What to wear when you hit the slopes
Here is some advice on packing for the perfect ski holiday.
The first thing you need to ask your self is what month in the ski season am I going? The temperature difference in Verbier ranges from very cold and snowy in January to warm and sunny in March. This will, of course, affect what you will be wearing. All of the instructors at Performance get dressed bearing in mind the principles of layering.
We start with our thermal underwear or base layer, after that a fleece or thin down jacket. On top of it all goes the waterproof, but breathable shell and that is what we call the outer layer. This way you can adjust your temperature by just taking off or adding another layer.
Now lets get packing –
1. Outer layer – In your bag should be a shell of some sort consisting of a Jacket and pants or if your really cool a one-piece suit.
2. Midlayer – next in the bag will be your fleece to be worn as a mid layer for warmer days and a down or primaloft jacket for the colder days, if its really cold pack both!
3. Base layer – I would pack 3 of them for a week of skiing. That way you will stay fresh and smell good and if you’re really picky you can always do a quick hand wash in the middle of the week.
4. Ski socks – shouldn’t be too thick and need to be long enough to sit above the edge of the ski boot to avoid problems with frozen toes you will need a fresh pair of socks every day. Do not put the long johns inside the sock that will create creases and your shins will hurt.
5. Gloves! – Mittens are warmer than finger gloves so if your hands get cold easily take this into consideration. Also, make sure they are waterproof and that they are the right fit for you.
6. Helmet – is nowadays almost obligatory when you go skiing and every rental shop will have them if you don’t want to make the investment.
7. Hat – something you need for wearing in the evening or for when you take your helmet off, the head is the biggest surface of heat loss of your whole body and lets out as much as 60% of the body heat.
8. Goggles – from a ski fashion point of view you always wear goggles with a helmet, never sunglasses (they only come out at lunch or in combination with the hat). I have two pairs of goggles that I alternate between, one pair with a lens for sunshine and another one with a lens for bad weather.
I meet a lot of people with only one pair and they struggle to see when the weather is bad or the sun is strong depending on what type of lens they have.
9. Sunglasses – are essential on a ski holiday, not only do they make you look good around town or at lunch, they are an absolute necessity to protect your eyes at this high altitude snowy environment.
10. Suncream – we are in Verbier after all and with all the sunshine we get you need to wear sun screen, at least factor 20. The sun is surprisingly strong thanks to the reflection it picks up in the snow.
Being dressed properly for a day on the slopes will make your ski holiday so much more enjoyable (And you will look better in the Après ski).
And remember, as the Swedish saying goes “There is no bad weather there is only bad clothes”!