Club Europe supporting sustainability through WhoSki.com

A huge cheer for school ski trip provider Club Europe, for taking strong steps towards improving sustainability in its operations. Not only is it recommending WhoSki.com as the place to buy and sell secondhand ski clothing, it is looking at ways to reduce its environmental impact across all areas.

The company is the latest to partner with us to help keep pre-loved ski clothing in active usage for longer and make skiing more affordable.

As Club Europe says: “The idea is simple: reduce the quantity of new ski clothes that are bought and old ones that are sent to landfill, by enabling families to easily buy and sell pre-loved ski wear.”

What to pack for a family ski trip

KEEPING SKI CLOTHES ON THE PISTE

Club Europe will be helping hundreds of youngsters take a school ski trip this season. If even a fraction of those young skiers and their families buy and sell their ski clothing via WhoSki.com, they will potentially help keep a mountain of clothing out of landfill and reduce its carbon footprint by extending its active life.

WhoSki.com co-founder Nicola Davenport says: “We are delighted to be working with Club Europe, a school ski trip provider that is committed to sustainable business.

“Raising awareness of WhoSki.com as a secondhand marketplace for good quality ski clothing helps not only keep textiles in circulation but also raises the profile of sustainability in the wintersports sector generally. The more we all do to think #SkiGreen, the brighter the future for our mountains.”

Club Europe is recommending WhoSki.com as a first stop for buying specialist kit for a school ski trip, as well as the best place to sell on unwanted but good quality ski clothes that no longer fit.

Club Europe: Committed to sustAinability

Alison Wareham, Club Europe’s sustainability lead, adds: “As a responsible travel provider, we are committed to sustainability in our development, operations and marketing. Partnering with WhoSki.com not only helps the environment but gives families a small financial boost – saving money on ski wear and perhaps by selling their own unwanted ski fit, making a few pennies too.”

Read more:
School ski trip essential clothing

What to pack for a family ski trip

YMHD with our charity partner stem4

The annual YMHD campaign from WhoSki.com’s charity partner stem4 aims to get young people talking and taking part in activities to improve their mental health, and to support others to do likewise. Taking place on September 22nd, Youth Mental Health Day 2022 is focusing on sharing stories to enable young people to connect.

stem4 is an award-winning organisation which specialises in developing and distributing free apps (backed by the NHS) to help young people cope with mental health issues. Of the 2,007 young people the charity surveyed ahead of Youth Mental Health Day, nearly half (46%) said they were
currently experiencing mental health difficulties.

Here at WhoSki.com we donate 25% of our commission from every sale to stem4. So, by selling through our peer-to-peer marketplace, you are directly helping support teenage mental health.

CONNECT MEANINGFULLY

Over the past few years, young people have been forced to experience many of their most formative experiences virtually—from joining a new school, college, university or workplace, to celebrating milestones such as exams and big birthdays.

By focusing on the importance of meaningful connections and having a solid support system, this year’s YMHD is inviting young people across the UK to reflect on how their relationships (with family, friends, teachers etc.) have changed over the past few years.

stem4 is inviting them to share ideas and set goals on how they can #ConnectMeaningfully to foster relationships that will support and positively impact their mental health.

The Wimbledon-based charity is best known for its four, award-winning, NHS-approved, free mental health apps, including Calm Harm and Combined Minds, which have been downloaded by more than 3.2 million people globally.

WHOSKI AND STEM4

Partnering with stem4 is our way of supporting a charity which helps teenagers access positive mental health support easily, and through their phones. Every item you buy or sell through WhoSki.com directs a charitable donation to this important cause.

We chose stem4 as our charity partner in recognition of the mental health benefits of taking part in wintersports activities like skiing and snowboarding. Being active outdoors, in the mountains and the fresh air brings benefits for both mental and physical health.

BACK TO THE SLOPES

Season 2022/23 looks likely to be the first academic year since 2018/19 when school / college timetables go ahead as normal. We know that our school ski trips partner Halsbury Ski will be running a full schedule of ski trips. Likewise, UK universities are gearing up to get back to the slopes – in many cases, for the first time in three years.

How to be a sustainable student skier

Here’s hoping that all who are planning a ski trip to the slopes in the coming months find it beneficial for their mental and physical health – in particular the young people who have so suffered so much from isolation and limited opportunities in their formative years.

