerbing Gyde battery heated apparel from CozyWinters, and schedule lessons first. Doing these things, along with being flexible with your expectations, will help ensure your family has a trip to remember.

Early Prep for Ski Season

prepare for ski seasonAt most major ski resorts in the US, the official start of the season tends to fall somewhere in mid to late November—still a couple months away. But if you wait for Thanksgiving or the sight of snow on the ground to begin prepping for ski season, chances are you’ll find yourself scrambling to fix broken gear, buy new apparel or equipment, and book lift tickets and lodging before the choice dates sell out.

In that kind of rush something important invariably gets overlooked, which can lead to a miserable time on the slopes or even missing out entirely on prime skiing days. To prevent either of these fiascos from ruining what should be the best time of the year, here are 5 things you can do to prep for ski season right now:

  • Take your equipment out of storage and inspect it for fit, wear, and damage. Even if you took the time to store your skis, board, boots, goggles, and poles in accordance with manufacturer recommendations, some unforeseen mishap might have occurred in the past several months. Now is a good time to visually inspect your ski equipment, and repair or replace gear as necessary.
  • Try on your ski apparel to ensure everything still fits properly. Ski jackets and pants that felt fine last season might be too snug or too roomy if you’ve gained or lost weight in the past year. In addition, growing children will likely need new apparel, and discovering this early enough will allow you to take advantage of pre-season sales. You may also wish to upgrade from regular ski apparel to Gerbing Gyde heated jackets and gloves, available at, to help you stay warm even in the coldest conditions.
  • Get your fitness program going. Skiing is much more fun (not to mention bearable) when you’re physically fit enough to handle the challenges associated with spending a whole day on the slopes. If you’ve been letting your exercise program slide, get back on the ball by running, biking, performing squats and lunges, and doing planks and other moves targeting your lower body and core.
  • Sign up for a refresher lesson or two. If you’re still a novice or recreational skier, it’s probably a good idea to sign up for a couple of lessons before tackling the slopes on your own. This will help refresh your memory on form and technique, as well as give you the confidence you need to handle tougher mountains and trails.
  • Buy your lift tickets and lodging in advance. This tip applies primarily to folks intending to ski at the most popular resorts in the country or at smaller resorts during peak weekends. If you already know that you’ll be in Park City or Breckenridge on certain dates, or that your family will only be able to get away during Christmas break, then plan accordingly and try booking tickets and lodging as soon as the resort starts accepting reservations.

Even though it’s still September, ski season is getting closer by the day. Make sure you’re ready for it by getting a jump on the early prep work listed above.

How to Recuperate After Skiing

Whenever you engage in vigorous exercise or sports such as skiing and snowboarding, you run the risk of suffering from pain and stiffness after the activity. Known as delayed onset muscle soreness (or DOMS), this is not a serious condition; however, it can interfere with your ability to walk, climb stairs, or even sit comfortably for the next few days.

While there is no surefire way to prevent DOMS—even the most highly conditioned athletes can experience soreness depending on how hard or how long they go—you can reduce the associated pain and speed up recovery time by trying one or more of these treatment options:

  • ski snowboard sore musclesTake an over-the-counter medication such as Advil (ibuprofen), naproxen sodium (Aleve), or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug to reduce swelling and provide temporary pain relief.
  • Gently stretch or foam roll any sore spots in your calves, quads, hamstrings, or IT band. You can find general stretching and foam rolling instructional videos on YouTube, as well as routines designed especially for skiers.
  • Soak in a hot bath or jacuzzi or sit in a sauna to loosen tight muscles, promote circulation, and promote recovery.
  • Replenish your body’s energy stores by eating balanced, nutritious meals and drinking lots of water in the days following your ski run. Fruits (especially cherries, bananas, melons, and pineapple), complex carbs (rolled oats, brown rice), and lean protein (poultry, fish) have been shown to have positive effects on DOMS, while adequate hydration is always a key to recovery.
  • Follow the RICE treatment protocol (rest, ice, compression, elevation) for muscle soreness that persists for more than three days. If you suspect that your pain is being caused by something more serious than DOMS, stop all strenuous activity and see a doctor as soon as you can.

Skiing and snowboarding are tough on your body, so don’t be surprised if you need to spend a few days recuperating after each session on the mountain. Just be sure to use some of the above treatment ideas to relieve your exercise induced muscle soreness and help you get back on the slopes as soon as possible.

