What you wear matters
There is no such thing as bad weather…only inappropriate clothing.
Although you can spend an inordinate amount on fancy ski-wear, you don’t need to. Most of the suggested items can be approximated from your current wardrobe, especially if you spend time outdoors, hunting, hiking, running, biking or just building snowmen.
Weather conditions on the mountain can vary dramatically, even within one day. Come prepared for the colder days, wind and snow and you can always shed a few layers if it turns out to be warm and sunny.
Cotton is not recommended. Any wicking, synthetic fabric, silk or wool is preferable.
Long underwear – a thin, fairly fitted, stretchy base layer with long pants and sleeves. Cold weather running tights and top would be appropriate.
Knee-length socks – socks are not all created equal. Avoid cotton, very thick socks that will make your boots too snug, tube socks that bag around the ankles, socks that are too big and form bunches in odd places, ankle socks that disappear under your foot or make a pressure point at the ankle. Wear only one sock on each foot. Multiple layers wrinkle and cause problems.
Long Sleeve Shirt with high collar – a turtle neck, light fleece pullover with half zip or sweatshirt.
Second layer of pants – this depends on what you have for ski pants. If you have heavily insulated, water-resistant snow pants you may not need a second layer underneath. Sweatpants or yoga pants will do nicely if you have snow pants with little or no insulation. Even if they are high-tech water-resistant and breathable fabric, without insulation they don’t provide much warmth.
Sweater or Fleece – a fleece jacket or a zip-in liner for a ski jacket is perfect.
Ski jacket – this may be insulated or just a shell but it must be at least water-resistant. If the temperature is not well below freezing, the snow will melt on the surface of your jacket which will become damp and cold.
Snow pants – even more so than the jacket, these need to be as water-proof as possible. Snowboarders often sit on the snow while resting, strapping in their foot or listening to instructions. Lift chairs may be wet with melted snow.
Waterproof gloves or mittens – this is probably the most often neglected and the most needed item. Gloves will soon become wet and cold if they are not at least mostly waterproof. Knitted wool gloves can be used as a liner inside a glove but are completely useless alone. Mittens are far warmer than gloves and can more easily accommodate a liner underneath.
Goggles and/or sunglasses – if snow is falling, goggles are essential to keep snow out of your eyes. If it is a bright and sunny day, sunglasses may be sufficient but eyes must be protected from the bright reflected sunlight.
Hat or Helmet – a hat or ski helmet are essential for retention of body heat. If it becomes warm enough to remove your hat it can easily be placed in a pocket.
Sunscreen – the reflected light can also cause severe sunburn. Please apply sunscreen before starting your day of skiing.
Hand and foot warmers – inexpensive, air-activated chemical hand warmers provide hours of warmth inside pockets or mittens. Foot warmers that stick to the insole of your ski boots perform in a similar way.
If you are missing any of these items, you may find them in our retail store.