Spring Skiing In Oakley's Gore Windstopper Jackets


Will someone call Spring and find out where the hell she went?
These wintery powder squalls have meant some pretty classic Eastern Sierra skiing. When the clouds break, it’s powder above 11,000 – and corn to the car. Christian Pondella, Rob Story , Glen Paulsen and myself went on a little ramble up Mt. Gilbert. Gilbert is a classic one in my book – steep and interesting with a lot of skiing back to the car. Light and fast is a blast on any backcountry trip, so I tried my best to leave as much at home as possible.

Oakley’s 2012 Gore Windstopper jacket worked perfectly for the day. As my only outer layer, its breathability allowed me to wear it for the entire approach. And the Gore Windstopper held back the winds at the summit just enough before dropping into the cold boot-top snow below. I would add that if you’re gonna be above 13,000 feet on an overly gusty day, layer with a windproof underlayer for extra protection. Because the Gore Windstopper’s strength is in its soft, supple feel, it’s far more comfortable and breathable than some of the other shells I’ve used. It lacks that sometimes annoying “plasticky” feel of other brands. So I highly doubt Pondella “heard” me trying to catch up with him on the skin track.
The hood is relaxed with plenty of room for a helmet, even though I left that at home too. The mesh pockets smartly double as ventilation when left open, making the design free of unnecessary zippers and stitching. The slightly longer sleeves are easy to clamp down over spring gloves to keep out snow.
Oakley did a great job on this one – compliments to the design team cuz this one works well for backcountry peak descents. The material moves really well, and is super-comfortable. I am looking forward to climbing in it this summer. So I guess my only question is: can I please have an Oakley Gore Windstopper pant too???

Ski you later


Mark Shelp


May 20, 2011

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