Tips & Tricks

IMPORTANT
The 2022 CSM returns to virtual format.


Here are some tips and tricks from one of our most seasoned Gold Coureur des Bois participants on how to prepare for a great CSM experience!

Clothing Considerations

  • Key points:
    • easy layering-delayering, breathable, insulation even when wet
  • Typical strategies:
    • Start warm: and delayer as body warms up with skiing don’t sweat!
    • Start cool: and layer up if still cool after skiing (better for folks who sweat a lot)
  • Typical issues:
    • Cold hands or feet (mitts & over-mitts, right boots?, socks, over-boots?) Tight is bad!
    • Cold face (hat, balaclava, Vaseline on face)
    • Hot body->sweat->cold (don’t overdress)
  • Just say No!
    • Downhill ski jackets & pants: overheat->wet
    • Cotton in anything: sweat->wet->zero insulation->ice!
    • Fleece outer layer: snow->wet->ice!

Typical Clothing List

  • Base Layer
    • Medium weight underwear (bottom & top), neck zipper is good for temp control
  • Top Layer
    • Wind-proof, breathable, light jacket
    • Wind-proof, breathable, light pants (tights only if you are skiing at a consistent pace, generating heat)
    • Wind-proof vest (optional: under the jacket, if cold)
  • Head & Face
    • Lycra hat (no thick woolly hats: over-heat!)
    • Balaclava – have something that can cover most of the face should it be windy – face is very susceptible to fast cold air that you will feel in long downhills
  • Hand
    • Mitts (not too tight)
    • Wind-proof Over-mitts
  • Feet
    • Medium wool/synthetic socks.  
    • Caution! wearing tight or multiple socks reduces circulation)
    • Overboot

Recreational Ski Gear

  • Boots: most important. Right fit! Warm.
  • Skis: right flex for skier weight. Must be flex tested. Right length. Stability (wider) more important than lightness.
  • Bindings: fits the boot, simpler is better (not automatic; ice buildup can cause issues)
  • Wax: grip (green, blue, purple), scraper, cork, roll-on glide, wax a bit warmer – KEEP IT SIMPLE
  • Poles: right length (armpit) & strong
  • Daypack or large fanny pack: snacks, insulated drink bottle, wax, spare clothing, …
  • Are you a “Jackrabbit support team”? Need a bigger pack for kids’ gear

Kids Ski Gear

Key points: Comfort. Not tight. Not loose.

  • Boots: most important. Right size!
  • Skis: right flex for skier weight. Must be flex tested. Length not that important.
  • Wax: grip way more important than glide. Think of adult waxer for younger kids (under 11)
  • Poles: not higher than armpits
  • Small back/fanny pack: snacks, drink (start to learn independence, eventually own wax.)

Typical Kids Clothing List

  • Base Layer
    • Medium underwear (bottom & top)
    • Expedition underwear (bottom & top)
  • Top Layer
    • Wind-proof, breathable, light jacket
    • Wind-proof, breathable, light pants
    • Fleece vest (optional: under the jacket, if cold, can be carried by parents)
  • Head & Face
    • Lycra hat (no thick woolly hats: over-heat!)
    • Balaclava
  • Hand
    • Mitts (not too tight)
    • Over-mitts
  • Feet
    • Medium wool/synthetic socks.  
    • Caution! wearing tight or multiple socks reduces circulation)
  • Carried by parents in their backpack
    • Down/heavy fleece jacket, preferably with a hood
      (emergency or long stop)
    • Extra mitts X 2
    • Over-mitts
    • Over-boots
    • Extra socks
    • Extra hat & balaclava
    • Chemical Hand-warmer packages
    • Fun, high energy snack & warm drink in flask/thermos