Go Deep: Suiting Up

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Go Deep 1204

When you're enjoying face shots

in the fluff, chances are you won't be thinking much about what you're wearing. But when you get to the bottom and find yourself wet and cold, you'll think differently. Snow has a sneaky way of entering any open area in your clothing; therefore powder skiing requires particular attention to how you dress. Next time you head up the mountain during or after a dump, suit up with the following gear.

>Waterproof/breathable outerwear

Powder skiers are the astronauts of the slopes: The more high-tech your outerwear is, the more comfortable you'll be. Look for a jacket constructed with waterproof/breathable fabrics and these key features: roomy hood with bill, taped seams, welded joints around the shoulders and elbows, powder skirt, gaiters, cuffs with elastic gussets and Velcro closures, and drawcords to seal the waist and neck.

>Waterproof gloves

Look for waterproof/breathable gloves with gauntlets that extend up into your jacket's sleeves. To keep your fingers warm, seek out gloves with good insulation, or wear additional thin fleece or polypro liners.

>Base and midlayers

Start with a moisture-wicking base layer to keep sweat away from your body as you race to the mountain. If it's a warm day, layer with a lightweight fleece. If it's going to be cold, try one of the new softshell layers: They're highly breathable and wind-resistant, yet won't restrict movement. Be careful not to overdress: In powder, you won't be able to open any vents in your jacket without getting wet.

>Neck warmer You might think neckwarmers look funny, but when you're skiing deep powder in cold temperatures, wearing one can be a great help in trapping body heat and keeping your face warm. Look for one with a water-resistant shell and a fleece liner.

>Goggles If it's overcast and snowing, choose rose-colored lenses, which enhance definition. Also look for goggles with good ventilation to prevent fogging and a tight fit to keep the snow out.

>Headwear Helmets are the headwear of choice in powder because of their warmth and coverage-and if you're getting freshies in the trees, they'll protect you from branches. If you're helmet-shy, look for a wool or polypro/wool hat that covers your ears.

DECEMBER 2004