Only the die-hards and desperate (or professionals) will still be skiing in the Northern Hemisphere as the winter season staggers into May with melting snow up most of the hills and crevasse-ridden glaciers
With Lycra taking over from Gore-tex as the bikes come out in the mountains, here are five things to do before putting the skis into hibernation...
1) KIT MAINTENANCE
Give your skis a service by sharpening the edges and waxing the base. You can DIY wax your skis or board following our tips here. Save seasons of waxing in the future, though, with Phantom Glide from DPS that is a once-in-a-ski-lifetime application to the base. You'll need two warm sunny days in a row when applying.
Also, pick the grass and dirt off your skins using a pair of tweezers and a lot of patience, if you've been using them at the end of the season and riding over patches of mud/grass/streams.
Remember to take the batteries out of your tranceivers, keep them for your TV remote controls and use new ones next winter.
2) END OF SEASON DEALS
There are still deals online for end of winter ski and snowboard gear. Snow + Rock, for instance, have an extra 15 percent off their winter Sale ski and snowboard gear. And these days there's not such a big deal about waiting till next winter for newer innovations to come on the market. Many ski designs from the major brands have hardly changed except for the top sheet for winter 19/20.
3) WASH SKI PANTS - YEAH OR GNAR?
From a quick survey among Style Altitude contributors and friends, even the generally more fragrant females, the general consensus is that you don't wash your ski/snowboard pants until the end - and even then should you? If you wear leggings/thermals underneath that you regularly wash then the outers as in ski pants can last through a season - and beyond.
Many seasonaires go for black, khaki or dark blue relying on the concept that if you can't see the dirt then who cares? Our ski contributor, Bing (above) bucked the trend by going for zingy yellow Black Crows, which are now, after a winter in the backcountry, a grubby mustard colour with holes around the cuffs from crampons. But what's a bit of grime and a few holes between gnar friends?
Actually dirt can effect the Durable Water Repellency of your gear. But do you want to wash it and add PFC chemical pollutants to the water system? And if you do wash, what will it do to the waterproofing, the Durable Water Repellency? Hurray for Nikwax, created by CEO and eco-warrior pioneer, Nick Brown. The Nikwax Tech Wash not only cleans outdoor gear but also revitalises the DWR - it's a product that avoids materials like palm oil, which may be sourced from unsustainable plantations and is also environmentally friendly, non-hazardous, water-based and biodegradable. You can also use Nikwax waterproofing such as TX.Direct Wash-In and Spray-On for reproofing.
End of winter slobbing out is less likely among more active skiers and snowboarders who will be madly cycling, kitesurfing, windsurfing, running or doing yoga between May and next December, keeping fit as a way of life. It's worth, though, remembering those exercises that are proven to improve ski and snowboard fitness, including hiking or, better still, running up hills.
Check out how to start the season so you hit the grounding running - or rather skiing and snowboarding without pain or injury.
5) BOOK NOW
Yeah, yeah, yeah we know BREXIT, whatever. It may happen and could effect ski holidays in Europe but it's still worth booking package deals or flights now especially if you're considering Christmas or half term dates. Also, psychologically it takes away some of the PSS Post Season Syndrome as you can start counting down to next winter's departure to the mountains.
If you're doing your own trip and are time-poor then checking the easiest travel routes for European resorts makes sense. Here are the best transfers as road-tested by those who know the routes best, the drivers for Alps2Alps.