Heading to the mountains for your first ski or snowboard experience can be an intimidating proposition. What do you wear? Where do you go?
The most important thing to remember when skiing and snowboarding is that skiing and riding are supposed to be fun! Don’t stress out about your first day on the slopes. Loveland Ski Area has been helping people learn to ski and snowboard for over 75 years and we are excited to help you develop a lifelong love of snow sports!
We have tried to answer as many questions as possible below, but if you don’t find what you are looking for please give us a call or shoot us an EMAIL.
What should I wear?
First and foremost, wear sunscreen as the ultraviolet rays are stronger at elevation. Even on cloudy days, sunscreen is a must. Some sort of eye protection, glasses or goggles with UV protection, should also be worn while out on the slopes. Goggles are preferred as they provide better protection especially on snowy and/or windy days.
Waterproof clothing (gloves, jacket and pants) are also recommended. Even if the skies are clear, you are likely to spend some of your visit on the snow and you don’t want to get wet. Underneath your outerwear, layered clothing that you can add or remove as necessary is also a great idea as conditions can change rapidly. We recommend non-cotton clothing and socks.
Our award winning Sport Shop has everything you need for sale and also has outerwear available for daily rental at affordable prices!
Should I wear a helmet?
Loveland Ski Area recommends that all skiers and snowboarders educate themselves on the benefits and limitations of helmet use. Helmets provide added protection during falls, but are not a license to ski or snowboard recklessly.
Secure your equipment
Loveland Ski Area always recommends securing your equipment when not in use. Cable locks are for sale at the Valley and Basin Sport Shops.
I have never driven in the mountains, what should I expect?
Colorado law requires you to buckle up and that all windows be completely snow/ice free so that full vision is possible. More distance between you and the vehicle in front of you is required when driving on snowy/icy roads. If your vehicle is not equipped with anti-lock brakes, you do not want to lock up your brakes – pump them. Avoid breaking on curves and remember 4 wheel drive vehicles should follow all of these same basic rules. Snow tires are highly recommended as summer tires or worn tires will not give enough traction. Tire chains are a good idea for vehicles without good snow tires.
For current road conditions, travel information, and traffic cameras, visit cotrip.org.
What is altitude sickness and what can I do to avoid it?
Altitude sickness is usually a minor problem, is almost totally preventable and can be significantly minimized by following these simple guidelines from the Colorado Altitude Research Institute:
- Exercise in moderation.
- Drink more water than usual. When you combine altitude with physical exertion, you need to drink before you get thirsty.
- Eat food high in carbohydrates, such as grains, pasta, fruits and vegetables and avoid salty foods.
- Limit alcohol consumption. It’s tempting to party the evening you roll into a ski town. However, drinking alcohol and cheating yourself on sleep the night before you ski is a big mistake. Use common sense.
- Be sun savvy. Our sunshine is so intense that skiing without sunscreen or protective eyewear is not recommended. Ultraviolet rays are more powerful at higher elevations. Since resorts are over two miles above sea level, you will need goggles and/or sunglasses that have UV protection. Also, regardless of your skin color or complexion, everyone needs to wear sunscreen, even on overcast days when ultraviolet rays still penetrate cloud cover. Go for at least 15 SPF and apply several times a day. Look for broad-spectrum sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays.
Should I take a lesson?
If this is your first time skiing or snowboarding, we recommend that you take a lesson. We are not saying that because we want you to spend more money. We recommend a lesson because we want you to have more fun! Our friendly, expert instructors have been teaching people to ski and snowboard for over 75 years and are ready to help you learn, laugh, and have a great time. Loveland offers some of the best lesson prices in the state, so you will learn more for less at Loveland! And, Loveland Valley is a separate base area just for beginners.
Where do I go when I get there?
If this is your first time skiing or snowboarding, you want to head to Loveland Valley. Loveland Valley is a separate base area with gentle slopes perfect for newcomers.
If you are comfortable with your skiing and riding abilities, you will want to head to Loveland Basin. Here you will find the majority of Loveland’s terrain suitable for all abilities.
Should I ski or snowboard?
You will have a great time whether you are on two planks or one and ultimately the choice is yours. If you are just starting out, the initial learning curve is usually a little shorter on skis. So, if you are only going to be here for a couple days and don’t have a strong preference for either, we would recommend skiing as most people pick it up a little more quickly. But don’t let that discourage you from snowboarding. You are not most people. You are you and if you want to snowboard, we recommend you go for it! Whatever you decide, know that our Ski & Ride School staff is ready and waiting to help you get started.