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Ski Clothing Advice for a 1st Timer [going to Crested Butte from Louisiana]

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Need advice on buying clothing...First off, a jacket. I am headed to Crested Butte for this trip and I live in South Louisiana. I may be going the wrong direction but it just seems like a 3-in-1might be something that I could use other times of the year also...Maybe just the shell? I'm hoping this kind of trip will become an annual thing but I hate to see a nice jacket sitting dormant for all but a week a year.

Anyway, are there any decent ones out there?

Or should I go a different route....Obviously as a 1st timer, I doubt I really need a $900 jacket now, but I also don't want to waste money on cheap crap.

Thanks!
post #2 of 26
You get what you pay for... Check out sierratradingpost.com you can find brands like spyder there cheaper than most retail environments, 3 in 1 might be the cut your looking for. Best bet is to layer with breathable clothing. The outer layer is more waterproofing and breathability than total warmth. Even tho it does provide warmth as well. Spyder, obermier, there are several brands.

Sent from my HTC6435LVW using Xparent BlueTapatalk 2
post #3 of 26
post #4 of 26

Greetings SwampWorks,

 

South Louisiana Native here living in CA these days.  Follow the advice above on where/what to look for but I will tell you the outer shell will serve you well in LA.  Waterproofing is never out of style there.  I visited family between Christmas and  New Years and wore my ski jacket.  Kept liner in for the morning with a light shirt and then as it warmed up, like it almost always does, unzipped the liner and had a waterproof outer layer that broke the wind.  

 

Hope you have a great trip!

post #5 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swampworks View Post

Need advice on buying clothing...First off, a jacket. I am headed to Crested Butte for this trip and I live in South Louisiana. I may be going the wrong direction but it just seems like a 3-in-1might be something that I could use other times of the year also...Maybe just the shell? I'm hoping this kind of trip will become an annual thing but I hate to see a nice jacket sitting dormant for all but a week a year.

Anyway, are there any decent ones out there?

Or should I go a different route....Obviously as a 1st timer, I doubt I really need a $900 jacket now, but I also don't want to waste money on cheap crap.

Thanks!

Welcome to EpicSki!  When are you going?  Another important piece of clothing are good ski socks.  Have you check out the Beginner Zone yet (under Ski Training).

post #6 of 26

A 3-in-1 idea makes sense since you don't know how cold it will be in CO, and you can use the two separate pieces in LA.  If you don't really need the fleece and jacket after you ski, why not buy one barely used?  Geartrade.com mostly has goods that are returns to Backcountry.  Some are new w/o tags, and some are from people who used the items once or twice and returned them for whatever reason.  Others have minor defects.  It is a way to possibly save $.  An other idea is to buy something for cheap off ebay, and then sell it for around the same price when you come home from vacation.  Take the $ you save and eat well.


Edited by quant2325 - 1/18/14 at 6:13pm
post #7 of 26

Please do not take this the wrong way.

A better question would be - Why are you going to Crest Butte?

 

It's a great mountain but there are many much kinder and gentler mountains out there to spend your vacation. 

post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingGrump View Post
 

Please do not take this the wrong way.

A better question would be - Why are you going to Crest Butte?

 

It's a great mountain but there are many much kinder and gentler mountains out there to spend your vacation. 

 It seems like a pretty good place for a beginner, actually, and the town is charming. 

post #9 of 26

Crested Butte is like the tail of 2 mountains.  Half novices and intermediate cruisers and half super steep expert terrain.  The 2 don't even really cross paths so a novice will never end up on something that could kill them.  Cool town, easy to get there from Gunnison airport; I think its a good choose for the OP.

 

Regarding 3-in-1.  Just get a shell and a fleece and a couple of mid layer shirts.  You should be able to get decent quality and all of that for under $500.  Maybe well under as it gets later in the season and stuff goes on sale.  You don't need a super expensive fleece as it's just an insulating layer under your shell.  Get a shell that vents.

 

Colorado can get pretty darn cold in mid-winter so depending on when you are going, be prepared.  Hey you can always buy a souvenir layer or 2 while you are out there.

post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by crank View Post
 

Crested Butte is like the tail of 2 mountains.  Half novices and intermediate cruisers and half super steep expert terrain.  The 2 don't even really cross paths so a novice will never end up on something that could kill them.  Cool town, easy to get there from Gunnison airport; I think its a good choose for the OP.

 

Regarding 3-in-1.  Just get a shell and a fleece and a couple of mid layer shirts.  You should be able to get decent quality and all of that for under $500.  Maybe well under as it gets later in the season and stuff goes on sale.  You don't need a super expensive fleece as it's just an insulating layer under your shell.  Get a shell that vents.

 

Colorado can get pretty darn cold in mid-winter so depending on when you are going, be prepared.  Hey you can always buy a souvenir layer or 2 while you are out there.

