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Tips & How To

Fitness Tips & How To

Get Ready for the High Mountain Altitude

High Altitude Backcountry Snowboarding in Montezuma Colorado

It’s starting to feel real finally! I’ve been out to the local slopes in Minnesota twice now and have been warming up on my new setup this year. We are closing in on my first trip of the season! Ben, Jerry, and I are off to Utah and Colorado to use our Mountain Collective Pass and hit up some backcountry terrain on our snowboards. Living in Minnesota I don’t have a high altitude to worry about, and I don’t have many big hills to climb either. In preparation for this trip (and another in January) I will be hitting up the gym more frequently with some specific workouts to help me climb and prepare my body for the high altitudes.

ALTITUDE PREP

There is no perfect method as the high elevation can treat everyone so differently but I thought I would share what has worked for me in the past. Please note, I am not a nutritionist or personal trainer I am simply sharing my own experiences and what I have found works well for my body.

Warming Up

Before every workout I do, I make sure to do a warm-up on the treadmill. I begin by elevating my treadmill to a 1%-2% elevation to avoid shin splints. The plan is to start at a jog by setting the treadmill speed at approximately 4.5 and every two minutes I will increase the speed by 0.3. I do this for 12 minutes which turns out to be slightly over a mile for my warm up. After the warm-up run I will take 5 minutes to stretch it out and lower my heart rate.

I do this specific warm up and cool down to jump start the fat burning process. It is also a great way to train your heart for endurance and your body to use it’s nutrients effectively.

Running

I got into running only a few short years ago by starting with fun races, read how here. There are so many benefits of running including it being a HUGE help when out in the mountains. By running a few miles every week you will begin to train your heart to work more efficiently for a longer period of time during this (and other) strenuous activities. This is what will help you catch your breath quicker while in the high altitudes or not tire as quickly as you may have in the past.

Running helps with your endurance which is the key factor. When running on the treadmill I will keep the treadmill at a slight incline to avoid shin splints. I will vary my runs throughout the week between long and slow runs to short interval sprints. Intervals are what will help with quick recovery and faster times when running. The long runs will help with overall endurance.

Running is not for everyone and that is okay. If running isn’t your thing, think about biking instead.

Biking

Biking is another great way to help with endurance and also build leg strength. If running isn’t for you or maybe you’d just like some variety hit the stationary bike up. Like the treadmill; biking can help with recovery, speed, and endurance when done right. Mix up your routine by doing a long ride one day, then intervals the next using the tension adjustors. Also switch up your ride by getting out of the saddle and standing to work different leg muscles.

Stair Stepper

Do you have some hiking planned? Even if not, the stair stepper is underrated. This is a must for anyone heading to the mountains. Work up a sweat by continuously climbing. This machine will work the large muscles in your butt and legs such as your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves. This machine is a calorie torture due to all the muscles you are working at once. It’s also a cardiovascular exercise too helping with endurance.

GET INTO A ROUTINE

Doing this once or twice before your trip isn’t going to make a difference in the high altitude. Make sure to get into a good routine a few weeks before. Personally, my goal is to get to the gym 5x a week using a combination of these workouts on top of some weightlifting routines (coming in a later post). Happy shredding!

Inspiration Tips & How To

Gift Ideas for Adventurous Snowboarders & Skiers

Gift Guide for Adventurous Snowboarders - Crew Photo

Oh snap! The holiday’s are just around the corner and the shopping frenzy is about to begin. With Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday coming up I’m getting my gift list put together.

I like to give the gift of experiences. Sometimes this is a concert or massage, others this is an object to aid in creating an experience like goodies for traveling or other adventures. That’s where this list comes from, I thought it’d be fun to put together a list of things I use consistently in my snowboarding adventures or am looking into purchasing myself to help you get some gifting ideas if you have a friend or family member who snowboards or skis that you are shopping for this holiday season.

Note: Since I am a lady, some of these products point to the women’s version but there are variations available for both genders.

$25 AND UNDER GIFT IDEAS

 

 

Ski Balm – $8.27 at Amazon

I have not tried this personally yet but it is on my list this season. Ski Balm is a facial lotion and lip balm to help prevent sunburn and wind burn.

Handwarmers – $6.95 for 5 Pack at Amazon

You can never go wrong with handwarmers! I buy these babies in bulk at the beginning of the season to use throughout. I also found a great hack to keep one in my phone pocket as well since the cold kills the battery, this helps prevent my phone from getting too cold so I can continue to listen to my tunes all day.

Portable Pocket Charger – $10.99 at Amazon

I carry one of these in my pack at all times. With the cold and the lack of service in some areas your cell phone battery struggles. This is a great backup to have in case you ever get into a sticky situation. This isn’t your awesome power bank to charge everything, it’s a backup that is pocket sized and lightweight.

Flylow Gobblette Neck Gator – $11.95 at Backcountry

I love to have multiple neck gators of fun patterns. This switches up my outfit from ride to ride, also ensures I have a clean, dry one available.

