What to wear on those magical skiing days
For winter lovers, there's perhaps no greater joy than a freshly prepared slope on a sunny day or a mountain peak with an enchanting view.
Check the weather forecast
There's no point using all-weather gear if you're wearing them at the wrong time. It makes a huge difference if the forecast says -10°C or 10°C and whether or not it will be windy. The wind especially has a significant influence on how cold you'll feel out there on the slopes. You know yourself better than anyone and the more time you spend skiing, the better you'll know which clothing is needed under which conditions.
Layer by layer Whether it's December or June, the key is to wear layers and always with wool against your skin. A cold day will require several thick layers to keep you warm. On warm days, a few thin layers are sufficient. An important point here is to keep a spare bottom layer in your bag. It's essential to stay dry in order to remain warm and a longer lunch break or descents from the top of the mountain will be much more comfortable after you've changed that sweaty bottom layer.
Why wool? Firstly, wool has an incredible ability to absorb moisture, which we produce a lot of, especially on a trip to the mountains. Absorbing moisture is extremely helpful on both warm and cold days, as a damp woollen garment still feels comfortable to wear. It's also easy to change, takes up very little space, dries quickly and does not smell awful, even after having been used several times. This is particularly handy if you're going away for several days or will be trekking for a number of days straight.
Be bold, start cold
A good starting point for any mountain trip or skiing holiday is to start with 'not quite enough' clothes on. That way you'll avoid having to stop to peel off layers after 10 minutes once you've warmed up.
On the other hand, it's no fun at all to have chattering teeth halfway up the mountain, frozen toes on the chair lift or clothes soaked through with your own sweat. I've experienced all of the above several times and can say for certain that they're easy to avoid by taking some simple steps. Regardless of whether you're spending a day on the slopes or are trekking across the peaks, I have the same basic clothing tips for you.
Examples of clothes for early season / mountain slopes
Here are some example of outfits suitable for December-March:
- Ski socks, wool bra and, ideally, wool shorts.
- Thick wool sweater, ideally with a high neck, and wool capris or long johns. Extra sweater in the bag.
- A thin down jacket or wool sweater in the bag to start.
- Thicker headwear, ideally with some insulation and ventilation options.
- Hat, scarf and gloves for the way up and, ideally, warmer mittens with wind protection for the journey down.
- Examples of late season wear / mountaintop tours
Here are some examples of what to wear from April-June:
- Ski socks, wool bra.
- Wool pants or wool capris. If it's very warm, we recommend 'mesh' because it ventilates well.
- A suitably thick wool top or T-shirt and an extra one in your bag.
- It's worth having a good sweater in your bag for when you reach the top, where it's often windy.
- A thin layer of shell fabric, at least on your upper body.
Enjoy your excursion – and don't hesitate to send me any questions if there's anything you're wondering about! @simonsentine
Kind regards, Tine