Early riser — How to make the first lift
Waking up perhaps earlier than you do for work can be a tough idea to grasp when on holiday, but if you want to chase the powder and get the fresh tracks then you’ll need to make the first lift.
Making the first lift is one of the biggest priorities in the mind of a mile munching piste hound, but how do you possibly have time to wake up, wash, eat food, don all your gear and still manage to make the start of the lift qeue? Well, I have a few tips that might help you make a few more of them.
One — Wash the night before
It may sound gross, but you may be surprised by how many mountain regulars don’t wash before heading out in the morning. It’s a massive time waster that can be avoided if you don’t mind becoming a bit of a sweaty yeti by the end of the skiing day. Instead of washing in the morning, wash before bed, then you know at least you are pretty clean when you get up! If you feel it’s a bit too much for you just remember you’re out in the fresh mountain air at a rather chilly °C so your smell is rather limited anyway!
Two — Prep breakfast the night before
Prepping food can take more time than you think when you’re still in the stages of waking up. So, my tip is to prep what you can the night before. It doesn’t have to be much, but laying the table with bowls / spoons / glasses / boxes of cereal etc just cuts out that little extra time and effort in the morning.
Three — Prep your gear
Another simple idea, but nevertheless just as important if you want to make first lift. Just like breakfast, you are going to want to prep the gear / garments you’ll be using the next day. Piling all of it in a massive pile in the corner isn’t going to be very efficient come the morning, however good it feels to chuck it there at the end of the day before! Instead, have a place to fold up your gear neatly, like the back of a chair for example. Pop your gloves near, (but not on!) a radiator and keep as much of your gear together in one place. It’s amazing what a little organisation can do to speed up the morning process.
Four — Know your resort bus times
Now this doesn’t apply to everyone. If you happen to be situated in a resort centre within walking distance to the pistes then this doesn’t affect you, all you have to do is grab your gear and go!
But for those whose accommodation isn’t within comfortable walking distance of the pistes, you’re going to need to take advantage of the free buses that ferry people around the different villages/lift areas.
You will need to grab yourself a bus timetable, if your lucky enough to be in a catered chalet then you often have one supplied to you — which is lovely. Study the timetable and work out when the lifts open and therefore which bus you need to be on in order to make the first lift. After that it’s down to you to make that bus. Oh, and be prepared for a squeeze up to other mountain goers, the buses can get pretty cosy!
So those are my tips for making the first lift. I hope they help you as much as they help me make them in the mornings and be one of the first people up the mountain enjoying the snow.
If you liked reading it, share it with others. Until next time,
Originally published at nickylew.com on February 24, 2016.