Zest Web Editor Nicola Davenport is just back from a week skiing in sub-zero Avoriaz. Heading to the Alps one day soon? Pack right to avoid frostbite on the piste
I've not been so cold on a ski trip since I braved Colorado some years ago. Sub-zero temperatures and a biting wind combined to push the mercury below -15degC (yes, that's MINUS 15 degrees C) in France's Portes du Soleil ski region last week.
So if you're heading for the French Alps any day soon, make sure you prepare well to stay safe and comfy on the slopes and enjoy record snow conditions.
My sub-zero ski trip essentials (and I really feel the cold, so if they worked for me...):
1. Merino base layers. Sweat-wicking, super-cosy: a definite must under your ski jersey or micro-fleece beneath your jacket or ski suit.
2. Glove liners. The air in the high altitude Alps is so cold right now that building up any speed at all multiplies the wind chill factor - and it's a tough pair of gloves that can cope when temperatures get truly Arctic, as they are at present.
Slip a pair of silk or (again) merino glove liners under your regular gloves for extra protection. Great as an extra layer and to stave off chills when you have to consult the piste map en route. And if even that isn't enough...
3. Handwarmers. Stick a bag of air-activated handwarmers in your bootbag. Thank goodness I packed a pile of Heat Factory 10-hour heat packs. I popped one in each of my six-year-old's mittens every morning as she set off for ski school and they kept her spirits up all day. Just wish I'd taken more so I'd had enough for me too.
4. Bootwarmers. I would not even consider going skiing without my fabulous therm-ic battery-powered bootwarmers. In fact, I love them so much I'd happily wear a pair in my boots all through the British winter too. But more than that, skiing without them would have been utterly miserable for me this year gven the extreme temperatures.
Think ahead if you suffer from cold feet, and get a set of bootwarmers fitted to your boots by a local ski kit shop. It's simple then to recharge your batteries overnight ready for an all-day blast of heat that will keep your toes cosy on the highest of pistes, the most exposed chairlifts and in the deepest snow. Perfect.
5. Ski goggles. My sunglasses made one brief appearance for about half an hour during this year's week in Avoriaz, swiftly consigned to my pocket in favour of the greater face protection afforded by ski goggles.
Invest in a pair that gives good 'face-hug' as well as ventilation and peripheral vision. My Salomon X-TEND goggles scored 10/10 on all counts. Oh, and they look really cool too. Which is, of course, critical.
More cool ski kit for your mountain trip - and don't forget a pair of snowboots too.
What are your cold weather ski essentials? Share your tips below.
Posted: 13/02/2012 at 15:19
Posted: 13/02/2012 at 16:43
Posted: 14/02/2012 at 10:17
Like us on facebook
Follow us on twitter
Other Hearst Magazines UK sites