Know the code and be safe on the mountain
To have a a fun and successful day on the mountain, it is key to be courteous and use common sense while skiing or riding.
Be aware that there are inherit risks to snowsports and these risks can be greatly reduced by following the code below. It is your responsibility to know the code!
The Responsibility Code:
49 Degrees North Contacts
Main Line: (509) 935-6649
Fax: (509) 935-4218
Snow Conditions Hotline - x1
Ticket Office - x608
Season Pass - x2
Daycare - x618
Marketing - x607
Rental Shop - x620
Ski Patrol - x611
Ski & Snowboard School - x610
Discovery Club - x627
Nordic Center - x610
49 Degrees North
P.O. Box 166
3311 Flowery Trail Road
Chewelah, WA 99109
For media inquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please fill out and submit THIS FORM for your donation request to be considered.
Interested in the best job ever?
Share your passion of skiing or snowboarding with children and/or adults just getting started in the sport as an instructor at 49° North Mountain Resort. If you have great people skills, love skiing or snowboarding and want to share that passion with others, you’ll be a great instructor. Applicants should be able to ski or snowboard comfortably on green and blue groomed runs – no need to be an expert skier or rider to be a great instructor. If you can commit to being here 12+ days this season for training and teaching, then come join our mountain family.
Snowsports School Director
Employee Benefits Include:
- Unlimited Employee Season Pass
- Discounted dependent passes for spouse/domestic partner and dependents 18 years and younger
- Discounts at our Cafe & Alpine retail shop
- Exchange letters to other resorts
- Access to Instructor Locker/Storage room
Already have your 49 Degrees North Pass?
Once you've completed on-snow training and have become an official employee, receive a full refund on your pass!
What becoming an Instructor means
On any given operating day, our Ski & Snowboard School has students of all ages and ability levels ready to learn. All instructors will be able to teach in all age categories, from 4 year old private lessons, to adult group lessons.
Ready to get started?
For First Year/Non-experienced instructors:
- Complete the PSIA-AASI Online Instructor Courses
- Complete 5 days of indoor and on-snow specialized training
- Complete instructor evaluation & lesson observation
Once you have passed all the milestones, you will be eligible to be hired as a Ski or Snowboard instructor at 49 Degrees North!
49 Degrees North has two designated terrain parks during the winter season.
The Silver Ridge Park is located underneath the top of Chair 5. This park has several rails, boxes and jumps and is open to the public.
Our main Terrain Park is located under Chair 1 on Tamarack and is visible from the main lodge. This terrain park has many features and is updated regularly by our dedicated park crew.
Welcome to the Repair Shop! Located in the same space as our Rental Shop, certified technicians are ready to get your gear ready for the mountain. See pricing and services below, please call the Repair Shop at (509) 935-6649 x620 with questions or specific requests.
Repair Shop Pricing:
- Binding Adjustment - $24
(test & adjustment)
- Binding Mount - $38
(mounting new skis/binding, test & adjustment)
- Binding remount - $45
(redrill, plug holes, mount, test & adjustment)
- Hot Wax - $14
(hand iron, scrape & brush)
- Side Edge & Wax - $24
- Basic Tune - $32
(machine edges & hot wax)
- Performance Tune - $40
(machine grind, hand tune edges, minor base repair & hot wax)
- Mega Tune - $55+
(base repair, basic tune + additional work needed)
A tree well/ snow immersion suffocation accident can happen when a skier or snowboarder falls – usually headfirst – into a tree well or deep loose snow and becomes immobilized and trapped under the snow and suffocates.
In an inverted position you can become trapped under the snow. Breathing becomes difficult as the loose snow packs in around you. Without immediate help from your partner, you may suffocate. Prevention of falling into a tree well or areas of deep snow is all-important because the odds of surviving deep snow immersion are low.
90% of people involved in Tree Well/ SIS hazard research experiments could NOT rescue themselves. If a partner is not there for immediate rescue, the skier or rider may die very quickly from suffocation - in many cases, he or she can die as quickly as someone can drown in water.
