On a trip to Courchevel recently, I took three new bits of kit.
First, the Mammut Laser hooded softshell jacket, a fantastic item that appears to be sadly hard to find now. Made of Schoeller WB-400 “with Nanosphere technology” [huh?] it is extremely hardwearing and water-resistant (quite fun to pour the dregs of a glass of wine over it in a mountain restaurant and watch people’s faces as it just rolls right off). I wore it for 5 hours throughout a very heavy snowstorm and when I took it off, it was very mildly damp on the outside. Nothing on the inside at all, and it was fully dry again very quickly. Excellent kit, especially in the brilliant cadmium green/yellow, even if that did open me up to the humorous observation that I looked like one of the Toy Story aliens.
Second, I tried out a pair of Paramo Aspira trousers. They worked well enough, are comfortable and are at least fully waterproof. But I still prefer my old Ibex softshell trousers, which I wore on the final and longest day of skiing, again through some pretty heavy snow—and a few graceful ‘subsidings at speed’ into the snow! I didn’t get wet in them, and you can wear them out to dinner in the evening, something you definitely wouldn’t want to do in the Aspiras.
Third, the Giro 10 helmet. I thought this would draw a few laughs from the die-hards I skied with, but about half of them were wearing helmets (for the first time). The Natasha Richardson effect.