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Too windy to ski for beginners (for tomorrow)?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Hi guys!

 

I've been a lurker on this site reading some extremely informative posts and decided to ask a question of my own in case anyone sees this before tomorrow. Was thinking of going skiing this weekend with some friends in the NY/NJ area. Read that temps at Mountain Creek, for example, are going to be something like 1 to 17F, but windy (15-21 mph, with gusts up to 40mph, wind chill as low as -11F).

 

As beginner skiers who don't have the best gear (no balaclavas/masks, maybe not the best of ski jackets), do you think the temperatures and/or winds should cause us to cancel? We'd definitely prefer to go since it'd be somewhat difficult to reschedule, but obviously don't want to go if it's going to be unsafe or just miserable/uncomfortable.

 

Any advice would be very much appreciated and apologies in advance for both the lateness and the newbie nature of the question!

post #2 of 20

At those temps, you should really be considering gearing up a bit more.  You need to cover your exposed skin.  So you're talking goggles, hat, neck tube.  You'll need proper ski pants (not jeans or something else that is not windproof), gloves as well as good long underwear.  The temps aren't that bad but the wind will cause the exposed flesh problem.  And windproof pants obviously.  You can get a neck tube for $10.  It makes a world of difference. 

post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 

Scott43, thanks so much for your reply! We do have actual ski pants, goggles and long underwear; sounds like neck warmers would be a good investment, though - will see if we can find them somewhere before tomorrow if we do decide to go. I'm hoping they won't decide to shut down the lifts at Mountain Creek because of the wind/wind gusts...

post #4 of 20

Hey no problem.  I don't know that hill but it doesn't seem too high so I suspect you'll be ok with the lifts.  You can always take 30 mins in the chalet if you get too cold, undo your boots, warm up for 20 or 30 mins and head out again.  Have a good time!  :)

post #5 of 20

Helmets are waay warmer than knitted beanies.  Just sayin'.

 

Mittens are warmer than gloves.  Hand warmers (about $1.00 per pair) can go inside mittens to keep you from getting frostbite on your fingers.

Layers under your jacket will help keep your core warm.  Wear something that wicks, like wool or fleece, not cotton.

Layers under your ski pants do the same.  Not cotton, please!  And don't stick the bottoms of your layers into your boots.   Hike their bottoms up above the boots when you slip your feet into them.

Neck gaiters (tubes) are a must to keep the wind off your neck.  You can wear two;  one can go up high to cover your ears.  Frostbite on ears is a no-no.

One pair of socks per foot, not two.  Two are not warmer than one, because you end up buckling your boots tight to get your feet to stop sliding around.  Tightly buckled boots cut off circulation and cause your feet to go numb and cold.

Toe warmers can be bought for about $2.00 per pair and stuck to the top of your sock over your toes, then in goes the foot into the boot.

These will keep your toes warm all day.

 

Rent boots that are real tight (aka "snug") on your feet.  They will be difficult to get on, but will not hurt once your foot is finally in there.  Then you won't have to buckle them up tight with the problems listed above. 

 

If the sun is shining, you'll feel warmer than you are.  Go inside often to warm your face up.  Frostbite is something you don't want to have on your nose and cheeks.

post #6 of 20
Depends on the mountain and if the runs you are on are protected from the wind. Definitely don't fall into groupthink.

If you're not having fun, head in to the lodge for a bit. It can clear up after some time, and save your energy for the clearing rather then getting worn out in bad weather.

Bring money. Dont be afraid to pop in and buy more gear if you need to like a facemask or goggles or handwarmers or whatever. There should be stuff avail at every mtn and its not necessarily at higher prices to gouge you. Don't feel that you need to buy everything off mountain just cause you think it will be cheaper.

Every new skier has the impression that the mountain is out to gouge you. Perhaps rightly so for food and drinks. But the equipment and gear will be at most MSRP, and often about the same as off the mountain, so it's reasonable.
Edited by raytseng - 1/30/15 at 4:44pm
post #7 of 20

Avoid lifts that go all the way to the top.  Get off at the mid station if there is one.   It's usually colder and windier up top and a little warmer mid mountain and lower..

post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by lightningcat View Post
 

Scott43, thanks so much for your reply! We do have actual ski pants, goggles and long underwear; sounds like neck warmers would be a good investment, though - will see if we can find them somewhere before tomorrow if we do decide to go. I'm hoping they won't decide to shut down the lifts at Mountain Creek because of the wind/wind gusts...