Most Underrated Ski Resorts in America

You don’t have to be a snow enthusiast to know that Aspen, Jackson Hole, Park City, and Lake Tahoe are home to some of the most popular ski resorts in the country. These are the kinds of places that host the Winter X-Games every year and have A-list celebrities posing for pics on every slope.

Unsurprisingly, they’re also outrageously expensive and always teeming with people, which can make your skiing or snowboarding experience less than ideal. Rather than put yourself through that kind of hassle, check out these underrated ski resorts instead:

Black Mountain – Jackson, NH

Black Mountain is a family friendly resort located about 150 miles north of Boston. It receives plenty of fresh powder every year, caters to all ages and ability levels, and offers tremendous value for price-conscious skiers. With lift ticket and rental packages as low as $41, it’s hard to find a better bargain for similar terrain.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGrand Targhee Resort – Alta, WY

With Jackson Hole in the neighborhood, Grand Targhee doesn’t get nearly as much traffic as it deserves. The resort lays claim to a vertical drop of 2,270 feet, groomed Nordic skiing and snowshoeing trails, and unbeatable views of the western Tetons every step of the way. And if you can’t make it this winter, don’t worry. Grand Targhee has a summer season that spans from June to September.

Bridger Bowl – Bozeman, MT

An annual snowfall of 350 inches ensures that the 2,000-acre Bridger Bowl resort remains a skier or snowboarder’s paradise all winter long. Reasonable pricing, the variety of terrain, friendly locals, and the college town atmosphere of Bozeman (home to Montana State University) make this a great destination for your next getaway.

Silverton Mountain – Silverton, CO

Calling all experts: if you haven’t spent a day at Silverton Mountain yet, you’re really missing out! This resort limits the number of visitors to 100 daily, which means you’ll have its 1,800 acres of prime powder practically to yourself. But you won’t find any groomed runs or cut trails among those acres, so your ability level must be up to snuff. Guided, unguided, and heli-ski packages are available through advanced reservations only.

While these resorts might not have the same widespread cachet as their more luxurious counterparts, the quality snow, underpopulated slopes, and budget-friendly pricing make them attractive alternatives, so consider them for your next outing.

5 Tips for Taking Care of Ski Boots

Now that ski season is in full swing, you’re taking advantage of every opportunity available to you to head to the mountains and carve up the slopes. This means your gear will be getting used on a fairly regular basis for the next few months, and will require lots of maintenance to ensure top performance. Ski boots in particular always suffer plenty of abuse, so here are 5 care tips that will help them last through this winter and beyond:

  1. dry guyRemove the liners after each use to wash them by hand and/or let them air dry. This will prevent bacteria from building up in the lining fabric and producing foul odors. When quicker turnaround is needed, use a boot dryer like the DryGuy DG1 Boot & Glove Dryer from CozyWinters to take care of the process in record time. If desired, follow up with a Febreeze-type fabric spray to enhance the fresh, clean scent.
  2. Similarly, wipe down the inside of your boot shells after each use to dry them out and inhibit mold growth.
  3. Use clean and dry socks at the beginning of each ski session. Reusing dirty socks is the quickest way to introduce funk to your boots and erase all the good you did by washing the liners and cleaning the shells.
  4. Avoid walking in your ski socks in public areas in the lodge, including the lobby, lounge, and cafeteria. The floors in those spaces are typically filthy, and can contaminate your socks—and then your boots—in short order.
  5. Be careful about potential wear and tear on the toes and heels of your boots. These are the areas that get locked down into your bindings, so any damage in the form of dings and dents could end up affecting the boot’s secure fit on your skis as well as their ease of release.

Spending just a few minutes tending to your ski boots after each outing will keep them looking (and smelling) good all season long, so follow the above tips and be extra mindful about how you treat your footwear.

Gearing Up for Ski Season

Winer woman skiNow that winter is in full swing across the country, it’s finally time to welcome back the skiing season. If you’re brand new to the sport, here are the minimum gear and training requirements you’ll need before getting started:


The purpose of skiing apparel is to keep you warm and dry in all kinds of weather without inhibiting your range of motion. To accomplish this, we suggest:

  • A base layer made of moisture-wicking “performance” fabric
  • A mid-weight layer made of fleece or a similar material
  • Long skiing socks to help provide ankle and arch support while eliminating chafing from boots
  • Waterproof and windproof ski jacket and pants for warmth and protection against the snow
  • Waterproof gloves
  • Knit cap or beanie

If you’re going out on a particularly cold day, you might also consider using a battery-heated vest or battery-heated gloves for an extra level of comfort in the extreme conditions.


