/ Winter/Ski kit
I'm currently on the lookout for a belay jacket (ME Fitzroy, RAB Photon etc) and some decent winter climbing trousers. And gloves. I have enough very basic kit to make do at the moment but would like to be a little less uncomfortable in the cold this winter.
Anyway, my question is, is there an overlap of kit between an Alpine ski adventure and a Scottish winter. It would be great if there is because then I only have to buy one set of kit! Any advice very much appreciated.
Same things apply eg. layers and a shell work well.
I ski a lot off piste on high mountains and all my kit is basically climbing gear apart from pants and boots, although in the past I used salopettes.
The jacket I use is the mountain equipment changabang which in addition to being a top expedition gore tex also has a detachable zip out snow skirt and an arm pocket for a lift pass.
Just get some suitable stuff for a Scottish winter and you'll be alright. Might be worth paying a visit to an indoor ski slope to test your trews though... the cuffs on my Aspiras don't fit over the top of alpine ski boots, for example (though they cope with touring boots okay).
The only thing I vary between my downhill skiing and winter climbing kit is the trousers. I prefer tough, heavy, hardshell trousers for downhill skiing but wear softshell trousers for climbing/touring. It's easy to slice more delicate trousers with a ski edge. Plus my legs sometimes get cold sitting on skiing lifts.
My biggest thing is I don't know how wet I'll get skiing, or how cold it will be. Any guess for a beginner in February, probably to La Plagne?
If I went for a base layer, 1 or 2 thermals, then a belay jacket would that be ok? And then thermal bottoms with something like Haglofs Mountain Pants over the top, and waterproof trousers if needed?
Would the belay jacket get ruined falling on hardpack snow and landing on my head, or are they fairly tough?
You'll be roasting in all likelihood. And on the whole you don't get very wet skiing.
For downhill I wear - thermal, fleece (one of those bog-standard weight ones) and a waterproof, with thermal bottoms and shell trousers. Incidentally that is also pretty much what I wear climbing in Scotland, with a bit more variation depending on weather and a pertex windproof.
ps - as mentioned above, on-piste, more rugged materials are advisable.
Unless the weather is really bad, you'll probably be ok with a base layer plus windproofs, maybe a bit cool on the chairlifts but ok while actually skiing. Add a fleece in case its cold, and maybe longjons if really cold
In February you are very unlikely to get wet from falling over, although if its sunny you might from the chairlifts.
It can be, but pretty rarely in my experience. However, a balaclava or scarf in the kit-bag is not bad call.
I'm not a fashion-conscious skier and my skiing is at best successfully incompetent. Skiing is an activity reserved for days when ice climbing is off.
I wear my usual Scottish softshells in a fetching ninja black - it's my equivalent of a little black dress, so to speak. By virtue of my incompetence, my skiing usuallly involves more effort than most and getting cold is seldom the issue - quite the reverse most of the time. Add a red merino buff and a beanie and I'm all set. BTW, Incompetence does tend to lead to wet hands though, and good gloves or spares are advised.
Powershield softshell is very good at shedding snow, but it does tend to stick to 'experienced' Schoeller stuff. I do conseqently look somewhat snowy on my lower half if there's lots of powder around. Windstopper sheds well though.
My usual outfit in the winter (with a hoody and big gloves in the bag) is
Really think but windproof/showerproof patagonia jacket (sometimes my Softshell jacket comes out, sold the hardshell years ago)
Gloves are thin ones so I don't lose mobility and my hands don't become disgusting (Mountain Hardware Stretch gloves but with a leather pad so ski edges don't destroy it)
Bottom half really depends on the conditions but range from
TNF Apex softshell
Patagonia Guide pants
Then some heavy duty its freezing and knee deep power Degree 7 salop
leg skins are rare but are sometimes used (generally in Canada)
Summary is, it all crosses over, and you will generally be warmer out skiing than climbing. If you do get cold go grab a hot chocolate. As you say you are new, I'd recommend items that are a tad more waterproof than not as you may spend some time on your backside.
Gloves - I already have some sealskins reasonably warm and waterproof gloves, and some thicker non-waterproof thinsulate gloves. I'll take these. Looking towards climbing, I'll try a pair of the Dickies leather gloves. Might take these skiing as well.
Trousers - I want some climbing trousers. Currently use cotton cargo trousers and they're great, but not for winter. I'll try to find some decent climbing trousers and wear them under my current waterproof trousers. Any recommendations for non-cotton climbing trousers? I like the look of the Haglofs Mountain Pant, but not the price!
Top - I want a Primlaoft belay jacket. I've got plenty of thermals. I think I might pop into TKMaxx and keep an eye out for cheap ski jackets too. Between that lot I should have the top half covered as well.
Helmet is sorted (my paddling helmet doubles as ski/board) so I'll get some goggles and I should be away! Oh dear, this is gonna be expensive...
IMA - I'll have a look at those trousers you mentioned. Would you recommend any of them in particular for a Scottish winter and also skiing?
I think a lot of people use the Guide pant, a quick search on here would show those views up. I do use them in the alps or for dog walking and can't imagine having an issue with them in Scotland. I prefer the Guide pants to TNF but that is a personal choice. Patagonia put it both into alpine and skiing for their clothing filter.
Make sure you get (climbing) sallopettes that are wide enough at the bottom to go over bulky ski boots, and have a built in snow gaitor. I also like a snow gaitor in jacket - not essential if sallopettes come up high, but definitely a bonus when learning to ski!
But I basically ski in my winter mountaineering kit. Even though I do more skiing than winter mountaineering since kids!
I've found salopettes designed with ski touring in mind tend to be flappy around the ankles when I'm wearing my ice boots (diddy size 42 trango extremes) http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=3282 The gaiters can be too loose to really work on ice boot.
Conversely a mate used a pair of my softshell troos for a week of ski touring in Lyngen, he was pulling them down over his boots (they had a side zip to make this easier) and they were tight enough to keep snow out http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=149106, but by the end of the week the top of the tongue in his boots had cut a 15 cm rip into the front ankle area of the trousers!
Conversely I thought these http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=2538 were too flappy around the ankle for climbing without gaiters on http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=2538 But when I used them ski touring, they were just perfect over my tele boots: http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=148580
You have to wear gaiters to make good ski trousers into good ice climbing trousers. But then I love gaiters! :-) http://lightfromthenorth.blogspot.fi/2010/12/gaiter-haters.html
I've had some (Berghaus, I think) shell trousers where the bottom of the trousers wasn't wide enough to fit over ski boots, resulting in boots full of snow. I agree, I always put the trousers on before the boots....!
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