Ski Tips #2

Here’s a follow up to a past post Ski Trip Logistics, which includes some very important tips learned from a decade plus of driving to and visiting various ski resorts from my home in Denver.

Tip #1. If you need to rent boards or skis – never, ever rent from the resort’s rental place, unless you want to waste half of your morning waiting in lines. This is especially important for families and large groups.

I was at Copper Mountain with a friend last weekend who needed to rent a snowboard. I had a complimentary rental pass, so of course it made sense to use it. Almost one hour had passed from the time he entered his info at the kiosk, signed the forms, got fitted for boots and then waited in the board/ski rental line pictured here. Fortunately we were early and staying overnight so we didn’t lose valuable mountain time, but these crowds and lines are a major time eater.

If you’re a visitor to Colorado and renting a car, stop at one of the many rental places in Denver or off Interstate 70. Downtown Denver I visit Sports Authority at 10th and Broadway. Even easier, I recommend Maison De Ski in Idaho Springs.

Masion De Ski is at exit 241 off I-70, just a few blocks on the right. You park right in front, get fitted and geared up quickly and get back on the road. It’s far faster than the long lines at the resorts. They’re open late for returns too, and across the street from one of my favorite Colorado restaurantsMarion’s of the Rockies, (a great breakfast stop,) I took this photo in the summer, which is why it says “Raftmasters.” They do river excursions in the summer season.

If you’re taking a shuttle directly to a mountain town you still have options. Visit an off site location like Christy Sports. Again less crowds, sometimes cheaper and easy in and out. A sidebar on Christy Sports: I prefer to call them “Christy Ski Rentals and Patio Furniture,” because one time I wandered in looking for a stopwatch and they informed me they were not a sporting goods store – contrary to their name. They did have a nice teak eight piece patio set for well over $1,000, but I was looking for a stopwatch, and figured a store with “sports” in the name might sell such a thing. Wrought iron tables are not sporting goods.

Tip #2. I like organization, but with all the items needed for a mountain trip it can be difficult to keep track of and remember it all. If you’re a family heading for a day trip or longer no doubt you’ll have packed lots of gear – including gloves, hats, mittens, goggles, warmers, snowpants, hats, extra long sleeve shirts, sunscreen, face mask, bottled water, powerbars and lots of other riding accessories. That’s a LOT of small stuff to keep track of. And if you have kids I’d bet a third of it will be scattered all over the place or lost.

My tip: I keep ALL of these items together in one large old duffel bag. Solo travelers, couples or large families should do the same.

I never forget anything, and if I do lose an item along the way, (like a hat or glove,) it’s no big deal because I have extras. No buying 50 dollar gloves last minute. Also it prevents your essential items from getting scattered around the hotel room or car, or falling in between the car seats or out the door when getting in and out.

When friends come to visit from out of state I tell them not bring all the small accessories since I have extras of everything that I’ve collected over the years.

This duffel bag is in my front closet, so when I need warm gear for a ski weekend, winter snowshoe hike, or a cold spell in the city it’s all there ready- rather than of scrounging around various closets for each item. If you’re airline loses this en route to Colorado I’ll borrow you mine.

Related: Ski Trip Logistics

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