At a time of year when most people back in the UK are obsessing about X Factor winners and Xmas party outfits, over here in the mountains there has only been one subject of conversation. When will it come? And how much will it bring? And what happens if it doesn’t come in time for Xmas? And …god, when will it come?
We’re not talking about Santa here people, we’re talking about snow. Simple frozen particles of water falling from the sky that carry enormous significance in these parts. Livelihoods depend upon their appearance and so it comes as no real surprise that ‘la neige’ has pervaded every single conversation I’ve had over the past few weeks.
It is safe to say that the annual wait for the inaugural snowfall of the season is a painful one and thankfully last week we were put out of our misery. Big style. After weeks of enviously looking at US friends’ Facebook status updates and pictures, finally we Alpine peeps had something to jingle our bells about.
Pardon the phrase but this was a dump to be proud of and as soon as the weekend came around, there was no hanging about. Skis and boots were positioned by the door, avalanche beacon batteries tested and new winter clothing excitedly ripped out of its packaging to be put to the test.
Having been fortunate enough to get my hands on an Arcteryx Atom LT Hoody recently, I have literally been breakdancing on the spot at the prospect of getting into the outdoors to try it out. For those non gear freaks amongst you, basically this is just a lightweight synthetic jacket. But let me tell you, it is so, so much more than that.
For the snow/outdoor gear girlie, this bit of kit is a hundred different things in one. As a super light, incredibly warm layer, it can go underneath or on the top your existing set up. You can wear it as a ‘fleece layer’ underneath your shell jacket or you can throw it on over the top when you need that extra warmth out on the hill, and unlike down, you don’t need to worry if it gets wet – which is kind of a plus when you’re talking about playing in the frozen particles of water world. And the icing on the gateau? It’s as well cut as Peter Andre’s ‘Mysterious Girl’ abs (oh god, I think I just gave my age away…) with articulated elbows, gusseted underarms and as a result looks cool as hell off the hill aswell as on.
At around £160, this is not cheap but its hybrid nature makes it a totally worthwhile investment. And after all, who doesn’t need a multitasking, gorgeous looking, warm, and reliable bit of stuff in their life at this time of year?!
Look out for my full Tried and Tested review coming soon!