Stuck in the clouds? How to ski in low visibility
Steamboat Springs — On days like Tuesday, when the wind is howling, the clouds are low and the snow is falling, visibility can sometimes just stink while navigating the runs at Steamboat Ski Area.
“Out in the middle of the runs, you couldn’t see anything,” said Dan Gilchrist, a Steamboat skier who is a regular in Warren Miller films.
An experienced and prepared backcountry skier, Gilchrist headed for the trees.
“It’s like another world,” he said.
The wind was calmer, and the trees allowed his eyes some depth perception.
Follow a few simple tips, and anyone can conquer low visibility.
“The best days are the stormy ones,” Gilchrist said. “It’s what it’s all about.”
If a skier is not comfortable going into the trees, skiing next to the trees at the edge of the run also provides the depth perception.
Weather and ski conditions can vary throughout the mountain. If possible, Gilchrist said to find a side of the mountain protected from wind.
A good pair of goggles with the appropriate lenses is probably the most important piece of equipment in storms or on days with flat light.
Local ski shops can help skiers make the right choice.
Chris Cantrell at One Stop Ski Shop recommended the Smith I/O goggle with Chromapop technology. It comes with both a low-light and bright-light lens.
For low light, look for a rose or yellow lens or something in between.
For the sunny days, Cantrell recommended a green or red solar-mirrored lens. The mirror helps direct glare away from the bright snow.
To prevent fogging, Cantell said it was important not to touch the inside of the lens.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS ¬— Just inside the doors of Kevin Dietrich’s Natural Exposure Gallery in downtown Steamboat Springs, there are moose, bears and some of the town’s most scenic landscapes captured in perfect light.