Newcomers to skiing are encouraged to rent equipment the first few times out to ensure that they enjoy the sport sufficiently enough to warrant investing in their own gear. However, if you want to buy your own equipment now, be prepared to purchase:

  • A pair of Skis with bindings
  • Ski boots
  • Ski helmet
  • Goggles

In addition, a boot and glove dryer like the DryGuy DG1 Widebody model we carry at CozyWinters is ideal for quickly drying your apparel and equipment during full-day or multi-day excursions.

Fitness and conditioning

Skiing is a physically demanding sport, even if you stick to the beginner’s slopes. While you don’t have to be in Olympic shape to begin skiing, it would be very beneficial to take a few weeks to work on your fitness and conditioning to reduce your chances of injury. Specifically, we recommend exercises that:

  • Strengthen your core
  • Improve your balance
  • Strain your cardiovascular system
  • Increase your agility
  • Tax your endurance


First-timers should make it a point to take lessons before tackling the slopes for solo runs. Beginner’s sessions cover basic yet important techniques such as how to balance on the skis, shift your weight, turn, stop, fall safely, and stand up after falling.

Having a fantastic first experience with skiing naturally increases your chances of digging the sport and making many return trips to the mountains. To give yourself the best shot of producing these results, be sure to gear up according to the above recommendations before you go.

Follow the Snow

Most people can’t wait for winter to give way to the warmth of spring and summer, but skiers and snowboarders are a different breed. They exult in the cold and snow, and usually can’t make it through an entire off-season without indulging in their favorite activity at least one more time.

Of course the challenge is finding a suitable venue for skiing or snowboarding when temperatures are in the high-90s across most of the country. Fortunately, if you’ve got the cash and vacation time, you can follow the snow to these amazing locales:

North America

The two best places for summer skiing in North America are Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada, and Palmer Glacier on Mount Hood in Oregon. Whistler Blackcomb, which is suitable for intermediate and advanced skill levels, offers glacier skiing from June to August, while Palmer Glacier is open to the public from May to September.

follow the snow summer skiing portillo chile resortSouth America

Summer in the Northern Hemisphere means winter in the Southern Hemisphere, so for a true cold-weather snow experience, pack up your SporTube snowboard case and head south of the equator.

There are plenty of major ski resorts in South America to choose from, but the most popular ones include Portillo and La Parva in Chile and Bariloche and Cerro Bayo in Argentina. These resorts run the gamut in terms of powder quality, terrain, and off-piste options, and also vary in their degree of family-friendliness and cost, so do your research before you go.


The Alps are a terrific downhill skiing and snowboarding destination all year round, and can be accessed via world-class resorts in Switzerland, Austria, France, and Italy. Norway also offers exciting winter sport opportunities, so don’t leave Scandinavia off your list of locations to investigate.

Tips for Storing Ski/Snowboard Gear

ski storage rackMid-April means the end of another awesome ski and snowboard season for most parts of the country. You’ve had your fun out on the slopes every weekend for the past several months, and are already counting down the days until winter returns and you can get back to ripping or shredding. But in order to make sure you’re ready to go at the first sign of snowfall next November or December, it’s important to store your gear properly. Here’s how to do it:

  • Take your skis or snowboard to your favorite pro shop for a full tune-up (or do it yourself if you have the tools and know-how). The purpose of the tune-up is to clean the base, shave nicks, remove burrs, sharpen the edges, and apply a fresh coat of wax to help seal in moisture and inhibit excessive drying.
  • Store your skis or board neatly in a clean, dry place to prevent rust and other damage. We recommend using a product like the wall-mounted multi-storage rack available at instead of simply stacking your gear on the concrete floor of your garage or basement.
  • Wash and dry all snow jackets, snow pants, socks, gloves, and neck gaiters, and store the items together to make them easier to find next season.
  • Scrub your ski or snowboard boots with a soft bristled brush and a mild liquid detergent to remove dirt, mud, grease, and grime. Then thoroughly dry them with an electric boot and shoe dryer from PEET, Chinook, DryGuy or another trusted brand before storing them in a closet or on a wall rack. You might also want to throw a scented dryer sheet into each boot or give them a quick squirt of Febreeze to help maintain freshness.

Taking the extra time and money to clean, maintain, and store your ski or snowboard gear properly is never as much fun as using the equipment on your favorite mountains or trails, but is critical to good performance and durability. Follow the above tips before stowing everything away to help ensure your gear is in great shape next winter.