Find out more about stem4 and YMHD here.

Feed the Easter dash with a ski wear spring clean

Bookings for Easter ski trips are booming, with thousands planning a last-minute dash to the slopes to catch their first ski season in two years.

The return to the UK Passenger Locator Form has been scrapped, France has suspended its health pass requirements, meaning unvaccinated children and teens no longer need to test daily, and Austria has relaxed its proof of vax / test / recovery rules. Spain is free to enter, as is Norway where masks are pretty much non-existent, and fully vaccinated travellers will no longer need to provide a pre-entry COVID-19 test result to enter Canada from April 1.

If you want to ski this spring : the choice of destination is wide. At last.

As a result, and after a long period off the piste, we are hearing from many people whose ski clothes (or their kids’ ski clothes) no longer fit. We can confirm: demand for good quality pre-loved secondhand ski clothing is HIGH. Which makes now the perfect time to sell on your quality ski and snowboard clothes via WhoSki.com.

Keep hard-to-recycle ski clothing out of landfill

You may already be aware that wintersports wear is notoriously difficult to recycle because of its mixed materials and specialist coatings. It’s also harder to sell on through charity shops because of the limited market. A terrifying 300,000 tonnes of textiles is dumped in landfill every year. So do your bit for the environment by thinking secondhand when you buy your next ski and snowboard outfit. Check the listings in the WhoSki.com shop before you think about buying new.

We donate to charity on every sale

And if you have ski clothes still in good condition but which you no longer need, it is so simple to upload them for sale at the WhoSki.com marketplace.

Registration is free and takes just a couple of minutes. Uploading clothes for sale is so simple you can do it from your smartphone.

We donate 25% of our commission on every sale to teenage mental health charity stem4. That means you are doing good for the environment AND charity every time you buy and sell at WhoSki.com.

What’s stopping you? Click through to our marketplace to get going. And enjoy that Easter ski break: you deserve it.

Cross-country ski clothing essentials

I am freshly back from my first ever cross-country ski experience, three days on the tracks in Kvitfjell, Norway, brilliantly organised by SkiSafari.com.

It was a short, try-out visit, but required an almost complete overhaul of my piste wardrobe. Ski clothing rental is becoming increasingly popular, thanks to our friends at ecoski.co.uk. However, cross-country, aka Nordic skiing, is still a minority interest for UK skiers. That meant no chance of hiring clothing for this ski mini-break.

Luckily, my husband and I both absolutely loved the sport and can’t wait to return, so our kit will be going back in the cupboard until we can get back to the trails.

Buy pre-loved if you can

I am certain that in future it will be possible to buy pre-loved cross-country ski clothes here at WhoSki.com, but these are early days for our peer-to-peer marketplace, so on this occasion, off to the (online) shops we went.

For downhill skiing, clothing needs to both breathe and keep you warm on ski lifts. The way most of us ski makes for short periods of extreme exertion followed by longer stretches of trying to avoid getting cold hands, feet etc.

In contrast, cross-country skiing is physically much tougher, especially for a beginner with poor technique. Bear in mind that you are likely to work up a sweat pretty quickly, so you would roast in your downhill ski jacket and pants. You do, however, need to stay warm while stopped or in bad weather. Yup: we are talking layers.

Lower body

Go for two layers on your legs: a pair of thermals with over-trousers on top. The thickness of your thermal base layer will depend on the outside temperature: thick for colder winter weather, thinner for spring-like temperatures. In late spring you might even drop the thermal layer, or choose a shorter three-quarter-length / Capri style pair of tights or thermals. These will allow more air to circulate and help prevent you from over-heating.

I wore the same thin base layer leggings which I also wear under my usual downhill ski pants, and they were just fine.

If you’re looking for a higher-intensity cross-country ski workout, ski tights alone – similar to running leggings – will suit. Those aiming for gentler touring on skis will also need a pair of shell-type Nordic ski pants to wear over your base layer.

I bought mine from Daehlie, a well-known Norwegian brand, and was very pleased with their performance; wind-resistant micro-fibre material at the front and stretch material at back with tailored legs, elasticated ankles and a small zip pocket. Warm and cool and comfortable.

