Skiing is all about planning ahead. If you are completely organised and prepared for any event, you will have the best week ever. If you forget one thing on this list, it could make your entire trip miserable. Being up on the mountain is one of life’s biggest thrills. However, it is cold and it is wet. Double check that you have packed all the correct ski wear. There’s nothing worse than being wet and cold while skiing.
Comfort and warmth is your number one goal. When you are warm and dry, you’ll ski happy. This doesn’t stop at your clothes. There are a number of other items to consider that you may not even have thought about. You’ll need to combat the burning sun and ensure that you have the perfect equipment. The equipment, in particular, should be perfectly suited to you. Get everything prepared well ahead of time with this handy checklist. Make sure you don’t ruin your trip! Whether you want to become a ski instructor with the Alltracks Academy or just a casual skier, you’ll need the following:
Your old waterproof coat will not be sufficient. In fact, this applies to all of the following ski clothes. When skiing you’ll need specifically designed ski clothes. They’re built to keep water out and let the air in. Being on the mountain is a curious mix of cold, wet and overbearing heat! The air is crisp and cool, but the sun’s rays are hot. Since skiing is heavy exercise, you’ll sweat and your body heat will rise. This is why you need a dedicated Ski Jacket. The best jackets come with a high breathability rating which will let the air flow. It will keep you cool even when you’re working really hard.
Ski Pants / Salopettes
Just like your ski jacket, an old pair of trousers will not work for you. They must be waterproof and have some level of breathability. They all come with waterproof ratings. Aim for the highest you can afford. If you’re on a budget, it’s reasonable to try and borrow these items from friends or family. They can be expensive and you’re bound to know someone who has some lying around.
Thermals and Socks
The key to comfortable and warm skiing is thin layers. Plenty of them. Try to stay away from cotton and stick to thermal material. Cotton gets wet easily and you’ll spend all week in discomfort.
Your instinct will tell you to buy thick socks for skiing. Ignore it! The sock of choice for most skiers is a thin, thermal option. Thinner socks provide you with better control of your skis as the movement comes from your boots.
Goggles and Sunglasses
It might seem crazy, but the sun is twice as powerful on the mountain as it is at sea level. Remember, you are much higher up and the air is thinner. The sun’s rays also reflect off the white snow straight back onto your face. You don’t want to be tearing up the slopes only to get the sun’s glare in your eyes. You’ll come crashing down! It can also restrict your view of the piste. You’ll want to find shatterproof goggles or glasses in case of falls. Ideally you should choose a pair with 100% UV protection.
Again, your woolly gloves from home will be useless out on the piste. It’s worth investing good money in your gloves. They have the important job of keeping your hands warm. Warm and toasty hands will give you better control over your skiing. They’ll also prevent frostbite and that weird tingly feeling you get when your hands are too cold! They should be completely waterproof but still allow good movement. Head down to a local outdoors shop and try a few on. You’ll soon get a feel for what you want.
Sunscreen and Chapstick
Remember about the sun being twice as powerful? You’ll need to stay covered up with sunscreen. Thankfully, only your face is on show so it’s a quick job! Keep sunscreen and chapstick with you while skiing just in case you need a top-up. That crisp mountain air is wonderful, but it will soon dry your lips out. Along with the extra power of the sun, your lips are at risk of drying out, burning and cracking. This is painful and uncomfortable. Keep it at bay with regular chapstick applications.
Very important. If you aren’t taking your own pair, make sure you have booked ahead with a rental company. They will help find the perfect pair of skis for you. They should be roughly 10cm shorter than you. The bindings (that’s where you clip your feet into) should be set to your weight and experience level. This means that when you fall, the skis will come away from your feet to prevent injury to your legs.
With skis and boots, you really shouldn’t borrow from friends. They need to be a perfect fit for your feet. They should be tight and snug. If they feel too small, it’s probably just right. All of the maneuverability on the slopes come from your feet and boots. That’s why it’s so important to get right. Spend some time trying on a variety of sizes and walk around in them. Find the ones that feel best for you. Don’t be afraid to switch them if they don’t work out on your first day.
Don’t forget a ski clip. This will hold your skis together while you’re at lunch or just carrying them around. It will also help you identify which skis are yours! Invest in a small ski-pass holder that can hang around your neck or clip to your jacket. You don’t want to be fumbling in your pockets at the bottom of the lift. Finally, if you’re travelling abroad, don’t forget your passport! You’ll soon be making happy memories.
There you have it. A complete checklist of everything you need on your ski-trip. Don’t leave the house until each one is crossed off. Pack well, and your trip will be the most fun you’ve ever had. You’ll be screaming down the slopes in no time. Plus, you’ll be warm and snuggly while doing it. Remember, if you get it wrong, you risk being wet, uncomfortable and miserable. So pack up!
Thanks to Ridge Tahoe Resort Hotel for the image.