Keeping warm on the ski slopes

Keeping warm on the ski slopes

Practical Skiing Advice

Keeping warm on the ski slopes

What to wear on the slopes to stay warm

Keeping warm on your ski holiday is always a challenge so here we go with some information, advice and a few great tips to ensure you enjoy your ski holiday to the max without getting cold. A ski pass is expensive these days, the last thing you want is to leave the slopes early because you are cold.

In the Alps the locals say “No such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing”.

Icy temperatures

As you would expect, temperatures can be pretty severe in the Alps, particularly January.  Expect resort temperatures to be around -5 to -10 degrees, pistes from -10—20 depending on altitude and time of year and summit temperatures as cold as -30 in peak winter.

Did you know?....You can lose up to 70% of your body heat through your head?

Wind chill

The wind chill can add up to an additional -10 at high altitude so be prepared. Don’t be fooled, wrap up extra warm on windy days.


Some of the coldest days are likely to be big blue sky days in January, don’t get confused by the sunshine, cloudless skies in winter mean only one thing, freezing cold temperatures.

Did you know?....the UV rays (the bad guys that cause skin cancer) increase in strength by 25% for every 1500mts you rise above sea level. Don’t forget a good pair of sunglasses. Do you feel the cold more than others?.....So what to wear…?

Our feet especially our toes.

Let’s start from the feet up as it’s usually our toes which get the coldest. If you invest in anything, then a couple of pairs of good breathable ski socks designed for winter sports are essential. When we ski and exercise, our feet sweat, if our socks fail to expel moisture, they get damp and the moisture begins to freeze, making our toes freezing cold, sometimes unbearably. Pull your socks right up to below your knees. Once on in the boot room, keep them dry, don’t step in puddles of melted snow.  Don’t forget to put your boots on the boot dryer each evening. Your chalet host will switch on and ensure you have warm dry boots to put on. Put your boots, toes facing up on the dryer, remember, heat rises.

The only critical thing to remember now is to put your ski pants over the top of your boots, do not tuck them inside. Your ski pants have storm cuffs (elastic bands around the leg bottoms), make sure these go over the boots to prevent snow getting inside your boots and melting into your socks.

Our bottom (half/legs and bum)

I can’t say I have ever heard of skiers having cold legs or a cold bum but common sense tells us to wear base layer long johns to help keep us warm. If you improvise with tracksuit bottoms or gym leg-ins, keep them up and out of your ski boots as clamping your boots up around the bottom trim and seams can cause nasty chaffing, bruising and sore ankles.

The Top Half (Trunk and arms)

Same as the bottom half really only probably an extra layer over a base layer. Try to avoid cotton t-shirts and sweatshirts as they don’t breath, cause sweating and excess moisture with nowhere to go.  This creating the main reason for getting cold. Choose a jacket with storm cuffs around the wrists and waist to prevent snow getting in, which will melt, cause moisture and freeze.

Your hands

It’s normally our fingers that go first. Arctic explorers wear mitts for a reason. They allow your fingers to rub together creating friction and natural heat. Breathable mitts will expel the moisture and generate an environment for keeping your hand and fingers warm. If your fingers get cold, wiggle them around together to create warmth.

Your Head, face and ears

A helmet offers critical impact protection. But also retains a vast amount of heat that would otherwise escape. In the absence of a helmet, get the warmest hat you can find. A buff covering your exposed ears and chin that can pull up over your ears and nose is the best choice.


So what if you do get extremely cold?

  • Never ski on your own, buddy up and look after each other/your friends.
  • Check each other out before you set off, helmet/hats…gloves…eyewear.
  • Help the kids get dressed properly. Our little guests can’t be expected to understand the dangers of the cold.
  • Ask the staff what they wear, they are up on the mountain most days of the week.
  • Plan for the best, prepare for the worst.
  • Look out on the slopes for little white spots appearing on protruding bones like the tip of your nose, cheekbones and earlobes. These white spots are called frost-nip. The first signs of frostbite and they are completely recoverable by covering the exposed skin and heading inside at the nearest restaurant.
  • I’ve see a few cases of frost bite, some extreme. This can only be confirmed as frost bite a few days after the exposure, it’s pretty frightening as your skin (often toes or fingers, sometimes nose tip or earlobes) goes black where the blood vessels are damaged. It can take 2/3 weeks before normal skin colour returns. In the most severe cases, it doesn’t and medical help is required urgently upon prognosis.
  • THE GENERAL RULE: if you are uncomfortably cold, get inside and get warm as soon as possible.

And finally….Don’t be tempted to skimp on the kids, they need protecting the most!

Sep 2021
We haven't yet launched the chalets for this resort online - however we are taking pre-bookings. Get in touch and secure your chalet before we make them available online.
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