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Here are our five tips for solo adventures skiing the world year round. Grab a great bargain skiing off-season and in locations off the beaten path like Eastern Europe.
What are the six cruelest words a traveler can ever hear? “You can’t get there from here!” My most memorable trek overcoming the odds? During a Washington blizzard, I was set to fly to Johannesburg. The only East Coast runway open was in NY at JFK. I walked to the Metro, carry-on in tow, took the train to NY, the city bus to the airport. On arrival, only one runway was still open with Finn Air circling trying to decide whether to land or not: What hope for my flight? Intrepid South African Airways was on the runway, refueled and ready to take off!
The even greater challenge in winter typically comes from trips closer to home. When we flip past Feb. 14, it’s not just the end of endless email offers for roses and chocolates but heralds the upcoming, sudden end to winter sports! As an “Intermittent Intermediate Skier” living in the US Mid-Atlantic, I struggle every year to have one real ski trip or at least a local ski day. If you live in Aspen or the Alps, just fast forward past this post! For everyone else, please let us hear your solutions for getting to the slopes when travel difficulty, budget or time constraints apply.
5 Tips for Solo Adventures Skiing: Tip One:
- If you live north of the equator, book early for your summer ski trip to South America or Australia.
- When I last looked, I found the latter more expensive, especially adding airfare. However, some time ago, I combined a trip to the Cook Islands with June skiing on an active volcano in New Zealand. If nothing else, I was able to dine out on the stories for years! I did find ice in August in Latin America, but this is a very common problem in Europe and the Eastern US as well.
5 Tips for Solo Adventures Skiing: Tip Two:
Take the train. Eurostar, Canadian railways or US Amtrak.
- This works well to larger ski resorts. The problem? With small local ski slopes, if the snow is good on the runs, it may be hazardous on the highways! Having a car that is light and easily skids, each year I look to no avail to find a bus to trains or slopes or sports-minded friends available at the same time. As all solo travelers know finding a travel mate can be hard, especially outside of the popular summer season.
5 Tips for Solo Adventures Skiing: Tip Three:
Join a ski club.
- I have done this in the past. I found my club’s trip to Andorra with a weekend in Barcelona was a perfect mix of outdoors and a cultural foray with a friendly group and time alone.
- The only hitch is finding that trips and timing meet your own plans. Coordinating may be easier for those with flexible jobs/family activities or where retired.
5 Tips for Solo Adventures Skiing: Tip Four:
- Try your hand at spring skiing. I have had mixed results with this. One early April, I combined a work trip with a few days at one of my favorite ski destinations, Lake Tahoe! Unfortunately, in 50 degree weather on the mountain, I couldn’t ski well in heavy powder which was quickly changing to slush.
- In contrast, one spring at Big Sky, Montana, the weather was cold enough that there was no ice or melting snow. I did find that in Montana and also Sun Valley, Idaho, that the mountain’s inclines looked like Pike’s Peak to me! Just getting to the lifts, required most of my questionable skill set.
- Taking a small group lesson helped, and at times, no other students showed up leaving me with a private lesson at a group price!
5 Tips for Solo Adventures Skiing: Tip Five:
- Ski indoors or whatever the weather: i. SnowWorld Holland, ii. Ski Dubai, iii. Mini Mountain, Washington, iv. Snow Funpark, Germany and v. Liberty, VA, the latter outdoors on “Snowflex”. (Not to be confused with Ski Liberty, PA!).
- Although I offer this solution somewhat in jest, it could be a way for a beginner to practice, or those of us “weather-challenged”, to practice parallel turns when nothing else is offered.
- Having sampled Ski Dubai, myself, I found the irony delicious: To be heading up the escalator in the Mall of the Emirates with skis in hand, while outside were a searing desert sun and air-conditioned bus stops, was truly unique! With the aid of the on-site photographer, I had my favorite all-time holiday cards which I whimsically embossed with “Ski Dubai, Snow Guaranteed .”
Please do send us your tips at Solo Trekker Contact Page! so we can post them before the spring thaw!