This may be obvious, but some people forget to do it on extremely windy days.  Check their website first thing in the morning to see if this has happened.  

post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 

Wow, this is all tremendously helpful! Hopefully things will work out - if we don't go tomorrow for both days of the weekend we'll definitely go at least on Sunday, so all this information will no doubt be useful. Thank you all again.

post #10 of 20

For reference, I just gassed up the panzerwagen and it was 10F and blowing about 15mph.  My bare ears and face were painful in about 6 minutes.  Gotta cover up that bare skin.

post #11 of 20

You don't need a great ski jacket if you layer up, and wear something wind-proof. You don't need expensive stuff either... you can find good wind pants at any sporting goods store - I skied in some fleece lined Nike pants for years that I got on sale for like $25. A little snug over the boots, but they worked great. You can also get balaclavas at Target/Wal-mart type places for like $10-$15 sometimes. 

post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbostedo View Post
 

You don't need a great ski jacket if you layer up, and wear something wind-proof. You don't need expensive stuff either... you can find good wind pants at any sporting goods store - I skied in some fleece lined Nike pants for years that I got on sale for like $25. A little snug over the boots, but they worked great. You can also get balaclavas at Target/Wal-mart type places for like $10-$15 sometimes. 


Totally...Old Navy has decent stuff for very little funds.  I got some fleece pullovers for $5 each at the outlet. 

post #13 of 20

I'm an instructor and teach a lot of beginner adults.  The national return rate for beginner skiers is something like 15%.  One factor, a very important one, is good weather or bad on that first day.

 

When people show up for their first skiing experience on miserable days, they are setting themselves up for a rough-er time than they would have had if they showed up on a bright sunny not-too-cold day. They come to the lesson all bright eyed and bushy tailed but often leave without that same attitude not because of the skiing experience itself, but because they are cold or wet.  Those of us why ski in all kinds of weather are telling you what we do to make it not so bad.  One day perhaps you'll be giving advice like this to other beginners.


Enjoy your weekend, but realize that better weather is ahead of you in your new skiing life.  

post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 

I'm an instructor and teach a lot of beginner adults.  The national return rate for beginner skiers is something like 15%.  One factor, a very important one, is good weather or bad on that first day.

 

When people show up for their first skiing experience on miserable days, they are setting themselves up for a rough-er time than they would have had if they showed up on a bright sunny not-too-cold day. They come to the lesson all bright eyed and bushy tailed but often leave without that same attitude not because of the skiing experience itself, but because they are cold or wet.  Those of us why ski in all kinds of weather are telling you what we do to make it not so bad.  One day perhaps you'll be giving advice like this to other beginners.


Enjoy your weekend, but realize that better weather is ahead of you in your new skiing life.  

 

What LF said.

 

Here's something I just sent out to the parents of the kids in my program.  It's for adults and kids.  Just some general things on staying warm.  It isn't perfect or all inclusive, but it gets you thinking about what you can do to stay warm.  I even quoted epic's Sibhuskey:

 

Tricks and Tips for Staying Warm Skiing

 

Or

 

“There’s no such thing as bad weather; only bad equipment.”

                                                                                      -SibHusky

 

 

General

  1. Get hydrated the night before
  2. Eat a good breakfast
  3. Limit caffeine and diuretics
  4. It’s better to take a break too soon than too late
  5. Kids get colder before adults do
    1. If you’re cold, they’re freezing!
  6. It’s hard to find good kids gear, especially gloves/mittens
  7. It is more cost effective to spend money on good gear than to be sitting in a lodge trying to warm up because your gear let you down
  8. Everyone has a different tolerance to the cold

 

Core

  1. Dress in layers
    1. Many thin layers will work better than just a couple bulky ones
  2. When you start getting hot, unzip your collar to let some heat out and remember to zip back up before you get cold
  3. Balaclavas, neck gaitors, and face masks are amazing
    1. They block wind/snow/rain going down your neck and hold heat in
  4. Using a hood keeps snow/rain off the back of neck
  5. Keep the core warm and you have a better chance at keep your hands and feet warm
    1. Your body has a priority system and hands and feet are at the bottom when it comes to warmth
  6. Wear a base layer the wicks away moisture
    1. Anything over this will capture the moisture
    2. Cotton as a base layer isn’t good
    3. Cotton as a 2nd or 3rd layer is fine

 

Feet

  1. Throw hand warmers in ski boots on the way to the mountain with a sock or glove in the cuff to trap heat
    1. At the mountain, put the hand warmers in your mittens
  2. Put boots on the floor board of the car to warm them on the way to the mountain
  3. The little electric boot warmers that plug into ACC socket in cars or A/C outlets work great
    1. You can really warm your boots on the way to the mountain or again at lunch
    2. If your feet sweat, these will help immensely
  4. Use boot gloves
    1. These work like a thermos – they can hold in cold or heat equally well so start with warm boots (see #15/16/17)
  5. Use Toe Warmers
    1. Over the sock above the toe area works best
  6. Buy toe and hand warmers at big box stores or amazon
  7. Get Hotronics
    1. Expensive but they make a huge difference
  8. If your feet perspire, use the strongest antiperspirant on the market
    1. “Certain Dri” is one  you can get at Rite Aid
  9. Wear Ski socks
  10. Change socks at lunch if necessary
  11. Make sure to dry boots thoroughly the night before
    1. Boot dryers work great
    2. If nothing else, a hairdryer or fan will work too
  12. Don’t’ leave boots in the trunk overnight or you’ll have bootsicles
  13. It can be very helpful to put your street shoes/boots and socks on at lunch time
  14. The only time your boots should be outside is when they are on your feet

Hands

  1. Leather gloves/mittens are warmer
    1. Too big is better than too small
    2. Try them on with the glove liners you’ll be wearing too
  2. Wear glove liners inside mittens/gloves
  3. If you have leather gloves/mittens, use Sno Seal or Nikwax to help maintain water repellency and retain heat
  4. Add longer pull tabs to zippers so you don’t have to take off gloves to work them
  5. Just because you gloves match your outfit doesn’t make them warm

 

Have fun and stay warm.  It gets better each time you go.

