Your friends have finally gotten together and decided to go on a ski trip. Now what? You need to prepare for any eventuality since you’ll be going down the slopes, and accidents are a possibility. A group ski trip is much better when you have taken precautions, researched what to do, and found the right place to stay. Let’s find out more so your free time in the snow goes perfectly!
1. Know First Aid
Going on a group ski trip is fantastic, but doing something physical has some risks. It’s wise to know first aid and have a first aid kit handy for any situation. If you booked your stay at a resort, you’ll probably have a pain center or assistance nearby, but it’s better to be ready if you get stuck in the mountains.
Everyone going on a trip should know a little first aid and have the proper medication, bandages, and ointments in case of injuries. People get injured while traveling more frequently than most imagine, especially while doing sports. Skiing means that you’ll be going down a slippery surface at a considerable speed, and even the most experienced skiers need help.
You could collide with other people or fall on your face. Therefore, taking CPR classes or an entire first aid lesson is smart. Learning how to check vitals without any equipment will help. If an accident happens, remember to remain calm and ensure the person is breathing. Learn how to make a makeshift splint on arms and wrists, just in case. Finally, you should always know who to call or where to find help.
2. Be Prepared for Accidents
While snow may look like a bunch of pillows on the ground, it’s a tough surface. Skiing comes with many risks, and accidents are bound to happen. Therefore, you can only go ahead with your group ski trip if you think of everything you should have handy. Everyone needs the proper safety equipment, such as helmets, thick clothing, spine protectors, and wrist guards. You can rent these items at the ski resort you booked.
Understand your limits. Part of preparing for accidents means being cautious. Experienced skiers can try to go down any slope without issues because they know what to expect, but they should still be careful. On the other hand, if this is your first time, you need to know where you can and can’t practice.
It’s recommended to mark the spot where someone fell with the skis or snowboard to alert other people. Furthermore, it’s an excellent way for rescuers to detect who’s injured quickly. Their phone number should be posted on the piste map you should have at all times. It would also be good to carry your insurance information. Finally, have the contact number of local accident attorneys because some accidents lead to litigation. They could be due to neglect, and you should know your rights.
3. Buy Party Supplies
Preparing for the worst-case scenario is a good idea, but your group ski trip should be enjoyable too. Whether you rent a cabin for your friends or make a reservation at a ski resort, you should be ready for a party with all the supplies. Typically, people travel together for special occasions like birthdays, so buy everything you need to celebrate the moment with your loved ones. Life gets in the way too often, and it’s hard to say if you’ll get a chance to travel again.
Regarding party supplies, get fun things like streamers, ice for parties, party hats, balloons, cups and dishes for food, and even costumes. Having a party on one of those days will break the tension and loosen everyone up. Sometimes, accidents happen because people are too worried about safety. They forget to focus on enjoying the sport. Therefore, remind your loved ones that this is a time to celebrate each other, tell stories about the good old days, dance till you’re all too tired, and shake off reality.
4. Tune Up Your Vehicle
If you’re driving to the ski resort or a cabin, you need to check your car and get it tuned adequately for traveling through snow. Getting stuck in the middle of a cold road during a group ski trip is the last thing you want. Therefore, get your vehicle inspected if you don’t know how to do it yourself. Check the air pressure on your tires, the oil, the headlights and brake lights, turn signals, etc.
You should also consider getting snow tires. All automotive parts should be in top condition or at least not show any signs of issues before the trip. Check the front and back brake pads because they must be perfect for snow driving. Replace anything that needs to be replaced. You should also inspect the battery and all fluids.
Once everything is ready, go to the gas station and fuel up. Also, use your phone to find all the other gas stations on the way to your accommodation. You can’t be too cautious. Try to download everything in advance, just in case you lose the network connection. Also, have your AAA membership on hand and up to date.
5. Choose a Safe Cabin
Choosing the right location is one of the most critical parts of a group ski trip. Going to a cabin may sound romantic — unless you’ve seen too many horror movies — but you must find an excellent place to stay. It needs to have proper heating and insulation. Moisture from snow can cause problems with wood, and you don’t want to book a place that needs roofing repair.
Try booking early and during the off-season. It’s often easier to travel when no one else is doing so, but it’ll depend on the weather too. Check if the place you’re booking has a ski-in ski-out option, meaning you won’t have to walk far to reach the chair lifts.
Try to pick a spot in the mountains, too, because going up and down all the time is tiring and time-consuming. Also, look for a cabin with a kitchen. You won’t want to go out to find a restaurant after a long day on the slopes, so it’s better to have everything you need to cook something.
