I know it’s late in the season and the coldest period is already past but after our last week skiing I can’t resist talking about how to survive in excessive cold. This winter I ‘ve skied temperatures between -25 and -18 degrees Celsius (-12 to 0 degrees Fahrenheit) far too many days. Literally the whole winter break week had freezing temperatures!
I’ve always been promoting layering as you can peel on or off a couple of layers as it turns colder or you get warm. But in these temperatures it just doesn’t work anymore for me. I don’t know if it’s age or just a sense of giving up – I just can’t stand the thought of skiing in that type of cold any longer. But as you can see and hear, I did. So did I succeed to keep warm and how did I do it?
Top – I had my helmet and underneath I had a small black beanie. Usually I only wear the helmet with no beanie or anything. Of course a sort of buff to protect the face, can’t go without this. Freezing temperatures are mortal for bare skin.
Hands – Ski gloves in two layers. One pair of solid, lined ski gloves and a pair of liners. Sometimes I do add a hand warmer in the glove… Such a relief!
Feet! – this is my weak spot, I can literally be crying from frozen toes… To the point it’s made me swear that I would never ski again in temperatures below -20 C….. So much for that promise.
But do you know there are remedies!! I made a serious investment this year and they are a gift from a divine source! Heat socks!! You charge batteries, attache them to the socks and they keep me not cold for the whole day! I was so happy and so satisfied with these socks! A major investment, worth every penny!
The rest –
When temperatures fall below -10 C I leave my regular strategy with base layer and fleece, I go for sturdier more solid lined pieces.
The outer layer is my regular one, which is goretex pants and jacket, no lining, but in a sturdy windproof material.
I wear a small down jacket underneath to create a layer that was warm and airy. I think the trick here is you don’t want it to be too dense and thick (and it has to be wind proof). And you can’t have too many layers because then you can’t move. Under the down jacket I just had the base layer in merino wool. During the day I usually have a period after lunch when I’m unusually cold and at that time I tend to add another base layer, also in merino wool. For me it feels like a heat layer, two very thin merino wool layers is super!
For the bottom part I wear three layers. First base layer in merino wool,
Then a pair of thermo pants, thick and solid lining in thermo material. The best.
And on top as I said my usual goretex pants.
The reward for reading this long is to see a miracle. Snowflakes.