Best Time to Ski: Afternoon or Morning?

If you like to ski at any level, there’s really no wrong time to enjoy this activity as long as there’s sufficient natural light, conditions you prefer, access to lifts, and plenty of fresh powder available. As for whether morning or afternoon skiing is “better,” the answer depends on what fits your needs and preferences. In fact, there are benefits associated with each of these options, which we go over below so you can determine what’s best for you. Here’s a comparison of skiing at different times of day, brought to you by the snow sports experts at ASO Mammoth, the place to go for high-quality Mammoth ski rental.

Morning Skiing

If you’re just learning how to ski and taking on-site lessons, mornings may be better for you. This is when some people, especially younger skiers, are more alert, which helps with the learning process. Learning new skills earlier in the day also gives you more time to try out what you’ve just learned while everything is still fresh in your mind.

For skiers of all skill levels, morning skiing offers other perks. For instance, the powder is usually more pristine and well-groomed in the morning. At some resorts, crowds can also be lighter in the earlier part of the morning before other skiers arrive or make their way to popular ski areas. This is especially true if you’re an Ikon Passholder at Mammoth Mountain and you ski on one of the “early up” days. This is when passholders get an extra hour of lift service starting at 7:30 a.m.

You may also prefer to ski in the morning if you want to divide your time between skiing and other winter activities you can do in the same area. Using Mammoth as an example, getting in some skiing in the morning means you could do some snowboarding later if you wish. Other possibilities include snow tubing, snowmobiling, or taking a break from outdoor activities entirely and checking out local shops and restaurants.

Afternoon Skiing

If you’re not naturally a morning person, you may be more alert in the afternoon. In this instance, afternoon skiing can be better, since optimal alertness is what keeps you safe as you ski. Another perk associated with afternoon skiing is the ability to have a nutritious breakfast or lunch first. Doing so means you’ll have an extra energy boost, which can be good if you’re a more advanced skier preferring to do more tricks and other moves requiring extra energy.

With skiing lessons, you may also prefer the afternoon if you’re beyond the beginner level. This gives you the opportunity to do some morning skiing on your own to determine what skills you need to work on during on-site lessons later in the day.

Some skiers also prefer the afternoon because the powder is a bit more “worn in” from use. You can usually spot areas where it’s generally safer to land or ski based on the patterns in the snow made by other skiers. Additionally, it may be easier for everyone to meet up for some skiing later in the day if you’ll be coming with a group. 

No matter what time of day you prefer to ski, drop by and chat with the experts at ASO Mammoth on your way to the slopes. We have great advice for skiers and snowboarders alike, and we can hook you up with all the gear you need for an amazing mountain adventure. Whether they need to register a tour, check out the latest equipment, or find high-quality ski rental, Mammoth visitors know they can rely on us for great service and expert advice. Come by and see us or give us a call at 760-965-3444.