Upper body

Think three layers, with a thin base layer next to your skin that will wick away sweat, a fleece on top of that and a lightweight over-jacket designed specifically for cross-country skiing. Odds are the fleece will come off as soon as you start working harder on an uphill stretch, so it’s as well to wear a small backpack for your trip out on the trails.

Your over-jacket needs to be windproof, and you might appreciate having a micro-down jacket that weighs light and packs small in your backpack too. You can slip this on for extra warmth on a cold day if you find yourself taking a chairlift or stopping for a prolonged rest.

I found a half-zipped base layer was perfect under my jacket: the zip allowed for extra air circulation when working hard on climbs. It’s the same top I use when downhill skiing, so that was one less item to buy.

Day one began with me wearing a mid-layer fleece – which came off very quickly – and I only wore it again to keep the wind off when we took a chair-lift to the start of a more distant trail. My Halti soft shell jacket also performed beautifully and looked good.

Accessories

Many cross-country skiers wear a headband/ buff to keep their ears warm yet allow heat to escape – a thick hat will be too hot for most of us. However, a thin beanie or cap with ear-flaps that fold up will also suffice.

Your downhill ski gloves are likely to be far too thick / insulated for cross-country skiing, so you might want to invest in specific cross-country touring gloves. Thicker running gloves would also do the job on warmer days. Mittens are recommended for those who suffer from cold hands. I do, but suffered no chills in my new cross-country gloves on this trip (bright spring sunshine, temperatures hovering around zero).

Regarding socks, alpine ski socks are fine although of course you don’t really need the padding or length. My husband was happy in good quality woollen socks. Cross-country ski boots are light yet warm and windproof – and so easy to walk in compared with their alpine equivalents. Heavenly.

As for all skiing, good quality sunglasses are essential (not goggles – too hot for cross-country) as snow glare can cause optical damage.

Make sure you carry a water bottle – cross-country skiing is energetic work. And the little Nordic ski straps provided by our hire shop were genius for holding together the skis when carrying them (which is a joy – they are so light).

Get in Touch

If you’re thinking about trying out cross-country skiing, do drop us a message on social media : @WeWhoSki on Twitter and Instagram. I’d be happy to share tips from our experience.
Nicola

What to pack for your family ski holidays

Most of us heading for the slopes this winter / spring will be seasoned skiers / snowboarders, but if you’re a ski holidays first timer, what ski wear essentials should be in your suitcase?

No one wants to (a) over-pack OR (b) be under-prepared. If you’re not a ski parent, however, it can be hard to know what’s a must-have, and what you can cross off the shopping list. Here’s the children’s ski wear I recommend, after two decades of skiing with children (from age 0 upwards):

SKI WEAR MUST-HAVES:

  • warm, waterproof ski jackets and trousers or ski suit. You cannot ‘make do’ with non-specialist equipment here: waterproofing, flexible movement, pockets and padding will make for an all-round better ski experience.
  • mid-layer. This can be a simple fleece, but make sure it has a zip so the wearer can open and close according to weather and exertion.
  • ski goggles. More protective than sunglasses, less easy to lose, warmer for the face on a cold day or when it is snowing.
  • ski gloves. Absolutely essential as it’s miserable to have cold hands, oft expressed by highly vocal wailing. You might also want to throw in a pair of thin glove liners. Mittens are warmer and perfect for little ones. Kids’ gloves tend to get drenched on a daily basis and they are slow to dry, so taking a spare pair is recommended.
  • ski socks. Longer than normal socks with heat-retaining qualities and the right padding in the right places, two pairs of ski socks for a week’s trip will be enough, provided they go on the radiator to dry between wears.
  • snowboots. No child or adult should ever go to the mountains without a chunky pair of cosy, waterproof snowboots. They mean kids can play in the snow without getting frostbite of the toes, and adults can walk to the bar/supermarket/ski school pick-up point without slipping over. Wear them on the journey to cut down on luggage weight
  • slippers/Crocs. Aka footwear you can wear between bootroom and chalet/hotel room. The first sign you will see at the entrance to your accommodation will be: no outdoor footwear. Without slippers (ideally, something robust with a sturdy sole) your socks will quickly be soggy. Yuck.
  • Lip balm and high SPF sunscreen. Take a few small tubes of suncream with you and slip into pockets so you can top up throughout the day. Ditto for lip balms, which are easily lost.

