New To Ski

Your Guide to Skiing Alone This Winter: How to Have an Epic Solo Adventure

by William Stupp | Published: November 8th, 2022
Solo Skier

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There’s nothing like a ski trip to bring friends and family together. But if you’re like me and your love of skiing isn’t quenched with one trip, then it might be time to plan a ski trip by yourself.

Taking a solo ski trip isn’t for everyone, but for those truly passionate about skiing, a one-person trip can make for a truly epic adventure. There are pros and cons to undertaking a solo travel ski trip and precautions to be taken. 

brown jacket

How To Know If A Solo Trip Is Right For You

Some people reading this will probably already have a good idea of whether taking a solo ski trip is right for them. But even if the thought of such a vacation causes a big flashing green light in your head, there are a few factors to consider before taking the plunge.

A solo ski trip differs from spending a weekend in Paris or New York alone. At the risk of stating the obvious, the nature of a ski trip is very different compared to a few days spent visiting museums, seeing historic sites, and dining at restaurants.

In assessing whether a solo skip trip is right for you, you’ll have to consider your skiing ability, how you like to spend your ski days, and whether you generally like to travel alone.

Advice: If the thought of a solo trip triggers more anxiety than excitement, it’s probably best to wait till you can ski with friends.

You Need To Be Comfortable On Skis

downhill skier

The most important question to ask yourself if you’re thinking about going on a one-man ski trip is whether you feel safe and comfortable while skiing. If you haven’t spent a day on the mountain by yourself, you might not be ready to take an entire trip independently.

If you’re still learning to ski, you probably should not consider taking a solo trip. Skiing can be challenging to learn, and even if you plan on taking lessons, it’s best to have friends who can help you along the way. So if you’re new to the sport, hold off on that solo trip till you’ve had a few with friends.

Safety, as always, is a paramount concern. Skiing can be dangerous and it’s much better to have friends or family nearby should you need to seek medical attention. For those reasons, skiers lacking confidence in their abilities should always travel with others.

See Also:  Are Ski Racks & Cargo Boxes Really Worth The Cost? (4 Reasons To Get One)

We’ve written in the past about the perils and positives of skiing alone. Even if you are an expert and totally comfortable busting turns by yourself, you should avoid tackling extreme terrain while on a solo trip. It’s better to have a support system near at hand when doing anything in the backcountry or far outside your comfort zone.

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Ask Yourself Whether You Can Be Happy On Your Own

Grindelwald winter
Photo by Andy Harbach under CC BY 2.0

So you feel safe and comfortable skiing by yourself. Does that mean an unchaperoned ski vacation is right for you? Well, there are a couple of other factors beyond safety and ability.

If you’re not keen on solo traveling in general, you probably won’t have a blast taking a ski trip by yourself. Needless to say, you have to be okay with alone time to enjoy a solo trip.

But even if you’ve had great experiences roaming the world by yourself, know that ski trips are different. 

Even if you love to ski by yourself, know that a ski trip isn’t all about skiing. You can only spend so many hours on the mountain and afterward, you’ll have to find your own ways to rest and recharge.

Though you might meet strangers on the mountain or out on the town, any solo skier will experience plenty of alone time. For some, this can get quite lonely.

Think about the best ski trips you’ve had. Are your fondest memories of skiing, or is your smile brighter when you think about delicious dinners and decadent après drinks with friends? If it’s the latter, you might want to hold off on planning that solo trip.

The Adventure Begins Where Your Comfort Zone Ends

powder-skis

All that said, my experience tells me that solo trips can be the most rewarding. If you’ve ever spent a day out by yourself, you’ve tasted the freedom and may well want more.

Most people prefer to ski with a partner or a group, but when your friends ski at different ability levels or prefer different kinds of terrain, this can raise all sorts of issues. Skiing alone does away with all that.

The benefits are amplified when it comes to taking a whole trip alone as there’s no need to make compromises about which resort or range you want to visit.

Organizing Your Solo Trip

Pink Ski Clothing

Practically speaking, planning a ski trip for one is a bit different than organizing a group affair. Lodging will be your most significant difference, but it’s also worth considering how you’ll stay fed and fresh.

You’ll obviously want smaller accommodation when going alone. Hostels are the ideal solution for solo skiers looking to save. Not all resorts will have a hostel near the slopes, but they are mainstays in much of the Alps and an expanding norm in North America.

See Also:  Does Skiing Require Balance?

Make sure your resort of choice has a hostel or affordable hotel rooms which are suitable for single travelers. If you’re not planning to eat out or aren’t comfortable sitting and restaurants by yourself, make sure to bring plenty of snacks and look into whether your lodging has a kitchen you can use.

Take The Requisite Safety Precautions

backcountry skiiing

Comfort aside, your safety should always be priority number one. Given that you’ll be alone, you should be in regular contact with someone back home and make a plan for checking in. 

Your friend needs to have your accommodation’s contact information and you should also keep emergency contact information on your person. As always, it’s important to have a charged phone on you at all times should you need to get help in an emergency. 

Preparing for the worst, you should also look into what it’ll be like if you need medical care. This might mean buying traveler’s insurance or just making sure you know how to get to local medical facilities, depending on your location.

Important: Safety comes first and the best way to avoid disaster on skis is to never ski alone.

ski lift chair

If you find yourself riding the lift with someone with similar skiing ability, why not do some runs together? This will be a huge benefit in case of an injury and can also lead to fun off the mountain if you find yourself a new friend to get drinks or dinner with. Don’t worry, you can still tell everyone it was a solo trip!

Tip: For your safety and sanity, meeting up with other skiers is always a good idea. This isn’t primary school; you are allowed to talk to strangers.

For the right person, a well-planned solo trip is an epic journey

Colorado Ski Trip
Photo by Bryon & Olivia licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Important: If you’re considering making a solo trip this winter, you need to be a skilled skier and take care to stick to the terrain you’re comfortable tackling. You’ll also want to ask yourself whether this is something you’ll enjoy.

Most important of all, take safety precautions such as making arrangements with an emergency contact and learning what to do in the event of injury.

Personally, I’m at my happiest when skiing with a friend of equal ability. But a lot of the time that isn’t an option. It’s nice to have friends and loved ones to come back to after a day on the mountain, but it can be hard for everyone to make time.

At the end of the day, if you can do it safely, a solo ski trip is infinitely better than no ski trip at all. Who knows, it might even be the trip of a lifetime.

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NewToSki.com is where over 1 million people a year come to learn more about skiing. I share everything I wish someone had told me when I was learning to ski. My name is Simon & I've been skiing since 2005. This winter, our family is taking a 3-month camper ski trip across the Alps. If you enjoy our articles, please join the free email club. We'd love to have you.
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