Ski and shred in style, look cool, stay warm


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This year’s epic snow sports season is likely to go strong into late spring and even early summer months on the West Coast.

Some North American resorts have reported on high-snowfall years that their slopes stay open as late as the Fourth of July. So gear up in style for spring skiing and riding with these slick head-turning fashions and take advantage of some great near-the-end-of-season sales prices.

Pull on your big-boy/girl bibs

Bibs are back in a big way. The sister of the full-on zip-up onesie snowsuit of the 70s, ski bibs are rising up as the nouveau chic on the slopes. Not only do they look stylish and sassy, they are the far better choice for snow wear than traditional ski or snowboard pants. Bibs are perfect when you want a bit of extra warmth over a fleece pullover or under layer, but you don’t want to wear a vest. For aggressive riders and steers, the bibs come up high under the arms to prevent snow from getting in your waistband. They also stay up, so you don’t find yourself constantly tugging and adjusting your waist band, which is especially a hassle with gloves on.

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A hot and hip company, Trew, is leading the revival of bibs, with their high-performance bibs, that style spotters are seeing all over the best resorts this season, like the Trewth ($399) men’s bibs that set the standard for tit-to-toes coverage, or Trew’s already legendary women’s Chariot bibs ($399) that tackle the biggest complaint about bibs for women, with its “she pee” side zip (check it out here https://trewgear.com/trew/trew-updates/article/bathroom-break-in-your-bibs), that makes bathroom breaks easy and fast.

They also have beaucoup pockets for stuffing glasses, digital lift tickets, lip balm, wallets and other necessaries for the slopes. The styling of the Trew bibs, with bright colors and water repellent materials and fashionable bright colored zips and trims, will make you stand out in the snow. When it’s time to chill out in the lodge, you can roll them down to the waist, but they look pretty cool anyway you wear them.

Who wears the pants?

All that said about bibs, if you choose to go traditional, Trew has perfected snow pants, with the plentiful pocket design and fashion forward colors and trim, with an adjustable Velcro strip to keep the waistband snug. The pants for a little larger opening at the leg for heftier snowboard boots. For women, the Tempest ($349) features an adjustable waist, long legs, and three-dimensional articulated panel design that fits all shapes of physiques.  For guys, the Eagle ($349) pant is articulated and ventilated for sidecountry stash runs, with durability for long days hot-lapping your local mountain, and relaxed for comfort.

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As with all the Trew stormproof wear, their technologically advanced proprietary material, Dermizax®NX, is tops in breathability and toughness. The water-repellent membrane keeps you dry after fall, and next to the skin the material keeps you warm yet it is breathable, with ventilation openings.

As someone who has gone through many snow pants due to rivets popping, zippers tearing off we’re getting stuck, and seems tearing open, Trew has impressed me with its durability, looking and wearing like new for an entire season.

Top it off

For spring shredding, pair bibs with a lightweight water-repellent cold breaker like Trew’s Stella ($190) women’s fly freeride shell that has set the standard for the industry with its tailored-to-flatter, articulated-to-shred, and built-to-last design.

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Layer up

Underneath it all, Trew’s women’s lightweight Nuyard Merino ¼ Zip (sale priced $109) is ultimate hi-tech baselayer, woven with NuYarn merino, a  warmer, softer, better thermal-regulating and more mobile wool than its traditional merino brethren.  For warmer days, the Merino Sweater ¼ Zip (sale priced $55) keeps out the chill and regulates as you move, and it looks sharp and stylish for hitting the lodge apres ski.

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Hot mitts

Serius Heat Touch Torche component gloves ($394.99) may be the first gloves you have to read a manual to use, but hands down you will be wearing the smartest gloves on the mountain with these on your mitts. These three-in-one gloves have a battery-heated component glove that slips inside an insulated shell. They can be worn together or separately and with or without the heating batteries. The heat can dial down for spring skiing or up when you are at the top of the peak and the temps drop. Charge the batteries for about three hours, insert the batteries into the wrist cuff and press the button to the desired heat level.  What’s even smarter, and you can swipe away on your smart phone screen while wearing these gloves.

