The Right Kit
This is now my fourth winter season stretched over six years, and it is only now that I have realised how important it is, but also how hard it is, to buy and wear the right kit on the right day.
I’m either too hot with way too many layers, on or too cold thinking that it would be OK just to ski in a thin jumper. The sun is always too bright if I wear my goggles, or the wind makes my eyes water if I’m in sunglasses. Having bought extremely expensive insulated gloves last season to protect my eternally cold hands, I now have the problem that they get too hot so I have to take them off on chairlifts to cool down. If I wear a camelbak it often freezes, but if I don’t I’m thirsty. When my skis are freshly waxed they go too quickly on hard packed snow, but they are never freshly waxed on a day with heaps of fresh powder. The ‘kit situation’ has been an ongoing problem for me; I’ve never managed to get it right. However, this season, 25 years after starting skiing and on my fourth winter season, I think I’ve got it sussed! In my opinion, the following three items are my must-haves for surviving a winter skiing holiday.
An Expensive Down Jacket – Don’t be fooled, you get what you pay for! This little beauty will keep you hot when it is cold, but cool in the warmer spring-like conditions. Just remember that a down jacket when wet loses it’s ability to keep you warm, so when it’s snowing, wear a waterproof shell over the top!
Tube socks – i.e. the ones that aren’t shaped to fit around your heel. Normal socks have the potential to ruck up in your ski boots and cause nasty bumps which can rub in ill fitting ski boots. Trust me, tube socks are the way to go, and better yet, I’ve always found that TK Maxx have a great and reasonable selection.
A Helmet – Last but not least! Following Schumacher’s sad accident last year, helmets have become an indispensible part of any ski outfit. Such a great variety of lids out there, so no excuses now not to wear one. A friend of mine said the other day that not wearing a helmet to go skiing was comparable to cycling around inner London without one – take note!
Words – Ruth Howarth
Courchevel Resort Manager