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What To Do In A Closed Ski Resort

by Nick Baines December 10, 2020

The 5 Best Things To Do When Ski Lifts Are Closed

Time in the mountains this season is looking a little different. With intermittent lockdowns and lift closures, snow sport enthusiasts are having to work a little harder for their powder fix.

Being in a closed ski resort poses a number of possibilities though and doesn’t have to mean a Netflix binge indoors. Here we explore some of the best things to do when the lifts are locked down.


Sledges, rodels, or even those plastic bum skimmers can be a wild way to spend the day - it can be a whole heap fo fun even if you don’t have kids.

Many resorts actually have specific rodeling routes, particularly in Austria, so sniff them out for longer rides. The day spent hiking, taking in the fresh air and scenery can be paired with a cruisey descent down these well worn rodel routes and cat tracks.

Hiking for Powder

The lifts might have closed but the snowfall hasn’t. We have it on very good authority that some of the best powder days are already being had by those prepared to hike.

It requires some serious fitness and stamina - and sometimes some inside knowledge on backroads and accessible cat tracks - but those powder fields we all know and love aren’t getting tracked out as quick as you’d think.

Avalanche safety should be front of mind when hiking for powder, if you don’t have the knowledge and skills required to access powder safely, then stick to low gradient tree lines on the edge of the resort, or better yet, get some training. 

Hit some handrails

This is primetime for hitting handrails and street jibs, providing the snow line is low enough. Time to practice your lipslides and boardslides down some small unsuspecting rails, before shovelling the steps and throwing them down to get the shot.

If you’re new to handrails, then look for those in quiet unused areas where the steps still have a good covering of snow. Sports grounds and playing fields are a great place to hunt these ones down before taking your handrail skills it to the streets. 

Build your own park

The DIY ethos is alive and well and with a simple shovel you can create everything from single hit kickers, to flowing lines down small gradients. Look for ground with an incline and think about using blocks, benches and rails to create your mini park lines. Gap jumps are fun, and ending runs with a wall stall or some kind of quarter pipe can while away hours, of not days of down time.

Cross country skiing

This traditional sport builds both endurance and stamina. Presuming you can access some cross country gear within the resort, this can be a great way to get out across the landscape and away from all the buildings. Be warned though, you will ache in places you weren’t even aware of. 

Nick Baines
Nick Baines


With an insatiable thirst for travel, Nick Baines is a journalist based on the UK’s south coast. With more than 20 years experience in snow sports, he’s contributed features to publications all over the world.


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