Skiing or snowboarding with your significant other may sound like a good recipe for romance: cuddling on chairlifts, enjoying hot cocoa (or a beer) together in the chalet, serenely smiling at each other as you swiftly careen down the mountainside…
Then you actually get to the ski resort and realize you are not even remotely compatible together on the slopes. Here are a couple reasons why that realization may occur and how to fix it.
One Snowboards, the Other Skis
We’d like to think skiers and snowboarders can easily share the mountain, but sometimes it’s just not that easy. The quickest way to have one half of a couple get frustrated with the other half is to choose the wrong ski resort when of you snowboards and the other skis.
Take Vail for example; it’s an amazing place to ski and often ranks as one of the top ski resorts in the world, but…it’s really not the greatest place to snowboard due to lots of flat areas that aren’t fun for snowboarders to navigate once they lose their momentum. Then there’s somewhere like Big Bear Mountain in California that totally caters to snowboarders with perks such as benches for strapping on your board at the top of the mountain and plenty of terrain parks. Snowboarding heaven, but for skiers the icy snow (it’s manmade) and jumps in the middle of the run can be annoying to navigate. Therefore, do your research and choose a ski resort that caters to both skiers and snowboarders. Some good choices? Red Lodge Mountain in Montana or Steamboat in Colorado.
Skiers and snowboarders also tend to like different runs, so even if you go to a resort that caters to both, you and your honey may have conflicting views on where to spend your day. One way to solve that is to spend your morning together when you’re both fresh, awake and happy, then go your separate ways for a couple hours together after lunch. This gives the snowboarder time to try the terrain parks while the skier can have fun going down some of the narrow, winding trails of the ski mountain. After you have your free time, plan on meeting up again for your last run or two of the day. Then head inside for lovey-dovey time in the valet with an après ski drink.
One’s an Expert, the Other’s a Beginner
So, one of you has spent your life on the slopes, the other has been skiing or snowboarding sparingly – or not at all. Despite the expert saying it will be super fun to teach the beginner, this mindset usually dissolves within a couple hours of constant falling down the mountainside or battling the usually crowded bunny hill and easy green runs. The beginner might also start to get frustrated with being told what they’re doing wrong. See a fight brewing with this scenario?
Save both of you a headache and opt for a morning lesson for the beginner through the ski resort. If you don’t share a bank account, consider splitting the cost of the lesson to make it fair. This way the expert skier or snowboarder can have a few hours to hit the black diamonds while the beginner gets pointers from a professional.
When you meet up again after the lesson, the beginner will be able to make it (hopefully) down the mountain without falling down every 10 feet and you both can enjoy a leisurely day swishing (or snowplowing) down the mountain.
By planning ahead and compromising for your couples ski trip, plus managing expectations, you can have a fun and memorable time together. And if all else fails, you can always just toss in the equipment and cuddle up together in front of the chalet fireplace.
Cover image photo credit: Kachemak Nordic Ski Club