 

Ken

post #15 of 20

Most days here so far this year have been been below 0F without windchill. 

 

Mitts are better than gloves; if you don't have good mitts use hand warmers.

Thermal underwear is a must.

As is a fleece layer

Down vests are good and won't bunch your underarms like an extra sweater.

Goggles also a must.

If you don't have a jacket with a collar that covers your chin, you need to cover up your face with something.

 

Dress warm; have fun.

post #16 of 20

Probably a day or two late....

 

You can get a bunch of warm clothing at your Salvation Army, or Goodwill store. 

 

Might be a bit short of style but cold/wet is cold/wet.  Warm/dry keeps you in a happy place.

 

Wool - not cotton.  Polyester not cotton.  Water/wind proof isn't cotton.  If the women want to wear yoga pants, all the better.

post #17 of 20

@lightningcat , how'd it go today?

post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 

Hello all! Just wanted to check in and let you know that thanks to your totally awesome tips, my friends and I had a fun ski day on Sunday. We're still in one piece and not frozen :)

 

Temps and wind didn't actually end up being bad, and with your great advice we all dressed appropriately and enjoyed ourselves - layers! no cotton! proper snow pants! positive attitude. We didn't end up needing neck warmers (a good thing since the shop we went to on Saturday didn't have any left) but they're certainly on our "to buy" list for next time. Also, as more than one of you mentioned, face masks would be useful in really cold weather because my friend complained about her cheeks feeling cold halfway up the lift despite helmet with ear flaps, goggles and plenty of neck coverings.

 

My friend bought hand/toe warmers but found that the toe warmers didn't fit right in the rental boots. I suspect that more than half the problem was that rental boots didn't quite fit any of us properly anyway - the pain and suffering of having to wait in rental lines for over an hour (almost two hours in the case of our last ski trip) + the annoyance of boots that never really fit right have almost persuaded us to purchase our own equipment...

post #19 of 20
Originally Posted by lightningcat View Post
 

Hello all! Just wanted to check in and let you know that thanks to your totally awesome tips, my friends and I had a fun ski day on Sunday. We're still in one piece and not frozen :)

 

Temps and wind didn't actually end up being bad, and with your great advice we all dressed appropriately and enjoyed ourselves - layers! no cotton! proper snow pants! positive attitude. We didn't end up needing neck warmers (a good thing since the shop we went to on Saturday didn't have any left) but they're certainly on our "to buy" list for next time. Also, as more than one of you mentioned, face masks would be useful in really cold weather because my friend complained about her cheeks feeling cold halfway up the lift despite helmet with ear flaps, goggles and plenty of neck coverings.

 

My friend bought hand/toe warmers but found that the toe warmers didn't fit right in the rental boots. I suspect that more than half the problem was that rental boots didn't quite fit any of us properly anyway - the pain and suffering of having to wait in rental lines for over an hour (almost two hours in the case of our last ski trip) + the annoyance of boots that never really fit right have almost persuaded us to purchase our own equipment...

 

Did you try the toe warmers on the TOP of your socks down at the toes?  The instructions always say to put them on the bottom of the foot.  Never, ever do that.  Those people have never skied, methinks.


HOURS in line for rental boots????? Oh my.  That's awful.  Glad you had a great time anyhow.  

You're definitely skiers in the making.  Welcome to the addiction!

 

Be sure to read the link below thoroughly before you buy boots.  Take all it says seriously.  Boots are the most important part of your gear.  It's not the skis, although buying skis is more fun.

Paying close attention to what this link says about buying boots will save you heartbreak, unexpected pain in the feet, years of poor performance on snow, and hundreds of $$ spent on multiple pairs of boots to replace earlier pairs bought innocently in the wrong size.  Be sure to buy from a bootfitter, not online nor in a big box store.  It's best if the fitter is not some kid the store just hired.  The experience of your bootfitter is the key to boots that fit right.

 

Here you go:

http://www.epicski.com/a/boot-fitting-which-boot-will-work-for-me

post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by lightningcat View Post
 

...the pain and suffering of having to wait in rental lines for over an hour (almost two hours in the case of our last ski trip)...

 

If you can manage the sleep/tiredness/drive, getting there very early - a little before the lifts start turning - can make your day a lot more fun. No lines, best snow conditions, etc.

 

Glad you had a great time either way!!

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