Hardcore Commitment

Your guide to the best women’s gear and goodies for a little extra warmth on Valentine’s Day

When I met my husband (then a telemarking dirtbag grad student at the University of Washington), I had never downhilled a day in my life. In fact, it wasn’t until we moved to Colorado a few years into our relationship that I knew: Either I learned to ski or snowboard, or I’d spend lonely days cooking vegan casseroles in Boulder. Un-uh. Fortunately for me, my guy was a patient, unflustered teacher (who encouraged a girl to skip alpine altogether and go straight for the teles). So I learned to ski. And before I knew it, I had pledged all of my free winter weekends to him, from here until eternity … or at least until knee surgery.

So, listen up guys. This Valentine’s Day, show your main squeeze a little appreciation for all of the love she shows you on and off the slopes (or trails, if you don’t happen to be skiers or snowboarders). Flowers are a nice start, but if you want to take it to the next level, read on.


Lolë Cuddle Sweater

Built with a comfy, well-fitting blend of acrylic, cotton, nylon, wool and lycra, this sweater from über-sleek, Montreal-based Lolë will make her feel all warm and fuzzy, whether you’re around or off for a day of adventuring with the guys.

Best for: The girlfriend you want to move in with.

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$100; lolewomen.com


Cloudveil Hoback

A marriage of Gore’s superlight and breathable Pro Shell on the outside and warm, airy Primaloft insulation on the inside makes this active jacket warm enough for long lift rides yet light enough for a backcountry tour.

Best for: The ripping girl with cold feet.

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$495; cloudveil.com


Karhu Jil

A few years back, while other ski companies were making cute pink-and-sparkly telemark skis that were too soft and wimpy for women who actually knew how to ski them, Karhu was offering the Jil. The latest version continues to put performance over pink, and at 124-90-113, they handle pretty much any Colorado terrain—from bottomless pow to tight trees.

Best For: The girl you go tumbling after.

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$575; karhu.com


Ibex Pez

Comfortable, versatile, hooded and made from snuggly New Zealand merino—this reversible vest keeps up with a girl’s changing moods.

Best for: The girl who can’t make up her mind.

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$135; ibexwear.com


CW-X Women’s Insulator Expert Tights

Athletic gals of all types will love these form-fitting, insulated tights that make use of a phase-changing material that adjusts to keep legs at just the right temperature.

Best for: The girl who hits the trail no matter the weather.

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$95; www.cw-x.com


Garmont Electra Women’s Telemark Boot

Four easy-to-adjust, anti-icing buckles and a perfectly fitting, women-specific thermo-moldable liner make this the boot for the aggressive, knee-dropping gal. Remember the old Secret deodorant slogan, “strong enough for a man but made for a woman?” A woman who rips, that is.

Best for: The girl whose appetite for steeps takes your breath away.

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$680; garmont.com


Smartwool Women’s Sport NTS Crew and Bottom

This base layer is soft, warm and all about performance. It’s really not all that difficult to make a woman happy.

Best for: The girl who takes it from first chair to last call.

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$80 crew/ $80 bottom; smartwool.com



Boulder-based Chocolove’s bars are smooth and rich (sound like you, dude?).

Recommended flavors: Chilies and Cherries in Dark Chocolate or Hazelnuts in Milk Chocolate. Remember a chocolate bar is worth a thousand bad pickup lines.

Best for: Girls you meet on the gondola.

$3–$4; chocolove.com


Merrell Spire Peak

This classy boot packs the style to strut without slipping on slick Aspen cobblestone and keeps toes warm with waterproof leather and Polartec insulation.

Best for: The girl who looks good in skirts.

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$155; merrell.com

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