SKI WEAR NICE-TO-HAVES:

  • handwarmers. Keeping one of these in your pocket for those super-cold ski days can make a big difference, although there will be years when you don’t need them at all. Good news though: they don’t go off, so save them for next season if unused.
  • sunglasses. I would never go skiing without a pair in my pocket, but my kids have been known to stick with goggles whatever the weather. One less thing to lose, too.
  • thermal underwear. I always made sure my young kids wore thermals – and sometimes that was all they needed under their ski suits – but for teens, not essential.
  • helmet. Essential to wear, but easy to rent. You only really need to own one if you’re a habitual skier. For children, make sure there’s a clip at the back to prevent goggles from pinging off. As with cycling and motorcycling, never buy a secondhand helmet: you don’t know what it’s been through, plus build technology has improved year on year so modern styles are safer than ever.
  • ski boots. As above: wait to buy them until your child’s feet have stopped growing/you move to the Alps/you’ve got the ski bug.
  • multi-packs of a favourite sweet snack. Slipping a packet of Haribos or a chocolate bar into a child’s ski jacket pocket provides a welcome energy boost for little ones between runs.

Got children’s ski wear that no longer fits? Pass it on via our preloved ski clothing marketplace. Looking for ski clothes for your family? Browse our peer-to-peer marketplace for high quality secondhand ski gear.

Schuss into spring 2022 with new-look WhoSki.com

Welcome to new-look WhoSki.com. We’ve had a marketplace makeover, making it quicker and easier to buy and sell pre-loved wintersports wear on our UK-based website, with transactions powered by Stripe for financial confidence and security.

What’s new?

  • upload technology SO SIMPLE that you can list your no-longer-needed clothing by mobile as you travel to and from the piste
  • reliable click-to-buy transactions powered by trusted provider Stripe
  • focused ski and snowboard community: no trawling through page after page of irrelevant content
  • #SkiGreen Directory to help you make eco-choices when you visit the slopes

PLUS we continue to donate a quarter of our commission to teen mental health charity stem4 on every sale.

Think green as you head for the mountains

Sustainability is the No1 reason why we set up WhoSki.com. Extending the lifetime of textiles is the most environmentally friendly way to keep clothing in circulation and out of landfill. It’s a step that we can all take, by passing on our good quality, secondhand clothes to other enthusiasts.

Experts calculate that extending the active life of clothing by just three months per item, leads to a 5-10% reduction in the carbon, water and waste footprints of your family’s no-longer-needed ski and snowboard outfits.

Find out more about sustainability in winter sports and the fast business on our Eco page here.

Meanwhile, around three-quarters of clothing donated to charity shops fails to find a home – especially specialist items like ski wear – and a mere 15% of our textile waste is recycled.

The good news is, every one of us can make a difference. So why not put sustainability on your to-do list this back-to-ski season? Selling through WhoSki.com instantly reduces the carbon footprint of your wintersports habit, helps you earn a bit of money and keeps down the cost of kitting out yourself and your family.

Sell simply and safely in our dedicated community

So whether you’ve fallen out of love with your wintersports wardrobe since you were last on the slopes, or had a clear-out and realised those ski and snowboard clothes no longer fit, the WhoSki.com shop is the place to sell them, simply and safely.

We look forward to welcoming you to our refreshed online marketplace – join us too on social media, @WeWhoSki on Twitter and Instagram.

Join us at the National Snow Show!

The slopes are re-opening, the kit is being dusted off, so rather than filling up landfill with your old ski and snowboard clothing, come and see us at stand D70 at the 2021 National Snow Show and discover how you can ski greener this season.

We are revamping our website, but – like your favourite pistes! – we will be back in business soon, with our eco-focused peer-to-peer marketplace where wintersports fans can buy and sell pre-loved ski wear. Saving money and supporting the circular economy.

We are the UK’s only website dedicated to helping you pass on secondhand ski and snowboard clothing, enabling you to ski green AND look good on the slopes for less.

