5 things you need to know about doing a ski season in Canada
Before I went to Canada, I had never injured myself EVER.
Three months into my first ski season, I tore my ACL. Six months later I broke my hand and two months into my second season, I tore my other ACL and broke my thumb. Even though I was hurting, it really was the best experience of my life. I’m serious!
Here’s 5 things you need to know if you’re thinking of doing a ski season:
Tip number 1: Be prepared for anything
Have a credit card for emergencies and get travel insurance. A trip to the emergency room is at least CAD$900 straight up, which includes getting admitted and x-rays. You’ll have to pay up front and claim back through your insurance later on.
Tip number 2: Get fit!
Let me start by saying you don’t have to be the fittest person on the slopes to enjoy yourself. I wasn’t super fit but I was fit enough to make it down the ski runs without wanting to curl up in a ball and die. Skiing and snowboarding are very demanding sports and can take a big toll on your body if you aren’t fit before-hand.
Why not join a gym or team sport before you go? This will help your skiing/snowboarding experience and prevent injuries.
Tip number 3: Bring your A-game.
If you like to #livelastminute and go out every night, a ski resort is perfect for you. Even though you need to stay safe to avoid getting lost in the snow, you’ll have an awesome time drinking pints of beer and doing ski shots. Imagine, standing in line with three of your mates, holding a ski with four shot glasses glued on it and then trying to get the shot in your mouth without spilling any – almost impossible! Pick all your short friends to do this with you. But remember your limits – you don’t want to be the drunk friend that passes out in the snow heading home. Or do you?!
Tip number 4: Work for the mountain – get a free season pass.
Season passes are very expensive, but if you know you are going to do a ski season early enough you can usually get an early bird release. BUT if you work for the mountain, being a lifty or in food and beverage, you’re usually given a free season pass. The pay isn’t super awesome (think about $10 an hour, no tips) but you’re not there for the pay are you? Do your research on jobs and which resorts offer season passes for employees (full-time). Here are some of the options:
Tip number 5: Get social before you go.
Whether you’re travelling solo or with a group of friends, try and meet others going when you are. It also gives you more friends to ski with if others are working or in bed sick.
If you’re getting a job through a recruitment company they’ll usually have meet and greets in the weeks before you leave – go to them! They are well worth it. Make as many friends as possible! They will make your season so much better, look after you when you’re sick or injured and will turn into life-long friends. It’s been two years since I moved back to Australia and I still keep in touch with friends I made from my first season. Deciding to do a ski season (or two) has been the most awesome experience and I can’t wait to do it again!