How to Keep Skiing

How to Keep Skiing

Maintaining a healthy skiing habit can be difficult when living in a city—especially if that city is situated in the middle of an Ice Age-era glacial path. To continue skiing requires access to mountains, transportation, and, let’s be honest, time. Below, I’ve laid out these three obstacles to skiing while living in a big city, as well as how to deal with them.


  1. Access to mountains. This is likely the largest, most frustrating obstacle on the list. Sure, you have some ski resorts in the area, but you don’t want to pay fifty dollars to ride a painfully slow triple chairlift some two hundred feet. I’ve been struggling with this particular problem since moving to the Midwest—sure, it’s not ideal (in fact it’s absolutely less than ideal), but it’s still skiing, right?


If you have the time and resources to access a mountain, even if it’s a dumpy hill in the middle of the state, go for it. However, there is a more attractive option. If you feel the inclination to ski as soon as snow sticks to the ground, you probably grew up in a place with skiing opportunities. If this is the case, try to bundle your trips home. If you’re travelling back to your hometown for Christmas, extend your trip by a day or two and head out to the slopes. Sure, it’s only a day or two out of the season, but it’s an easy and accessible way to continue skiing.


  1. If you live in a city, you probably don’t own a car. Unfortunately, even in the most transit-friendly parts of the country, most commuter lines don’t often stop at the bases of ski resorts. You might have great ski mountains just outside your city limits, but getting there is difficult.


This situation is the easiest to circumvent. Though you don’t own a car, you might know someone who does. Moreover, if skiing opportunities exist around you, there are probably a number of ski clubs within the city—clubs that might offer some type of transportation. If neither of these seem like viable options, consider renting a car for a day, or utilizing a Zipcar service.


  1. Maybe you have your own car and a great, accessible mountain. Even if this is the case, getting out of the city can be difficult. You have your job, your apartment, and your friends. If you can justify spending your Saturday driving hours to a mountain, consider looking into nearby indoor ski facilities. They’re more abundant than you might imagine, and—though they can’t replicate the feeling of zipping down a mountain—they work well as an alternative if you can’t get to the slopes.



  1. Zipcar has been getting me through these long, Chicago winters. There are a few ski resorts just over the border in Wisconsin, so I split the cost of a Zipcar with a few other transplants and head up a few times every year. It’s not great, but it’s not terrible.

  2. GREAT point regarding bundled trips home. I know that many companies often offer a few extra days off around the holidays, so it’s even better because you probably won’t have to use much PTO!