Prepping for winter ...with a spreadsheet?

Where are you in your winter planning?  At this point in the season, I am going through my soft goods collection and making sure that everything is prepped and ready to go.  What exactly does that mean in my household?  It means double checking the spreadsheet and going through each item of clothing checking for rips, weak spots, waterproofing levels, making repairs and picking out a replacement if necessary.  This ends up being about a week's worth of work, but nothing is worse than getting halfway through the season and having to send your hardshell in for warranty - which can be dangerous in the Vermont environment.  Not saying that you necessarily have to have a spreadsheet, but it definitely helps!  Plus, that way you don't spend money to replace something you that works great when you have something else that is disintegrating!

People have often asked me what I wear for skiing, so I have attached my spreadsheet for you all to see.  I am a huge fan of the layering system, which makes it easy to get dressed in the morning.  Keep in mind that these are my clothes for the entire season, and for all my winter activities, including skiing, ski touring, nordic skiing, snowmobiling, ice climbing and camping.  Your spreadsheet might have less items if you just alpine ski or more if you are a shop-a-holic!

Wool Base Layers - a necessity in Vermont where the high humidity levels and cold temperatures make for a dangerous combination.  I've tried so many different kinds of long johns over the years, and I have found that I never get the chills when I'm wearing my Icebreaker wool.  It's warm even when wet, so I never have to worry :)  I try to keep two of each thickness so I can hopefully have some clean long johns, except for my light wool long sleeve which I wear pretty much every day all winter long - even to work!

Mid-Layer & Insulation - While I rely mostly on my variable insulated jackets to keep me warm, nothing says cozy like a thin layer of fleece or an extra layer of wool on a rainy day.  While I do have down insulation pieces (especially my super puff Mammut Biwak Jacket), I will say that I rarely get to wear those in Vermont unless we are doing a static activity and rely heavily on my synthetic pieces, especially my Arc'teryx Atom LT Hoody.  It's been my saving grace for the past few years, both for lift service and warming me up after a sweaty summit ascent.  This year, I think I am finally pulling the plug on my ratty and ugly blue Patagonia R1 Pullover but I'm still undecided about with what to replace it.  It's a staple on really cold days and even summer camping trips, so I cannot get rid of it until I find a suitable replacement :)

Shell  - so important in Vermont!  Between snow guns, rain and mixed precip, this layer is the most important!  After 15 years, my Arc'teryx Beta AR is finally starting to de-laminate and I am heartbroken and debating on upgrading to the SV just for the added length and storm hood.

So you see, a little prep work in the fall means that I'll have a couple months to find the right pieces at the right prices and be ready for when they start making snow.

May you find the spirit of the mountains within you,


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