90% OF PEOPLE INVOLVED IN TREE WELL / SIS HAZARD RESEARCH EXPERIMENTS COULD NOT RESCUE THEMSELVES.
A tree well is a void or depression that forms around the base of a tree can and contain a mix of low hanging branches, loose snow and air. Evergreen trees in particular (fir, hemlock, etc) can have large, deep tree wells that form when low hanging branches block snow from filling in and consolidating around the base of the tree. These voids can be hidden from view by the tree’s low hanging branches.
There is no easy way to identify if a particular tree has a dangerous tree well by sight therefore, treat all tree wells as dangerous.
In simple terms, a tree well is a hole or void in the deep snow, which is clearly marked by a tree. You can easily identify and avoid these areas.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU GO DOWN
Yell or use whistle to get your partners attention.
Do whatever you can to keep your head above the surface of the snow including rolling, grabbing tree branches or the tree trunk. If possible, keep your feet below level of your head.
If you become immersed, make a space around your face and protect your airway – resist the urge to struggle, it could compromise your airspace and entrap you further.
Stay calm to conserve air.
Trust your partner is on their way.
If possible, use your cell phone to call ski patrol or the resort's emergency number.
Be safe on the mountain!
- Avoid skiing or riding yourself into shape. You will enjoy the sport more if you are physically fit.
- Drink plenty of water; be careful not to become dehydrated.
- Wear your hats and gloves. Consider mittens if your hands get cold easily.
- Bring sun protection with you; 15 sunscreen and a good pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes.
- Know your limits. Stop before you become fatigued.
Be sure to have your ski or snowboard bindings adjusted correctly at a local ski shop. You can rent high quality ski or snowboard equipment from the rental shop at 49. Take lessons. Like any activity, you will improve with practice and guidance. 49 offers an excellent ski school with certified instructors. Winter clothing, sun protection and sun glasses may be purchased from the Alpine Shop inside the lodge.
Skiers and snowboarders wishing to go outside of marked area boundaries do so at their own risk. Areas outside of marked boundaries are not patrolled. Unmarked hazards of all types exist. Search and rescue operations may be authorized and conducted by Stevens County Sheriff's Department. You or your heirs will be financially responsible for this service.
Any person skiing or riding outside the confines of trails or runs open for skiing and snowboarding within the ski area boundary shall be responsible for any injuries or losses resulting from his or her actions.
Drones or model aircraft use by guests, commercial operators or the media is prohibited without prior written approval of 49° North Mountain Resort.
Trail Map Markings
Skiers and riders should be advised A green circle, blue square or Black Diamond trail at one ski area is not necessarily the same as a similarly rated trail at another ski area. Skiers and riders should work their way up, beginning with the easiest trails, no matter what their ability level may be, until they are familiar with the trails at that ski area.
FROSTBITE is the most common injury involved in Snowsports. Frostnip is a precursor to frostbite. Watch for these warning signs - mild tingling or pain followed by numbness, gray or yellowish patches of sking (especially nose, ear, face, fingers and toes.)
Have someone else check your face and ears if you are unable to. If frostnip symptoms are detected. Please come see one of our patrollers right away!
Factors that heighten the risk of Frostnip or Frostbite
• Immobility, injury or illness
• Fatigue or Apathy
• Previous Frostbite Injury
• Wet Skin
• Tight Boots, Gloves, or Clothing
Smart Style is about all safety and having the knowledge to enjoy your freedom and the freestyle terrain. Park Smart reinforces five important points for the use of freestyle terrain.
YOU ARE IN CONTROL
Don’t get in the backseat
Control your speed
Land on your feet
YOU ARE IN CONTROL…
2022 UPDATE: Snowmobiles will not be allowed on the mountain this spring
Please Note: Snowmobiles are not permitted within Ski Boundaries while 49 Degrees North is operating
Equipment Tips for Renting or Fitting Gear
-Ski or Snowboard Boots can fit or feel very different than your normal, everyday shoes. Toes should lightly touch the front of the boot once they are laced or buckled up when you stand with ankles and knees flexed slightly. Toes should not be jammed at the front of the boot or too far away. Boots should fit snuggly around the whole foot, ankle and lower leg, with fairly even pressure everywhere, like a firm handshake.
-We recommend ONE PAIR of light or medium weight TALL socks to wear with your ski or snowboard boots. Wool, or a synthetic material like polypropylene are best (avoid wearing cotton). Multiple pairs of socks or extra material from pants, sweats or leggings cut off circulation to your feet or cause terrible discomfort and should be avoided.
-We recommend wearing waterproof and/or insulated pants, with pant legs that are wide enough at the cuff to go over the top of your boots.
-Don’t forget your goggles, gloves, and helmet/hat. We have helmets available to rent in the Rental Shop, and we sell hats, gloves, goggles and more in our Alpine Shop in the main lodge. Check out this video for more information.
Looking for a lesson and rental combo? - Lesson Packages for First Timers
Interested in joining the National Ski Patrol at 49 Degrees North? 49 Degrees North Ski Patrol is currently recruiting!
What to do this winter:
- Contact 49 Degrees North Ski Patrol
Gary Deaver - email@example.com,
- Fill out an Application
- Participate in On-Snow Screening & Job Shadowing
Outdoor Emergency Care Class (OEC): September - November
*Participants must be 15 years old to qualify
Receiving your 22/23 Season Pass
Please note, pictures must be clear head shots, above the shoulders, with no accessories (hats, glasses, etc). Photo size needs to be 160 wide and 120 high. Please submit your by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you purchased a College or Military Pass, please send documentation to email@example.com. College pass holders must prove that they are taking at least 6 credits. Acceptable College documentation would be a course schedule screen shot or something official from your Registration Office, with your name, school name, and dates of courses. Acceptable Military documentation would be a copy of your orders, a copy of your pay stub, or a document showing you are a Disabled Veteran.
**Passes must be paid in full before they can be issued.
Pass Ages and Categories
Age categories for all passes are decided on pass recipients age as of December 31st, 2021. Age 0-6 are 6 & Under. Ages 7-17 are Youth. Ages 18-23 are Young Adult. Ages 24-61 are Adult. Ages 62-69 are Senior. Ages 70-79 are Super Senior. In order to qualify for the College pass, you must show proof that you are attending college, with a minimum of 6 credits. In order to qualify for the Military pass, you must show Active, Ready Reserve, or Inactive Ready Reserve Military ID.
To qualify for a Military Season Pass, you must provide: Active, Ready Reserve, or Inactive Ready Reserve documentation. Acceptable Military documentation would be a copy of your orders, a copy of your pay stub, or a document showing you are a Disabled Veteran. To qualify for the EMS Season Pass, you must provide one of the following: state license, a EMT / Paramedic certification issued within the past 48 months, or an ID Card with their name and title on it. Retired First Responders can use a retiree ID card, retirement certificate, etc. Other occupations that qualify for the EMS pass - Fire and Law dispatchers, retired Law Enforcement, Wildland Firefighters, National registered EMT, Jailers. All require proper proof via email or in person when picking up the purchased pass. For any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Half Payment Opt-In
Please note, a pass cannot be issued until the pass is paid in full.
Combo Passes with Silver Mountain Resort
We have partnered with Silver Mountain to offer 2022-2023 Combo Passes! The Combo Pass this season will be two passes, one for each mountain. Remember to bring the correct corresponding pass to each mountain you visit.
Please note, due to Silver Mountain Policy, 6 & Under combo passes are only valid when purchased along with an adult Silver Mountain Pass or adult combo pass. Please see Silver Mountain's website for more information.
Thank you everyone for attending our Job Fairs. We are still accepting applications for winter 2022/2023 employment.
Why work at 49 Degrees North?
Enjoy a wonderful and friendly atmosphere with scenic views, excellent snow, and much more! Winter seasonal work at 49 Degrees North is unique experience, perfect for those seeking full time work or just something part-time. All employees are eligible for a discounted season pass, as well as other discounts around the mountain.
Winter seasonal employees can also take part in the Ski Exchange Programs, which allows you to ski or ride at participating resorts at a fraction of the cost. Keep in mind, the mountain environment can range from blizzards to warm sunshine, so reliable transportation and the correct gear for the job is very important.
Interested in becoming a Ski or Snowboard Instructor?
Contact us directly at email@example.com for information!
On February 15, 2023, Our Human Powered Uphill Travel Policy will Change - - Please Read Carefully:
Before and after chairlift operations from February 15, 2023 to April 9th 2023:
Acceptable forms of human powered uphill travel include skis, splitboards, and snowshoes. Boot only hiking is usually too damaging to the snow surface and is only allowed in snow conditions where the boot imprint is less than 1”.
Human powered uphill travel is allowed up until 30 minutes before first chair, and then again 30 minutes after last chair. Anyone wishing to explore within the ski area boundaries should be informed about the potential dangers, follow the protocols noted here, and avoid any travel on the slopes when any snowmaking operations or equipment is present weather currently making snow or not, or when grooming operations are taking place in the vicinity. If in doubt, the best approach is to stay out.
Snowmaking equipment, when present, includes the presence of high voltage electric cables (480 volt) and high-pressure hoses carrying water pressurized to between 300-450 psi. Skiing/riding or hiking over these lines creates the potential for costly damage to the hoses and cables and could result in serious injury or even death. Damage to these lines also presents increased risk to our snowmaking team as they move and handle those lines. In the winter environment these lines can easily become covered or hidden by snow. No uphill travel will be allowed when snowmaking is in progress or when snowmaking equipment is present on the ski run weather currently making snow or not. Violation of this rule will be considered as trespassing on a closed ski run and may be prosecuted under RCW 79A.45.070.
49° North asks that all uphill travelers respect the work of our grooming team and stay off any freshly groomed runs. There is significant time and expense in creating those smooth, corduroy surfaces. Skiing/riding or hiking these freshly groomed trails before they are opened damages the product that we work so hard to present to our guests. When exposed to skier traffic at the wrong time, it can also create safety issues for guests once the runs are open. With the addition of a winch cat to our grooming fleet, there will also be winch lines in use on the slopes throughout the season. Groomers will not always be visible on slopes where winch lines are present. Obey all posted signs and avoid any travel in areas where winch cat grooming is taking place.
During chairlift operations from February 15, 2023, to April 9, 2023:
Human powered uphill traffic will be allowed within the ski area boundary during operating hours with the following restrictions:
1. A valid ticket or pass is required. Acceptable tickets or passes include a Downhill season pass, Downhill day ticket for the day climbing is taking place, a No-chairlift/Climb Only day ticket, or a No-chairlift/Climb Only season pass. Tickets can be purchased in the ticket office, in Cy’s Café or online.
2. The only approved uphill route during operating hours is as follows:
The route ascends Big Bear and then climbs Huckleberry Ridge to Silver Ridge, then on to the summit, the climber is to keep as close to the climber’s left hand tree line as is practical and safe (see trail map.)
3. All climbers are to wear an ANSI Class 2 high visibility vest. These vests are available for a rental fee in Cy’s Café.
4. Uphill travel may not unduly damage the snow surface, boot only hiking is only allowed when the boot imprint is less than 1”
Fall and Winter of 2023-2024
Beginning November 1st 2023, Uphill Tickets and Passes will be required for all uphill travel regardless of the status of chairlift operations. Day tickets are available for purchase on-line and can be picked up regardless of time of day at the ticket kiosk at the main base area. Approved routes are:
During chairlift operation- Big Bear to Huckleberry Ridge.
Outside of chairlift operations- Runs without snowmaking equipment or active grooming operations.
Uphill travel can be demanding and dangerous, please make sure you are adequately prepared, and do so at your own risk.
A 49° North Season Pass offers unlimited access to winter activities at a great price. However, there is some risk involved as there is no guarantee that winter will be what we expect. 49 Degrees North makes no guarantees in respect to the length of winter season operations. 49 Degrees North, at its sole discretion, will determine the length of the season, operating days and number of lifts operating any day and time. These decisions will be based on snow conditions, weather, maintenance and other variables.
Refund Policy: All season pass sales are FINAL, no refunds will be given.
Transferring Your Pass: If you are unable to use your pass, you MAY be eligible to transfer your pass to another person or to the next season. Transfers will be considered if you have a medical emergency or relocation for employment. Presuming the pass is paid in full, has not been issued, and the request is received by December 1st of the season your pass is valid, you may choose to transfer your season pass to next season or to someone of your choice with a processing fee in the following two circumstances:
Transfer requests must be received by December 1st of the season your pass is valid. If you suspect you'll need to transfer your pass but are still waiting on a medical diagnosis, please reach out as soon as possible. If the pass has already been issued/printed, the transfer option is not available. You cannot transfer your pass two seasons in a row. Please fill out this FORM with your transfer request, and include documentation from your primary care physician or employer. For more information, please call (509) 935-6649.
Welcome to the Boomtown Bar!
Open 10am-4pm Friday-Tuesday
Cheese Curds $10.99
Garlic dusted Wisconsin white cheddar cheese curds served
with a hot honey sauce and a marinera sauce for dipping.
Lot Tots $14.99
A double order of tots with cheese, bacon, sour
cream and green onion served with fry sauce.
Chicken Strips and Fries $14.99
Breaded Chicken Strips and Steak Fries
served with your choice of dipping sauce.
Fish and Chips $17.99
Beer Battered Cod served with French Fries,
Coleslaw, lemon and tarter sauce.
Boomtown Burger $14.99
1/3 lb Angus beef patty served on a brioche bun with cheddar cheese, lettuce,
tomato, red onion, pickle and boomin sauce. Served with your choice of tots or fries.
Boomin Chicken Sandwich $16.99
Zesty Chicken Filet served on a Brioche bun with mounds of
pickles and boomin sauce. Served with your choice of fries or tots.
Cowboy named Frank $12.99
All Beef Frank served on a stadium bun with shredded cheese,
bacon, caramelized onions and bbq sauce.
Grown up grilled Cheese $ 12.99
Sourdough bread with cheddar and swiss cheese, bacon jam, and
garlic aoli grilled to perfection. Served with your choice of fries or tots.
Chili and soup of the day
$6.99 cup $ 8.99 bowl
Side of fries or tots Small $4.99 Large $7.99
Craft Pint - $6.49
Domestic Pint - $10.49
Premium Pint - $14.99
Space Dust Can - $6.00
Coors Can - $4.00
Well Shot - $7.00
Mid Shot - $8.00
Top Shot - $9.00
Bloody Mary - $10.00
Coffee Nudge - $10.00
Hot Toddy - $9.00
Hot Butter Rum - $10.00
Tequila Sunrise - $9.00
Margarita - $9.00
Fried Cheese Curds - $7.99
Add Fries/Tots + $4.99 Small $6.99 Large
Chili Cheese Fries - $11.49
Breakfast Burrito - $8.99
Maintenance Special Burrito - $8.99
Breakfast Sandwich - $7.99
Good Morning 49 - $11.99
Biscuits and Gravy - $7.99
Flap Jacks - $8.99
Waffle - $7.49
Chicken and Waffle - $10.49
Cinnamon Roll - $5.99
Cinnamon Roll French Toast - $8.99
Side of Hashbrowns, Sausage, Ham or Bacon - $3.99
Side of Toast or Two Eggs - $2.99
Hamburger - $10.99
Add Fries/Tots + $4.99 Small $6.99 Large
Cheeseburger - $10.49
Make it a Double + $2.99
Add Bacon + $2.99
Sub Gluten Free Bun + $2.99
Sub Veggie Patty + $3.49
Hotdog - $6.49
Bratwurst - $7.99
Add Chili + $5.00
Chicken Strips & Fries - $12.99
Beer Battered Cod - $14.99
Teriyaki Chicken Bowl - $15.99
Zesty chicken Sandwich - $13.49
French Dip - $11.49
Bowl - $7.99
Soup Cup - $5.99
Bread Bowl - $10.99
Whole - $26.99
Cheese - $17.99
Pepperoni - $19.99
P.M.S. Pepp/Mush/Sausage - $21.99
Hawaiian - $21.99
Combo - $25.99
By the Slice Chef’s Choice
1 Slice - $4.69
2 Slices - $6.99
Sub Gluten Free Crust - $3.99
Grab & Go - Drinks
Cookie - $2.29
Muffin - $3.99
Candy - $2.99
Chips - $2.25
Trail Mix - $3.29
Granola Bar - $3.29
Poptarts - $2.69
Coffee/Tea - $2.49
Cocoa/Cider - $2.59
Starbucks Drink - $3.99
Small Fountain Drink - $3.29
Large Fountain Drink - $3.69
Large Bottled Water - $2.99
Bottled Drink - $3.29
Rockstar - $5.49
Rockstar x2 - $7.00
Kickstart - $3.49
Bubly - $2.99
Jimmy Dean Breakfast Sandwich - $5.49
Bratwurst - $7.99
Hotdog - $6.49
Chili Dog - $11.49
Cup of Soup/Chili - $6.99/5.99
Bowl of Soup - $8.99/7.99
Bread Bowl - $10.99
Add Cheese, sour Cream, Onions - $3.99
Chips - $2.25
Cinnamon Roll - $5.99
Muffin - $3.99
Jerky Snack Sticks - $5.00
Big Beef Jerky - $7.00
Cookie - $4.69
Pop tarts - $2.69
Gum - $2.49
Candy - 2.99
Protein Bar - $3.29
Coffee/Tea - $3.00
Cocoa/Cider - $2.59
Small Bottled Water - $2.00
Large Bottled Water - $2.99
Bottled Soda - $3.00
Rockstar - $4.00
Rockstar x2 - $7.00
Naked Juice - $5.00
Kombucha - $5.00
Pure Leaf Tea - $3.50
Kickstart energy Drink - $3.50
Lifewater - $3.50
Tropicana Juices - $3.00
Starbucks Double shot - $4.00
Starbucks Frappuccino - $5.00
Gatorade - $3.00
Gatorlyte - $3.50
Fruit Shoot Juice - $2.00
Drinks with a kick
Domestic Pint - $500
Domestic Pitcher - $18.00
Craft Pint - $7.00
Craft Pitcher - $22.00
Seltzer Can - $5.00
Hard Cider can - $6.00
Microbrew Can- $6.00
Coors Can- $4.00
Pabst Hard Coffee Can - $5.00
Guinness Can - $7.00
Hard Iced Tea Can - $5.00
Glass of Wine - $6.00
Glass of Champagne - $6.00
Top Shelf Shot - $9.00
Mid Shot - $8.00
Bloody Mary - $11.00
Hot Drinks (21+)
Ameretto Coffee - $8.00
Kalua Coffee - $9.00
Spanish Coffee - $10.00
Coffee Nudge - $10.00
Peppermint Patty - $9.00
Hot Apple jack - $9.00
Mexico Coffee - $10.00
Hot Butter Rum - $9.00
Hot Toddy - $9.00
Single Dose Medication - $2.99
Swany Hudsen Toast Hand Warmer - $3.49
Swany Hudsen Toast Toe Warmer - $3.49
Curious about the snow report? Here's how we do it at 49 Degrees North!
5am update: Between 4am-5am, our snow report and lead groomer chat about conditions on the mountain. The groomer reports current weather, new snow and the grooming report, which is then added to the website. The Snow Report email is then sent with all the updates and the grooming report is updated with current groomed, opened and closed runs. Our Snow Conditions Hotline, Snow Radio Report and printed reports around the lodge are also based on this update.
2pm update: Between 1pm-2pm, the website is updated again with current weather, new snow and information about the next day's plan. This will include what chairs will be operating, links to purchase lift tickets and upcoming events. This update is the best place to see what you can expect on the next operating day.
Depending on the weather and changes during the day, the Snow Report page may be updated multiple times throughout the day. The time stamp at the top of each page will let you know the last time it was updated, be sure to refresh your page regularly if you keep it open. At the bottom of the page, you will see notes, events and deals. These boxes have details about mountain news, operating information and links to purchase tickets.
