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When skiers and snowboarders examine the conditions that are most detrimental to a great day on the slopes, they often list weather-related problems like ice, slush, bare patches, and frigid temperatures. But after taking numerous trips with non-riders, I’ve come to realize that the lodge-dwellers, who are often loved ones, pull me from the mountain faster than a few bad runs.

The question is: How does the empathic rider enjoy a day of powder without the compunction? Here are a few answers:

Stay at a ski-in, ski-out resort: On my recent trip to New Hampshire’s White Mountains, I stayed at the Mountain Club at Loon with my wife and newborn. Our bedroom window looked out upon the slopes. This allowed my family to be with me at the mountain, without the hassle and guilt of schlepping a baby and breastfeeding mother into a cafeteria-style lodge that forces them into the default position of daddy’s table-holder. They relaxed comfortably and when it was time for lunch, I met them at the hotel’s restaurant, a setting that did not smell like sweat and ski boots.

What To Do With Non-Skiers & Riders

Photo Credit- Loon Mountain

Choose a resort with activities: While ski villages at the posh mountains might be a bit ostentatious and over-priced, it’s a great way for non-skiers to spend the morning. Whether they prefer to shop or enjoy a coffee beside a fire pit, choosing a mountain with a base village is much more entertaining for non-riders than a mountain equipped only with a lodge and parking lot. Better yet, some ski mountains offer non-skiing activities like snow-shoeing, tube-riding, or dog-sledding. While it might not last as long as your session on the slopes, it’s a great way to break up the monotony of life in the lodge.

What To Do With Non-Skiers & Riders

Photo Credit- Park City Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau

Create an itinerary: Non-skiers or boarders on a ski trip are already the pariah. You’ll know it when they say, “I’ll just sit here and watch you shred some gnar. Is that the correct lingo?” But if you want to extend your time on the mountain, spice things up for them. After arriving at the mountain, hand them the car keys and a printed itinerary, listing the best eateries in the area and nearby attractions. Ski towns always have the best brunches, so why subject your close friends and family to gluey, lodge oatmeal that costs $18.00 or personal pizzas with a thickness that equals its diameter?

Book and Charger: For the low maintenance, lazier lodge-dweller, sometimes all they need is a good book or a charger for their electronic device. Buy them the former and bring along the latter. This simple investment might even keep you on the slopes until the lifts close.

Want to win Liftopia shwag? Share your tips on how you enjoy a whole day on the slopes, while keeping your loved ones entertained.

Hero Image Photo Credit –Stein Eriksen Lodge, Park City, Utah

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  • Bethany Stellpflug

    Great post! Thanks for sharing! I would suggest actually do some pre-scheduled activities with the non-skiers or riders, like maybe going snow tubing with them, or go shopping with them. That way, they might not feel so left out. Or maybe plan one whole day during your vacation to do stuff just with them…no skiing or riding that day.

  • jellson

    Another tip (trick?) I use is to stay at a resort with full spa amenities or at least a really nice pool/hot tub with a nice view, so I can leave them in the hotel without guilt 🙂