In Colorado, the weather can change at the drop of a beanie, so getting dressed in the morning can be a shot in the dark. This especially rings true when heading out for a day of skiing or boarding. Whether you’re racing for first chair on a chilly winter morning or squeezing some runs in on a spring afternoon, make sure you’re ready for whatever Mother Nature has in store. Here are some tips to prepare for variable weather on the slopes:
- Check the Weather
This may sound obvious, but a quick search on your smartphone for the looming weather conditions can go a long way. It’s important to prepare regardless of what you find on your weather app but it may help you to not be caught off guard when you’re expecting a bluebird day and end up in a white-out.
- Bring a Mid Layer
When dressing to head up the hill, you may know to start with warm base layers and finish up with insulated ski jackets and pants. But bringing along a mid layer might just save the day when the temps turn frigid. Top your base layers with mid layers like a lightweight jacket or sweater for added warmth. If the temperature swings the other way, a soft shell can be worn without a heavy duty ski coat but can also act as a mid layer. All these layers stressing you out? Go for a 3-in-1 jacket!
- Clothing Vents
Vents on your gear aim to prevent (no pun intended) overheating after a more taxing run or a hike up the mountain. If the weather is a little toastier than you expected when you reach the top of the lift, vents on helmets can be opened and many ski jackets and pants will include zipper-operated vents you can open when you get a little warm rather than having to pause your day to shed layers. Not all outwear has vents so if you are concerned about variable weather or overheat easily, make sure you pay close attention to the technology in your gear.
- Changeable Goggle Lenses
Seeing while skiing is crucial, as you can imagine. The goggle lens you wear should depend on the amount of sunshine hitting the slopes. Many brands make lenses you can change out depending on the weather so bring your spare in case the sun decides to change positions! Wearing the appropriate goggle lenses for the light will ensure you spot the gradients in the snow. Some ski goggle brands even make lenses that change as the light does!
This one isn’t complicated. Wear sunscreen, rain or shine! Just because you can’t see the sun doesn’t mean the UV rays aren’t hitting your skin. Precipitation can, in fact, enhance the sun’s effect on your skin leaving the parts of your body that are exposed a potentially nasty sunburn.
- Bring a Backpack
You may be wondering where you’re going to store all of these gadgets. While leaving extra layers and spare goggle lenses in your car is an option, having to head to the parking lot in the middle of a pow day isn’t ideal. A small backpack will fit lightweight layers and accessories without weighing you down or throwing you off-balance. You can also store water in your pack to keep you hydrated!
Throughout ski season, weather systems over the mountains can leave skiers guessing when it comes to their wardrobe. Be prepared for any weather with just a little planning and extra gear!