WHAT DOES 100 DAYS ON SNOW MEAN TO YOU? Ask a skier or snowboarder what “100 days” means to them and they will undoubtedly get a wistful look in their eyes and give you a confident answer. It is often spoken, even bragged about. It is a token of commitment, an invisible “step up” in a skier’s life. It is transcendence into skiing enlightenment—the mystical “100 day” season. For skiers and snowboarders, sliding downhill on snow 100 days in a season is not only a worthy goal to keep in mind while training, but it’s also a dedication and a willingness to prioritize this particular pursuit in their lives. To ski 100 days, you have to go out skiing more days than not, and you can’t pick and choose the conditions you ski. You have to get up and go ski several days a week, sacrificing most other pursuits in order to reach that triple-digit number. In the following article, we’ll outline how to reach this milestone, from the daily choices you make to the big-picture schedule required.
By far, the easiest way to ski 100 days in a year is to structure your work life around skiing. You could be a professional skier who can travel at the drop of a hat and skis their home resort every day in between. Or you could save up a bunch of money, quit your job, buy a van, and chase storms all winter. More likely than either of those situations is to work a seasonal job at a ski resort or nearby business. Seasonal jobs tend to have odd hours; snowcat drivers, for example, don’t begin their work day until the resort closes down and don’t stop until the sun comes up. Most resort employees have at least a few days a week where they’re off during prime ski hours, allowing them to do a few runs. (Hello, free season pass!) Other seasonal resort jobs include ski technicians, restaurant servers, dishwashers, hotel workers, bartending, and nannying, to name a few.Working remotely is also another realistic possibility for building your work life around your skiing. Thanks to the digital age, it’s much easier for people like writers, engineers, and graphic designers to work for companies remotely, meaning they can live and work anywhere in the world as long as they hit whatever deadlines are set for them. If you are in a career or job that is conducive for working remotely, do it! You will be happy knowing that the uncrowded, midweek powder day is always worth working until 10 p.m. that same day.
If we only subject ourselves to skiing during the heart of the season, when the snowpack is deepest and the snowfall abundant, we miss out on a lot of potential ski days. One approach is to ski as early in the season as you possibly can and stay on the gas pedal until the last days of the season. Most resorts who get early snow will try and open up a few runs in November and early December. Who cares if it’s an easy groomer they had to create by plowing all of the nearby snow–it’s still skiing, baby!This is especially beneficial to backcountry skiers and snowboarders. With the proper backcountry and avalanche knowledge / gear, skiers and riders can ski the moment the first snow hits in October and extend their season past the closing day at nearby resorts. Safety should always be a consideration, especially in the early and late season when ground hazards are exposed, but maximizing the duration of your ski season is essential. It is also helpful to plan out your season as much as you can. You can typically assume that resorts with consistently good snowfall in Utah, Colorado and Wyoming will be open from sometime in early December until March or April. This can help you calculate based on your work schedule and trips you can take, when you should ski locally and when you should try to tick vacation days at a faraway resort.
One hundred days of skiing is no joke when it comes to taking a toll on your body. Along with preparing your body by training, you have to maintain a conservative mindset. What good is having the motivation to ski before work if you tweak your knee in the second week? Ski within your abilities and keep it mellow when you can. The search for 100 days is a season-long pursuit, and time off to nurse an injury will threaten your chances of making it happen. Maintain your body with proper rest and recovery. Sustained use and overuse can strain your body to the point of injury. Eat well by fueling your body with important nutrients, carbs, good fats, vitamins, and protein. Solid nutrition will encourage muscle growth and recovery. Consider adding yoga and stretching into your routine. Self-care will go a long way to maintain joint and muscle health.Finally, get enough sleep. Sleep is one of the most important catalysts for recovery. Recent research suggests that the ideal amount of sleep for 99.9% of the population is seven to nine hours. It’s even more important for high-performing athletes, which you need to be to ski 100 days in a season.