It’s been a long time since we were at the last Ski Show in Battersea Park, but we are looking forward to meeting skiers again in person at the NEC in Birmingham, Saturday and Sunday October 23-24. You’ll find us between the Snow and Shred Stages, at stand D70.

Do pop by and say hello: we’d love to hear how you’re planning to reduce the carbon footprint of your ski or snowboard trip next season #SnowShow

Before you visit: current NEC guidance here: https://www.thenec.co.uk/visitors/plan-your-visit/

What clothing is essential for a school ski trip?

For many people, the first time they even think about buying ski clothing is when their child is signed up for a school ski trip. You’ve paid for travel, tuition and accommodation, but how many of those items on the kit list do you really need to buy?

See above a genuine plea for help from a mum-friend just this week. The message thread continued…

ski trip message continued...

Hmm, yes: having the wrong kit could well be a factor!

No parent wants their child to be uncomfortable on the mountain, especially if you’re skiing with them (every ski parent will do everything they can to minimise small skier whingeing, right?), so making sure they’ve got the right clothing is essential.

If you’re not a ski parent, however, it can be hard to know what on that lengthy list of recommended school ski kit clothing is a must-have, and what you can skip buying or borrowing.

Here’s what I recommend, after almost two decades of skiing with children (from age 0 upwards):
MUST-HAVES:

  • warm, waterproof ski jacket and trousers or ski suit. You cannot ‘make do’ with non-specialist equipment here: waterproofing, flexible movement, pockets and padding will make for an all-round better ski experience.
  • mid-layer. This can be a simple fleece, but make sure it has a zip so the wearer can open and close according to weather and exertion
  • ski goggles. More protective than sunglasses, less easy to lose, warmer for the face on a cold day or when it is snowing.
  • ski gloves. Absolutely essential as cold hands are a source of misery for many. You might also want to throw in a pair of thin glove liners
  • ski socks. Longer than normal socks with heat-retaining qualities and the right padding in the right places, two pairs of ski socks for a week’s trip will be enough, provided your child puts them on the radiator to dry between wears.
  • snowboots. No child or adult should ever go skiing without a chunky pair of cosy, waterproof snowboots. They mean kids can play in the snow without getting frostbite of the toes, and adults can walk to the bar/supermarket/ski school pick-up point without slipping over. Wear them on the journey to cut down on luggage weight
  • slippers/Crocs. Aka footwear you can wear between bootroom and chalet/hotel room. The first sign you will see at the entrance to your accommodation will be: no outdoor footwear. Without slippers (ideally, something robust with a sturdy sole) your socks will quickly be soggy. Yuck.

NICE-TO-HAVES:

  • handwarmers. Keeping one of these in your pocket for those super-cold days can make a big difference, although there will be years when you don’t need them at all. Good news though: they don’t go off, so save them for next season if unused.
  • sunglasses. I would never go skiing without a pair in my pocket, but my kids have been known to stick with goggles whatever the weather. One less thing to lose, too!
  • thermal underwear. I always made sure my young kids wore thermals – and sometimes that was all they needed under their ski suits – but for teens, not essential.
  • helmet. Essential to wear, but easy to rent. You only really need to own one if you’re a habitual skier.
  • ski boots. As above: wait to buy them until you’ve got the ski bug.

Looking for ski clothes for your child’s next ski trip or school ski trip? Visit the WhoSki.com shop for pre-loved, good-as-new ski clothing at a fraction of the RRP.

Got children’s ski clothing that no longer fits? Pass it on via our preloved ski clothing marketplace.

We donate to charity on every sale.

Join WhoSki.com at the Telegraph Ski & Snowboard Festival

The circular economy goes skiing, as WhoSki.com brings sustainability to the winter sports industry at the UK’s biggest annual ski and snowboard fest during the October half-term holidays.

You’ll find our ‘start-up chalet’ (stand no OC23) in the Mountain Village, next to the fabulous Big Wheel, (and near the food) throughout this year’s Telegraph Ski & Snowboard Festival, which runs from Thursday October 24 to Sunday October 27, 2019.

Three reasons to visit the WhoSki.com Chalet:

1 BRING US YOUR PRE-LOVED SKI CLOTHING
Our NEW peer-to-peer online marketplace only sells winter sportswear, which is notoriously difficult to recycle because of its mixed materials and specialist coatings. That’s why most discarded ski clothing ends up either incinerated or in landfill: an environmental no-no.

