Skip to main content
Original Issue


Alaska: Icy winds howl across the frozen landscape; snow falls but never melts; sub-zero temperatures threaten frostbite—or worse. With such a chilling prospect, it is not surprising that the skiers pictured here in the Don Sheldon Amphitheater on vast Ruth Glacier near Mount McKinley National Park—some of them flown in by bush pilots—have brought with them the latest and warmest in puffy down- and fiber-filled parkas and vests. Beneath the jagged peaks and sheer walls of the Alaska Range, these hardy travelers brave arctic weather in tough nylon and cotton-poplin sportswear, some of which reverses to wool plaid, synthetic fur and even glove leather for après-ski conditions. This versatility is a logical adjunct to one of the hottest trends in sports fashion: skiwear is now also streetwear. From Fairbanks to Fort Worth, people are discovering that what keeps a skier toasty on Alaskan slopes takes the meanness out of frosty weather on city streets as well.

At Alyeska, Paul Derflinger couldn't ax for better than Colmar's sweater ($37) and poplin ski suit ($248), and carol Alt keeps warm with a little help from a furry friend and a poplin jacket by Comstock that reverses to glove leather ($450).

Paul and Mark Moderow (above) survey the slopes at Alyeska Resort. Both wear Demetre's racing sweaters with Lycra inserts ($150).

Former U.S. Ski Team member Viki Fleckenstein (top, right), clad in nylon pullover ($90) and pants by Roffe ($120), takes a gate at Alyeska.

Ski mountaineers Mark and Debbie Moderow (far right) return from a trip up and down Mount Dickey. Debbie's suit is by Beconta ($56).

Viki (right) checks her gear before exploring Portage Glacier. Her lamb shearling vest from Comstock ($175) has bone buttons.

After a flight to Ruth Glacier, Paul (left) sets out for a day of skiing in a Shantrece-nylon parka ($140) and bib pants ($110) from Serac.

On dog days Carol wears a parka trimmed with blue fox ($295) and vest with imitation fox ($190), both by Head, to drive Samoyeds through the snow.

In Bogner skiwear that is suited for slopes or streets, Carol (top) thinks warm thoughts in a reversible wool plaid jacket and quilted vest with hood ($440).

Carol's parka ($325) from Bogner (above) is water-repellent and insulated, and comes with a reversible vest that shows a fake-fur side.

Trekking across the tundra (top, right) are Viki, in a poplin jumpsuit from HCC ($425), and Paul, in Levi's Activewear vest with hood (about $70).

Carol bags some Alaska rays in a water-resistant leather jacket from Comstock ($300) and stretch corduroy pants by Lescan ($115).