It seems the older I get, skiing seems to get colder. This is from a gal that skied in jeans as a teenager because that appeared to be cool at the time. (Believe me it wasn’t just cool but freezing, but I looked good). Staying warm isn’t easy and requires a little knowledge and some specialized clothing.
It’s important to prepare your body in advance for skiing.
Get plenty of rest the night before you ski and drink plenty of fluids. This is especially important if you are flying in from lower elevations. Drink some juice and have a healthy meal about an hour before you hit the slopes. This helps your body get ready to deal with the cold weather.
Understand the principles of layering
The wicking layer is worn next to the skin, and “wicks” moisture away from the skin. The purpose is to keep you warm, dry and comfortable. Choose thermal underwear made of synthetic material such as polyester, polypropylene or silk. Avoid cotton clothing such as jeans, sweatshirts and sweatpants next to the skin, since it absorbs sweat and snow and will make you cold.
This layer includes items like sweaters, vests or pullovers. This middle layer keeps heat in and cold out by trapping air between the fibers, so choose material like fleece, which insulates even when wet and dries quickly, and wool, which has wicking ability.
Wear a waterproof coat, made of material such as Gore-tex. Gore-tex allows the sweat and heat inside of the coat to escape, so you stay dry and warm. Wear insulated pants which give an extra lining for really cold days or pants that are water-resistant that allow your skin to breathe.
Headwear and Eyewear
Use a helmet – I just discovered the warming value of helmets. (Check out my post on the pros of wearing a helmet) Fleece and knit hats are good too, but won’t protect your head. Goggles protect your eyes from the wind chill and snow cold on days when it’s snowing. Don't forget a neck gator - these are very important to keep the wind chill off your neck and face.
Gloves-Mittens and Socks
Mittens are usually warmer than gloves but you don’t have the dexterity as you have in gloves, it’s a personal choice. Having a longer sleeve on the glove helps keep snow from getting in if you fall. I love whoever invented hand warmers, what a genius! Keep several in your pocket to use on those extra-cold days. For socks wear a single, thin pair of wool or acrylic. Most official ski socks have an extra cushion layer over your shins that really help the comfort level of your boots.
Last but not least – if you start to get extremely cold and your fingers or toes get numb, go inside to warm up with a cup of hot chocolate.
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The views expressed on Snowmamas are those of the individual authors, who are independent contractors of Park City Mountain Resort, and may not be factually accurate. These views are not intended to reflect the opinions of Park City Mountain Resort, its owners, its management or its employees. Snowmamas' authors have or will receive a paid trip to Park City Mountain Resort or will receive other compensation for their participation as an author.