31 Jan 2023
No matter if you’re coming up to Mammoth Lakes for a few days of skiing or have purchased a season pass, it’s always a good idea to take special care of your gear. From clothing, to boots, to your skis and snowboard, these tips will help keep all of your equipment in tip-top shape.
Ski and snowboard clothes
Long-lasting ski and snowboard clothes are expensive. So, you want to take good care of them. Here’s how:
Hang them to dry after every day on the mountain. One of the best ways to care for your winter clothing is to dry individual pieces as quickly as possible. Luckily, the air here in Mammoth Lakes is dry, so this isn’t hard to do. Simply hang everything separately with space between them for good airflow. The only exception would be with knit sweaters, which should be laid flat to dry.
Don’t leave winter clothes too close to the fire or heating units. There’s a temptation to speed up the drying process, or even warm up your clothing before heading out for the day, by placing it in front of the fireplace or heaters. This is never recommended not only because of the fire hazard, but also because it’s not good for the material of your clothes. Most ski and snowboard wear are treated with waterproofing agents that can melt or become less effective when exposed to direct heat.
Be aware of overheating them in the dryer. Take a look at the tag inside your ski and snowboard gear. Typically, winter clothes can be put in the dryer on low heat. So, put a few items in at a time and tumble dry low for short periods.
Know when it’s time to reproof your ski and snowboard gear. Over time, that waterproof membrane on your jacket and snowboard pants will wear off. And that can make for one uncomfortable day on the slopes. When this starts to happen, you’ll want to use a specialized waterproofing treatment to restore its impermeability. This is best done before heading up to Mammoth, as the treatment can sometimes require extra time. And, you certainly don’t want to be without a jacket or snow pants while you’re here.
Helmets, goggles, and boots
After a day on the mountain, you may be tempted to throw all your helmets, boots, and goggles in a pile and call it a day. But, this can mean waking up to scratched goggles and damp boots. Here’s how you can care for these important items:
Helmets. Remove goggles from your helmet and wipe the helmet down with a dry cloth or towel to remove any caked-on snow. Then, prop it up on a towel to maximize airflow.
Goggles. It’s never a good idea to leave your goggles on your helmet overnight, as water can get trapped, leading to mold. Instead, remove them and wipe them with a microfiber towel. If the lenses are dirty, you can remove them from the casing and wash them with a lens wash or lightly soapy lukewarm water. Once they’re dry, store them in their protective sleeve or bag to prevent scratches.
Ski and snowboard boots. Even after just a couple of days on the mountain, your boots are going to get a lot of wear. You’re constantly clipping them in and out of your skis or snowboard, walking on gravely surfaces, and probably throwing them into a corner the minute you get back to your condo. Just like with your other equipment, your boots deserve some extra care to keep them in good shape. You can do this by wiping off any snow or ice, unbuckling or unlacing the boots completely, and removing the interior liner. Once everything is dry, replace the liner and rebuckle the boots so that they don’t lose their shape. Another good habit to get into is to bring a pair of shoes to place in a locker at Mammoth Mountain. That way, you can change out of your boots at the end of the ski day and avoid wearing them around town while you go to happy hour or the grocery store.
Skis and snowboards
Ahh, we’ve arrived at your most treasured piece of equipment: your skis or snowboard! If you’ve invested in one, chances are, you’re willing to do just about anything to keep it in good condition. Here are a few ways to do it:
Wipe them down after every ski day. Wiping your skis and boards down every evening will prevent scratching during storage and transport. It will also remove excess moisture so that your equipment can dry faster.
If your condo has ski and snowboard racks, use them. It’s better to keep equipment suspended rather than leaning against the wall. Again, this is good for drying out your skis and snowboards as well as preventing damage. You definitely don’t want to leave skis or snowboards in your car or in the garage—unless they’re completely dry—as the dampness and cold can warp them over time.
Keep them waxed. Exactly how much you wax your skis or snowboards can depend on a variety of factors. Icier snow, for instance, will wear your skis more quickly than soft powder. And hardcore snowboarders may need to take care of their boards more frequently than the casual beginner. But, if you’re coming up to Mammoth for a couple of weeks of consistent skiing and snowboarding, the recommendation is that you wax your gear at the beginning of your trip and once a week after that.
Don’t let damage go unaddressed. As much as you take care of your equipment, scratches and gouges are bound to happen. But, they should never go unfixed. Deep gouges in your equipment can lead to water damage, so make sure to bring your gear to a professional to fix them.
At the end of the season
When you’re ready to head back home after an epic trip to Mammoth, you’ll want to properly stow your gear. Make sure that everything is washed and fully dry before putting it into storage. Not sure how to wash snow pants and other equipment? Always follow the instructions on the tag or check out the manufacturer’s website for help. Every clothing company has their own suggestions for best care of their snow clothes.
When placing items in storage, don’t stack items on top of your gear. Even though helmets, boots, and boards look sturdy, they can sustain damage over time when stored underneath other objects.
It’s also a good idea to maximize airflow as much as possible and periodically check on your items to make sure there’s no moisture or mold.
We can bet that after visiting us this season, that gear isn’t going to stay in your storage for too long. You’ll be planning your next trip to the mountains before you know it!