As soon as the snow starts falling here in Northern New Mexico, skiers and snowboarders from far and wide begin arriving at our mountain. But even the most experienced of these winter sports aficionados sometimes forget to pack a few essentials.
Being cold, wet, or hurt is no way to turn the best snow in New Mexico into happy memories. Read on to learn how best to bundle up and otherwise outfit yourself for your winter vacation at Angel Fire Resort. It all starts with these seven must-have clothing items.
Snow may be the most magical precipitation in the world, but it can be a headache when it melts. Waterproof, or at least water-resistant, snow pants or bibs help prevent moisture from seeping into your socks and boots.
But staying dry is just one part of the snow pants equation. Generous — and comfy — insulation is a major plus, as are pockets (preferably ones with zippers) and vents.
If you’re new to skiing, snowboarding, or the brisk conditions on our mountain, you may want to wear an additional protective layer under your snow pants or bib. If so, keep sizing in mind when shopping. You may want to go big and give yourself enough space to bulk — and warm — up.
2) Ski/snowboard Jacket
You’ve got your lower half covered. But what about your upper body? In this case, you’ll want a jacket designed for skiing and snowboarding.
Again, give the highest priority to options that are waterproof, well-insulated, and equipped with easily accessible pockets. Go roomy again, too. Your jacket should fit snugly but still be able to accommodate as much layering as you need to feel comfortable.
Speaking of layering: remember to dress for the amount of time you plan to spend on our
mountain. You may find yourself shivering at the beginning of the day but wishing you could shed a layer (or two) after a few hours of freestyling.
3) Ski Gloves
Numb hands make any outdoor activity nearly unbearable — especially one, like skiing, that requires a good grip. That’s why you don’t want to be without reliable gloves.
While it’s most important to opt for waterproof, insulated gloves, you may want to consider gloves designed for winter sports. Ski and snowboard gloves include features to keep snow out and make it easy to wipe moisture from exterior of your goggles. (Pro tip: gloved or ungloved, avoid touching the inside of your goggles. Doing so could damage their anti-fog coating.)
Finally, our ski and snowboard instructors recommend gloves rather than mittens, as mittens can significantly limit your dexterity.
4) Ski Socks
Ski socks may look like thicker versions of your standard tube sock. But appearances can be deceiving. Ski socks feature extra padding in certain areas, such as the toe, heel, and shin, to provide additional protection. This reinforcing cushion also helps ski socks play nice with your ski boots. You don’t want your foot slipping and sliding around inside that equipment.
(By the way, you should be able to pull your ski socks up higher than the top of your boots. If not, those aren’t the socks you’re looking for.)
A good pair of ski socks should also offer a slightly looser fit around your calf. Good circulation is essential to keeping your extremities warm. Tight-fitting socks restrict blood flow. If you can’t wiggle your toes or comfortably flex the top of your foot while wearing a pair, then the socks are probably too tight.
Finally, materials matter. Cotton socks soak up sweat and moisture, leading to potentially cold — and blistered — feet. Choose ski socks made from moisture-wicking wool, synthetic fabrics (such as nylon, acrylic, and polyester), or a blend of the two.
First things first: the boots you wear while skiing are not the same as those you’d put on to snowboard. Not only are they fashioned from different materials — rigid plastic for ski boots, flexible leather (or “rubbery” EVA) for snowboard boots — but they also fasten and clip-in differently.
Either way, you’ll want a professional, such as the staff at Angel Fire Resort’s Slopeside Sports or Winter Sports, to do a custom boot fitting for you and anyone else in your party. Why? For answers, we went straight to an expert: Eddie Chavez, our Retail & Rental Manager.
“Ski boots are the foundation for having a good time on the slopes,” Eddie says. “Boot fitting is crucial because each skier brings their own skills and objectives to the experience. For example, someone who skis casually several days a year needs a very different boot than a ski racer.”
So what can Angel Fire Resort guests expect from their custom boot fitting? Eddie explains. “The boot fitter will measure not only the length but also — and more importantly — the width of each foot. Based on these measurements, they’ll choose the fit (regardless of brand, color, or style) that’s best for you. They’ll also craft a custom footbed. This crucial piece of equipment features three points of contact for the foot, creating a stable platform for the skier.”
Finally, Eddie reminds us that “boots pack easier than skis. If you make an investment in the sport, start with your boots. You can always rent skis when you arrive at the Resort. But a pair of boots that provide the right support and comfort are much harder to replace.”
Although some skiers and snowboarders prefer a neck gaiter, we recommend shielding your lips, nose, and ears from the elements using a balaclava. Balaclavas are warmer, more versatile, and modern models often feature breathable mesh panels that help prevent the dreaded fogging-up of your ski goggles.
Safety is a top priority at our family-friendly resort. That means protecting every inch of your body, from toe to head. But a ski or snowboard helmet is more than a safety precaution. It’s also a great way to prevent the loss of your body heat, especially when combined with a balaclava.
Winter comes but once a year. Don’t miss out on all of the snowy fun to be had here at Angel Fire Resort. Book your trip and start packing your bags now. Lift tickets, ski and snowboard lessons, and equipment rentals are available and waiting for you.