The summer sun isn’t your skin’s only enemy. As any raccoon-faced skier can attest, cloudy and cold days in January can and often do leave their mark. And not just on your cheeks. Winter in the mountains means low humidity, strong winds and snow that reflects 80 percent of the sun’s rays. What’s more, those rays get two to four percent stronger with every thousand feet of elevation gain. Windburn, chapped lips and cracked hands are winter’s calling cards. Your skin is your body’s largest organ and its first line of defense. These products protect your skin before—and repair it after—the elements do their dirty work.
Skinning is crucial in the side- or backcountry because it’s more efficient and less tiring than hiking in deep snow. The fur-like surface of skins flattens as you move uphill, allowing your skis to glide, but it grips to keep you from sliding back after each step.
At the top of your list of summer activities should be hiking a fourteener (a peak topping 14,000 feet in elevation). While these hikes are challenging, most can be completed in a day. Here’s how to train for, plan, and conquer your first fourteener.