Avalanche Terrain Book – $13.95 at Amazon

For the backcountry enthusiast this book is a must read! Nothing compares to actual experience and though you should still take a class, this is a great place to start. I am hoping to get one in my stocking this year (hint hint) as I have several upcoming trips that will include some backcountry adventures.

Smartwool Socks – $25.00 at Backcountry

I am looking to switch up my sock game this season and have heard rave reviews about these. My feet have a tendency to freeze quickly and as I learn more about layering, these would be much better than a thick pair of socks in your boots which surprisingly can actually make your feet colder due to how snug they make your boots.

$50 AND UNDER GIFT IDEAS

 

Smartwool Balaclava – $40.00 at Backcountry

Similar to a neck gator is this sweet head garment. These thin yet warm layers fit nicely under a helmet rather than wearing a bulky hat.

Under Armour Cold Gear Leggings – $48.99 at Under Armour Outlet

I am seriously obsessed with these and you can never have too many! I currently have two pairs myself. They are super warm and stretchy, yet thin so they layer very comfortably under snow pants giving me maximum range of motion while riding.

GIFT IDEAS OVER $50

Smith Bluetooth Helmet Speakers – $130.00 at Backcountry

I have several friends with these sweet puppies and am antsy to pick up a pair for myself! These bluetooth speakers fit nicely into helmets with the headphone friendly liner. They also work on clicks, clicking the sides to answer your phone and pause the tunes.

Dakine Low Roller Snowboard Bag – $134.95 at Backcountry

A good bag is a staple for any snowboarder or skier who travels. Above is a snowboard bag with some specific things I look for. It allows for two boards to be packed and protected along with roller wheels for lugging it around. It also has a separate space for your boots which is great if you’re like me going right from the slope to the airport separating the dry from the wet.

Avalanche Safety Class Registration – $350+ at AIARE

Do you have a backcountry enthusiast on your hands? Give the gift of knowledge and safety. AIARE offers multiple classes throughout the year. Begin at level one and work your way up!

WRAPPING IT UP

Haha see what I did there? If you clicked through the links of this article you will notice I referenced some specific Backcountry.com quite a bit. These site is one my staples for anything related to snowboarding, that I personally shop and love. This is a great place to give someone a gift card to if you don’t want to purchase an actual gift. Another great gift card option is Liftopia.com where you can purchase season passes, single-day and multi-day lift tickets as well.

I did not want to get into the nitty gritty of snowboards, skis, and all other larger items as they will vary so much by person and their style of riding. If you happen to know what they are eyeing up that is great! Otherwise I would advise staying away from purchasing said items and just doing a gift card instead.

I hope this post helps in your shopping adventure this season. What else is on your list?

 

Product images are directly from the linked product pages.

Tips & How To

Must Have Apps for a Snowboarding or Ski Trip

View from Jeep while driving up the mountains of Big Cottonwood Canyon Utah.

It’s that time of year where us snowboarders are starting to plan our trips for the season. Making decisions on whether to fly or drive, where to stay, and who can handle the terrain we plan to encounter. Here are some of my favorite apps that I use regularly during all of my snowboarding trips.

THE WEATHER CHANNEL APP

This app is pretty common and probably already in your back pocket. What I love about The Weather Channel App is the location feature and easily finding out the weather wherever you are or plan to travel. You can easily check the live radar as well. Allow this app to send notifications so you are able to get warnings about any flash floods or other severe weather headed your way.

My favorite moment is when I arrived in Denver last season I got a notification for a severe weather alert, a snowstorm, as I stepped off the plane. Scored some sweet powder days!

VENMO

This one is an absolute must have! Owned by Paypal, Venmo allows you to instantly send money to your friends who are also using the app. It’s great for splitting gas, parking and of course your bar tab. My friends and I have discovered the hard way that many places don’t split tabs for big parties while on snowboarding trips out in Colorado. Having everyone in the crew download this app was a total game changer. No fumbling around with cash or remembering to pay someone later.

My favorite part is leaving fun messages for your friends when paying 💸💰. Gotta find that perfect emoji! It’s the simple things. 😉

BONUS: Not only can you send money but you can also request! Personally I use this for some of the monthly subscriptions my friends and I split.

WAZE

Forget “Google Maps” by google and “Maps” by apple, get Waze. Why? This app is a social driving app. Say what!? Okay, let me break it down a bit. Once you open and log into the app you are now a “wazer”. You, along with other wazer’s are reporting the road hazards in real time. Including where cops may be sitting and waiting if you’re a lead foot like myself.

This app has a very simple user interface, without the use of typing you are able to mark hazards with icons. With the help of other wazers alike it also routes you on the fastest path to your destination like google, but I have found this to be much faster. I do get re-routed more often with Waze, avoiding major slowdowns which google doesn’t detect as quickly.

OPEN SNOW APP

Last but not least, and honestly probably the most crucial app to have available on a snowboarding or ski trip is the Open Snow App. Generally on a snowboarding trip my crew travels to a destination with many resort options and we don’t set a plan for what to ride what day. We plan to follow the powder.