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Pack it up

Nothing’s more of a drag on your travels than hauling a bulky duffle around stuffed with all your gear.  You don’t have to lighten your load and leave stuff behind, instead get rolling with the massively spacious Eagle Creek ORV Trunk 36 ($419) or ORV Trunk 30 ($359).  This bag fits all your winter adventure gear plus the kitchen sink, with lots of pockets and compartments to keep wet stuff separate from dry and all your gear easily accessible. Some extra bells and whistles include an Equipment Keeper Porter Key with bottle opener, exterior and interior compression straps, and an external pocket for easy grab items. All that and a waterproof boot bin, to boot.

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Memories of fishing with my father, and a boy’s first boat

Fishing with my father as a child is something I will always remember. He would take my mom, me and my brother out on his Formula cabin cruiser boat, where he was captain of the world, and we would anchor in the Rappahannock River; or when the water was calm he would take us all the way out to the Chesapeake Bay, and we would sit with our lines in the water waiting for a nibble.

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My dad taught us how to rest the line on our fingers next to the reel so that we could feel a tug when there was a fish. He showed us how to jerk the line back to set the hook, and he showed us how to wind in the reel and keep the line taut so we didn’t lose our catch. When I was too squeamish to bait my hook or take off the slimy fish, Dad would do it for me. Our days on the boat fishing with dad comprise some of my favorite memories from childhood into my adult years, so this is a tradition I wanted to pass on to my son.

In 2007, when I told my parents I would be having a baby, my father, then 73 years old, had tears in his eyes. He said he never thought he would be a grandfather, and he was overjoyed. Once he dried his eyes and began to look ahead to the idea of having a grandson, he began anticipating all the good times we would have, and teaching his grandson to fish. “I hope I make it to see that boy turn 10,” he said.

Dad had been a hard-working man all of his life, but his strong-but-tired body — that he kept in shape working out three times a week at the gym into his 80s — was starting to fail him. He had to quit tennis and golf when he snapped a bicep muscle, and his gait had gotten slower and more unsteady with the years. But his biggest fear was Alzheimer’s, the disease that had taken his mother and his sister.

Unfortunately, in the following years, his worst fears were realized, and my dad slipped into Alzheimer’s, which worsened quickly, leaving him unable to take out his boat. Even though he surely missed being out on his boat, steering into open water, he still enjoyed fishing at a local lake with his grandson. As my father’s dexterity and mental capacities deteriorated, it was my turn to bait his hook.

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Sadly, in October 2014, my dad died, two months after my son’s seventh birthday.

It will be two years ago this month that my father passed away. My son has just turned nine years old, and already he’s taking after his grandfather with his love of boating and fishing.

My mother has kept our family’s cottage on the Rappahannock River, and it has become my son’s favorite place on Earth. It is the place where my father, known to my son as Papa Jack, kept his boat, named happy Jack, and the launching place for our many fishing trips over the past several decades.

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The boathouse and pier still stand strong after many years, like the memory of my father and our fishing adventures. Now, the pier has become a fun place to play, where my son loves to leap from a running start into Broad Creek, which runs in front of the cottage.

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Last year, our family took my father’s ashes to Deltaville, where we celebrated his memory and we sifted his ashes into the waters where he loved to boat and fish, from the end of the dock of his boat house, that he built with his own hands.

Now two years after his passing, the boat house sits empty. Dad’s last boat, a Slickcraft cabin cruiser, is enjoying new life with another family that took it out to explore new waters in Maryland.

Meanwhile, after 17 years of living in Los Angeles, 2,600 miles away from my birth state of Virginia, I have moved home with my son. We are now able to travel as often as we wish to the cottage in Deltaville, where we can continue in the tradition of my father by sharing fishing and boating together as a family.

While it may be a while before I can afford a ship like my father’s, my son and I have started small, with our first boat, an inflatable Airhead Angler Bay, a six-person craft perfect for our fishing excursions in the creek. Outfitted with his luckiest rod and reel, my son dropped his line on our maiden voyage and declared, “I love being on this boat.”

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I provided the engine power with two oars, and we spent our first afternoon out on the boat taking in the sunshine while my son asked me to tell him more fish stories about my past fishing expeditions with my dad. As the day winded down, and I paddled toward shore, just like my father, my son did not want to go in yet. Like my father, he could fish all day, and into the night if I let him. I told him, don’t worry, this is just the beginning. This is the continuation of an old family tradition for us. There will be many more days like this.

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