6. Use Safe Ski Routes
It’s time to choose the best routes for your group ski trip, and some places have marked beginner and advanced slopes. Still, you must find the safest and best way possible, so your skiing time won’t be interrupted or risky. Try to download topographic maps and satellite images of the areas.
If this is your first time using those routes, that data will help you understand what you’re facing, including trees and other landscape markings. Sometimes, people crash into a plant that just needs a little tree pruning. The routes should be passable by the least experienced person in the group to avoid leaving anyone behind. You should also have backup plans and know how to reroute to return to your cabin.
A route is good enough if it doesn’t get you close to avalanche terrain. It should have an even ascent, as it is best for a newbie. You should be able to make any changes in direction quickly, typically where the ground is flatter. Remember that routes that follow a ridge and have more trees are safer than open spaces.
7. Prepare Your Meals
While there may be restaurants in the area, having food and planned meals in the cabin is wiser. If you followed an earlier suggestion, you booked a place with a kitchen, which means that your group must plan what to eat each day, so you can grocery shop properly. Tip: pick simple meals. You’ll be too tired from your group ski trip to do anything elaborate.
Make a meal plan that includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You should also consider snacks and extra things you may need during your stay. For breakfast, cereal is a cheap option that almost everyone likes. For lunch, try something light, like sandwiches or frozen pizza. Dinner should usually be the heaviest, but a simple pasta dish can please everyone and doesn’t require much work.
Make sure to take any necessary appliances that may not be in the cabin kitchen. For example, a sandwich or waffle maker may not be available, so tell someone in the group to bring it. An air dryer, air fryer, blender, and other options could work if they’re light enough. Don’t pack your entire kitchen, though. It’s smart to be ready, but you should also be efficient.
8. Get Ready to Shovel Snow
While a group ski trip can be a fantastic experience, it involves some work. Aside from preparing for any eventuality, you must assign some chores, including shoveling. Snow may fall at night, and someone should be ready to shovel. Do it as early as possible, so there aren’t any accidents. There should be several shovels nearby and proper asphalt paving in the cabin.
The best way to remove snow from the entrance is by paddling it away, not scooping it. Remember to use the shovel on both sides of your body so it doesn’t become unbalanced. You don’t have to remove every speck of snow, but people should be able to get in and out of the cabin without falling on their faces.
On the other hand, you may need to shovel during an emergency because some avalanches are hard to predict, and sometimes, a friend could fall into a big pile of snow. You’ll need to be quick with shoveling. Some people bring a snow saw just in case to cut things faster, but be careful and try to find assistance first.
9. Set a Budget
The smartest way to prepare for a group ski trip is to set a budget because most resorts and cabin rentals are expensive. Even buying coffee may cost more than going to your local shop, so you must be ready. While some people don’t need to think about costs, it would be good if someone in the group became the unofficial accountant.
Once you’ve planned your meals, accommodation, car inspections, and more, you can decide how much everyone should pitch in. If someone wants to spend more, that’s their decision, but the group should have a clear spending amount in mind. Additionally, you should consider several ways to save money for your trip, such as avoiding popular resorts like Aspen and Vail. Many other places offer the same experience for half the price.
You can even stay in a neighboring area to save on fuel costs. Also, try to find a ski trip package because some come with great discounts and deals. Shopping in some of these areas may also be tempting, but that’s not a good idea. Ski areas and popular tourist spots hike up their prices. You can get the same thing elsewhere for much less.
10. Be Ready for Emergencies
Finally, you must be ready for any emergencies that can’t be fixed with some shoveling or first aid. Someone on your group ski trip could get seriously injured and need immediate medical care — an earlier suggestion mentioned having the rescuer’s information and insurance cards on hand. You should have everything to contact someone, but try to plan for the worst.
What if you need help in an area with no network signal? Pack a bag with blankets, warm compresses, sunscreen, and more. Always wear the right clothes and shoes. Have a map and a compass you can follow. Research a few survival skills that could come in handy in cold weather, like learning how to build a fire.
Take lessons with experts before you try any of the slopes by yourself. Don’t be reckless. Water is also helpful, so ensure your entire group has a bottle. Have your wallets ready. Don’t underestimate the risks or act too cocky, even if you’ve gone skiing many times. You never know what could happen in the snow.
Now that you understand the smartest ways to prepare for a group ski trip, you can finish planning, worrying only about all the fun memories you’ll make. Don’t go too crazy, but don’t let anxiety stop you from enjoying your time in the snow.