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Saturday, 12 July 2008

Are we there yet? How to best prepare for your snow holiday.



The winter season is finally underway and that long-awaited vacation is on the horizon. This is the time to get away from the pressures of work and everyday life and be refreshed by spending time in the outdoors. Preparation is the key to a fun and relaxing snow holiday, so here are a few helpful hints to make sure that time away from work is well spent.

Shape up before you go on a snow holiday
A few weeks before your planned snow holiday, either hit the gym or hire the help of a personal trainer. It helps to get those skiing muscles into shape before heading to the slopes. If you don't want to spend the holiday curled up in the post-ski-foetal- position then maximise your time spent training off the slopes. To help ease aching limbs while on holiday, visit an on-site massage therapists, all ski resorts have them.

Dress to impress by wearing warm clothing
The key to a great winter vacation is to come prepared with the right clothing. Staying warm out on the slopes is important, so make sure you layer up. Start with a good base. A great idea is to invest in a pair of Skins or X-Bionic Underwear, which are specifically designed to regulate body temperature when exercising and to keep you warm. Then throw on a fleece and finish up with a waterproof and windproof jacket. The Australian alpine areas are prone to extreme weather changes so it is a good idea to be prepared.

Spend a little coin
It's a good idea to spend a bit of money and make sure you have the right gear. The first items on the list should be some decent gloves and goggles. Goggles with a removable lens are best so they can be adapted to the conditions. It doesn't hurt to get the latest in snow fashion either, but make sure it's technical waterproof, breathable clothing. Looking good on the slopes and at après time can have its definite advantages, but making sure you are comfortable is equally important!

Equipment check
After blowing the dust of the winter equipment, make sure you have your gear tuned and waxed. A professional hot-wax will make a pair of skis and a snowboard last longer, go faster, turn more easily and be more responsive on the mountain. Maintaining equipment is a task that pays dividends on the hill. Most ski resorts have on-mountain experts that can take care of all your ski and board repairs, waxing and tuning needs, alternatively you can hire your equipment.

Safe passage
If you are planning on driving to the snow, you would be wise to hire some snow chains. You can stop in Cooma, Albury or Jindabyne and pick up a set along the way. Remember, it is compulsory for two-wheel-drive cars to carry chains in the Kosciuszko National Park. It is always necessary to be prepared even if conditions look fine. When in the NSW Snowy Mountains, Perisher Blue's underground alpine railway, the Skitube, is a good option; you don't need chains to ride the train! The Skitube departs from Bullocks Flat terminal (located below the natural snow-line) and winds through the Ramshead range to Perisher Valley where you can disembark. It then travels on to Blue Cow Mountain.

Gigs and Events
If you're looking for some après entertainment, check out events and entertainment calendars to see what else is happening in the resort during your holiday. Lots of people plan their holidays around a particular event or band playing in resorts. It's often that the fun on the slopes is greatly enhanced by great après action!

Get some mates together
The most memorable adventures are those spent with friends and/or family. A snow holiday can be the time of one's life, so spend it with people closest to you. It often doesn't matter what style of accommodation you can get, it's all about the fun time you can have, so just get there! Look for deals on-line and maybe share rooms, it's cheaper and can be lots of fun.

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