When It Comes to Skiing, Be Sure You Dress the Part
A GottaSki.com Exclusive


One of the biggest mistakes I see on the slopes in Big Bear in regard to clothing selection is skiers dressing too warm. Many people do not realize how warm it really gets by noon time in Big Bear. Big Bear Lake is one of the sunniest spots in the US. Heck, they even put a solar observatory there. You can see it sticking out on the north side of the lake.

Temperatures can get up into the 60's, especially in the spring. Also, the air is thinner, since the mountain hovers around 8000 ft. Oxygen is in shorter supply, which means your body is working a lot harder to do the things you do down there in the flatlands. You use up more energy and create more body heat. These factors combined make for a lot of heat and moisture production

So how should you dress? Wear layers. Layers, layers, and more layers!

Did I mention that you should wear layers? Just checking.

Do not bring just one big heavy coat that you borrowed from Uncle Jed in North Dakota. By noon, you'll be wishing Uncle Jed was around to carry you to your car. By wearing medium to thin breathable material, your clothing can change with the days weather.

Choose pants and parkas that are water repellent. Try not to ski in those fancy jeans (save them for dancing in the lodge), especially if you're just learning. While learning, you're going to spend a lot of time in the snow. Especially in Big Bear, the snow can get very wet and your jeans will act like big blue sponges.

Bring one pair of socks. All you'll ever want in your boots is one pair of socks. Anything more, or even pant legs or long underwear stuffed into your boots will cause you to be uncomfortable with an improper boot fit. Boots that are too tight can cut off circulation, making your feett very cold. Plus, you could also get blisters, especially if you wear more than one pair of socks. Pick up some good insulted socks, specifically designed for skiing. Bring them with you and put them on when you put your boots on. Don't where them in the car on the ride up, since you want as little moisture in them as possible.

Always wear something on your hands. Before hitting the slopes, invest in two pairs of gloves or mittens. Choose one thin pair, and another thicker pair for those colder days. Gloves will help keep your hands safe, especially around the razor edges of skis and poles. Plus, they'll insulate you from the cold snow and keep you comfortable.

Last of all, always pack a warm hat. You can stuff it in your jacket when not needed. But when you're squeezing in one more ride on the chair lift late in the day, you'll be glad you have it.

A typical day in Big Bear starts out cool in the morning perfect for the early birds waiting for the first lift ride to the top. As soon as the sun starts peeking over the east side of the mountain, the temperature shoots up pretty quick. By lunch, sometimes you're left wondering if you are in Palm Springs or Big Bear! As the end of the day draws near and the sun dips below Westridge, you find your self exhausted and ready for that hat or extra layer again.

The name of the game is flexibility in your clothing. With the right clothing and layers, you'll be comfortable the whole day through. See you on the slopes!


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Sample layering:

If possible stay away from cotton materials and wear breathable moisture wicking material. Layering can work the opposite way by keeping the cold and moisture in as well.


Tee Shirt


Sweater or Sweatshirt

Insulated Jacket




Long Underwear or Lycra

Insulated Pants





Want to know how warm you should dress?

Check the current Weather Report!