Managing Summer Slope Separation Anxiety

You've sat pining for hours staring down the door of your closed gear closet. You can count the areas of flaking paint and scratches on the door knob. There are days you've been productive — tuning your skis for next season and taking advantage of those summer deals by buying new poles and replacing your tattered ski gloves — but they've been few and far between. The sunshine and warm temperatures aren't helping melt away your slope separation anxiety. Ask any skier or snowboarder — the pain is real. The mountains are calling your name, so occasionally you go — but the sight of so much green makes you sick to your stomach. A landscape bereft of snow is a depressing reminder of fresh powder. However, you don't have to wallow in your summer woes. There are plenty of things to do to keep yourself occupied — and even better, prepared for next season.

1) Exercise to Stay in Shape

This is one of the most productive ways to manage slope separation anxiety. Exercising sends endorphins to the brain which in turn lifts your mood. Also, skiing requires a decent level of fitness — so it's important to stay in shape in the off-season. Great ways to build your cardio include running, whether it's at the gym or outside. If you can handle the greenery, trail running is a fun past time that also gets you out in nature, which can benefit your health. Swimming and cycling are other great forms of cardio and lifting weights can help you build muscle so you can be stronger next ski season.

Person hiking on a trail along a ridge

2) Listen to Podcasts/Read Books

It's okay to feed your slope addiction — if you do so in a healthy way. Rather than sulking around, download a podcast featuring an interview with your favorite professional skier, read a book on how to improve your form, or watch instructional ski videos and make a list of things you want to try or changes you need to make when the resorts finally open. Some popular ski podcasts include Powder Radio, Low Pressure, and Wintry Mix.

3) Learn to Water Ski or Wakeboard

While skiing on water might seem like a foreign concept to you, skiers and snowboarders often have the makings of great water skiers and wakeboarders. The sports are similar in many ways, and although not the same, the euphoric feeling of rushing across the water might help curb some of that desire to be racing down the slopes. Best part? Learning a new sport helps keep your mind occupied and both water skiing and wake boarding are great forms of exercise. Not quite getting the hang of it? Don't get frustrated — try something else, like surfing or stand-up paddleboarding. Don't live near water? No problem — if you're a skier, try roller blading, and if you're a snowboarder, try your skills on a skateboard.

Person climbing along a rock wall

4) Indulge in Adventure

Seeing barren mountains isn't all doom and gloom — spend some time there and you'll get used to it, I promise. There are tons of adrenaline-pumping mountain activities you can get involved with to help take your mind of skiing and quench your mountain thirst. A few ideas include rock climbing, mountain biking, and backpacking. These activities are similar to skiing in that they require mental focus and decent physical fitness. If you have a friend who does one of these activities, ask them if they'd be willing to teach you. You can repay them with a lesson on the slopes next winter — if they already ski, a six pack should be convincing. If you're short on adventurous friends, utilize guide schools and resources through local outdoor retailers.

5) Take a Summer Ski Trip

No, we're not joking. Although reserved only for those who can't seem to pull themselves out of their depression using the ideas outlined above and with excess money to spend, it is winter (which means there is plenty of snow) in the southern hemisphere. Argentina, Chile, New Zealand, and Australia feature some great resorts including Cerro Cathedral, Valle Nevado, Ski Portillo, Coronet Peak, and Perisher. The highest peaks in North America and Europe also have summer skiing. Austria contains some world-famous resorts including Kaprun, Dachstein, and Hintertux. There are other options in France and Switzerland. Whistler-Blackcomb in British Columbia is your closest opportunity — between mid-June and late July the Horstman Glacier is open for skiing.

Skier making a turn

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