Christmas week skiing: 5 tips to help you embrace the good and the bad in skiing’s most frustrating week

The week after Christmas is a convenient time to ski because kids are off school and many adults are off work, so our favorite, normally quiet hills get bogged down. It’s important to keep in mind, too, that our hills badly need this week for their bottom lines.  

Get used to the lifts stopping a little more frequently and anticipate waiting a few minutes longer to get your drink order in at the bar this week, because people will be crawling all over the slopes.

This week tends to attract skiers, boarders and families that may not have a season pass or get out multiple times a year. This may be it for them, so they are going to be at the ticket counter, the rental shop, the restaurant, the bar and the ski shop and they’re looking to milk everything they need out of it.

Santa shred at Whistler-Blackcomb. (@WhistlerBlckcmb)

You can’t really blame them, either. Skiing is expensive and everyone deserves to get the most out of their day on the slopes.

Plus, from Vail to Welch Village, resorts count on these busy weeks as moneymakers for them as they take advantage of the folks who aren’t getting out more than once or twice a year.

So, take with you these tips to make sure you have the best day possible amidst the chaos.

  1. Go early: Especially if you’re out west on vacation, getting to the hill early and starting your day when the lifts open will be helpful. Mid-morning at the base of the mountain is a headache. Plus, you can time out an early lunch stop to avoid crowds there, too.
  2. Come equipped: If you or someone in your crew needs to rent or tweak their gear before hitting the hill, make sure it’s done the night before. The rental shop is going to be a wasteland this week. Avoid it at all costs.
  3. Overdress: The lift lines will be longer, the chairs will stop a few times and you’ll generally be doing more waiting than you’re used to. Nothing tries your patience more than being cold as well as frustrated. Be warm.
  4. Be helpful: You don’t need to hold anyone’s hand through an entire day, but if someone is struggling with the lift line or their equipment, lend a hand instead of laughing or shooting a judging glance. Grease the wheels of the whole operation when you can.
  5. Embrace it: It won’t be the same as your usual day out and parts of it will be frustrating, but when people are getting outside and doing the thing you love, that’s a positive. Keep things light with your crew and laugh about the madness. Also, the week after Christmas is great for après with all the fresh faces.

Happy skiing and Merry Christmas!

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