It’s March 25th at 11 a.m., and the sun is shining in Vail. You are bare-faced and warm on your first chair ride of the day. Then boom, a moisture-loaded low-pressure system rolls through leaving you too soggy and cold to enjoy the powder.
Don’t worry, you aren’t alone—while spring is a great time to be on the mountain with lower prices, longer days and fewer people—many skiers fail to consider the sometimes dramatic spring weather swings. But spring skiing doesn’t have to be ruined by raw skin against wet jacket if you take a few minutes to dial in your layering strategy. As they say, there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.
When packing for a spring ski trip, thin layers that are easy to add/remove are key to maintaining comfort level and protection on the mountain. It may seem counterintuitive to pile on clothing when temps are into the 40s, but even when the air is warm and the sun strong, the snow is cold! Sitting on a chairlift after a sweaty run can become an equally chilling experience. Performance base layers are a must and can be complemented by items, such as neck warmers, thin gloves, wool layers and shell jackets.
10 Must-Pack Spring Skiing Layers
1. Chaos Headwear’s CTR line features light accessories designed for layering and weather protection. The Glacier Protector has ear panels and breathing holes to ventilate while protecting the face.
2. The Glacier Bando, with easy Velcro back attachment and punch breathing holes to ventilate while protecting the face, has a soft micro-fleece interior finish.
Chaos Headwear’s CTR line features light accessories designed for layering and weather protection.
Copyright: Chaos Headwear
3. I also appreciate the simplicity of the Mistral Ear wrap found in some fun assorted colors.
Chaos Headwear’s CTR Mistral Ear wrap.
Copyright: Chaos Headwear
4. I wear the Mistral Liner Gloves under heavier gloves in the winter...
5. ...or the CTR Glacier Air Glove alone in the spring. They feature Silver Smart Touch (SST) touch screen sensitive, thumb and index fingertips so they can be worn while using a smartphone. The gloves are enough for spring skiing and they still protect hands from wind and ice.
CTR Glacier Air Glove and Mistral Liner Gloves.
6. It starts from the inside out, Krimson Klover offers a base layer collection that brings a modern pop of color and whimsical style to spring layers for us gals. This lightweight quarter-zip pullover is made from a buttery-soft viscose blend.
7. As a warmer layer on top of your base layer, I recommend throwing on a wool mid layer. The Voormi Drift Jacket comes in men’s and women’s, is perfect under a shell and can seamlessly transition to après ski and day-to-day wear.
8. As a possible spring standalone for bluebird days, the award-winning Voormi Fallline jacket is offered in men’s and women’s styles.
The Voormi women's Fallline Jacket.
9. Windproof and waterproof materials are your friend during spring skiing. I recommend Bergans of Norway’s Letto shell. It’s breathable while weatherproof as a top layer for skiing and light enough that it can be used for non-skiing activities moving into late spring and early summer.
The Bergans Letto shell is breathable while weatherproof as a top layer for skiing and light enough that it can be used for non-skiing activities moving into late spring and early summer.
10. After a few runs in the shade in your CTR, Krimson Klover, Voormi mid layer and Bergans jacket, you may have warmed up and are ready to shed an accessory or two. Wearing a backpack (or encouraging someone else in your group to) is a great way to store those different layers for variable weather. The Bergans Instinden 26L ski pack stores layers, and its wide velcro hipbelt can be quickly pulled open to slip the pack in front for chairlift riding. When heading out of bounds for some untouched corn, it carries your skis, avy gear, lunch, etc.
Bergans Instinden 26L ski pack stores layers, and its wide velcro hipbelt can be quickly pulled open to slip the pack in front for chairlift riding.
This Spring Break, be sure to stay protected from the elements, layer effectively, be aware of snow and weather conditions and have an amazing trip. Happy Skiing!