Good advice. I've had a couple of 3-in-1s, and the zip-in feature is of questionable worth. Just get a good shell and wear it over whatever midlayer is appropriate for the weather: fleece, softshell, puffy, or a combination if it's really cold. When you get home and the shell becomes your raincoat, it won't have the redundant zipper for a liner you'll never use.

post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingGrump View Post
 

Please do not take this the wrong way.

A better question would be - Why are you going to Crest Butte?

 

It's a great mountain but there are many much kinder and gentler mountains out there to spend your vacation. 

Beyond  the OP's ability to corrected spell the name of the town? CB is a great place to learn to ski with a town that was rated as the #1 ski town in America last month. Want more reasons Grump? How about the fact that it seems to be the destination of choice for people from Louisiana that want to take a ski vacation? My guess is it's because of the laid back relaxed vibe.

 

As far as gear goes, if you can find a 3 in 1 then go for it. Otherwise, just find a cheap shell on Sierra Trading Post, Departmentofgoods.com, any of the other sites listed above and pair it with a fleece. I just looked at Sierra and found a Columbia shell and a separate fleece for under $200 combined. That will be about your best deal. Personally I'm not a fan of the 3 in 1 and would opt for the fleece plus shell jacket.

post #12 of 26
Quote:

Originally Posted by Smushie View Post

 

Beyond  the OP's ability to corrected spell the name of the town? CB is a great place to learn to ski with a town that was rated as the #1 ski town in America last month. Want more reasons Grump? How about the fact that it seems to be the destination of choice for people from Louisiana that want to take a ski vacation? My guess is it's because of the laid back relaxed vibe.

 

As far as gear goes, if you can find a 3 in 1 then go for it. Otherwise, just find a cheap shell on Sierra Trading Post, Departmentofgoods.com, any of the other sites listed above and pair it with a fleece. I just looked at Sierra and found a Columbia shell and a separate fleece for under $200 combined. That will be about your best deal. Personally I'm not a fan of the 3 in 1 and would opt for the fleece plus shell jacket.

 

 

 

Just wondering about the OP’s thought process in resort selection. Most first timers aim for the larger and more commercial areas. Generally it take several years/trips for most to zero in what they like. Especially smaller boutique area like CB & TSV.

 

We luck out on our first trip out west years ago (1981) to a little known place call SLC. Skied all the areas in PC, BCC & LCC. Solitude day ticket was $5 and $4 more buys 2 additional lessons. We ended up there because my travel agent (GF/wife) is really good with throwing darts at the wall. Appears the OP is decent with darts.

post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingGrump View Post
 

 

 

 

Just wondering about the OP’s thought process in resort selection. Most first timers aim for the larger and more commercial areas. Generally it take several years/trips for most to zero in what they like. Especially smaller boutique area like CB & TSV.

 

We luck out on our first trip out west years ago (1981) to a little known place call SLC. Skied all the areas in PC, BCC & LCC. Solitude day ticket was $5 and $4 more buys 2 additional lessons. We ended up there because my travel agent (GF/wife) is really good with throwing darts at the wall. Appears the OP is decent with darts.

I think CB is marketed to the TX/LA region more than you would maybe think. For instance, United flies nonstop from Houston to Gunnison during winter.

post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post

 

I think CB is marketed to the TX/LA region more than you would maybe think. For instance, United flies nonstop from Houston to Gunnison during winter.

 

I believe you are right. Come to think of it, I did notice very large Texas contingents at TSV. Also last year I ran into quite a few people from Oklahoma during their spring break.

 

I guess the OP’s dart could be consider as guided. So can we call it a smart dart?

 

post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingGrump View Post
 

Most first timers aim for the larger and more commercial areas. Generally it take several years/trips for most to zero in what they like. Especially smaller boutique area like CB & TSV.

Amazing! You must be in either advertising or sales because I have never seen the master marketing plan for all Western ski resorts so perfectly encapsulated.

 

"Ski resorts that aren't near Denver. Maybe you'll visit us next time."

 

or how about, "Vail: Even if you know that it really isn't the end-all be-all that our zillion dollar ad campaign says it is, you gotta ski here first or you'll mess up the rotation."

post #16 of 26
Quote:

Originally Posted by Smushie View Post

 

Amazing! You must be in either advertising or sales because I have never seen the master marketing plan for all Western ski resorts so perfectly encapsulated.

 

"Ski resorts that aren't near Denver. Maybe you'll visit us next time."

 

or how about, "Vail: Even if you know that it really isn't the end-all be-all that our zillion dollar ad campaign says it is, you gotta ski here first or you'll mess up the rotation."

 

Been trying for 25 years for a visit to wolf creek & CB for 25 years from Taos. No luck yet. Keep getting stuck at TSV. My favorite mountain in NA. That was last season's rotation.

Maybe next year's road trip.

