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dang, it's cold.

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
it occurred to me that i don't think i've skied yet in really cold weather. there was a day at mammoth when the chair stopped and it seemed pretty brisk but i think that was more about it being the first day of the year for me and not having been in anything less than 60 degrees up to then.
there was a morning in park city where it WAS cold, for me anyway, and PAYDAY was slow in getting started. i stood there in the "corral" and looked at people's faces, to see who was dying, who was dying and not showing, and who seemed like they might as well have been on a beach somewhere. it was supposedly about 4-above.
i recall also watching an event last year early in that masters dh series - kyle rasmussen, moe, luc alphon was doing it until he decided to pursue world cup again - and they were at jackson hole. i think it was considerably below zero and these guys just didn't look all that pleased.

winter days here in southern california obviously just aren't going to get that cold; and i've skied shirtless a couple days in tahoe (granted, early april). but i'm sure a lot of you ski in cold weather all the time, are just used to it, and it's no big deal. or is it?

any cold weather thoughts or tales? what kind of temps are you generally skiing in during the dead of winter? where on the thermometer does cold become not-so-cold? have you ever not skied because it was too cold?
post #2 of 28
I ski NY & Vermont with:
a) no hat.
b) Those brown cloth gloves you get at the gas station, and;
c) The vents on my jacket zipped wide open.

So, I can't relate.
post #3 of 28
Cold is when you spit, it freezes on the way down, and bounces off the ground. That happens at about -30F.

I'll ski at -20F but it's tough to stay outside for more than a few runs even with mittens, insulated boot muffs, and a fleece gaitor.

The coldest I can remember was back in college in Burlington, Vt back in the late 1970's. The _WARMEST_ it got for two weeks was -2F. Trudging a mile to class every day was brutal. I went skiing a few times and nobody could stay out for more than a few runs and that was in the days when Stowe handed out horse-hair blankets on the single and double chair. You'd wrap one around your boots and put three over your head. By the time you got to the bottom, you'd pretty much have to go back inside.
post #4 of 28
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by nakona:
I ski NY & Vermont with:
a) no hat.
b) Those brown cloth gloves you get at the gas station, and;
c) The vents on my jacket zipped wide open.

So, I can't relate.

One of my Killington friends goes by the nickname "Jimmy No-Hat". He's part of the early-retiree club that skis every day. He has a white beard and has never been seen on the hill in a hat. I caught him tending gates a couple of years ago wearing a headband on an extremely cold day.
post #5 of 28
The year I was in Steamboat, 88-89, I can remember a real cold week. The inversion made for some real funkiness. The morning outside therm would read -20, but when you got up to mid mountain it was almost 20-30 degrees warmer....Weird.

Oh, Hey Slider- My car was the only one that would start consistenly that week in my parking lot, the car? 1970 Mercury Marauder X-100, with the 429 4bl.....What a rig....
post #6 of 28
Skiied Whiteface aka Iceface.
Most of my days there were gray cold foggy.
I was one of the last chairs up to the summit before they closed it due to high winds and cold. the temp was about 20 below and the winds were very gusty.
the trail was uncrowded!
post #7 of 28
I was at Sunday river one day, the temperature at the base was -26 degrees F, winds around 30 to 40 MPH, making the Wind chill factor around -60 degrees. Now that was cold. We would go out and do one run, everything would freeze, we'd go into the lodge, defrost, and then head back out again. Probably got around 7 or 8 runs in that day, for some reason we had the slopes all to ourselves that day.

Life in Colorado is good.
post #8 of 28
When I lived in the UP of Michigan I use to think that the ideal weather conditions were temps around 4 degrees F and winds less than 20 mph. I had trouble staying warm when the winds exceeded 30 mph and the temps were below minus 10 degrees F. I wore a Scott face shield that attached to my Scott gogles.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ November 15, 2001 08:51 AM: Message edited 1 time, by Pierre eh! ]</font>
post #9 of 28
bitter cold doesn't bother's bitter cold w/ that wind that cuts right through ya...

