Travel Blog

7 Mar

Can’t Make First Chair? 10 Tips & Tricks to Getting There First

For the afternoon crowd who lurk around these parts you should know that, with a small amount of extra discipline, you can make first chair and log way more pow laps in a day (or get crisp groomers, if that’s your schtick). I know everyone has their excuses as to why they can’t get to the mountain when the gondola cracks, but the reality is that unless you have kids your excuses don’t matter.

Rule of thumb: for every child in your care you’re aloud to be 30 minutes late for anything – no questions asked. So, unless you’re a parent with a legit excuse, get to the lifts early or feel the wrath of eternally tracked powder.

To help you out, here are ten tips tricks to help you get to the lifts before the crack of noon.

1. Watch the Forecast

If you wake up late to a foot of fresh and this surprises you, I have no sympathy for you. Everyone in Whistler is an amateur weather forecaster so if you want to fit in here get in on that fad. Also, if you really want to know what’s gonna happen with the snow – learn to interpret the surf forecast.

2. Wake Up When You’re Supposed To

There is a setting on your phone called an “alarm clock.” Productivity hack #1.

3. Remember How Your Favorite Powder Stash Looks Untracked

Like a college freshman – young, eager, and ready to change the world – was your first month in Whistler. You were up early, got after the snow bright and early, and laughed at your good fortune in snaking first tracks down some long-time local’s favorite spot. Remember that feeling. The local didn’t mind you snaking his spot because he still get’s it most days while you’re still sleeping.

4. Organize Your Gear The Night Before

Sounds simple, right? Productivity hack #2.

5. Don’t be an Optimist

Everything takes longer than you think, so give yourself more time. A missed bus, a passed out housemate in the bathroom, a forgotten pass, or a broken bootlace are not excuses – they’re what you get when you see the glass half-full and you don’t leave yourself enough time.

6. Don’t Stop For Coffee

Harder done than said. Productivity hack #3.

7. Last Call, First Chair is a Myth

Show me anyone who can hit last call and first chair for seven days straight and your après is on me. This is a limited time offer subject to change.

8. Powder Days Are Better With Friends, Get First Chair Friends

“No Friends on a Powder Day” might be a worthwhile saying if you live in Colorado and your per/annum powder days are marginally better than my per/annum birthday days. However, if you live in Whistler powder days are plentiful and – even when the snow year is sparse – good snow is still readily available. And this is true: pow days are always more fun with a good crew which means that your crew should be just as committed to first chair as you are.

9. Spend Money on Being Early aka Drop $$$ and Hit Fresh Tracks Breakfast

I’ve never done the Fresh Tracks breakfast though I hear it’s pretty amazing (bring a ziplock for your lunch). What I do know is this: if you spend your hard earned green on being up the mountain early for breaky, you’ll be there early.

10. Spring Shred

Somewhere along the way the afternoon shred shift actually will work in your favor and the freeze-thaw cycle makes rolling into the park sometime after brunch feel like a good start to the day. I guess there is always a silver lining to everything and, with spring right around the corner, I’ll see ya right around noon.


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