 

Actually, spent two season at Vail - It's not as bad as people say it is. Just have to know how to stay ahead of the wave.

 

This season the 'bird is at the top of the rotation again. 

post #17 of 26

Welcome to skiing!  Good to get some advice, but it isn't as complicated as some would like to make it.  Find something that you like, and fits you well first and foremost.  A multi-purpose with a removable liner is a plus for sure.  Or a shell and a nice thick fleece or down filled mid layer would also do the job just as well.  Add another layer if it is cold.  Get good pants, good gloves, and a neck gator before spending too much money on jacket overkill. 

 

You do get what you pay for.  If this becomes a more serious habit you can really find some pretty incredible jackets and other outerwear for long term serious gear.  For five to seven days a season your money is better spent on lessons and other fun stuff than gear overkill.

post #18 of 26

I'm all about staying ahead of the wave and maybe I've been spoiled by CB but Vail is simply too flat. I skied one glorious day at Snowbird (4/14/11). Foot and a half of blower on top of a record setting amount of snow. It was one of those days where you need an avalung or a snorkel to breathe.  It was puking all morning and, not 5 minutes after the rope dropped on GAD Valley, the sky cleared. At the time the sucker-hole opened I was with a friend scrambling up that first rocky outcropping. It stayed clear just long enough to for us to drop the cliff band above the debris field, take a few epic turns going warp speed and then snap this shot of our lines on the lift ride back up. Mine is the one that's off-camber but you can see the straight-lines exiting skiers left of the debris field before either of us started making turns.

post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

Get good pants, good gloves, and a neck gator before spending too much money on jacket overkill. 
And by "gator" (more commonly spelled 'gaiter') crgildart means a tube-shaped piece of polyester fleece that fits around your neck and works great to keep drafts from wafting down your neck. Not a reptile with a long snout. Not like I'm giving you grief because you're in LA.duck.giftongue.gif

Waterproof and breathable for the shell and pants; wicking, wicking, wicking for the other layers. Cotton's a no-no, and if you like wool there are some fantastic merino base- and mid-layers out there. Make sure your outerwear isn't so snug that you can't fit layers underneath. Thin wool socks are best for ski boots, IMHO, though there are some synthetic compression socks out there that you don't need right now.

Sierra Trading Post is one of my favorite sources these days; you can find great deals on all kinds of winter layers.

Have lots of fun!
post #20 of 26

I think a 3-in-1 jacket makes sense for you.  I am a fan of Columbia.  Good quality at a fair price.  Never could justify paying $500 for an uninsulated shell.  If you can find them online at places like Sierra Trading or Campmor, you can get a good deal.  North Face and Marmot are also good mid-priced brands.  And LL Bean offers some decent stuff with free shipping.

post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingGrump View Post
 

 

Been trying for 25 years for a visit to wolf creek & CB for 25 years from Taos. No luck yet. Keep getting stuck at TSV. My favorite mountain in NA. That was last season's rotation.

Maybe next year's road trip.

 

Actually, spent two season at Vail - It's not as bad as people say it is. Just have to know how to stay ahead of the wave.

 

This season the 'bird is at the top of the rotation again. 

 

Why would you go to a small boutique mountain like Taos before you had skied everything larger?

 

This thread was not "first timer headed to Silverton- what jacket?"

post #22 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the replies, guys!

As for the choice of resorts/mountains, yes, apparently that location is heavily marketed around here. It was also suggested as a decent spot for new skiers as it is less "ritzy" (not my word, just what I was told).
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swampworks View Post

Thanks for all of the replies, guys!

As for the choice of resorts/mountains, yes, apparently that location is heavily marketed around here. It was also suggested as a decent spot for new skiers as it is less "ritzy" (not my word, just what I was told).

 

A lion's share of the out of state visitors to Southern CO and NM resorts come from Texas, OK, and further on into the South.

post #24 of 26
Thread Starter 
Any opinions on Salomon jackets?
post #25 of 26

im just starting out looking at what to wear, ready for NEXT February! its never too early , im might even grab a bargain at the end of this winter sale!

post #26 of 26

Go to Costco, get a base layer top and bottom, and if they have, a long sleeve fleece midlayer. (Assuming Costco's in your area, carry the same as mine)

 

Find some cheap fleece pants anywhere.

 

Then lastly I would recommend pretty much what ever outer shells float your boat.  Personally I like a thick Goretex jacket, and softshell ski pants.  If you wanna go cheap, check out a thrift store, probably find lots.  Sierra Trading Post is good too.  For good value on goretex jackets check out Cabelas, you can get a well constructed jacket for a fraction of what some of the bigger brand names run for.

 

But it might not be a bad idea to consider investing in a good quality brand name gore-tex shell, they are useful for more than just skiing.  My Arcteryx Stinger sees use all year round, but obviously mostly during winter.

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