it rarely gets much below zero in the keweenaw (in UP MI)...usually in the teens. Lake Superior gives us lots of snow and mild temps. of course, the hills aren't as big as they could be...
post #10 of 28
mid-winter skiing in the White mts is known for its severe weather, some spots are more favored than others but Wildcat, Cannon, and maybe a few others are especially frigid and windy. On windy days unloading from the upper quad at Cannon you don't slide down the unloading ramp without poling to overcome the wind in your face. When the temp is below 0 too, it can get uncomfortable without the right gear. The one thing you really should have is a neoprene face mask. Try a bunch on until you get a good fit, they really suck if they don't fit right & can direct your breath up onto yr goggle lens (bad) If you're not confident about your gloves or mittens, use heat bags. OR and Marmot both have really good glove & mitten systems. Also- you will probably be sweating from the exertion once you get going and wear fibers like coolmax or capilene that will carry sweat away from your skin. Some of the most enjoyable skiing can be had in the super-cold if you're dressed for it and once you generate some body heat.
post #11 of 28
I was a Meteorologist in Alaska and in the 10th Mt. Div. Cold you said COLD! How's -119 degrees cold without the windchill. Most times after -40 or so there is no wind. Air Density is too thick. Besides it really doesn't matter because your skin can only freeze so fast. We used Hot Wire Anometer to measure the tempreture. I have skied in -60 but it is very dangerous. You can freeze your lungs unless you have a heater element to preheat your inhale. The snow is so crystalized and ridgid that your skis won't slide very well. Hear the snow squeak when you walk on it. That's the crystals breaking from your weight. True story..Went Ice Skating one night(with keg) on a lake and the skates would not slide. Too cold. Now that's Artic weather.
post #12 of 28
It's not so much how cold but how prepared you are. One time I always think about is watching the University of Portland womens soccor play against San Diego: it began with clouds and sun, then rain and wind and finished with hail. We pretty much expected it but those poor ladies from San Diego just wanted to go home. They played till the end but the looks on their faces has always stuck with me. :
post #13 of 28
I hear ya exit 154. I stuft that 65 Buick in the snow bank one morning at the end of the road to the Mt. Only rig that could pull me out was the snowplow. I just noticed you said "rig". I thought that was a west coast term.
Do you know what a Crummy is it?
post #14 of 28
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Auxcrinier:
bitter cold doesn't bother's bitter cold w/ that wind that cuts right through ya...

Been there! One day, at Mont Sainte Anne near Quebec City, we were heading up for breakfast at the top. The gondola wasn't running (clue number 1) so we took the chairlift. The reason the gondola wasn't running was because of the wind screaming down over the top of the mountain. I don't know what the temperature was but I have never been so cold. Two-thirds of the way up, I was seriously looking down at the snow under the lift and wondering if it would be better to jump!

I hung on, warmed up at breakfast then skiied down and put on every piece of spare clothing in my bag at the base. Weirdly, the wind was gone by the time I got back up the mountain. Then I was too hot and had to go back down and dump off the now-excess clothes.

post #15 of 28
I think how cold you can ski depends a lot on what you live in every day. Seattle is cold and damp year round. A hot day here is 72 degrees (just watch us complain if it gets up over 79).

I can take cold but what gets to me is the damp. Sometimes it seems like you get damp down into your bones.

Because of our propensity for dampness I spare no expense with my ski clothing. Marmot Gore-Tex jacket, pants and gloves paired with silk long underwear and polar fleece layers.
post #16 of 28
I wear silk pants too. Lets you move underneath all the other clothing. Humidity is felt much more than temp. I lived on the Oregon coast for years and I can relate to that bone chilling moisture.
post #17 of 28
I agree a damp cold feels a lot colder then then when the humitity is low.The coldest I have ever felt was when i was in London England for Christmas one year.The air temp was only about 30F but I felt like it was much colder.I have skied at -20F and did not feel as cold as I did walking around London.The cold just made hanging out in the Pubs all that more enjoyable.
post #18 of 28
My parents had a cross country skiing weekend in Banff once when the film in their camera froze and shattered. They had managed to get rid of me and my sister for the weekend so they weren't about to let the cold stop them.
post #19 of 28

My coldest have been VT days too. 5 years at UVM skiing at Stowe yielded some damn cold days. Like one run and call it a day...good thing for our season passes...and beer. Took a photo about 4 years ago from our pad in B-town of the thermometer...-26*...and this was down by the lake! I don't even want to think how chilly it was up near Stowe.

