Now that the holidays are over, it is officially time to shred the gnar.

However, Colorado's favorite winter sport is never as fun if people don't respect the basic rules of the mountain.

So, I've decided to put together a list of skiing 'dos and don'ts' for us to keep in mind before we hit the slopes in 2020.

Read on, skiers:

DO: Make sure you have all the proper gear.

This doesn't mean you have to have expensive gear — rentals or hand-me-downs work just fine. But your ski experience will be so much better if everything (boots, skis, poles, etc.) is fitted properly for you. This will not only help you ski better, but it will also prevent discomfort (I'm talking foot blisters, people. No one wants foot blisters.)

DON'T: Ski without a helmet. 

I think I physically felt everyone roll their eyes at me as soon as I typed that. I know that helmets aren't the most attractive looking thing, and that most of the time wearing a hat works just fine. But they are necessary to keep you safe, no matter how good at skiing you are. You never know when some out-of-control skier is going to run you over from behind.

DO: Give the right of way to skiers in front of you.

I know it sucks when you're bombing down the mountain and someone in front of you decides to turn left or stop out of nowhere. But, they are in front of you, and therefore, they have the right of way. They can't see you behind them, so it's your job to keep your distance and anticipate any stops or turns they might make.

DON'T: Lose control.

Sometimes it is inevitable to lose control, but I'm speaking from experience here. When I first started skiing, all I wanted to do was go fast, without paying any attention to my form. This lead to me speeding down the mountain like a madwoman, unable to stop. Surprise...I crashed into a lot of things. Don't be like young Emily.

DO: Be respectful.

As a recent college graduate, I know how easy it is to get rowdy with friends during a ski day. Have fun, of course, but also be aware of the people around you. Dropping f-bombs and whipping out your flask on the lift when there's a 6-year-old next to you isn't a classy move.

DON'T: Be a jerk.

This is kind of similar to the above point, but I want to point it out because I've witnessed this multiple times. I once saw a woman (obviously a new skier) going fairly slow on a blue run. Another skier was unable to get around her as fast as he wanted to, and be began swearing and screaming at her to "get off the mountain." Maybe she wasn't ready for a blue run yet, but there's no need to be nasty. Just hold your breath and finish the run.

DO: Relax and enjoy the day. 

It's natural, and totally okay, to want to get as many runs as possible in during the day. But don't forget to give your body a break every now and then. It never hurts to enjoy a Bloody Mary or a beer on the lodge patio between runs. I am not encouraging buzzed skiing, but a little liquid courage (along with plenty of food and water) can help you tackle that difficult slope.

DON'T: Ski drunk.


Well, there you have it. Obviously, these are my opinions, but I hope you related to some of them. I didn't mention snowboarders because I cannot snowboard to save my life, but I'm sure these can apply across the board (or the mountain).

Here's to a good ski season, folks.

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