With the ski season in full flight you’ll have had enough time to detect the chinks in your alpine armour. This month we offer some suggestions on how to beat the freeze and warm up your winter wardrobe in the process.
Care and attention
First-aid and survival
Off-piste excursions necessitate a basic survival pack ensuring you’re kept warm and sated, at least until the chopper has time to locate you once the white has subsided. It goes without saying that energy bars and dextrose tabs should feature but you should consider packing the MSR DromLite01 hydration bag, a skiers’ first-aid kit by Arva02, a reflective gold rescue blanket03, a Laerdal04 mouth-to-mouth protector and Omnistrip05 wound closures.
Cream and balm
We have learned to trust some sun protection products more than others. Piz Buin06 Mountain series is always recommended, but there are some new kids on the sun block who we’ve adopted in our line-up: Yu-Be07 medicated cream, HABA08 (Health Aid Beauty Aid) and ZO109 Face Block.
While it would be much more civilised to dispense with any beeping and blinking gadgetry on the slopes, the more extreme your location the more likely you’ll need some technological assistance. We maximise pocket space with the following handy devices: Kryptonite10 ski and boot lock, Arva11 Evolution+ avalanche transceiver, OverBoard12 waterproof iPhone pouch, Motorola13 Talkabout T5622 walkie talkies and the Oregon Scientific14 altimeter, barometer and compass.
An Olympic skier friend and self-confessed ski geek told us that Kjus15 makes the best ski jackets in the industry. The company was started by Norwegian Olympic gold medallist Lasse Kjus, who also holds the extraordinary record for medalling in all five alpine disciplines at the World Championships in Vail. Such pedigree is apparent in the products – the fabrics are of the highest quality and the fit is so comfortable they feel featherweight. Kjus has just recently taken to sponsoring skiing’s badboy, Bode Miller.
A seasonal kit list overhaul might be in order, especially in preparation for the Mont Fort Hut to Dix Hut runs. Retiring those Salomons may be painful but there’s nothing quite like waxing up a new pair of Rossignols. Why not try: Back Country Access16 shovel, Dakine17 skiers’ Pilot bag, Rossignol18 Zenith Z3 skis, Strolz19 Racing R ski boots, poles by Leki20, Sweet Rooster21 helmet and Petzl e+LITE nightlight, Briko22 Fuse goggles, Apollo23 gloves and a Dakine24 deluxe ski tune-up kit.
Glühwein is one of those intoxicating treats that should be reserved for crisp days on the mountain slopes and freezing winter nights. It is easy to prepare but its aroma and effect will last until you drop. Take an inexpensive bottle of red wine (try a Zeta Punto Priorat) and pour it into a saucepan. Add 75g of sugar, a teaspoon of cloves, the juice of an orange and a cinnamon stick. Warm on a medium heat for 10 minutes. Serve hot. For a Scandy kick, add akvavit.
Layering is the first rule of mountain dressing and the following brands are helping us keep dry, cool and supported in the leg: Killy25 Legend ski pants, Falke26 Snowsport Collection Björn pullover, Howies27 merino wool long johns, Neo G28 knee supports, Falke29 high volume SK1 ski socks, Arva30 inner gloves. If you need a one-stop winter sport stockist then Snow + Rock is our supplier of choice, especially now that it has acquired Cycle Surgery for our fair weather exploits.