Well, that’s it. All the ski areas are closed now. Most of us have admitted defeat and put our ski gear away. Before you forget about skiing and your favourite equipment for a few months, there are a few things to remember. Here’s our end-of-season skier’s to-do list.
- Storage wax. Most skiers know that they should store their favourite skis for the summer with a good coat of wax on the bases. The idea is to make sure your bases aren’t left dry all summer, so any wax will do. Throw a universal wax on them and all you’ll have to do before your first ski day in the fall is scrape and go. It only takes a few minutes if you have an iron at home; otherwise, drop them off at the shop, and we can do it for you.
- Clean your clothes. You want to make all your beloved Gore-Tex last, so wash it and put it away for the season dry. If any of your outerwear is losing its waterproofing, grab some Granger’s or Nikwax performance wash to restore it for another season. If you have down jackets, instead of stuffing them into a bag, hang them so that they maintain their loft. If the filling has sagged over the years, dangle the garment upside down for the off-season.
- Get your ski pass now. Early bird season passes for next season are already available and are as cheap as they’ll get. It’s tempting to wait, but that just increases the chance you’ll forget to do it before prices go up. For example, Fernie’s early bird rate for an adult season pass is $1,149, which is $850 cheaper than if you wait until the last minute, and that price is set to increase on June 18. All the resorts have a similar deal on now, so get them while they’re hot!
- Loosen bindings? A good pair of bindings can last you for years and end up getting mounted on multiple different skis. Some people like to back off the DIN setting for storage in the summer. The idea is that leaving the springs under less tension will make them last longer, but there is no proof that it actually makes a difference. If you choose to loosen them off, put some tape or a different reminder on them so that you remember to reset them before skiing again. And regardless, make sure to clean the bindings off; rust will damage them much quicker than spring tension will.
- Batteries out of transceivers. This is important. Batteries left in avalanche transceivers will corrode eventually and can compromise the contact points making your beacon unreliable. If the batteries have lots of life left in them, remove them and leave them in the pocket or harness with your transceiver (so you don’t forget them next season). Or buy new ones now and have them ready for next year.
- Shop for ski gear in Spring? Absolutely. If you aren’t waiting for the newest of the new gear to come out, and you know you need to replace or get something, this is a great time. For one, you aren’t in a rush and won’t end up having to buy gear that isn’t quite right, just so that you don’t miss a day on the hill. Also, this last year has been full of limited availability for all types of outdoor gear, and that’s not likely to change anytime soon. So, if you can find what you are looking for now, get it while you can. Plus, this is an excellent time of year to get a deal on winter gear. Spring Sale!
- Gear repair. Now is the time to patch, sew, and fix all your ski equipment and clothing. If your pants need to be sent back to the manufacturer for a repair, you can do it now without missing any ski days. If your skis need work, you can drop them off and not worry about them being ready in time for your next trip to the mountains. And if you want to learn how to repair your gear yourself, here's a link with a few tutorials to get you started. And another one here.
Hoji repairing gear.
- Empty your ski bag. There’s probably a half-eaten snack in there that is rotting or gloves and goggles that are still damp. Just take a minute to empty it all out and hang anything that needs drying. And pull those liners out of your ski boots if you haven’t already. We can smell them from here.
- Climbing Skin Care. Make sure your climbing skins are dry and stored in a cool spot. Leaving them near a heat source all summer could lead to glue issues by fall. It’s a good idea to leave them stored with the skin savers on as well. If you had glue trouble this winter, now is also the time to touch up or strip and re-glue them.
- Go ride your bike! Now that you have put winter away and are all geared up for next season, you can enjoy your summer. Is there a better way to have fun and stay in shape for skiing than riding a bike?