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Question: How cold is TOO cold?

MaineSkiLady

Angel Diva
Not sure if this has come up in the past, but I'm wildly curious what other divas consider their "bone-numbing" point. Just finished up 3 of the last 4 days in some of my personal low temp limits.

So cold this last weekend that the only survivors were the ones dressed for it - I'm talking full face masks/cover, mittens/liners, etc.

I guess I'm at around 0 degrees F for my limit (wind notwithstanding). Once it drops below zero, I'm clearly not having fun anymore. (Patrol said summit was -12 in the early a.m. Sunday, but it did warm up...to single digits :rolleyes:...and people did get off that summit FAST)

Curious to hear if anyone else has braved a mega-cold stretch of skiing below zero - or what your personal low temp tolerance is.
 

Robyn

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Well, with coaching I often don't have a choice. I skied many mornings last year that my car said at the base it was around -11 before windchill at the base. There is a lot of in and out buildings at that temp but the good news is the lines are short.
 

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
I've skied many times with the wind chill in the double digits, and let me put it this way: I'd rather not :brr:. You're right, MSL, you have to cover up every bit of exposeable skin. I'm so insulated from the elements that I feel like an astronaut making a lunar landing. Taking breaks and going indoors is a must.

I definitely prefer it above zero, mostly above 10. And I really dislike a high wind. That can make it feel a heck of a lot colder than it really is. But I think my favorite temps for skiing are in the twenties. I'm at my most comfortable then.
 

MaineSkiLady

Angel Diva
Where I ski is a notoriously windy mountain (2nd highest peak in state) - so wind is ALWAYS a factor (we marvel when it's NOT). I seemingly always feel it first in my toes. Don't have boot heaters (my feet sweat too much), don't use toe warmers (boots fit too close), should really try Boot Gloves (saw a ton of them yesterday, guess they work?). Next is fingers. Time to go in. Boots nearly impossible to remove when that cold! (OR get back on!)

Amazing how it feels like a "heat wave" when it starts out that cold then reaches double-digits! I'm also not a mitten person (love having "digits"), so when I'm in liners and mittens.....it's a sign....
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
Like Robyn when you're teaching sometimes you don't have much choice. I've been out a -20 C with and without wind chill teaching. Needless to say, you have to force the kids in.
Tremblant is noted as being one of the coldest mountains. I have been out for pleasure skiing at -30 C, but pleasure it was not. I'd spent good money on a lift ticket and I was going to use it. Now with the season pass, I can pick and choose, or ski a couple of hours.
Over the years, we've picked up all the necessary gear except the boot heaters or any sort of electric mitt or gloves. I think there is a point when you have to ask yourself - Am I enjoying this?
 

whitewater girl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
monday I was out skiing in single-digit to low-teen temps with up to -20 F windchill (this according to nearest weather report - have no actual data from the mountain, except it always seems colder up there...)...been out past years when I'm told it was below zero (farenhiet)

...that said, I get cold easy & am rather a wuss about it...

...I guess it depends on how desparately I need to get out & ski...
 

cyn

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
About 0 at the base is my limit, and obviously, I have to go in to warm up more often.
 

Skimom

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
With a high of 9 degrees today at Copper Mountain (and windy), we've decided against Christmas Eve skiing. With only 4-packs this year instead of a season pass, we didn't want to waste a day that was too cold. So, I guess 10 degrees is my limit.:Cry:
 

Christy

Angel Diva
Last weekend when we started skiing it was 12 (which is very cold for WA), and that was tolerable. But when it dropped to 5 (there was also some wind) it was just no fun. My fingers really started to hurt through my ski mittens. So I think 10 is my absolute limit, too. Luckily it's usually in the mid to high 20s so I don't have to deal with that kind of cold much.
 

Jenny

Angel Diva
My ideal temp is mid 20's F, but I've found that (if there's no wind) I can be out in 10F and that even 0 doesn't kill me. But I couldn't BELIEVE that I was out in 0 degrees!
 

alaski

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Almost nothing is too cold for backcountry skiing, but resort skiing is another story. I get so cold on the chairlift that it's not fun at all when it's colder than 15 degrees or so. I don't get warm enough on the way down, so I just get steadily colder and colder. Since backcountry skiing is self-powered, it's easier to stay warm in all kinds of weather!
 
