Standing at the top of a snow covered mountain, looking at a breathtaking view is one of the must-have New Zealand experiences. In New Zealand we are blessed to have some amazing mountains with fantastic ski fields such as Mt Ruapehu, Mt Hutt, Treble Cone, Cardrona, The Remarkables and Coronet Peak! If you’re traveling in New Zealand or are a local, you might find these tips & tricks handy before you head up the mountain!
Tip #1: get into shape
There’s a rush of excitement as you drive to the mountain, get on the chair lift and complete the first run. Your body is bursting with energy and you’re excited for the start of the season so you ski or board hard all day! But when you get to the end of the day (or in my case lunch time) and have your muscles crying out in agony for being used for the first time in months, you’ll then spend the next few days hobbling around. Avoid the day-after-hobble and get a fitness routine in place before you hit the slopes!
If you’re a skier check out this workout:
Snowboarding your thing? Check out these fitness moves for better full body strength:
Make it easier with an app! SkiFit has been developed based on the expertise and experience of the clinical specialists at La Clinique du Sport with skiing in mind.
Tip #2: make sure you have the right gear
If you don’t have the right gear for the slopes, your day can quickly go from ‘fun’ and ‘exciting’ to ‘cold’ and ‘exhausted’. Here are some must-have layers when skiing in New Zealand. If you’re new to skiing, or giving it a go for the first time, no need to buy all the gear, borrow from friends, or hire at the mountain rentals and see how you like it! The key with gear sourcing is to avoid cotton! You want waterproof and breathable clothing when you’re on the mountain. Cotton absorbs everything from snow to sweat and does not dry quickly. Meaning you will start off warm but as soon as you get a little damp you will be cold! If you’ve skied over seas before, it’s important to note that New Zealand snow is different. With a must wetter climate, the temperature drops are felt more than the same temperatures in other countries. Ensure you layer up and check out this list below.
Your gear should include:
- Thermals – top and bottom. These should be light weight, fast drying wool thermals.
- Thin, long ski socks ideally wool
- A fleece jumper as a mid layer
- Waterproof Jacket
- Waterproof Pants
- Neck scarf which can come up to cover your mouth and nose
Top trick: It may be cold up the mountain, but on a bluebird day with the sun shining, it’s easy to get a sunburn. Make sure you put some sun block on your face in the morning and top it up at lunch time.
Tip #3: how to eat cheap on the mountain
It’s a treat to sit on the mountain, on a bluebird day and eat a hot lunch! But as much as I love to be able to buy the delicious smelling food from the cafe, when you’re skiing every other weekend, it does add up to buy food on the mountain every time. Bringing your own snacks and lunch with you can make a huge difference to your ski budget for the season. It’s important to fuel up throughout the day. In general most of us are using a lot more energy skiing then we do in a normal day throughout the week, you’re also cold so require food to keep you going! Some things to consider when you’re thinking snacks are: the size, the squashability and nutrition. Here are our top tips for nutritious, energy packed snacks that are good on the mountain.
Having something small slipped into a jacket pocket which can be easily eaten on the chair lift is a must.
- Muesli bars – something with oats or a nut bar are a great source of slow releasing energy. One Square Meal bars are a good option to keep you going.
- Little chocolate bars – I love the Whittakers snack size.
- Trail mix – make your own and add whatever you like. Almonds, cashews, dried fruit and a bit of dark chocolate is great!
- Peanut Butter slugs – Pics do individually packaged peanut butter slugs. Great to eat on the chair lift and a good source of slow burning energy.
- Bliss balls – you can purchase these in the supermarket there are usually 5 balls in a pack.
Here’s some lunch hacks for a cheap warm meal up the mountain. A thermos is a great investment if you’re looking to save on a bit of cash while you’re skiing.
- Soup – Make a big pot of soup sometime during the week, heat it up in the morning and chuck it in your thermos. Or if you don’t have time during the week, heat up a can or packet in the morning. Bring some bread, or grab a scone to dip and enjoy!
- Hot dogs – Put boiling water in a thermos and chuck in your hot dog sausages. Slice your buns and squirt in your tomato sauce, mustard and cheese. When it’s lunch time simply drain the thermos and put the sausages in buns!
- Egg Sammy – These were my Mum’s snow day staples when we were growing up. Protein packed to keep us going! Most sandwich fillings work well so fill with what you fancy, even if your bread is a little squished, it will still taste delish.
- Chilli – Make up a big batch of American chilli during the week. Heat up on your Bach’s stove in the morning and pop into a thermos. Take up some pita bread to go with it.
- Tuna & Crackers – These are a great cheap, protein packed lunch. You can buy them in pre-made packs with crackers already supplied for a handy pick up and go, or grab a box of crackers and a few tins and do it yourselves. A tin of chicken is also good if you’re not a tuna fan.
- Supplement the lunch – If you still want that cafe something (wedges calling your name?) then you can bring something with you and top up your lunch with something from the cafe. Eg: Bring a sandwich with you and split some fries with the group!
Over to you…
Do you have any go-to ski tips when you’re heading up the mountain? Share them in the comments below!