"How to stay warm in the cold? Layers. Layers on layers. The more layers the better," said Mike Halloran, Ski Patrol manager at [R488R, Wachusett Mountain Ski Area] in Princeton, Mass.

The question of how to stay warm in the cold arises at this moment because the Upper Midwest and entire Northeast is plunging into some of the coldest temperatures in years. Halloran said this cold snap should not scare people off the slopes, but they should be dressed right to stay warm.

"The biggest problem in staying warm is probably with the feet. People tend to wear heavy socks, their feet sweat, and they get cold. I've always worn fairly thin silk or synthetic socks, absolutely no cotton, something that disperses the moisture," he said. He also suggested toe warmers.

"And we do serve very good cocoa," he added.

"For clothing, dress in layers, the more the better. Go with modern technology, modern materials, not wool or you're going to look like the Michelin Man. Go for good quality. Any outdoor clothing today is excellent," he said.

"My wife always put cream on the kids' faces. I guess it creates a protective layer against wind. Ski with a friend, and keep checking each other's face. If you see white spots starting to appear tell 'em to go inside and warm up, hold their hands over the spot until it warms up. Frostbite isn't really common, but the pain is excruciating.

"I like wearing two pairs of gloves, a thin pair of silk or polypro, then a heavier pair as well. Mittens are warmer in the cold, but I need to wear gloves on Ski Patrol. Some people use hand warmers.

"There are balaclavas for your head, new ones that are real light, made from synthetic but with the feel of silk.

"Goggles, obviously. You also have to protect the nose, because it's out there.

"Helmets are certainly warmer than a hat," Halloran said.

He thought for minute, going through a mental checklist, then added, "No cotton, no jeans."

Halloran has been skiing for 47 years, starting when Wachusett was a T-bar area run by Worcester County and managed by Russ Vickery.

"I rode up the West T-bar, made it to the flats, got off, pointed my skis downhill, and fell over. Got back up, fell again. I went to Killington the next day. That's how it started," Halloran said.

His skis were 210 centimeters long, with Cubco bindings. He wore Henkie leather boots.

One of his employers at Wachusett, David Crowley, sometimes wonders how anyone persevered in the old days on such gear long enough to master skiing.

Question: How to stay warm on the slopes?