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Warwickshire Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE -

OU’VE cho­sen a trendy re­sort that guar­an­tees days of pris­tine snow and nights of apres-ski fun, gath­ered your gang, found a stun­ning chalet and the flights are booked. The scene is set for an awe­some first ski­ing trip – but now the prospect of pack­ing ap­pears and one ques­tion re­mains: what do you ac­tu­ally wear?

When it comes to out­door ac­tiv­i­ties in sub-zero tem­per­a­tures, get­ting the kit right is more than just a mat­ter of look­ing good (although, there’s that too, of course), so we’ve en­listed the help of a ski­wear ex­pert to ex­plain the key com­po­nents of a slope-ready wardrobe.

Whether you’re whoosh­ing down red runs in Whistler, or go­ing off-piste in Alp­bach, these are the essentials to con­sider when shop­ping for ski­wear...

THE in­ner­most gar­ment in your ski out­fit (apart from un­der­wear, ob­vi­ously) should be a light­weight base layer top and leg­gings.

“Base lay­ers are sup­posed to act like a sec­ond skin, so the most im­por­tant fac­tor to con­sider is that they are com­fort­able,” ex­plains Avril Mo­ran, head of buy­ing at Moun­tain Ware­house.

“Choose a fab­ric which is go­ing to give you an ex­tra layer of in­su­la­tion and keep you warm, but also ide­ally one which has sweatwick­ing prop­er­ties. Even though you’re out in the snow all day you can still work up a sweat, so a fab­ric which keeps you dry by wick­ing the sweat away from your body is key.”

NEXT comes a mid layer, which should be looser than a base layer, to al­low for move­ment, and thicker to pro­vide ex­tra in­su­la­tion un­der your ski jacket. Zip-up fleeces and hood­ies work well for this layer, and snug high col­lars help to keep the cold out.

SKI jack­ets come in many dif­fer­ent styles, but for novice skiers, Avril rec­om­mends three key fea­tures to look out for when shop­ping for yours. “The first is, make sure your jacket is snow­proof to keep you pro­tected, the sec­ond is that it has a light pad­ding for in­su­la­tion, and the third that it comes with a snowskirt, to help pre­vent snow get­ting into your ski pants!” she ex­plains. “I also rec­om­mend you make sure the jacket you choose isn’t re­stric­tive, that it fits com­fort­ably un­der the arms and al­lows you to bend. It’s sur­pris­ing how much you ac­tu­ally move when ski­ing.”

“SIM­I­LAR to the ski jack­ets, it’s im­por­tant as a first-time skier or snow­boarder that your ski pants are com­fort­able and not re­stric­tive, to make sure you are able to bend with ease,” says Avril.

“Make sure they are also snow­proof, are in­su­lated to keep you warm, and have in­te­grated snow gaiters to keep you com­fort­able and pro­tected from get­ting snow in­side your pant leg or in to your ski boot.”

“AC­CES­SORIES are just as im­por­tant as the rest of your ski kit and should not be con­sid­ered an af­ter­thought,” Avril warns. “When it comes to hats, some­thing made from an in­su­lat­ing fab­ric is im­por­tant. Even though every­one wears a hel­met on the slopes your head can still get cold, so a hat is just as im­por­tant to wear un­derneath your hel­met.

“When choos­ing a pair of gloves, it is also im­por­tant to make sure they are made of an in­su­lat­ing fab­ric and that they have good grip, be­cause you need to hold on to those poles pretty tight!

“Ski socks are a sta­ple for any skier/snow­boarder, as you’re on your feet most of the day,” Avril adds. “I rec­om­mend a soft, in­su­lat­ing fab­ric with flat toe seams, to avoid rub­bing when you’re out on the slopes.

“When it comes to eye pro­tec­tion, I rec­om­mend you go for gog­gles over glasses. Eyes can be­come very tired and dry in the wind and cold – gog­gles will of­fer the warmth and pro­tec­tion that sun­glasses won’t. It’s very im­por­tant to make sure your gog­gles have cer­ti­fied UV pro­tec­tion as it can be very sunny at the top of the slopes, and the re­flec­tion from the snow can cause a glare.”

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