Gear Pick: A Fashionable Flourish for the Ski Bum

by Andrew Travers, Time Out Staff Writer
Nobody has ever accused me of letting fashion get in the way of function on the slopes.

A quick survey of my snowboarding get-up evidences that nearly everything on my body is held together, in some way, by duct tape: my Burton boot liners, in their third season of winter use, are patched with it; my Obermeyer pants, too; my Special Blend jacket has tape holding together a tear in the shoulder; my Swany gloves, with fingers poking through, need frequent re-patching; even my Smith helmet has duct tape holding the chin strap together. Yeah, these days my base layers are just about the only thing left intact.

Some of the stuff matches in various earth tones and black, but all of it has touches of silver and red duct tape.

I don’t worry much about how it looks, and I’m certainly not alone in my taped-together dirtbag-ish style on the hill. But one spring-time accessory in my set-up actually wins me occasional compliments from the more fashion conscious schussers of Aspen: my North Face scarf.

It’s become an indispensable piece of equipment for me on these spring days when the temperature might fluctuate from frigid morning to balmy afternoon. In the chill of winter, I rock a pretty standard neck gaiter, but in late season I’m a scarf guy. If I catch a chill, I can wrap it around my neck and get coverage equal to a gaiter. The Polartec fleece of the scarf is plenty warm. And when it heats up out there, I can unwrap it and wear it loose.

Come après hours, with boots unlaced, jacket open and scarf blowing in the breeze, heck, I might even fit in with the fashionistas and fashionistos on the various patios and base areas on our four mountains.

And, after a few seasons, it hasn’t ripped and has required no duct-taping.

Get your own
The North Face 
Standard Issue Scarf