Know Before You Go: A First Time Skier’s Guide

Know Before You Go: A First Time Skier’s Guide

Take a deep breath – you’re going to have so much fun with friends in the outdoors! Here’s a quick first-timer’s guide to hitting the slopes. From base layers to boots, this is everything I’d tell my friends. Plus, there’s some options you can work with your first time that will be OK if you don’t have the budget for more technically specific clothing.


My favorite mid-layers consist of neck gaiters and quarter zip fleeces.

One of the most important pieces of advice I have is to take a lesson! I know it’s pricey, but if its your first time, it’s going to pay dividends to have that first lesson with a pro. I realize your friends will want to teach you! But if they haven’t taught before, they most likely don’t know what they’re in for, either. I’ve had someone get so frustrated with my first day on a snowboard that they told me to go get skis after just 1 run. Not fun.

In previous years, it was very easy to find plenty of beginner-oriented deals, usually in the form of Lift, Lesson & Rental packages. In fact, January is “learn to ski and snowboard month,” and resorts would offer deals as low as $49 for the entire package! Unfortunately, with 2021 pandemic restrictions in order to keep us all safe, resorts aren’t giving beginner specials out so often. Keep your eyes peeled, and do your research!


Columbia Sportswear carries up to 3X in women’s baselayer sizes!

Layers, layers and MORE layers! The best thing about layers is that you can take them off if you get too warm and put them on if it’s too cold. I will say this: I personally tend to get hot if it’s over 32 degrees so I have base layers and outerwear. Remember, you are exercising! But if it’s below freezing, I’m usually pretty cold.

  • Base Layers – base layers are closest to your skin and are moisture wicking. Aka “Long Underwear.” It is OK if the only thing you have are leggings and a stretchy long-sleeve, but consider upgrading if you decide you want to ski or ride multiple times. Just try to stay away from cotton items because it will absorb your sweat (yes, even in the cold) and make life pretty uncomfortable.
  • Mid-Layers – fleece, a comfortable zip-up or sweat shirts are fine options in my opinion, but there are more technical layers such as down jackets as seen in the video below.
  • Outerwear – the goal for your outermost layer is to try to get these things as waterproof and wind resistant as possible! Please stay away from jeans, sweats or hoodies as your top piece, especially if it’s your first time. They will get very wet and you’ll be very cold after your first fall.
  • Coverings for Head, Face & Hands – Keep them all covered! A helmet is best and highly recommended – you can rent these, too, but any winter hat is fine. Make sure your ears are covered. You will thank me later if you get a buff or fleece layer for your neck and to pull up over your mouth and nose, especially if it’s under 32 degrees (and beyond Covid times). Googles will also seem bulky and unnecessary, but once you really start skiing or riding with speed, you will need these for optimum vision. There are plenty of cost-effective options, and I recommend purchasing new to avoid scratches. Finally, you really should get yourself a nice pair of gloves or mittens – again, try to stay away from cotton or knit – the snow will stick, melt, and ultimately make your fingers turn to ice, too!

*You CAN wear mittens if you’re skiing – you’ll still be able to hold your poles. I enjoy mittens on cold and windy days.

Check the video below. Their clothing might seem a little intimidating to the novice winter-adventurer, and that is OK! If you don’t have these, do your best with what you have unless you have the funds. I do not wear a ton of mid-layers based on personal preference. I enjoy a base layer and a fleece – unless it’s very cold and windy I only wear a base layer under my ski pants.


Wear 1 pair of smooth socks! Two pairs of socks or very thick socks are a no-go. Doing this will actually make you colder by restricting circulation once those boots are snapped in place. A smooth sock with no ridges or ripples that will be inside the boot will be most comfortable.

Don’t wear jeans – or tuck them in to your boots! More explained in layering, above. Plus, jeans are not comfortable in every day life, either. #LeggingLife

If you have snow pants, there will be a liner with a stretchy ankle part and most likely a button. Please do not tuck these in your boots, either. Your boots will be very snug and anything – including that metal button – will feel like a rock. Think princess and the pea – but a boulder in your sock.

This is a great video for a first time skier, and it gives a nice visualization on putting on your boots and your skis!

All in all – be comfortable, be warm, and ENJOY! I am always here if you have questions about skiing – DM me on the gram and I’ll try to help you!

