12 Must-Haves for a Winter Ski Trip
November 8, 2015
Ski season is officially upon us! I live in a ski resort (Telluride, CO) & LIVE FOR SKIING! I want you love skiing too. Seriously, it’s the best sport ever. It’s way more fun than working out at the gym. It burns plentiful calories and has killer views. You will feel invigorated and challenged when you hit the slopes. Skiing is way more fun when you have the right gear (it can be downright miserable if you don’t) These pieces are built to keep you warm, dry, fashionable & are technically superior. Happy trails!
1) GORE-TEX SKI JACKET & PANTS
Why Gore-Tex? Because it will keep you warm & dry. I venture out in fancy designer down jackets ~ sometimes. Those are great for super dry/bluebird days, but a no go on stormy & damp days. I knew nothing of this until I wore the wrong clothes on my ski touring trip to Davos/Klosters, Switzerland last year. My down jacket got wet & that meant I got cold. Stay dry with these jackets & pants by KJUS & ARC’ TERYX
2) YOU NEED A BUFF
Whoever developed the Buff is seriously the smartest person ever. These infinity scarfs can be worn in so many different ways depending on the weather & your style preference. They come in a few different materials, but for skiing I always recommend the merino wool Buff. These are thin neck warmers that will keep you warm, dry and feeling great. You can wear one Buff in many different ways, neck warmer, headband, head & neck warmer, etc.
3) THE RIGHT SKIS FOR YOUR TERRAIN
Think honestly about your ski ability & be able to communicate that well to rental people and when shopping. Understand mountain snow conditions and how you & where you like to ski. Your height & ability factors will all determine the shape, flexibility and length of your skis. I’m a die hard fan of Wagner Skis, locally made here in Telluride. Pete Wagner will design a pair of skis for you & you will never want off the rack skis again.
4) GOGGLE FACE
You need goggles. These should create a snug yet comfortable seal over your face. Try to get a pair with lenses you can change easily for different light conditions. I love POC, they look cool & have many styles to choose from.
5) CUSTOM FITTED SKI BOOTS
If you can, get your boots custom fit to your tootsies before you ski. Rentals suck. I live at a ski resort, so that means my boots are my life. Even if you ski a few weeks a year, get your own boots. You will be very glad you did. There’s nothing worse than having to call it quits early because your feet hurt. BOOT DOCTORS in Telluride are experts, they are like surgeons with ski boots. Find someone like them. My touring Scarpa’s fit like a gem. Don’t be afraid to wear your new boots around the house to break them in before you ski.
Essential guys. I’ve been in a lot of falls & some serious wrecks. My helmet has been instrumental in saving my life. Enough said right? Wear a helmet. Save your own life. Again, I love POC, especially their new Fornix model that has rocking headphones.
7) KNIT BEANIE OR HEADBAND
Tuck a chic hat or headband into your ski jacket pocket or backpack. Take off your helmet when you stop for lunch & aprés (It’s cool on the ski hill, but not off) Put on your cute knit beanie or headband. I’m totally into Eisbar. A super hipster brand from Austria.
8) SUNSCREEN & LIP BALM
The sun is fierce when you are skiing. It reflects off the snow & can cause major damaging burns to your skin! Keep that skin beautiful with ample sunscreen & lip balm. I’m a fan of COOLA & I reapply it throughout the day.
9) THE RIGHT BASE LAYERS
Smart Wool & Ice Breakers have become my absolute favorite brands for base layers. Thin, moisture wicking base layers are essential to keeping you warm and dry on the slopes, so choose them wisely. Wool was the only choice when ski clothes were invented, then it became not cool to wear when synthetics came around. They are COOL AGAIN. I hate itchy things, so trust me here. Todays merino wool layers keep you warm, dry, smelling fresh (synthetics get yucky fast) THEY DON”T ITCH & they look super cool. A very smart investment!
10) MITTENS OR GLOVES
This debate will always come up. If it’s pretty warm where you are skiing, then gloves will be great. If it’s crazy cold then serious cold weather mittens are your only choice. There’s nothing worse & more painful than your hands feeling like they they are frostbite. The warmest gloves I’ve found are these by Hestra.
11) CHAIRLIFT SNACKS
Make your own granola bars or buy some. You will be really happy you have a quick energy boost when you need it most. Clif bars are great, so are lots of other brands.
12) SMALL BACKPACK / INSULATED HYDRATION PACK
Sometimes you need a quick sip on the slopes. Camelbak has great ones. Even in the smallest packs you can typically fit your headband & a pair of sunnies.
Coming up next: Stay tuned for my Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins recipe tomorrow!