We are making it easy to do the right thing with your pre-loved ski kit this Festival, with our on-site drop-off spot. Think green, declutter your wardrobe, bring your no-longer-wanted clothing and leave it with us.

2 WIN A WEEKEND BREAK
Visit our stand (no OC23) for the chance to WIN a winter weekend stay for up to four people in Shaftesbury, Dorset, at the stylish Barbers Cottage (barberscottage.co.uk): simply give us your name and email, or bring some pre-loved ski-wear.

3. SUPPORT TEENAGE MENTAL HEALTH
Don’t forget: 5% of everything sold on WhoSki.com goes straight to the teenage mental health charity stem4.

We believe that winter sports are a brilliant way to reduce stress, connect with nature and get a healthy workout. Partnering with stem4 is our way of sharing that feelgood factor and ensuring your pre-loved ski clothing provides benefits for those who can’t make it to the slopes.

Fun for all
The Telegraph Ski & Snowboard Festival is bursting with things to do this half-term for the whole family as well as DJ sessions in the evening for Gen Z. It’s an all-day and evening must-visit. Come along and say hello: we’d love to meet you!

Retailers! Team up with WhoSki to re-use, recycle

We are actively looking for retail partners to help us grow the circular economy in ski wear. Read on to find out why it is in everyone’s interest to get involved.

Retailers in France have been warned to make sure that unsold clothing is sent for re-use or recycling in a bid to curb wasteful practices in the fashion industry. The ban on destroying clothing and other items comes after it emerged that more than £576m of new consumer products were discarded in France EVERY YEAR by the businesses selling them.

How long until similar legislation making stores responsible for their unsold or discarded stock is adopted in the UK?

Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee recently reported on the British fashion industry, and it wasn’t pretty. The Government is already thinking about taxing clothing companies that fail to adopt the circularity model.

They want to see less fashion waste, more recycling, and retailers taking responsibility both for the provenance of the materials they use AND what happens to their clothing after it is sold or comes off the rack.

As far as ski and wintersports clothing is concerned, that’s where WhoSki.com comes in. (You can thank us later, retailers)

Re-use beats recycle

Re-use is always going to be more eco than recycle, as less energy and fewer materials are involved. Think bottle returns: washing out and reusing a glass pop bottle is more environmentally friendly than having to dispose of a plastic one.

Back in the day, kids used to supplement their pocket money by collecting bottles and returning them to the corner shop for coppers. We didn’t call it the ‘circular economy’ but that is exactly what it was.

A circular economy for ski wear

The same principle applies to ski clothing. There are piles of it in warehouses, stores, discount shops that our online marketplace WhoSki.com can help sell on, thus cutting its carbon footprint by ensuring that the raw materials and energy that went into its creation do not go to waste.

We aim to work with ski shops and manufacturers around the UK, taking pre-loved, unwanted ski gear and making sure it gets re-used rather than dumped. Wake up to the change that is coming: do the right thing now or there will be legislation to make you do it. It is simply a matter of time.

Recycling facilities drive footfall

Does encouraging people to pass on their used but serviceable ski wear mean retailers will suffer? Think about it: by establishing a used-clothing drop-off facility and promoting it as a green initiative you will in fact be encouraging people to visit your store.

Some 25% of people are likely to buy something at a shop when dropping off items for re-use or recycling, so joining us in the circular economy actually drives footfall. You collect the pre-loved ski clothing then we will take it off your hands, and ensure it is recommerced on WhoSki.com.

Result? The clothing item enjoys an extended life, the owner gets to refresh their ski look, guilt-free, and the retailer ticks the CSR-box and gains valuable PR.

Sounds good? We are actively looking for retail partners to help us grow the circular economy in ski wear, so get in touch and let’s get together help make ski fashion circular.

Should we all be wearing a ski helmet?

I swapped my cosy ski cap (with fold down earflaps) for a ski helmet about four years ago for fear of being hit by another skier or boarder on the piste. These days, it’s unusual to see skiers or boarders not wearing a helmet.

