Skiing in the Cold

We recommend getting outside even if -20C and colder, if you can. But make sure you dress properly:

  • Layers – better to dress in 2-4 thin layers than a couple of thicker layers
  • Make sure the last, outside, layer is wind resistant
  • Protect the extremities:
    • Cover hands with mitts, NOT gloves
    • Use thin(ner) wool socks, not synthetic or cotton socks
    • Cover the head and neck – toques and Buffs (neck tubes)
  • Wool is best – wear wool blend underwear and socks
    • Wool holds its heat even when wet – retains its insulative properties
  • Avoid cotton underwear and socks – cotton when wet loses its “warmth” or insulating properties
  • Use technical wear designed for skiing and being outdoors
  • Wear a couple of sets of of underwear when -15C and colder
  • Cover your neck with a Buff:
    • 1 Buff when +5C and colder;
    • 2 Buffs when -10C and colder
    • 3 buffs when -15C and colder
  • Wear a couple of thin toques when -15C or colder (Or a toque and a headband)
  • Avoid thick, bulky clothing – this will make moving difficult and likely cause you to overheat
  • Make sure exposed skin is at a minimum
    • Typical areas are ear lobes, cheeks, and your nose
    • Have buddy check for white spots (frostbite)
      • Place and hold the palm of your mitt-less hand over the affected area.
      • Get inside ASAP if affected.
  • Wear booties over your ski boots – alternatively, use an old pair of wool socks and slip over your boots
  • Use clear lens glasses in the dark to protect your eyes – Note: These may fog up
  • Bring a set of dry clothes to change into afterwards – especially socks and top
    • Wool sweater with a high neck is best!!

And finally, don’t go hard in the cold, but go at a Zone1 pace 

Stay warm, dry, and keep moving!!