• Page 21Powderpig Parka- Make sure the sleeves are long enough. Also make sure it is big enough to accommodate layers underneath for the very cold days. Machine washable. Follow the instructions on the label. Nancy suggests keeping all parkas out of the dryer. But if you must, only very brief encounters with the dryer – on low settings is recommended.
  • Helmet- (see detailed article about helmets) Please put child’s name on front of their helmet.
  • Sweater- Polar fleece Wool or wool-poly – medium weight.
  • Socks- (never, ever cotton!) There are a lot of great ski & snowboard socks available from manufacturers such as Smart Wool.  Make sure socks are long enough to reach above ski boots and fit well enough to prevent wrinkling & wadding in the boot. No patterns woven into sock – those can hurt!
  • Long Johns- (never, ever cotton! Not even a little tiny bit of it.) Lifa, REI, Polypropylene, Polyester, or other synthetic under layer fabrics that wick moisture away from the body and dry quickly are essential. Wool-poly combination are also nice, but some wool or wool blend varieties can be itchy especially to sensitive skin.
  • Snow Pants/Bibs- Waterproof outer layer snow pants help protect skiers and snowboarders from getting wet.  Bibs are great at keeping snow from going down the back of pants during a fall or enthusiastic snow play.  Powder cuffs are also a must to keep loose snow out of boot tops (where it immediately melts, dribbles down and produces wet cold feet).
  • Mittens- At least two pair! When mittens get wet, hands get painfully cold and are more susceptible to frostbite and severe discomfort. Make sure there is enough insulation to keep little hands warm but not too much for gripping chair lifts & poles. Gloves are not as good at keeping little hands warm.
  • Goggles- A good double lens and/or no-fog goggle with an amber (yellow) lens for flat light and night skiing – Smith, Alpina, Scott and Carrera.
  • Raingear- Very nice to have on wet days. Our Powderpig parkas are made of water resistant fabric and do a wonderful job, but really wet ski days are just too much even for them. We don’t want any of our Powderpigs to miss a good day of skiing because of a few rain drops! A light waterproof shell (clear plastic is good, but any color is fine) is recommended for those damp days that are otherwise very skiable.
  • Ski Wax- Makes skis turn more easily. Ski Tune up with a hot wax job before season begins and again at the break can make a very happy difference in a season of skiing!
  • Sun Block- For sunny & not so sunny days any time during the season. Night skiing being the exception.
  • Plastic Sled- To haul family belongings to the Pigpen. They reduce fatigue and makes a great snow seats for sunny day picnics. (Available at toy & sports stores for $20 – $25.) Be sure to put your name on it!  SLED ALERT: The area has a strict NO SLEDDING policy that developed out of some pretty ugly sledding accidents (not Powderpigs, thank goodness). We ask you all to join us in supporting this policy. So, these neat little sleds are just pack horses and picnic seating during lessons. Sigh. . . 

practice-chairEverything looks alike during ski school – Parkas, hats, mittens, boots, poles, goggles, and especially skis and snowboards and even helmets!. Black “Sharpie” (or silver Sharpie marking pens for dark surfaces) marking pens by Sanford are the most permanent and non-running. If something is misplaced during ski school and it has a name on it – it usually finds its way back to you. If there is no name, or the name is in a “hidden” or not easy to see place – we won’t know who it belongs to, even if we do find it. Year before last the Lost n’ Found was filled with unnamed treasures at the end of the year and last year there was very little left at the end of the season. Powderpig parents rock! 

MARK ALL YOUR BELONGINGS! The next important step is to find a store that has it all and is staffed with personnel qualified and able to work with children as skiers & snowboarders. The staff must be willing to take the extra time necessary to listen to and work with you and your child as individuals. Go earlier, rather than later, to purchase your gear in order to avoid the crowds and distracted, exhausted store staffers at the end of the getting ready season. TALK WITH YOUR SALESPERSON. Make sure their “credentials”, attitudes, knowledge and focus of attention satisfy you. “Gritting your teeth and taking it” in a ski store sets you up for a good possibly of having to “grit your teeth and take it” on the mountain. It REALLY is worth the time it takes to find a salesperson who has the knowledge of children, the time, the interest & the willingness to put it all together for your child.