Taking your first snowboarding trip? It can be daunting when you begin to consider everything you will need. Packing your board, your snow clothes, enough clothing to stay warm, then deciding what footwear you need and then finally things to keep you entertained! Then you start thinking about your, can it make it? Can you make it? Are you confident driving in snow?
What to Pack
For most, packing will be the easiest part of your snow trip, however here a few pointers on items often forgotten:
- Sunglasses – it may be cold, but the sun and its reflection off the white snow can be awfully harsh (for one, you are closer to it)
- Sunscreen – just as above, I personally have had some of the worst sunburn from the snow
- Lip Balm – windburn on the lips can be painful
- Beer and Snacks – essential for long trips. But be responsible and dont drink and drive!
Surprisingly, it is actually quite cold at the snow. Thus, it’s pretty important you dress for the climate. Pants, long-sleeve shirts, thermals, legwarmers and wool jumpers are all recommended. Along with a couple of beanies, spare pair of shoes and definitely more than one pair of socks. On top of this, remember your gloves and goggles!
Plan on driving? It’s often not just a simple drive up country. Mountain roads are often heavily damaged, icy and dangerous. Unfortunately, many drivers are much more experienced then you are on these roads, and love to show it. All drivers need to take a few precautions while making their way up the mountain. Of course, one must obey the road rules, but also pay attention to warning/information signs, especially for details about wheel chains. Anti-freeze in the radiator can prevent engine damage if you intend to stay multiple days. Day travel is recommended, as on top of all the difficulties of alpine driving one does not need poor vision. Also, make sure you have plenty of fuel; it’s ten times more difficult to refuel if you happen to run out on mountain roads.
It is compulsory for all cars to carry chains, just in case conditions worsen, by all 2WD’s. The wheel chains help your tires grip the road in slippery conditions. They can be hired cheaply at most snow rental stores, including towns nearby; with attendants able to fit the chains and show you how to put them on. Check info with the resort you will be attending for specific details.
Remember, most mountain’s have gate entry points with costs reaching $50 per car, which cover parking and entry fees.
Don’t want to drive? Other options include buses, trains or even helicopters, depending on the mountain of choice. Taking the coach route could be beneficial to those uncomfortable with driving, however if you prefer not to be stuck on a bus with 60-odd tourists, and being herded around, this may not be the option for you.