Extremities Storm Gore-Tex Gloves And Mittens by Terra Nova combines quality, performance and design at an affordable price. Utilising the best in high tech fabrics, these gloves and mitts contain GORE-TEX® waterproof lining technology, keeping out water whilst allowing the hands to breath. The PVC palm provides a firm grip, whilst the drawcord cuff prevents the snow and rain from getting inside the mitt. The elasticated wrist keeps the gloves and mittens in place and also further protects from drafts getting in. The soft brushed liner offers a comfortable feel making this glove an all-rounder for general winter use, walking, hiking or skiing.
We all know the mountainside cafe that doesn’t have a toilet or the restaurant where the toilet is down a flight of wet or icy stairs. When you do make it, if you’ve not yet broken your leg traversing down the stairs, then it’s impossible to squat and hover in ski boots and you wouldn’t want to be lowering your trousers into the wet mess on the floor… Shewee is the life saver of the ski season. World renowned, this award winning portable urinating device is flying down the slopes this winter. Shewee allows women to wee standing up without removing any clothes.
Off-piste skiing and snowboarding has become more and more popular in recent years with the attraction of heading off the marked runs and seeking out fresh powder. However, until you are trained and very experienced, it is sensible to go with a group led by a professional guide.
If you do decide to head off-piste, you need to make sure you are fully prepared and equipped. This means carrying the appropriate equipment – at least an avalanche transceiver, a probe pole and a shovel; a spare set of warm clothing such as thermal underwear and ski socks; there are also inflatable ‘floatation’ devices available, and you will need a fully charged phone that operates in the country you are in with the necessary emergency numbers. You must know how to use the equipment correctly, know the avalanche risk grading for the day (as published by the piste authorities) and gather information on the area so you know where you are at all times and how to get back to patrolled areas. You must be able to identify potentially risky areas on the route you are taking. When you are off piste, you should not only consider avalanche risk, but also bear in mind rocks, trees, cliffs, ravines, crevasses and other hazards.
On longer excursions you need to consult the weather forecasts against the possibility of changes and carry food and drink and extra clothing sufficient for the time you will be away. You must let someone in resort know where you are going and when you intend to return. They should be prepared to brief the rescue authorities if it is suspected that you have got into difficulties.
You may also encounter ‘itineraries’. These are runs that are marked on the piste map by a dashed line and on the ground by yellow or day-glo orange signs, but they are not groomed or patrolled. Itinery runs can often be as hard as riding or skiing off piste and you must use them with care.
And don’t forget that many insurance policies won’t cover you for damage of rental equipment or skiing off piste without a guide. So make sure you check your policy!
You can get information about snow stability from avalanche forecasts. Reading orlistening to the avalanche forecast is essential tounderstand the risks for the day. It will includea danger rating, usually on a 5-point scale. Youmust understand the definition for the rating.
You also need to get an idea of how unstablethe snow is and where the instability tends to bemost acute on that particular day. Many factors,including snow layers, temperature history andwind direction affect this. The experts take dailysnow sections and samples.
You should ask local professionals especially if in an area that you don’t know very well. Even off-piste and avalanche experts need local knowledge if they are in a new place, or if they are in a familiar place, but haven’t been there for a few days.
Recent avalanche activity is a great clue. If lots of slopes facing one direction and at the same altitude have recent slab avalanches on them, then that’s a clue that similar slopes probably have some instability on them.
There are national organisations in most countries who supply a daily avalanche forecast. These are a good resource both for checking current conditions and avalanche warning levels, but also to gather historical information.
Scotland – Sport Scotland Avalanche
Information Service – www.sais.gov.uk
Switzerland – Institute for Snow and Avalanche
Research SLF www.slf.ch
Austria – www.lawine.at
France – www.france.meteofrance.com
Norway – www.ngi.no/no/snoskred
The SLF (Swiss Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research) website, www.avalanche.org is a useful resource for finding out more about avalanche awareness as well as reading avalanche bulletins (current and historical) and avalanche statistics. A lot of their information is in English.
Wearing Manbi ski socks not only keeps you looking cool on the slopes but also keeps your feet warm, blister free and dry.
The technical snow-tec socks have in-built high density ‘low impact’ padded zones on the heel and shin for extra protection. The cushioning foot zone helps prevent foot movement and blisters when wearing ski boots. The Nylon and Lycra yarns provide extra foot and calf support whilst the wool and acrylic blend provides excellent thermal insulation.
The Manbi snow-tec socks come in 3 different size ranges (4-6½, 7-9½ and 10-13) and a range of colours. They are ideal for all outdoor winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, sledging, cross-country skiing and off piste.