The crew at Open Snow is phenomenal at updating the stats regularly. This app is one to open each morning of your trip. You can easily view where the most snow has fallen to help you decide where to ride. Some other great features of this app is it uses your location to bring up resorts close to you. You can also save your favorite mountains (or maybe your local ones) to view quickly on hour home screen of the app. Lastly there is a “Powder Finder” tab if you are able to be flexible enough to travel wherever the powder may be.

 

Tips & How To

How to Pack a Snowboard Bag When Flying

Half the snowboard crew aboard the plane.

Recently I took a trip out to Colorado for my birthday! This trip was something crazy, but I’ll get into that in a later post. As the date approached I got several questions from my friends that were joining but have never been snowboarding in the mountains before. They were asking not only what to pack but how to pack for this type of trip as they have never flown with a snowboard bag.

We decided to fly out, flying bags gets costly depending on your airline. Generally I suggest using Southwest as they include two bags with their fare but for this trip it ended up being cheaper going a different route between multiple airlines so I traveled with ONLY a board bag and “personal item”, a.k.a. my backpack, which I do pack overnight necessities in in case the plane gets delayed or bags are lost. You don’t want to get stranded with nothing, this is good practice anytime you fly if you are not paying for a carry on. I chose this to reduce baggage costs since I traveled on Suncountry Airlines out to Colorado and Frontier back home.

There really is no right or wrong way to pack but some airlines do carry restrictions on what can actually go in your board bag. Be sure to read the guidelines carefully. All the airlines mentioned above, I have successfully traveled with my board bag packed as shown in this article.

SNOWBOARD TRIP NECESSITIES

  • Snowboard
  • Boots
  • Bindings
  • Helmet
  • Hat
  • Gloves
  • Jacket
  • Backpack – Great to have when riding mountains to carry water, snacks, lunch, cameras and whatever else have you.
  • CamelBak Reservoir – My favorite, they have a lifetime warranty! Well worth the extra money.
  • Insulated Hose – My pack has the hose exposed, this keeps it from freezing.
  • Warm Riding Socks
  • Snowpants
  • Under Armour Cold Gear Leggings and Tops – These are my favorite! Super warm, fitting yet flexible so I have lots of space to move under my gear to maneuver through those tight trees.
  • Toiletries – Toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, all that jazz.

BACKCOUNTRY NECESSITIES

  • Shovel
  • Probe
  • Beacon

Alrighty here’s the skinny, we gotta get this all into one board bag under 50lbs! While packing, I discovered bigger is not always better. With a 166cm board bag it was extremely easy to go over the weight limit.

SNOWBOARD BAG LAYDOWN

Some good rules of thumb for the large compartment can be seen below:

Snowboard Bag Laydown of main packing space.

TIP: Keep your boots at the bottom (where the wheels are) of your bag. As a result this will help prevent too many items shifting while transporting.

Now onto the smaller compartments of your snowboard bag. Remember, we have some extra gear this time due to our backcountry snowboarding plans. This gear needs to be protected properly while traveling so it does not get damaged. See the diagram below for ideas on how you can keep everything protected and packed into a safe place:

Snowboard bag laydown of ziped compartments.

Most of all I hope you can use this as a guide to help plan for your next snowboarding trip! If you have other hacks, please share them in the comments below.

Tips & How To

5 Things to Avoid While Snowboarding in Deep Powder

Wow what a trip! I learned a lot while shredding it up with my friends Ben and Jerry out in Utah. To start off, I have never ridden deep powder before! I know how sad, this is my 9th season! This is what happens when you live in Minnesota and were a broke high schooler and college kid when starting out. I mean, I’m not a virgin to powder but nothing more than a few inches really. Is that really powder even?

Ben, Jerry, and I packed the Jeep and headed out west to Salt Lake City, Utah for my first epic snowboarding road trip over the holiday break. In the past I have always flown. I should mention, they both are great riders who were constantly pushing my skills and tested my limits on this trip. I call Jerry the “escape artist” because every resort he would find the gates and we’d hit it up out of bounds. Ben is the “Destroyer” whipping through trees, and when he first began, falling off chairlifts haha!

This trip also included my first backcountry snowboarding experience. We took a couple days to hike Big Cottonwood Canyon. Honestly this is my favorite way to ride. Ride hard doing things you’ve never done with experienced people, you learn quick! However, the deep powder that Utah had to offer was not always my friend. Here are some things I took away from this adventure.

 DEEP POWDER MISHAPS

One

When riding in deep powder, DO NOT lean too far forward.

Two

When they say go straight off the rock, DO NOT aim left otherwise you could land on a smaller hidden rock.

Three

DO NOT do a jumping jack off the cliff. You won’t land it.

Four

DO NOT fall in front of your friends, they will skeet you.

Five

DO NOT do so much “whooshing” that you lose your balance.

The best way to learn is to fail. Man, did I do a lot of learning…