A beautiful sunny morning as the first rays of sun kiss your face warming your frosty breath, maybe the fresh snow squeaks beneath your feet. You smile and breath deep the cold air into your lungs.
Finally, the ski holiday has started, the lifts have started whirring but there’s still over an hour before making the first fresh turn. Why? No lift pass, no ski instructor and no skis, just queues…
Spending a little time planning your ski day can save hours of wasted time standing in queues and getting you ski group sorted each morning. Snopro is all about making your ski holiday simple and stress-free so we’ve compiled our insider’s guide to getting the most out of your ski day.
Before you head to the slopes
Getting everything prepared and booked before you head up to the ski fields is a guaranteed time and stress saver. Take an hour the day before you start skiing just to make sure everything is organised. That way you can get a full day on the slopes with no faff.
Pre-buy a lift pass
***July 2019 Update! Snopro now delivers your Cardrona Pass with Ski Rental see Ski Passes Delivered post.***
Buying and collecting lift passes the evening before is crucial. Everyone needs a ticket to ride so you can bet there will always be a queue first thing in the morning for this item.
In Queenstown and Wanaka you can purchase lift passes from the in town ski resort offices. It’s a wise move to plan how many days you will be skiing as buying multi-day passes will save money. Generally, a 6-day pass offers the largest saving.
Lift tickets for Coronet Peak and The Remarkables can be collected from The Snow Centre. As both resorts are run by NZSki you can use one pass at both resorts.
Ski rental locked and loaded
You are in the right place for easy seamless ski rental in Queenstown and Wanaka. Ask anyone and they are going to tell you to prepare ski rental equipment before heading up the mountain. The on mountain ski rental shop is a busy place in the morning and while they are set up to deal with high footfall you are still going to have to wait.
Experienced ski technicians, like our staff at Snopro, know that it is not easy to fit ski boots among crowds of keen excited skiers. Save yourself the trouble of queues and ill-fitting boots that will have you crawling back to the ski shop while you should be skiing, be prepared.
It can take a while for large groups to get kitted up and keeping track of everything inside a cramped busy rental shop is no fun, for anyone.
Snopro deliver ski equipment the afternoon you arrive in town, you don’t even need to step foot outside your accommodation. Get ski and snowboard equipment expertly fitted safe in the knowledge you will be ready to go once you set off in the morning.
Should you get a private ski lesson?
Have you ever thought of booking a private ski lesson to get more bang for your buck… or carve for your cash….or moguls for your moolah. Sorry, we’ll stop the ski puns.
Pre-booking means you could have an instructor ready to go as soon as you step onto the snow. No waiting for other members of the group or fighting for an instructor’s attention. Instruction will be tailored to you allowing for improved technique and speed which ultimately means more skiing now and in the future.
Another little trick for ski schools is the ability to queue jump. Ski resorts respect the fact that ski lessons are expensive so riders accompanied by a qualified instructor can often jump straight on the lift.
Check the weather forecast
It’s not much fun being out in the cold windy storms of the New Zealand South Island. Check the forecast to find optimal conditions before you head to a ski resort. Maybe even check local webcams, The Remarkables, Coronet Peak and Cardrona may all look very different on certain days.
On the snow
The big day has arrived and there are some little hacks we love to get you covering maximum skiing kilometres on the quietest slopes. It can pay dividends to get up and running on the snow before others or simply avoid the busy times that will have you ski school dodging and standing in lift queues.
Park and drop
On arrival to a ski resort have the driver drop everyone off at the base building with the equipment. This will save everyone involved a long tiring boot shuffle lugging heavy equipment from car park to ski lift. Sure divers have to sacrifice themselves but look after their equipment until they return a martyr.
At some ski fields, such as Cardrona, you can even hop on a lift from the roadside below the base building. Providing you have a lift pass, it will save a slow drive up to the main car park and a quick exit back down to town for an afternoon beer. First in, first out.
Ski at lunch
If you are looking for quiet pistes, which you should be, there is a lot to be said for skipping a long lunch. Not only will your waistline be thankful, while the crowds are struggling to find a spare table you can take lap after lap without queuing for a lift.
Try to time the bulk of your skiing between 11.30 and 2 pm. Ski schools will stop and people will head off for a lunch break.
Stopping for a break outside these times presents the quietest slope times and will leave the cafes free and clear for you to relax.
If you really want to get your money’s worth for the ski pass make a packed lunch to chew down on lift rides.
Pick your slopes
Picking the best piste to ski depending on the time of day will help you enjoy your riding and hopefully avoid those aching legs.
In the morning you will often find harder icy areas, particularly in shaded areas. Try to find the slopes that have been sitting in the sun a little longer, they’ll be a bit softer and much easier to ski.
As the day wears on, particularly in spring, sunbaked areas get very soft and slushy. Ski resorts often place easier slopes in sunny areas so beginners and improvers can enjoy a leisurely afternoon. These sunny areas are often busy and snow conditions will suffer, the soft churned up snow will be heavy on the legs. Look for the shaded areas that hold better snow into the afternoon.
Preparing your ski day can make things go that bit more smoothly and leave everyone with a satisfied sense of accomplishment.
Wading through queues into poor skiing conditions in ill-fitting equipment is a fresh kind of hell.
Slipping out onto first lifts with the sun glinting off your goggles to slay freshly pisted groomers, you’ll be on top of the world…