Lift Rate Roundup 2018: Tri-State / Mid-Atlantic

Lift Rate Roundup 2018: Tri-State / Mid-Atlantic

Oh man! A very late roundup of lift ticket and late season pass pricing is finally on the blog for the 2018-2019 season. Resorts in western PA and more have opened up this weekend, if they haven’t been open already! Check out the alpine skiing and snowboarding areas just a drive from anywhere in Western Pennsylvania and listed in PA, WV, MD and NY. The perfect places for a day or weekend trip–just be sure to check the web first for who’s officially open, because, well, that’s going to be changing on the daily. It’s only November!

Resort Map

Ski Resorts in PA, MD, WV

Rate Chart

Notes about this chart depicting lift ticket rates for the 2018-2019 season: the season pass rates depicted here are non-sale, late purchase pricing. Many of these resorts have spring or fall pre-season pass sales where the majority of them are sold (and when you should buy if you’re seriously considering owning a pass). Unfortunately I missed gathering info on that pricing, so you see the rack rate. All season pass rates are depicted as a single person, full access/classic season pass as purchased today. A few of these resorts are listed under Highland or Peak Pass, which means the resorts are part of a group and the passes have multi-mountain benefits. All lift tickets are set as a single, extended or 8-hour rate, whichever is the “most offered” at each resort.

Highland Pass
7 Springs 33 trails $87 $660 8 visits
Hidden Valley 26 trails $69 $569 8 visits
Laurel Mtn 20 trails $57 $569 10 visits
Peak Pass
Liberty 16 trails $82 $579 7 visits
Roundtop 20 trails $78 $579 8 visits
Whitetail 23 trails $84 $579 7 visits
Blue Knob 34 trails $68 $449 7 visits
Mystic Mtn 6 trails $43 $199 5 visits
Tussey Mtn 8 trails $52 $269 5 visits
Wisp 34 trails $79 $599 8 visits
Timberline 40 trails ___ $499 ___
Canaan Valley 47 trails $68 $497 8 visits
Snowshoe 60 trails $99 $479 5 visits
Peek’n Peak 27 trails $63 $599 10 visits
Holiday Valley 60 trails $78 $989 13 visits

Did I miss one of your faves that you can get to with an easy drive? Let me know in the comments. See you out there! ❄

2017-2018 Lift Rate Roundup

2017-2018 Lift Rate Roundup

My annual Lift Rate Roundup is back with all the info on mountain resorts in the tristate area. Here’s to the the non-season passers; the forgetful, the lazy and the last-minute (aka me), or the beginners that aren’t quite sure they love it (you will).

Below is an outline of ski areas in Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia, along with New York for good measure. I simplified it this year with all prices reflecting adult rates. Because we’re all adults here, right?

*I guesstimated what was considered tristate so message me if I am missing one of your favorites.


Ski Resorts
Slopes Weekend
Lift Rate
Lift Rate
Season Pass
Seven Springs 33 $83 $64  $649
Hidden Valley 26 $65 $41-47  $555
Laurel Mountain 13 $53 $38  $555
Highlands Pass
Above 3 Collective
72 (n/a) (n/a)  $695
Blue Knob 33 $62 $38  $550
Liberty Mountain 22 $76 $70  $569
Whitetail 23 $79 $71  $569
Mystic Mountain 7 $43 Closed M-W $199 
Boyce Park 5 $22 $16 $250 
Wisp 34 $79 $59  $599
Snowshoe 57 $99 $70  $479
Timberline 41 $74 $54  $476
Canaan Valley 47 $73 $55 $550 
for good measure
Peek n Peak  27 $59 $49   $449
Holiday Valley 50   $75 $52   $760


  1. If you live nearby: Snowshoe is your best deal considering pricing and terrain.

2. If you’re going to purchase a pass late: Absolutely buy a Highlands Pass in lieu of any individual season pass this late in the game.

3. Make note of the Regional Resort Swap Program: If you have an Unlimited Season Pass to…

  • Seven Springs
  • Hidden Valley
  • Laurel Mountain
  • Wisp Resort 

You are eligible for 1 complimentary pass and 50% off any full-priced pass after that, excluding Saturdays and holiday periods. *It looks like Snowshoe is out for 2018, with the Aspen Skiing / KSL Resorts purchase of Intrawest this year.

So there you have it! No excuses even if a season pass is not in sight. You have all the information you need to get out there and burn a hole in your pocket – all for the love of snow!