Tips for the Beginning Skier – What to do at Big Bear Lake

Bear Mountain ski run
We look forward to the falling snow for the new skiers out there!

Winter weather is coming to Big Bear Lake! We can feel it here and The Weather Channel is confirming it. We may be a little jealous of Dallas for the snow they just received, but we have something they don’t: gorgeous mountains with lovely trails for skiing and snowboarding. We’re not positive, but we guess there are not that many avid skiers in Texas. We can give them a few pointers from 7000 feet up. You too might not be as familiar with skiing as we are here in Big Bear, so if you’re new to the sport here’s how to get started.

Big Bear Lake Weather

Tuesday, December 11 – High 55°, Low 23°
Wednesday, December 12 – High 46°, Low 24°
Thursday, December 13 – High 40°, Low 17°
Friday, December 14 – High 41°, Low 17°
Saturday, December 15  – High 45°, Low 20°
Sunday, December 16 – High 47°, Low 19°
Monday, December 17 – High 50°, Low 23°

What do you wear to ski in Big Bear?

There is quite a bit of equipment you need as a first time skier, but you don’t have to purchase all of it to get started skiing. Fortunately, the slopes around Big Bear have many rental packages to help new skiers get started. Bear Mountain’s and Snow Summit’s full day complete rental package is very affordable and the equipment they have is kept in excellent condition. You can also just rent a few pieces of it if that is all you need, or you forgot something.

 Skiing Gear Checklist

  • Skis – These are why you are here. It is best to rent skis until you are ready to commit to frequent ski trips. You can also test out different kinds of skis to find the ones you like the most.
  • Boots – Boots need to have the proper fit. Not too tight, and with a good amount of flexibility and warmth to keep you upright and comfortable. Bindings are part of the boots, and are designed to let your boot go if you fall or wipe out, protecting you from more serious injuries. You also want these to be in good working order.
  • Poles – Useful for balance and getting moving, there are two sides to the ski pole debate. One side feels that they are a crutch, and you should learn to stop and turn before you use poles. The other side feels that they will help a beginning skier gain confidence through preventing falls and offering more control.
  • Ski socks – A sound investment, they will help make sure the only reason your feet and legs are sore is all the exercise you just finished.
  • Warm underclothes – There are plenty of long pants and long sleeve shirts you can wear as layers that wick the sweat away from your skin. These will help keep you warmer and safer all day.
  • Dry outer clothes – You do not need to buy anything fancy, just get the thickest, warmest clothes you have in your wardrobe. Try to avoid cottons or any other fabrics that absorb water easily.
  • Winter jacket/waterproof snow pants – You are trying to stay dry and warm. Getting a nice pair of pants and a winter coat that are not only warm but waterproof will help you with that.
  • Gloves and helmet – The gloves are much needed to keep your vulnerable hands warm. The helmet, while you are beginning, will keep your head safe AND warm.
  • Sunscreen – Even though it is cold, anything exposed can get a sunburn if you are not protected. The sun is still out, and now it is being reflected off a bright surface on the ground, as well as the bright blue sky.
  • Goggles – Important for two reasons: They get rid of the glare from the sun reflecting off of white snow, and protect your eyes if you steer into some branches or fall.

Learning how to Fall

There is an art to falling. It is not a pretty art, but it is something that every skier has gone through. The most important thing you want to do when you fall is to avoid serious injuries.

  • Check your bindings and make sure they are properly adjusted. Leg bones fractures have decreased dramatically with better releasing bindings. Avoid people and objects on your way.
  • Relax, you’re more likely to hurt if your muscles are tense. However, don’t just abruptly drop onto the snow; try to keep some control of your limbs.
  • Absorb the fall with your hip and shoulder to protect more vulnerable parts, like knees, wrists and elbows.
  • If you know you are about to lose control and are going over, fall down. Fighting a fall can lead to an even greater injury.
  • Enjoy falling! It will remind you why you are there in the first place, and snow is soft most of the time.

Just a few more things

  • Take some ski lessons – Bear Mountain has a Skill Builder Park  and Snow Summit has their Snow Sports School, where you can start on the small tasks, working your way up to the larger challenges. Even one or two lessons will help your enjoyment and safety on the slopes.
  • Make sure you are always skiing with a friend. They can help give you some pointers as you are learning the ropes. If someone gets hurt, the other person can go and make sure you get help.
  • Drink plenty of water – You will dehydrate from all of the exercise you are doing if you do not drink enough water. Anything with caffeine or alcohol should be put aside until the end of the day, since both of these will dehydrate you further.
  • Have a snack – Skiing burns between 300 and 600 calories an hour. Make sure you have some fuel in the tank for all that exercise.
  • Learn how to get on and off the lift. It might look fun to ride the lift all day, but you came to ski, right?

We are really looking forward to the skiing and snowboarding that is going to be going on all winter, as well as the amazing events around those two sports that come to the mountains every year. Keep up with us on Facebook and Twitter for information on those events, and make sure you get your reservations in as soon as you know. We would love to see you. And if you are coming in from Dallas, could you bring some snow with you?


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