I remember a few cold ones back when I was a kid too. One day at Pico comes to mind. Crunchy snow and coughs if you took deep breaths. And one up at Jay where the windchill was around -50*.

Come to think of it, those cold days kinda suck regardless of the cold weather. The snow is horrible. Crunchy and hard...I hope I never fall on one of these days!
post #20 of 28
Jay Peak, last winter. Temperature was -9. That wasn't so bad, but the wind was wailing (I would guess 30-40 mph). Lift ops wouldn't let people ride the lifts if they had bare skin exposed. Now I know why they call the quad the Green Mountain Freezer.

Great day though. 10+ inches of fresh!
post #21 of 28
Agree with Fred; was at Jay over Prez weekend last year. The cold+wind was brutal. (It was also the only genuine powder skiing I have experienced on the E Coast). Peeled skin off mhte exposed parts of my face for a few days after that. Have had some really cold ones at Killington over the years, too.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ November 15, 2001 02:21 PM: Message edited 1 time, by JW ]</font>
post #22 of 28
Skied a day where the AM temp was -14 without windchill, (the high of the day was 0 F) but it was a dry cold, and so it isn't bad. The coldest feeling day was about 25 degrees, but with very high humidity and that was bone chilling. I've noticed that it's the windchill more than the raw temp that keeps folks inside.
post #23 of 28
Can't compete with Slider on this one--but I know well the squeaking sound of snow crystals breaking that he was talking about.
I've skied twice at -40 (doesn't matter C or F, 40 is the crossover). Once in Que, and once in Whistler (of all places). They had the upper mountain shut down for most of the day, but except for the first ride up it really wasn't all that bad. Skiing bumps kept you comfortable (assuming you were well dressed).
I've also skied many days in VT that started below -20. Once I got stuck in a GS suit when the timing system broke and I was next to start--ten minutes at -13 with 50 mph gusts.
That was cold.
post #24 of 28
I think the coldest I've skied in is -30 Celcius, the coldest I've gone to school in is around -35 to -40 (they usually close the schools when it gets colder than -40 C). Most of the time when I'm skiing though its somewhere between 0 and -20.
post #25 of 28
Lets see here, the coldest day I ever skied would have to be last season. I was night skiing at Wild Mounatin (located in the pristine steeps of the St. Croix Valley), when the temp was reading a -15*F. That isn't that bad. The situation was made worse by a wind chill, which I didn't learn of until I returned home, of -45*F. Oblivious to the dangerous wind...I skied all night, only to go in once for hot chocolate for about 10 min.

One, okay two, words of advice...hand and boot warmers do not work when it is that col; and manmade snow turns into a skating rink at those temps.
post #26 of 28
The coldest I've ever been was the top of Sugarloaf ME in February. The wind chill was so bad any exposed skin was frostbite. Felt like pins hitting the face. I don't know the themometer read but I know that was the most painful run. To everyone that remarked on how cold Burlington VT is I'm with ya. Four years of walking through that wind tunnel between the chemistry builiding and Williams will make you appreciate the person who invented Gore-Tex and Fleece.
post #27 of 28
Early '90s at Stowe. -50 when we got up. Called the mountain, top half was closed because of the cold. Like idiots we decided to go. Luckily, none of the cars would start.
post #28 of 28
Like speed, it's the sensation that counts.

I got stuck on the old split-chair Sugar Pine lift at Mt. Baldy in So. Cal. after dark one night. The lift dropped down thru a steep narrow canyon - that acted like a wind tunnel - to the parking lot below. I was dressed for an above-freezing day, and it was a windy well-below-freezing night. The lift had problems which delayed everyone's descent until after dark. (And not enough snow to ski down the lower canyon). I was by myself on the chair and it stopped dead for about 45 min. Felt like hours! It's the only time I've experienced that weird mental and physical condition resulting from hypothermia. Panicked when I couldn't get my hands to work well enough to unlock the car. Some folks stopped to help.

Been in much colder weather, but never again that cold.
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