Winter means colder weather. No matter how many layers you wear, sometimes, it’s hard to stay warm, especially during the first few cold months of the ski season. Rather than hide indoors from the cold, here are five tips to keep the cold at bay so you can enjoy your time skiing.
1. Swing your arms
This is by far the most effective trick my dad ever taught me, and the fastest way to get hands warm. While stationary and on flat ground, plant both poles in the snow. Let go of one pole and swing your arm to make a circle – forwards, above your head, behind you, then down. It should only take around a second. Repeat four more times, then switch arms. Remember to use one pole for stability if your skis are still on. Snowboarders, don’t attempt this standing while you’re buckled in!
2. Loosen your buckles/laces at lunchtime
If you often get cold feet, think about loosening your boots during lunch. Sometimes, the constriction of a ski or board boot makes it harder for your blood to flow, especially when you’re not moving. Loosening your boots lets the blood flow so that your feet are toasty warm again by the time you’ve eaten your weight in alpine carbs. Remember to buckle up again before heading outside.
3. Stop for a hot chocolate
If you still feel cold after trying these tips, your body might be telling you to take shelter. Go indoors and have a hot drink and some nourishment. Avoid alcohol as it will actually reduce your core body temperature. Opt for something warm and sugary, like a hot chocolate. In no time, you’ll feel warm and energised enough to attack the mountain once more.
4. Stay on the sunny runs
It might sound obvious, but stay in the sun. Most resorts have ski runs facing in a variety of directions. There’s no point staying on shady runs when you could be enjoying some warm sunshine. Aim for the south-facing runs if you’re skiing on a sunny day in the Northern Hemisphere. In the morning, sample the east-facing slopes which benefit from the morning sun. In the afternoon, head to any west-facing slopes to savour the warmth of the sun.
5. Warm your hands while on a chairlift
Chairlifts can sometimes feel like the coldest place on earth. They get snowed on, they swing in the wind, and they always seem to stop mid-ride for far too long. Sitting still on a chairlift doesn’t help anyone stay warm, but you can at least protect your hands from cooling down by crossing your arms and tucking your gloved hands under your arm pits. They’ll be out of the wind and in the warmth of your pits, which are surprisingly warm when your hands are cold.