I hope everyone has had a chance to enjoy a day at Big White. What a fantastic start to the season. Lots of pow and smiling faces makes for a happy mountain! I can only imagine what lies in store for us over the coming months and I emplore you to take every opportunity you can get to bring your self, your family and and your friends up to this little piece of winter wonderland!!
If you have been up on the mountain in the last couple of days you will know what I mean when I say it has been cold!! Big White is generally blessed to have mild winter temperatures throughout the season. It is rare for it to get too cold up here and overall, no matter what time of year, you will generally be skiing and riding in comfort. However, it would be ignorant of us not to accept that we are going to have periods where it will get super cold. After all we are in an alpine environment! Those of you from the prairies and Eastern Canada are probably chuckling as you read this but hey, I find -15 cold!
So how do you prepare for a day up at Big White when its a real cold day? The first piece of advice I can give is start your day with a big hearty breakfast! Eating in the morning helps replenish the glucose in your muscles. Having adequate blood-sugar levels will both help warm the body by boosting the metabolism and reduce the likelihood of injury. This advice should be taken regardless of whether its a mild day or a cold day but you really can tell the difference when you haven’t eaten breakfast on a cold day.
What else should you do? simple: layer up and layer up properly. Avoid cotton if possible because cotton doesn’t breathe properly. The last thing you want is the moisture being trapped in your first layer and making it cold both inside and out of your jacket! The best method of layering is as follows:
- a base layer to wick away moisture from your body. The best material I have used before is 100% pure merino wool. Its warm, its dry and stays dry, it doesnt trap odour and has amazing wicking ability. You want your base layer to fit skin tight but not restrictive.
- An insulating middle layer. A synthetic fleece layer here is usually the best option. This layer should be doing the work in terms of keeping you warm. It should also be breathable and have wicking ability to get the moisture well away from your body. Remember to stay away from cotton for this layer (i.e. no t-shirts or hoodies).
- an optional second insulating layer, for those super cold days!
- waterproof shell layer. You would also want this layer to be windproof as well for those cold lift rides. Spare no expense on your shell cause it needs to be durable and hard working. You can choose to go with an insulated shell for extra warmth, or an uninsulated shell that allows you to play with your middle layers
- keep you face and neck warm! Use a scarf, bandana, face mask (Ninja style!) etc. the nerves from your feet and hands run really close to the surface in your neck. So if you can keep your neck warm, your feet and hands will stay relatively warm too!
So for those extra cold days, give the above a go and let me know if you notice the difference. I also want to know if you do something different and it works for you. Reply to this post and tell me how you stay warm on the mountain and what types of materials you use?
Enjoy yourself up here and Happy New Year to you all!!