Going on a skiing or snowboarding holiday for the first time is extremely exciting, however the run up to the trip can often be quite daunting experience with so much to get organise, and if you’ve never been skiing before then sometimes it can be hard to know what to pack. To help you prepare, we’ve put together a brief guide of top tips to bear in mind when choosing your winter attire.
There’s a well-known proverb which says that ‘there’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing’ – and when it comes to ski holidays this is certainly true. There’s nothing more likely to spoil your fun on the mountain than being cold and wet, so making sure you have the right clothes is the first way to ensure that you are well prepared for your trip.
The key to keeping warm whilst on the mountain is having decent thermals, and plenty of them. Conditions on the mountain can change quickly, and it’s always better to have more layers to take off rather than be too cold.
The most effective thermals are ones which are designed keep you warm (preferably with wool or wool blend) and wick away moisture quickly. Where possible, avoid cotton as once it gets wet it takes a long time to dry meaning that you’ll get cold (and stay cold) very fast.
Of course, there’s no point having good thermals to keep you warm unless you’re able to keep dry – so when choosing your outer clothing opt for jacket and pants that are waterproof, breathable and well-insulated.
Snow gear can often be quite technical and the various fabric technologies available can be quite overwhelming, however most snow gear will have a waterproof rating to indicate the level of water resistance provided. Essentially the higher the waterproof rating (measured in millimetres ‘MM’ or ‘K’) the more effective the clothing will be in the snow, wet, or high-pressure conditions. Meanwhile, most jackets will also come with zip-up vents to allow for additional air-flow if you get too hot.
Warm gloves and socks are obviously essential, however it’s always a great idea to pack a neck buff as this will help protect your neck and lower face from cold temperatures and harsh winds whilst sat on the chair lifts or on the mountain.
Helmet’s aren’t compulsory in Andorra, but since your safety is the most important thing for you to consider we strongly recommend that you wear one. If you’d prefer not to buy a helmet then you can rent these in all of our hire shops for a small supplement per day. When booking your equipment through Andorra Resorts, some hire shops even offer free helmets for little ones, along with a minimum 25% pre-booking discount. You can start shopping here!
In terms of goggles – Category 2-3 lenses are the better choice for all-round visibility conditions, but the key thing is to ensure that they provide 100% UV protection from the sun and white light reflecting from the snow. If you’re investing in a helmet then it’s worth making sure that your goggles fit the shape of your helmet and face well to ensure maximum comfort whilst on the slopes.
If you’re learning to snowboard for the first-time then you may wish to consider investing in a pair of wrist guards to help protect your wrists from the inevitable falls you will likely experience; however the effectiveness of wrist guards in preventing fractures or breaks is often contested.
It sounds like there’s a lot to buy, however the good news is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money in order to keep warm and dry as you can pick up good quality thermals, outer clothing and accessories for a reasonable price from UK shops such as Decathlon, Go Outdoors, TK Maxx and Sports Direct. Better yet, if you know of any friends or family who have been skiing before the why not ask if you can borrow their gear?
Remember, since you are just starting out it’s not necessary to have the top of the range clothing, and chances are that you’re not going to be going off-piste or riding in extreme conditions which require the highest quality fabrics. Towards the end of the season many stores in both the UK and Andorra tend to discount their stock, so it may be worth waiting until then to buy the more expensive products on your wish list… ready for when you return to Andorra again next year!
Let us help you plan, book and ski your next holiday to Andorra here