Gear to ski all spring

Group of skiers

Bright sun, blue skies, soft snow. Spring skiing is all about color and comfort with a little temperature control mixed in. Here are my go-tos to stay stylish and dry in spring (pond skimming excepted, of course).

Feet

F13_Snow_0988_Exp0215-smNothing really changes for my feet in the spring. They’re buried in my boots and bathed in wool—really, really intelligent wool. For as long as I can remember, SmartWool PhD ski socks have been my favorite, thanks to the strategically-placed cushioning (so long, shin bang), the thin foot covering, and the fact that no matter how long I wear them without washing, they never (at least not yet) get gross.

Legs

Base layer: I used to ditch long underwear come spring, but a few overcast days had me rethinking that strategy. Fortunately my Helly Hansen Active Flow Pants (who comes up with these names??) gave me a new option. These long johns are stretchy and do dual duty—keeping me super warm on the chilly days and making me forget they are there on the warm ones. I don’t know how they do that. But I do know I love them.

Torso

ZipFreeze
Helly Hansen 1/2 Zip Freeze Base Layer

Base layers: I keep it light and simple on my top. I have a few waffle, wicking long underwear tops—my favorite base layer is my Helly Hansen ½ Zip Freeze. Helly Hansen’s base layer is pure merino wool, meaning it is light, feels like clean sheets next to my skin, and does a great job keeping me warm but not hot.

Jacket: Unless there’s a good chance it will rain or snow, I stick to my Helly Hansen Paramount Soft Shell. It’s windproof, warm, good-looking, and fits great.

 

Hands

I’ll wear any gloves I find in my ski bag.

Head

smithhelmetgoggleI don’t care how warm it gets, I never ski without a helmet. For years, my go-to has been my Smith Optics helmet and goggle combo. I won’t lie. I’ve had these for almost seven years and they’re not the steezy duds I see all around me on the chairlift. But the helmet has terrific ventilation, and my goggle lenses rock in bright light.

Must haves in my pocket

I always carry sunglasses, my buff neckwarmer, sunscreen (which I apply and reapply religiously), and snacks. Somehow shredding in the sun and slush always works up my appetite.

And that’s it! All told, spring skiing is a treat for the body. The temps are usually warm, and there’s less need to bulk up. If you find yourself needing some end of season gear at a great price, check out Breck Sports in Breckenridge or Epic Mountain Gear in Frisco. Both stores have an amazing selection of spring gear and experts who can help you make the most of your day on the mountain.

– Rachel Walker

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