C

CMCM

Guest
I skied once at night last season, temp was mid teens, but there was no wind so I was OK with that. Then last week was reallllyy cold...I don't know what it was, but probably 14 or so, plus some wind, and although I was warm enough head down to ankles, my toes got cold, especially my right one, and it was bad enough that we decided to call it after 4 runs. If anything is hurting, it's too cold for me!
 

SkiNurse

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
For me it all depends on the wind. In Colorado, you can have temps in the negative digits, but if the sun is out and no wind...it is gorgeous!! (ie: -3 at Keystone two Mondays ago) where as the wind and no sun (Copper that same week, 15 degrees, windy & no sun) is miserable and cold.

I've been skiing with the wind chill factor putting the temps into negative double digits...but I lasted all of two runs!!!
 

abc

Banned
"There's no such thing as too cold weather. There's only inapropreate clothing!"

To me, the real question becomes, how much am I willing to invest in clothing to deal with extreme cold weather? Fast mask alright? ($10-20 for many seasons) How about toe and hand warmers? (couple $ a day) What about boot heaters (hundreds $$$)!!!

Having lived in Michigan for over 6 years, my cold tolerance is considerably higher than average. Due mostly to my fairly large collection of cold weather clothing! The only part I can't do anything about is the boot. If my feet gets cold, I don't have a lot of options, short of getting into the expensive boot-heater thing (which I don't need even in the single digit sub-zeros). But amazingly, when the rest of my body is well insulated, my feet don't feel cold quite as easily as when I'm underdressed for any reason.

Wind is the biggest factor, obviously. Humidity also play a significant part too. That's why 0 degree in the Rockies doesn't feel neraly as cold as 0 degree in VT or ME.

That said, while I have the clothing to ski all the way down to the negatives, I rarely do now. When the temperature is that cold, I found it much more enjoyable to x-c ski! 0-10 degree (F) is just perfect for that. 20 is on the warm side, and anything above that is too hot!!!
 

altagirl

Moderator
Staff member
I buy my hand and toe warmers in bulk, so they're not that expensive, and I use them whenever it's below about 10 degrees. And I ski with a neck gaiter every day - so that's not an extra expense - the difference is only that if it's around 0 degrees or is extra windy (or both) it gets tucked up under my goggles and covers my whole face in combination with putting my hood up and cinching that tight around my helmet.

The rest is all a matter of layers, which vary based on wind or just plain cold or both. Yesterday was cold with 60mph winds - I put on warm layers plus a windproof jacket I have for biking, and then my shell over that, and my hood up on my jacket and stayed reasonably warm. Then we also have the odd days that is well below zero - I remember a stretch at one point where it was regularly -10 to -15 before windchill and then I add a down jacket under my shell and switch to windproof, fleece lined pants instead of my normal shell pants.

Anyway - to me there is no such thing as too cold if snow conditions are good enough.
 

AnneC

Certified Ski Diva
How cold is too cold is different for everyone but I know it's too cold when the only skiers/boarders on the mountain are under 20 years of age. I have become less tolerant of the real cold over the years and tend to wait to ski another day.
 

oragejuice

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
How cold is too cold is different for everyone but I know it's too cold when the only skiers/boarders on the mountain are under 20 years of age. I have become less tolerant of the real cold over the years and tend to wait to ski another day.

Yep. I'm 20, and I go out no matter what the temps. I've got quite the array of layers to choose from, never stops me. Skiied negatives last week.
 

abc

Banned
I ski with a neck gaiter every day
I can't use neck gaiter most days. It's just way too warm for me until it hits 10 or below.

My "preferred" downhill temperature is about 10 or above. That's when I wear my "standard ski outfit". What that is just a shell with variation of layers, mitten, helmet + goggle (hance no hat any more), insulated or non-insulated ski pants depending on temperature. Extras: a very light weight scarf for windy days, to stop the wind sneaking through my collar. Skull cap under helmet for the same function for my head. Glove liners + extra pair of socks to change into after lunch.

By changing the layering (and judicious "warming trips" to the lodge), I can comfortably ski down to the zeros and single digit negatives. But I haven't done much of that lately. When it's zero degrees, my x-c skis calls me by my names, real loudly! :smile:

As such, I really haven't been "temperature challenged" for quite some times now. The only times I feel "cold" is when, for whatever reason, I underdressed for the day's condition by mistake. :(
 

Robyn

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Wind chills are approaching -40 today so we're doing 1 run then in to warm up. It's brutal!
 

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