High On A Mountain Top

Skiing has always been Jon’s thing. He grew up hitting the slopes with his family pretty regularly. I, on the other hand, can count on one hand the number of times I’ve skied during my adolescence. Most of those trips were courtesy of Girl Scouts and contained more socializing than actual skiing. Until I met Jon it had been years since I wrestled on ski boots, but since then we’ve made a concerted (although not entirely successful) effort to go skiing at least once every year.

Last Sunday was our first trip to the mountains in about two years and we were both itching to get back on the slopes. I won’t even pretend that my skiing skills are anywhere above beginner level, but after a few easy runs my muscle memory kicked in and I was feeling pretty good. I’m more of a slow and steady skier so I stuck to the greens and blues while Jon and the rest of the gang ventured to the terrifyingly steep (yep, I’m definitely a baby) black diamonds and terrain parks. We got in a good six hours at Blue Mountain (with a quick break for lunch at the overly crowded lodge) before calling it a day.

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After those six hours I was definitely ready to throw in the towel. Not only was I exhausted, but my hands and feet were freezing! Somehow, I manage to do a great job of keeping my body warm, but no matter what I do I can’t seem to keep my fingers and toes from going numb. This is always a problem for me, so I tried to prepare myself as much as possible with the right accessories.

  • Socks. You want a pair that’s warm but wicking. A great fabric for this is wool. You also don’t want to wear multiple pairs, though it might seem like a good idea. I bought a pair of Smart Wool and they definitely helped.
  • Gloves. This is where investing a bit more could go a long way. The gloves I own right now were $20 from Costco and they definitely aren’t doing the trick. For optimal warmth, mittens are definitely the way to go and they are next on my list of upgrades.
  • Hand and foot warmers. Disposable hand and foot warmers can definitely help. Though, the hand warmers didn’t quite do the trick for me. They did a great job of keeping my palm warm but my fingers were still ice cold.
  • Neck warmer. A scarf could easily work in this case, but I hate all the extra bulk or pieces hanging down. This is where a neck warmer definitely comes in handy. I purchased a basic Turtle Fur neck warmer and it was a life saver.

Of course, proper snow pants, jacket, hat and plenty of layers (both wicking and insulating) are important too. It definitely makes skiing much more enjoyable (especially for this hater of the cold) if you know how to dress for the weather. I’m still working on finding the perfect fix for my perpetually cold fingers and toes, but I’m getting there.

All you skiers out there, any advice or cold weather accessories you can’t live without? I’m definitely up to trying new things.

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