Comfy telemark: Helmet, knee pads, socks and butt

2012-03-17 06.38.56

I’m a ski pratroller.

But even before hand, I’m a telemark skier who likes to ski hard. Day in and day out, I’m outdoor. And I like it. Here’s a list of things I wear to stay warm at all times.

Common tips are:

  • Make sure you don’t over dress to start your day,
  • don’t wear cotton,
  • use multilayer clothing system.

You can find dozen of web sites talking about those. Here are my best tips for keeping you warm:

  1. KNEE PADS: Safety is a concern. So I wear knee pads. I would not trade them for any reason now. When I started telemark skiing 17 years ago, I had leather boots and no cable on my bindings. The knee could easily touch the ground. Today’s equipment are much more rigid. To a point that it’s almost impossible for my knee to touch my ski. Still, I feel that my back leg knee is more expose and I still wear my knee pads. Working on the mountain, I still wear knee pads. It’s just so conformable. If your a snowboarder or an alpine skier, you should all be wearing be wearing knee pads. It keeps my knees warm. No joke. And it makes a world of difference.
  2. HELMET: An other smart choice for your safety, of course. But more than that, it’s just so comfortable if chosen right. Bring your goggles to the ski shop and try a bunch. Make sure it’s comfy on the head and for the ears, that it stays in place and that your goggles fit perfect, not leaving any gap around. Helmet is warm but not hot, It’s wind proof but most have vents, and most helmets now do not impair your hearing. Just a no-brainer.
  3. SOCKS: Feet are your link to your skis. Have good ski socks makes a good difference in comfort and in warm feet. Be careful, price doesn’t equal quality. My only choice is Patagonia mid weight ski socks. They are so durable and are unmatched in comfort. And I tried a lot of different models out there. I always have a second pair with me and change them at lunch because I have sweaty feet.
  4. BUTT: Well, if your in cold country, that is Canada for me, sitting on a chair lift is cold. I wear mid weight long johns under my ski pants. In the resort, I don’t wear Gore-Tex pants but rather light insulated ski pants. I add a fleece short for extra warmth. I usually buy a fleece pants that I cut just below the knees.
  5. GLOVES: Of all ski equipment, the glove is the one I like the most. Don’t ask me why, I just like it. For many years now, I always choose Black Diamond Guide gloves because of its warmth vs dexterity. A bonus is that their very durable, a must for a ski patroller ( I change every 2 years and I ski/work an average of 120 days a year). Whatever your preferences, gloves or mittens, make sure you get what you need to stay out. If they are leather, have them treated with a good specialized wax such as Nikwax or similar products. It will make them last longer.

BONUS TIP: If you have cold feet, you can always buy heated soles or foot warmer, but I don’t like either solutions. Heated soles are expansive and you always forget to charge them up. And foot warmer are single use (pollution), bulky and expensive after a while. But boot liners are relatively cheap. Every boots brand sell replacement liners, usually at 1/5th of the price of a boot. Buy an extra liner and change liners when changing your socks at lunch time. Guaranteed warm feet for the rest of your life. When re-selling your boots, you can have the buyer choosing his liner, it will be half as used. Keep the second liner for your new boots.

Enjoy winter, day in and day out.

 

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  • plume

    GOOD TIPS! Merci…

  • http://www.absolutetelemark.com rene_martin

    I’m often asked what kind of knee pads work best? I use Black Diamond’s knee pads. There comfy and light (without the bulk). The quality is awesome and the price is fair.

    For year, I’ve used old skateboard knee pads I paid 1$ in a yard sale. It worked good but they were bulky. Make sure you the pads you choose hold steady as it is the main characteristic a knee pad should have.

  • andy

    I also bought a pair of the BD knee pads this year – they are comfy and bombproof. Two years back I nailed my right knee while skiing powder. Then this year, the same one again in powder. then on a tree. I figured that was enough. It hurt. Now much less worry