7 Ways to Prepare for the Cold

7 Ways to Prepare for the Cold

Temperature forecasts are dropping. Snowier, Cloudier days are in the forecast. Are you prepared?

Your weather app tells you the temperature at the base of the mountain - not at the top, or even mid mountain.  An extra 2000 feet in altitude makes a big difference! Nothing can slow down a morning like having to ski back down to the condo (or worse, the ski shop) to grab another layer.
Make sure you are prepared!

Here are 7 ways to prepare for those cold days on the mountain.

1) Warm Your Core & Manage Your layers 

On any given average ski day, I wear two layers: a mid-weight base layer, plus a light fleece or wool mid-layer, under my ski jacket.  On colder days, I always add a third layer like a down or synthetic puffy vest or jacket to put on between my mid-layer & my shell. A good example of this would be an Arc'Teryx Cerium LT or Atom LT Jacket or Vest.  Another good option for your third layer would be another fleece jacket.


2) Protect Your Head, Face, and Neck

Many ski jackets have a good, helmet-compatible hood.  Keeping your head warm will keep the rest of your body warm - heat rises and along with it, so does your thermal energy.  So put your hood on, zip up your jacket all the way up, and warm up! You can add other layers of protection as well. A good neck gaiter or balaclava will keep your neck warm. You can also fit a lightweight beanie under your helmet to ensure that you don't lose any heat between your helmet and your jacket hood.

3) Stay Dry

Water proof & water resistant outerwear and having NO COTTON in your layers is very important. Make sure your older outerwear that has been worn & washed is well treated with a DWR coating and is ready to keep you dry.  We carry this in our stores and it is easy to apply.


4) Mittens are Warmer than Gloves

Four's not a crowd when it comes to staying warm.  Mittens keep your thumb free but tuck away the other 4 digits into one compartment for better warmth retention.  Don't be afraid to try out hand warmers either!


5) Don't Layer Your Socks

Ski boots are hard shell & unforgiving. They can only accommodate one pair of ski socks (plus a toe heater and a very light sock liner if you prefer). The more you cram in your boots, the less circulation you will have, the colder your feet are, and the more blisters you will get.  The best way to add heat to your boots are toe warmer packs and quality ski socks (not hunting socks).

6) Stay Active

Long breaks by the fire might warm you up temporarily, but they don't help your muscles stay loose & warmed up.  It's always good to stay moving, avoid long lift lines, and keep skiing! 

7) Get Lower!

The top of the mountain is almost always the coldest spot on the mountain, especially on snowy, windy days.  Change your game plan and move to mid-mountain for some skiing.  This will also help you avoid the wind. If you stay below the timberline or in the trees, you'll cut down your exposure to the wind.

If you're coming with us on this year's Backpacker Tours ski trip, I'll see you soon!