Cross Country Skiing in the Pyrenees Packing List
Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 February 2011 08:24
Cross Country Skiing in the Pyrenees - suggested packing list
The following list has been put together to give you an idea of what to pack for your cross country ski holiday. Please note that different people feel the cold in different ways, so if you are a 'cold' person then pack a bit more. There is a very good gear shop in Ax, so any items you are missing can be purchased here - there is no need to make a special shopping trip.
Expected weather conditions and regulating your temperature
In the mountains the weather changes very fast and in the same day we could expect anything from -10 to +20 degrees. Even walking/skiing into the shadow of a forest can cause a 10 degree temperature drop. The best thing to pack is lots of layers which can be used in any combination and all together in the case of an emergency. The most important items are gloves and hats.
For cross country skiing I would suggest that you are better off setting off with normal summer walking trousers and putting on your waterproof trousers if it gets cold. Thermal leggings are nomally too warm and gettig out of them too cold!
Although cross country skiing can be fairly energetic you need to have your arms and hands covered at all times, jus in case you fall. We are never far from the vans and it is normally downhill, so not everything needs to be carried with us.
Towels and basic toiletries are provided, but you will probably also want to bring your own. Ax Les Thermes is at 700m so rarely has snow on the ground. There are also several bars, a casino and a disco in town. A swimming costume is needed if you intend on using the termal baths / spa in Ax.
Lunches are normally taken in the Mountain REfuges or Restaurants at the ski stations. These are heated and provide us with the perfect break. Some days we may go on extended ski trips and we will need a packed lunch, provisions for which can be purchased in town. Your backpack should be large enough to carry the lunch and water with you during the day.
- Big bum bag or small 10 - 15 L backpack
- Walking Boots (or shoes to wear in bus - we may be stepping out into deep snow!)
- Evening shoes (we may have to go out in snow)
- Personal medication (eg. drugs and blister treatment, not First Aid kit)
- Water bottles (minimum of 1.4litres of capacity in total)
- Sunglasses and sunscreen creams
- Passport and currency
- Insurance and EHIC
Clothing (extra clothing can be left in the van)
- Windproof / waterproof jacket (close fitting is best)
- Windproof / waterprrof trousers
- Tracksuit trousers / Ron-hills/ "summer" walking trousers
- Long sleeved wicking tops or equivalent long sleeved T-shirts
- Thin fleece (or more wicking t-shirts)
- Thick fleece
- Thin gloves (long fingered cycling gloves are ideal)
- Waterproof gloves
- Warm hat (covering ears ideally)
- Sun hat
- Flask for journey hoe in bus (tea etc. can be provided by hotel)
- Goggles (if you have them)
- Good book - we can't ski all day!
- Silk glove liners
- Map (best to get in Ax)
Group Kit (provided and carried by Group Leader)
First Aid kit
Optional Activities Kit
Snowshoeing: 25 - 30L Backpack. Gaiters (essential). Walking boots (the stiffer the better)
Downhill Skiing: Salopettes (or tracksuit bottoms with waterproof trousers)
Relaxing in the Spa: bring a swimming costume
Dog Sledding: Waterproof walking boots are essential! Gaiters advisable.