Its the first big powder day of the season. You get ready to drop in and put on your goggles. Terror strikes, they are already fogged. You panic, grab some tissues and start wiping the inside of the lens. You make it worse and somehow ski a half-blind run down 3,000 vert to the base. Not only is your day is done but you scratched the soft inside of your lens in the process.Has this happened to you? One thing that I have learned riding the powder filled resorts in Utah is how important goggles really are, and how we use knee-jerk reactions to try to fix them when they fog on the mountain. I have seen countless people, along with myself, make these mistakes causing fogging or doing things that make it worse. I don't want you to make these same mistakes, so here are seven tips if you happen find yourself with foggy goggles.
Don’t touch the inside of your lens. If you do this you will end up ruining your goggles for good. No matter how gentle you are the inside is to be never touched (especially when wet). The tissues in the lift line are meant for your nose! Its ok to remove a hair or dab a smudge off at home but never wipe the inside.
Don't use the hand dryer in the resort bathroom to dry your goggles. Not only can it melt your lens but extreme temperature change can produce water in between the lens, or even worse it can crack the lens.
Don't wear your balaclava (facemask) at the base, flush against your goggle. If your balaclava is against the bottom of your goggle for a long period of time, it can cause fogging. The balaclava supplies warm, moist air into the lower vents every time you breath creating moisture-rich air in the lens. Unless you break this barrier after each run, your goggles can fog easily. I like to put it under my lower lip when not riding on powder days then putting it back up only when riding.
Don't ever hike with your goggles. When your body is hot and the air is cold, it can cause your goggles to fog. Exposing your face at this time could be uncomfortable (some would say dangerous) but fogging your goggles is just as bad. Pro tip: keep a pair of sunglasses in your pocket and swap out before hiking.
Don’t rip ice away from the vents: When skiing or riding in Utah we get the occasionally frequent face shots when making turns in low-density powder. That snow can pile up and clog your vents causing your goggles to fog. Now its ok to brush that snow off or carefully tap it on your leg but be careful when your vents ice up. If you pull the ice away it can tear the foam vents. If that happens snow will pour into your goggle getting the lens wet eventually causing fogging and forcing you to buy a new frame.
Always bring your goggles in for the night. This allows them to dry out in a warm environment so you're ready to shred the next day.
Do use a soft cloth to clean them that is meant for goggles. Using a harsh fabric will scratch the lens.
Fogging will eventually affect us all, its just part of the game. It's a bummer to miss skiing/riding because of a foggy goggle, but if you listen to these tips you can learn from the mistakes I have seen and experienced. At the end of the day, the best advice I have is to be prepared and keep an extra lens on you while skiing or riding. Plus new technology in goggles (example: the new Smith IO/Mag) use magnets to securely attach the lens to the frame making it easy to swap out a lens and get back on the slopes.
Following these seven tips will set you up for success. And, if your lenses keep fogging, it could be time for a new goggle.
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