Fresh powder calls for fun and preparation

With the snow season kicking off to a full start with heavy snows last week, dust off your snow gear and head up to the mountains! Even with a difference in climate and not as much snow this season as the last, that is no excuse to not drive up to the mountains and enjoy the fresh alpine air.

Beginning with your arrival, it can be difficult for anyone to make it up the steep, icy hills into the mountains without tire chains. Unless you have four-wheel drive, the chains are necessary for not only certain sections of the drive that require them, but overall safety. They come in different sizes and quality, requiring a decent understanding of your car for the best decision.

    If you don’t know how to put chains on your car, that is okay! In areas that require snow chains, there tends to be people willing to put your chains on for you. But, with their work may come a price. Keeping $20 to $40 in cash handy a good idea.

When it comes to apparel, durable, water-resistant clothes, including snow pants and multi-pocketed jackets are a must. You’ll have to wear many layers to keep warm and stay as comfortable as possible. And because of the low temperatures, ranging from below freezing to mid-50’s, it’s recommended that one brings hand and/or toe warmers. Buying snow goggles are definitely a good investment and they usually last for years.

Even if the sunshine does fade away behind the clouds, or whether it be bright and sunny, there is always a need for sunscreen. At the high altitude everyone is very likely to get burned. Therefore, it’s absolutely necessary to be lathered up in sunscreen that’s above SPF 30, and have some sunblock-enriched ChapStick.

Now, if you travel up towards Tahoe, whether it be North or South, don’t be surprised by inflated prices at the ski resorts. From food options to lift tickets, the popular resorts are aware of the notoriety, but know visitors will, and do, continue to pay.

For the ski resorts on the North shore, adult tickets available at Squaw hover near $169, $136 at Northstar, $69 at Boreal, and $115 at Sugar Bowl, according to their websites. For South shore, tickets at Heavenly hover around $146, $104 at Sierra-at-Tahoe, $49 for Homewood, and $112 at Kirkwood.

Last but not least, it is important to keep in mind other factors, such as renting your ski or snowboard equipment, how big the ski resorts are and what the resorts’ hours are; some have night skiing! Now, it’s time to hit the slopes!