That’s a huge change in slope safety mindset from just a few years ago: studies show that in some US and European resorts, 70% of us now habitually wear a ski helmet. They are not compulsory, although some resorts and ski schools do insist that infants and children wear a helmet on the piste.

In Canada, helmets are mandatory for those learning to snowboard, as well as for those teaching boarders and skiers.

Head injuries

Few parents would disagree that helmets for child skiers are essential, but should you wear one yourself?

Accidents involving high-profile skiers like Michael Schumacher and Natasha Richardson have helped convince many to swap beanies for helmets, although Schumacher was wearing a helmet when he sustained his injuries. Actress Natasha Richardson died from bleeding on the brain after she fell and hit her head while skiing (no helmet).

Benefits of wearing a helmet

As a chilly skier, I was pleased to find that a helmet is much cosier than a hat, it’s less likely to fall off (obviously), doesn’t itch and means you can keep your goggles on your helmet rather than have them taking up valuable pocket space. And as for those helmets that incorporate visors? Swoon!

Vents mean your head doesn’t overheat when you’re tackling a gnarly slope or the sun comes out, so for me my helmet is definitely a keeper.

The only question is how long can I go before buying a new one? There are some seriously desirable styles out there.

Ski helmets and injury

From the point of view of protection from injury, does wearing a helmet make a difference?

The NHS advises that the chances of sustaining serious injury when skiing are low. But if you are unlucky enough to have an accident, research published in June 2018 concludes (unsurprisingly) that wearing a helmet does help protect from head injuries. (btw, the publication Wilderness and Environmental Medicine Journal, where this research is published, has a fascinating contents page namechecking everything from wild boar to venomous snake bites via fire ants and ultraendurance nutrition.)

Scientists who have studied the effects of helmet use by skiers and snowboarders advise wearing a helmet in order to reduce the risk of a potentially serious head injury.

However, many ski helmets are not made of materials that will prevent brain injury if a so-called rotational injury occurs whereby (as explained in a very informative article in the Telegraph here), the brain rotates inside the skull following a collision.

Keep a look out for changes in helmet design and technology that offer increased protection from this kind of injury. (Good excuse for a headwear refresh!)

Find out more:

Ski Club GB advice about wearing a helmet

A factsheet from the charity Headway lists the symptoms of concussion and what to do if you suffer a blow to the head

We love skiing in… Les Menuires

Yes. Les Menuires. That little place you kind of have to ski towards then bypass in order to make it from Courchevel or Meribel up to Val Thorens. It’s easy to overlook, but if you’re looking for a fair priced, low-key ski resort in the Three Valleys, Les Menuires ticks a lot of boxes.

Savvy skiers know, however, that little Les Menuires is higher than Meribel (1850 vs 1750), has more pistes, more lifts and is just one chairlift away from Val Thorens. Even better, you can ski all the way back to the bottom of the Les Menuires valley from a day out in Val without having to take a single lift, except for a hop back up to resort at the very end.

Shopping:

Supermarket and specialist shops in the town centre and more in the hamlet of Reberty.

Accommodation:

Largely self-catering apartments. Try the Hameau de la Sapiniere (Erna Low), which is just above the main centre so ski in, ski out, but just a short walk from supermarkets. Bus up from resort centre stops right outside, there’s covered and underground car parking that can be pre-booked, and a ski hire shop literally on the doorstop. Fresh bread can be ordered and collected from reception daily. Hameau self-catered apartments each have their own private ski locker right by the front door.

Nightlife:

Les Menuires is a small, low-key resort, not over-endowed with eating spots or après-ski, so best-suited for chalet bunnies and families rather than disco kids. Lunchtime eating and coffee shops mean you’ve got midday options, however.

We say:

If you want to ski across all 3 Valleys, Les Menuires is a brilliant location to stay. The only area not so quick to get to is the far side of Courchevel. But for skiing Val Thorens, Les Men is a brilliant lower-cost resort to base yourself in. It’s unpretentious and super well-connected. Good too for walkers with plenty of trails if you want to Nordic ski or just take a stroll.

Because it’s largely self-catering, busiest night for eating out is Friday as many skiers head home first thing Sat and don’t want to cook, so make sure you book your restaurant early in the week to guarantee a table.

More info:

Check out the official Les Menuires resort website: Friendly Menuires