Let’s face it: It’s April 5. And we all know what that means: It’s National Deep Dish Pizza Day, National Library Workers Day, and Bette Davis‘ birthday. But I’m not going to talk about any of those. Because the most important thing about April 5 is that for most of us, ski season is drawing to a close.
Sure, some of us are still skiing. Maybe you’ll be making turns at one of those places that’ll be open into May, or June, or even August. Maybe you’re lucky enough to be heading down to Chile this summer. Or maybe you’re in the Southern Hemisphere and your season is just getting underway.
But for now, let’s surmise that ski season is either ending or just about over. And for us, there are a few things we need to do to put the season to bed.
1) Get your skis ready for summer. Whether you do it yourself or have your ski shop do it for you, there are things you need to take care of before you put your skis to bed. First, clean the tops and bases and apply a layer of soft, hydrocarbon wax to keep them protected and hydrated (be sure to coat the edges, too, so they don’t rust). Some people like to turn down the DIN on their bindings to ease tension on the springs, though many say this isn’t necessary. I’ve never done it and haven’t had a problem, so it’s up to you. Finally, secure your skis with a strap base-to-base and store them in a cool, dry place, away from sunlight. Be sure to keep them off a concrete floor, which can hold moisture and cause the edges to rust.
2) Prepare your boots: Clean the outsides, then remove the liners and make sure they’re completely dry. You might want to sprinkle some powder inside to absorb moisture and odors. Then reinstall the liners and buckle the boots loosely so they retain their shape. Store them off the floor in a cool, dry place over the summer.
3) Clean your ski clothes: Ski jackets and pants are meant to play in, and they can get pretty grungy. And trust me: no one wants to smell your body odor. Not even you. Here are 10+ tips on taking care of your ski wear.
4) Empty your boot bag: It’s amazing how much junk you can accumulate in just one ski season, so give your bag a thorough going over (you don’t want any old snacks moldering inside over the summer!). While you’re at it, check the pockets of your ski jackets and pants. Last year I found over a hundred dollars spread out among four jackets. You might get lucky.
5) Buy your pass: Sure, it’s early. But the best season pass deals are always in the spring. Most mountains offer discounts if you buy your pass in advance, and the sooner, the better.
6) Shop the sales: The end of the season means great deals on ski gear and apparel. It’s not uncommon to find ski gear at 30-, 40-, even 60% off. So go forth and save!
7) Remember to remove your snow tires: Okay, so not exactly ski gear, but snow tires are definitely important for getting you to the mountain safely. What’s more, winter tires are notorious for reducing your gas mileage, since their tread has more road resistance than summer and all-season tires. So be sure to swap ’em out.
8) Plan next season’s adventure. Shut your eyes and dream. Where do you want to go next year? Start thinking about it now. It’ll give you something to look forward to. And besides, some places offer great deals if you book early.
9) Make a list of fun things to do this summer. I don’t know about you, but I fall in to a serious funk when ski season is over (see my blog post about reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder). Having fun things to do in the summer certainly helps.
10) Join TheSkiDiva.com: Just because the weather’s warm doesn’t mean you can’t keep the ski stoke going. So if you haven’t already, head over to TheSkiDiva.com and register to be part of the leading online community for women who love to ski. It’s a great place to talk about anything and everything ski related, even during the dog days of August. Remember, we’re there all year long.