It's that time of year when we can't help but crave powder, whether it is a much-needed snow day or the adrenaline rush we get when we hit the slopes.
But for some of us novices, we have nothing but visions of awkwardly walking around in ski boots, face planting and snow patrol. So we got one of the freshest people to ever hit the trails, professional big mountain and powder skier Caroline Gleich, to share some beginner tips so you don't feel stupid on your skis. Seriously!
- Practice might not make perfect (on your first few runs), but it surely boosts confidence. Take a lesson or pair up with a friend who is more advanced to help get you comfortable on skis and in the snow. "Adult ski school or a friend that is willing to be patient is a great way to learn," says Gleich. And don't be afraid to fall: you are landing on snow, after all!
- Get amped. "Watch a ski movie or two to get stoked and learn the lingo. I watch the newest of the year," says Gleich. Some of her top picks include Into The Mind, Seven Funny Days, All.I.Can, and classics like Hot Dog, The Movie and Aspen Extreme. Caroline also appears in the Warren Miller film "Like There's No Tomorrow".
- Suit up. In terms of clothing, start with a synthetic base layer and a merino wool mid layer on top. For pants, usually a base layer and shell do the trick. Gleich, who is sponsored by Patagonia, is particular enamored with the label's Rubicon jacket.
- Don't skip the brain bucket. A 2009 survey of ski patrollers from across the country found 77 percent of skiers weren't wearing helmets because they found them too clunky and claimed they messed up their vision, but you've gotta protect your head. Gleich says helmets from Pret, like this one, are a good lightweight option. You also need to keep your vision in check. "Snow is extremely reflective. Make sure you have goggles to protect your eyes," says Gleich.
- Stay toasty. Bring along hand warmers and toe warmers. "On really cold days, I use back heaters to stay warm," says Gleich.
- Treat your feet like gold. Gleich wears compression socks under her ski boots to help with circulation, keep feet warm and feeling fresh all day. "Ski boots can be uncomfortable, and feet swell at high altitude. Compression helps [alleviate that]," she says.
- Don't waste the pretty. Make sure you use sunscreen and lip balm. Gleich uses Elemental Herbs products. "Blisters and raccoon tans are not attractive or fun," says the pro athlete, whose mom is a dermatologist, "You can get really burned at high altitude."
- Fuel up. Drink plenty of water and keep snacks on you. "Exercising in the cold takes a lot out of you. Your body needs extra fuel to burn. I like Clif Bar Shot Blocks because they are easy to chew and digest," she adds.
More from Self.com: