Ski Gear


Why have high-end gear manufacturers like Patagonia and The North Face completely dropped bibs from their alpine climbing and skiing lines? I couldn't imagine skiing in deep powder or mountaineering in anything but reinforced, technically oriented Gore-Tex bibs. Have bibs gone the way of the one-piece 1970s ski suit? Michael Vancouver, British Columbia

I looking to buy a new ski jacket, something stylish, warm, comfortable (not too bulky), and easily accessible. I'm after something different. How about Spyder? Danilo Arlington, Virginia

I love to cross-country ski, but we now have a two-year-old on the scene. He weighs almost 30 pounds and is getting a little heavy for our backpack-style carrier. Is there any gear that can help us get out on the trails this year? Pat Mountain Top, Pennsylvania

I in the market for a set of snowshoes, but I'd like to know if there is one shoe that can tackle all types of weather and terrain? It will be used for day hikes and some climbing. Erin Brockville, Ontario

I recently purchased a Canon GL1 and I would like to be able to take it skiing with me this year. I concerned about moisture getting into the camera and killing my baby. Is that actually an issue, or would I be safe so long as I didn't drop it in the snow? I was thinking about getting a watertight case. Good idea or not? Kyle Salem, Oregon

Sun Valley, Idaho: Sure, Lance and Sheryl got engaged here, but celebrity is nothing special in this town. It's all about the steep and deep. For the 70th anniversary of America's first ski hill, we celebrate this original snowsport mecca in style.

I seek your advice because I'm tired of lift lines and bad snow conditions. What's the best way to get around in the backcountry for a snowboarder? The new Verts from C3 design? Snowshoes? What about the split kit from Voilé? Also, what setup would you recommend for boots? Mountaineering boots? Simon Montreal, Quebec

Back in the day, we used to ski in Levi's with big nylon gaiters—but now, despite trying on every brand out there, I can't find a pair that will fit over my Garmont randonnée boots. I've even spoken with the good people at La Sportiva, who admit that their gaiters are only designed for their mountaineering boots. Is there a good-quality gaiter large enough to wear over randonnée or alpine ski boots? Scott Eugene, Oregon

I'm starting to get into snowshoeing and I'm not sure about the best footwear to go with the snowshoe. Should I wear Gore-Tex socks with a trail-running shoe, hiking boots, or something totally different? Joey Calgary, Alberta

I moving to southeast Alaska this month, and I need a relatively inexpensive, waterproof, and wind-resistant winter jacket. I need something that will keep me warm for extended periods in cold, rainy conditions. Should I buy a heavy-duty rainjacket and wear it over a Polartec fleece, or buy more of a skier's jacket? Mallory Haubstadt, Indiana

Presenting our just-discovered Periodic Table of Outside Elements, a breakthrough in mapping the scientific building blocks of big, bad fun. We've alchemized gold, steel, titanium, wood, leather, wool, silicon, plastic, and carbon fiber into an array of 56 high-design gifts that you'll definitely want to give. And, just as important, get.

Last winter I blew out my knee pretty badly because I couldn't read the different lines in the snow; I guess I basically bece color blind. I've heard that different lens colors are better in different conditions, but I don't know which color suits which condition (i.e., snow, fog, sun). If you could give me a hand on this that would be awesome. Devin Edmonton, Alberta

My husband and I would like to purchase snowshoes for some exercise and fun, but we have no idea where to begin. What brand, size, and so forth do we look for? Carol Frisco, Colorado

I can't find boots that allow me to do it all. What lightweight options are there that allow me to hike in on a long approach, climb with crampons, and carve home smoothly wearing a loaded pack? I suppose a good example would be something suitable for the Sierra Haute backcountry route. Pavle Redding, California

I often ski in both the east, mostly Vermont, and the west at mountains in Colorado, Utah, and sometimes California. I've heard a soft shell, specifically Mountain Hardwear's Alchemy, is perfect for out west where it's fairly warm and wind is the only real concern. I was wondering if it would also work in the east where it can get much colder, wetter, and windier. If not, would a simple waterproof shell worn over it be enough? Brett Westchester, New York

The Four Seasons Jackson Hole, which opened last year and is the chain’s first hotel in snow country, does everything for its guests except ski: Attendants bring complimentary heated robes and towels, hot chocolate, and s’mores to the outdoor, geothermal-style Jacuzzis and heated swimming pools. The ski concierge provides custom…

I have flat feet. I find most Burton snowboarding boots are too narrow, so my feet get tired and sore very quickly. Do you have any recommendations for a good pair of boots for my flat feet? Chao New York City

Can you suggest a few jackets that can multitask for snow sports, short hikes, and the commute to work? I like the hard-shell feel but don't need expensive Gore-Tex; I'd like adjustable cuffs and a removable hood; I would prefer something without a powder skirt but with a zip-out style that's not parka length; I like a simple jacket in solid colors without oodles of pockets and zippers. Hope I didn't overload you. Suggestions? Jim Ann Arbor, Michigan

I have a place in Vermont's Green Mountains and wondering what full metal-edged skis would work for skiing in the New England woods? I currently use the 170-centimeter Fischer E99, but is there a shorter ski that I can use for skiing logging roads, snowmobile tracks, and general rough in the woods? I don't think telemarks are the ticket as I'll be skiing on the flat, and I can use my E99's for any cross-country trails. Nigel New York City

I getting ready for a February snowshoeing trip to the Sierra Mountains, and I want to nix my usual problems with cold hands. In the past, I've tried using a base-layer glove combined with a higher loft glove and a waterproof Gore-Tex shell. Unfortunately I still get cold hands! Needless to say, I in desperate need of your awe-inspiring, sage-like wisdom to find that warm-hand solution to all my problems. Nathan Louisville, Kentucky

Last year in Breckenridge, my 14-year-old son was having a hard time snowboarding because his hands were so cold. What can I get him to help? Do you suggest mittens or gloves for snowboarding? Gale Savannah, Georgia

Not so much a question, more a comment about ski helmets. I'm a ski instructor and the following is my mantra: If I'm skiing normally, I don't really use a helmet. If I plan on skiing in the park, I wouldn't go without it. However, when it's 20 degrees below and I still have to teach, the helmet keeps me way warmer than any toque, any day. Generally, you know it's cold if I'm teaching in my helmet. Also, helmets for snowboarding are a must. Sometimes, a person just falls way too fast to prevent cracking your head on the hard pack. ber Toronto, Ontario

So, the winter snow will soon be upon us. As a snowboarder, my feet always seem to get extremely cold. I wear SmartWool socks, and I sometimes need to wear two pairs of socks (though not necessarily both SmartWool). Do you think my feet are just overly sensitive to the cold, or is there something else out there to keep my tootsies cozy?

What is the best type of footwear to wear when snowshoeing? Do I wear my hiking boots (kind of stiff but durable)? Or my low-cut trail hikers (comfortable but less durable)? Or something else? Katie Gold Boston, Massachusetts

The best skis and boards for gliding up and carving down

The newest ski shapes will turn a lot more than your head