What do the 12hr, 24hr, 48hr and 72hr times mean?
Our snow reporting timeline is based on the 12 hour time periods of 4am-4pm and 4pm-4am. Any new snow accumulated during the day or night are added to our Snow Tracker, which calculates the 24, 48 and 72 hour totals based on the new snow added within those 12 hour periods. This means that our snow report will reflect accurate totals within those time frames, instead of a running storm total. Snowfall from 7 days ago is not reflected in the new snowfall, but is kept track of in the current snow depth and snowfall year to date.
Tracking snow this way helps give you the most accurate snapshot of conditions on the mountain at any given time. For example, if we have received 2 inches of new snow in the last 12 hours but 8 in the last 72, you can expect a light layer of powder on groomed runs and lots of powder on the shoulders and in the trees.
The snow reporting team is dedicated to providing accurate and timely snow information. Make sure you sign up for Snow Report emails to get information on operating days, and refresh the website regularly to see the most up to date info!
Cold Temps = Great Turns!
Cold weather actually makes for some incredible conditions on the slopes. From the chalky groomers offering up amazing grip to arc some carved turns, to the light, dry powder that evokes terms like “Cold Smoke” or “Blower Pow,” there’s a variety of serious fun to be had on the mountain. The key to making those frigid days from magnificent lies in the preparation and the gear we choose, especially the clothing! If you need any help selecting the right gear, make sure to stop by our expanded Alpine Shop. Our experts can help you with everything from socks to outerwear, and handwarmers to facemasks.
Here are a few tips to make the most out of those really chilly days.
Layer, Layer, LAYER!
Most of us know that exposed skin on those ice-cold days is a no-go, along with the benefits of adding layers. However, just layering isn’t enough, layering smarter is much more effective than simply piling on more and more layers! Here’s a rundown on how to ensure that your layers will perform for you.
Base Layer – Your base layer’s main job is to keep moisture away from your skin. Synthetic materials and Merino Wool make the best base layers, keeping your skin nice and dry. Body heat is lost significantly faster when your skin is wet. Wool is one of the few natural fibers that can absorb and hold moisture while still keeping you warm. Fibers like cotton should be avoided, as they hold moisture against the skin and lose insulating value when wet, making you colder faster…
Mid Layer – Your mid-layer should serve to trap air, in turn holding the heat your body produces! Synthetic insulations like Primaloft or fleece and natural insulations like down are incredibly good at trapping warm air. The synthetic materials maintain most of their insulating properties if damp. Make sure you keep your down dry though, as performance decreases quickly when it gets wet.
Outer Layer – An outer layer has one main job: protect you from the elements! Your outer layer should be a tough ski/snowboard jacket that can handle whatever conditions you’re looking to take on! In the Northwest, that can mean just about any kind of weather. Waterproofing and breathability are two big factors that separate good outerwear from great outerwear. A high level of waterproofing (15,000-20,000mm/sq. in. and up) will keep you dry from the outside elements while a high level of breathability (12,000-20,000g/m2 and up) allows moisture vapor to escape from within so that you stay dry on the inside. Keeping the cold air and wind out is another key feature. Sealed zippers, storm flaps, wrist and waist gaiters all help to keep the cold and snow from sneaking in.
Go ahead and have that extra fry, it’s important to have calories to burn when you’re out in the elements. Whether it’s a big breakfast before a morning on the mountain or a stop in the Quickturn Café for a mid-ski lunch, make sure you’re providing your body with food to burn for a day full of energy.
We can get dehydrated quickly in the cold, especially when we’re active. Just breathing releases a lot of our water resources into the air. We not only get tired faster and experience things like soreness and muscle cramps more easily when we get dehydrated, but we also are way less efficient in maintaining warmth. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day when you’re up on the mountain.
Overall, just stay warm.
‘Stay warm’ sounds obvious, but it’s the most important thing you can do for your health! Being unprepared in the cold can lead to injuries, a weakened immune system, and overall, a bad time on the mountain. So ski or ride hard, stay warm, and enjoy this beautiful winter season.