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High-mountain Down


The fright masks on the facing page and the ballooning parkas that follow are not just high-mountain high jinks but serious insulation against the chill of deep-powder country. The conditions that bring the bounty of powder to the slopes along the Continental Divide can also bring Himalayan temperatures. The ski parkas on these pages would be comfortable on Everest, for they are made by suppliers of mountain-climbing expeditions. They are of windproof, lightweight nylon inflated with buoyant goose down, which, ounce for ounce, is the warmest and lightest insulation known. They come either quilted in giant squares or with a smooth surface, and are in vibrant colors (to make skiers easily visible on the vast snowfields of the West). The snug, ear-covering wool knit caps are also a new skiers' fad called "Moriarty caps." The originals were hand-knit for members of the U.S. Olympic team at Innsbruck by the mother of former Olympian Marvin Moriarty. But Mrs. Moriarty has orders for 50,000 caps this year and has had to turn in her knitting needles for knitting machinery. The setting for this high-altitude ski gear is Jackson Hole, Wyo., which will open next week as America's newest, biggest and toughest ski mountain.

Where to Get the Gear
R. J. Mfg. Co. makes the frostbite masks of bright leather and cotton. They are $3 and Moriarty caps $5 at Teton Village Sports, Jackson Hole, Wyo.; Deep Powder House, Alta, Utah. On the following page, all four down parkas are by Gerry Mountain Sports. From left to right: The red quilted parka worn by Gray Reynolds is called "the Gerry jacket" by western skiers; it is $55. Arlene Taylor's puffy blue nylon jacket is $40. The bulkiest parka of all, the Andean, is worn by both Margaret Cameron and Dennis Staley; it is the warmest parka in the Gerry catalog and costs $65. All are available by mail from Gerry, Box 910, Boulder, Colo., or at The Mountaineer, Salt Lake City, and Ski Haus, Cleveland. All the parkas on the fourth color page have smooth nylon shells with down inside. The blue parka worn by Gray Reynolds is $65 and the orange parka worn by Margaret Cameron is $55; both are by Alp Sport, Box 1081, Boulder, Colo., and are also at Sturtevant of Sun Valley, Idaho. The red parka worn by Dennis Staley is made by Comfy; it is $50 at Forbes & Wallace, Springfield, Mass. and Osborn & Ulland, Seattle.

Puffy, high-visibility parkas stand out against Teton sky

Insulated spectators survey the scene from Jackson Hole clock tower