The first step to planning your trip is to select a date for your trip. Boreal is open seven days a week during the ski/board season. Holidays and weekends are always a great time to learn to ride, although you may have more room for yourself if you choose to come on a weekday. You never know when the “snow flu” will give you the opportunity to get an extra work/school day off. It’s a good idea to plan your first day with friends or family, as learning something new is always more fun when you can share the experience. Make sure you get plenty of rest and drink plenty of water the night before so you will have ample of energy for your first day on the snow.
Skiing and snowboarding allows us to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. Weather in the Sierra can change very quickly. Always check the weather report before you plan your trip and on the day of your arrival so you can make adequate preparations. You can always check the Current Conditions on the Boreal website or you can log on to websites like weather.com and noaa.gov to get the daily forecast. It is always advised to be prepared for all conditions all the time. Some days you may not need all of your gear, but it is better to have something and not need it than the other way around. Always wear sunscreen and sunglasses on sunny days, and bring goggles for snowy days. Some days may start out cold and end up warmer, and sometimes it starts out warm and ends up cold. Dressing in layers is a great way to manage your comfort in changing conditions.
Below is a list of essential items that you will need for your first ride. Try avoiding fabrics like cotton and denim as they will absorb moisture which will make for a soggy experience. Synthetic fabrics and wool are designed to draw moisture away from your body. One of the most important items is your socks. It’s not a good idea to wear multiple pairs of socks. This will affect the way your boots fit actually causing your feet to get colder. Choosing a ski or snowboard specifically designed sock will help keep your feet comfortable, warm, and dry.
• Sunscreen / chapstick
• Ski socks
• Waterproof jacket
• Waterproof pants
• Base Layers (thin clothing to wear under jacket)
• Sun glasses
• Waterproof Gloves
• Wool hat
• Long underwear
• Change of clothes
If you forget to bring some of the essentials to the mountain you can always purchase them at Boreal’s Underground Sports. Boreal’s helpful staff will help outfit you with your needs. Boreal even rents adult snow bibs and jackets.
Before you pack the car make sure you check the current road conditions. You can always check the Current Conditions (updated everyday at 6 AM) on the Boreal website or you can call CalTrans at 1–800-427-ROAD for hourly updates. Boreal is the first resort off of Interstate 80 driving from Sacramento and the Bay. Chains and/or 4WD/AWD are recommended when driving in the mountains during the winter.
If you have never used snow chains, it is recommended that you practice installing and removing your new chains in the driveway, before you get to the snow. Chain installers are available along Interstate-80 for a fee; however you should know how to install chains on your own.
Be cautious while driving when it is snowing as road conditions and visibility can change quickly. It is also advised to carry a winter emergency kit in your vehicle at all times when traveling in the mountains.