Here are some equipment suggestions:
Put sunscreen on when you wake up and re-apply every 4 hours. When you ride in the mountains, the air is less dense letting more UV rays through not to mention the reflection of these rays by the snow. Sunscreen takes up to an hour to become effective. Apply sunscreen to all exposed skin. (Yes the inside of your nose and your ears can burn if exposed.) Use a lip balm with sun screen as well. Wind and UV exposure can take a toll on your lips as well.
When the weather seems nice at the lift and you want to leave your cares and jacket behind don’t! Snow and wind down the back of your neck is not fun. Mountain weather changes quickly. Wear layers so that you can adjust to changing conditions and ALWAYS have a jacket with a hood. Shell jackets are great because you can add or subtract layers based on temps and activity level.
Carry some water. Dehydration is serious when your combine low temps, wind, high altitude and physical activity. Though it’s a hassle carry at least a small water bottle and hydrate whenever you have the opportunity. Note: Beer and caffeinated drinks won’t hydrate you as well as water.
High quality gloves, goggles and hat are a must. Pack a pair of liner gloves if temps will be below 20F. Liners increase warmth and will allow you some dexterity if your need to remove your heavy glove to adjust a binding. Make sure your hat will cover your ears. Goggles with a double lens that helps prevent fogging are also necessary to protect from wind driven snow. Likewise sunglasses are a must on snow in the mountains. When wind increases and temps drop a neck gaiter and a face mask are also valuable items.
Investing in a quality moisture wicking first layer long underwear can be the difference between frozen and fun. You will be active. You sweat when active. Cotton long underwear is not effective when it’s wet and the weather is cold. Besides, most high performance underwear now doubles for casual outerwear. Carry some cash. Most places on the mountain take credit cards. Some do not. Some may not be able to process payments because they are out of cellular range. It’s also nice to be generous on tips if you receive great service. Many resort employees are working for minimum wage just for the chance to be in the mountains to ride. They work hard. Give ‘em a extra buck or two. Also, remember to carry ID. Buy a case and leash for your phone. When you are tweeting photos of all your friends sick jumps and crashes remember: You will never recover your phone dropped from the lift on a big mountain. Use a leash for your phone and keep on tweeting
Click this free link for convenient big mountain checklist.
Question: Do you have any special things that you take when you ride in the mountains? Let me know.