JANUARY 17, 2019

Pristine snow after snowstorm
Pristine snow after snowstorm
Pristine snow after snowstorm
Pristine snow after snowstorm
January 17, 2019

Brrrrr……

Yes it has been ‘Brrrrr’….. cold. It was -25°C (-13° F) last week up high and those super cold temperatures continued for a few days. But the skiing was terrific! Just a matter of dressing properly so you keep your body warm. See the ‘Ski Tip’ below. Happily the temperatures warmed up and these past couple of days have been very comfortable.
As I promised in my last post, I’d inform you how much snow we got: NOT A LOT! Italy and the ski areas to the east of us got an enormous dump, causing havoc on the roads and avalanche warnings in some of the ski areas but we only received a few centimeters (couple of inches). Mind you, the high winds did blow the falling snow around so it piled up in protected areas so those in the know did have some enjoyable skiing in 10 – 20 cm (4 – 8 inches) of powder. When the storm blew itself out the clear, blue sky returned revealing pristine white unmarked off-piste slopes (as you can see in the photo of the Borsat area). That’s a rare sighting in Val as, normally, just as soon as a snowstorm ends skiers here are out making tracks in every slope they can get to! Probably the reason for that is that mid January is a very quiet time here so there are fewer good powder skiers in town.

It did snow as promised on Sunday and Monday and we finally received a proper ‘dump’. Val received on average over 30cm! BUT along with the snow were very high winds again so some protected places had over a meter (3.3′)and other exposed slopes were swept bare. Those who were brave enough to venture out into the storm had some fabulous deep powder turns. Many people preferred to give Monday a miss and try to enjoy any untracked snow they could find on Tuesday when the sun shone again and the winds softened. I’m happy to report that with some clever searching one was able find stretches of fresh powder.

‘Ski Tip’ of the week

Dress properly to keep warm on very cold days.

That means dressing in layers! Rather than wear one thick garment, wear a number of lighter layers making use of fleece, wool, and down. Wear a a moisture-wicking undershirt – good one’s contain some Merino wool which makes it warm- (some people still prefer cotton), then a fleece turtle neck, then a light Merino wool shirt, then a windproof fleece and, as your outer layer, a waterproof down jacket. Or, do as I do and wear a down vest under a ski jacket. The idea is to keep your core warm and nicely insulated. Doing that will keep the blood flowing to your extremities which will keep them from getting too cold. To keep your legs warm, wear insulated trousers with longjohns (tights) underneath. It is also very important to keep your head warm as you lose lots of body heat if your head is exposed to the cold. As most people these days wear a helmet, wear a thin woolen, cotton or fleece hat that also covers your ears under the helmet. To keep your face warm, wear a face mask or balaclava. Try to not let any part of your body exposed! Also wear a good pair of warm ski gloves (some gloves come with an inner glove so they are double). If you have a single layer glove you can wear a thin silk or wool glove inside the glove (but be sure it is not too tight as you need a space for air insulation between the layers). And of course a good warm pair of ski socks. To be sure to keep your hands warm you can purchase heated gloves. Likewise for your feet, you can purchase heaters that fit in your ski boots that you can turn on and off. A friend who really feels and hates the cold wears, in addition to heated gloves and heated boots, ‘heated socks’ that she can control with a program on her smart phone! That blows me away!!

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