By Alexa Owen of Snowpak, the sponsor of this post
It’s just before dawn on a Tuesday morning, and I’m halfway up the Mt. Glory boot pack at the top of Teton Pass.
I’ve been hiking for thirty minutes and am just now finding my way above the tree line.
Panoramic views of the Gros Vente Range across the valley are just coming into sight, and the faintest glow of light is dissipating the darkness.
I’m alone and it’s too cold to take pictures and I know this is a moment that will be lodged in my memory, forever and just for me.
This is solo ski travel – well, one aspect of it.
I’ve been exploring mountains on skis since I was a kid, and whether it’s dawn patrol in the backcountry or singles lines at resorts, going solo is a favorite way for me to travel and ski.
It ignites a sense of adventure and offers opportunities to meet new people. It makes space for quiet time in the mountains. It’s meditation and spontaneity. And it’s just a freakin’ blast.
Here are some tips on how to solo ski travel like a champ, be safe, and have fun doing it.
1. Know where to go on a solo ski trip, and don’t go alone if it seems like a bad idea.
Whether you’re heading to a new resort or into the backcountry, always check out a mountain map for a general idea of what the terrain is like and how to get to the areas best for your ability.
Information centers at resorts employ people to give you the low down on things like this; owners of shops that sell backcountry maps can give you a heads up on what to expect in certain areas.
Before getting to your solo ski trip destination, do some research and learn about different regions and resorts.
2. Ask a local about anything you may need to know as a solo skier:
- Where to find the powder stashes
- When to ski certain trails
- Where to get the cheapest après drafts
Locals love to talk about their home mountains, so ask anything about the people, the place, and the events going on.
Maybe you’ll even get lucky and they’ll take you out for a few tram laps or a night on the town.
3. Gear up with whatever equipment you might need for your solo ski trip.
Be prepared for whatever your solo adventure might throw at you so you don’t have to make a shuttle run to the car to get that extra layer.
Wear your avalanche beacon and pack if there’s a chance you’ll go outside boundary gates; stash a balaclava in your pocket if the weather is calling for high winds at the summit.
This mountain may be very different from what you’re used to at home; gear up accordingly.
4. Make friends…
…especially if you’re solo ski trippin’ to experience a new mountain town culture and big mountain lines.
Talk with people on the chairlift or at the bar; if your ski ability levels are comparable, ask to take a lap together.
This is how connections are made, and it could be the thing that makes your trip.
5. Be flexible with ski trip plans.
One way to craft your solo ski trip is to show up with no plans and just see where things go; another way is to fine tune every detail of what to ski, where to eat, and what to do for nightlife.
I recommend something in between. Look into a few places you definitely want to ski, and make time for exploring events around town.
But if you meet someone in the tram line who tells you about an après yoga class you can’t miss or a rooftop hot tub party with slopeside views of fireworks that night, allow some flexibility to change your plans.
6. Have fun and be safe.
Go it alone because that’s where the adventure lies.
Make friends if you want, or lay low if that’s your forte.
The most important thing is to just go.
*This post was made possible by Snowpak.com
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