1. Air temperature
Stating the obvious; the temperature outside makes a huge difference to what you wear. The mountains can be as cold as — 30 degrees C or as warm as + 30 degrees C and therefore it is important to check what the expected weather temperature will be. On a cold day it is always best to “layer up”, starting with a merino wool base layer. The great thing about using layers is that you can always take clothes off, to get yourself to the right temperature. If you just have a huge jacket and overheat, then your only option might be to take the jacket off, leaving you cold.
2. Wind Speed
The second most important thing to consider is the wind. Wind can make a huge difference to the temperature you feel on your skin, and even a relatively mild air temperature of -2 degress C, can quickly drop to feeling like -10 degress C if the wind picks up to 20mph. Your choice of jacket makes a big difference on a windy day, and often separates the good quality ski jackets from the bad. A great addition is a “Buff” or balaclava, this helps stop a draft going down your neck and protects the skin on your face.
3. General weather conditions
Snow, Sun, Rain, hail etc.; all these weather conditions can have an effect on the above making it feel colder or warmer. Luckily all three can be checked easily by looking at the weather forecast. Snow-forecast.com or Meteo France are highly recommended.
4. Fresh snow
Without a doubt fresh snow can be the most tiring conditions to ski in, inevitably raising peoples heart rate and body temperature. These days are always the most important days to be carrying a rucksack, and to be wearing layers that can be taken off, making layering up and down a possibility!
Temperatures drop considerably the higher up you go; a general rule of thumb is that the temperature drops 1 degree Celsius for every 100m climbed. So, if sticking your arm out the window in the morning is your normal temperature test, make sure you consider how much colder it’s likely to be once you reach the top of the mountain.
If you’re looking for ski lessons this winter check out Maisonsport.com
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