Which pollution mask for skiing this winter ?

Posted on , by Gregoire
skier with Frogmask pollution mask

After a blank season in 2021, ski resorts were finally able to reopen for the winter of 2022, with all skiers required to show a health pass or a negative test less than 24 hours old, and the wearing of masks in ski lifts, both indoor and outdoor, and in queues, was compulsory from age 11.
The authorized equipment was: surgical masks, category 1 fabric masks, some approved filtering neck protectors, FFP2 masks and pollution masks for skiing.

Skier with a covid mask

However, masks were not required when skiing. Skiers had then to juggle constantly at the bottom and top of each slope to put on and take off their masks after removing their gloves and helmets… not easy especially if the weather was bad!

Is Frogmask a good pollution mask for skiing ?

With the Frogmask it is possible to do without this gymnastics because it can be kept on the nose permanently!

Skier with a pollution mask for skiing

In addition to filtering airborn particles till 0,4µm  (yes, the mountain air in some valleys is not as pure as that), it will keep you warm and its waterproof material will protect you from water if it snows. Finally, its great breathability will not hinder you during your efforts.

Some ski resorts don’t have such clean air

While we hope that we will never again experience this kind of pandemic, the fact remains that the air in certain Alpine valleys and their attached ski resorts is not what you would expect in the mountains. The alert ratings are very often in the red.
Let’s take the example of the Arve Valley in Haute-Savoie. This valley is known to be one of the most polluted in France. With an average of 5,000 cars and 1,500 trucks passing through the Mont Blanc tunnel every day, nitrogen dioxide pollution is unavoidable. The phenomenon is amplified in this steep valley in the event of thermal inversion: an atmospheric phenomenon in which a layer of warm air covers a layer of cold air, creating a “lid” that prevents the dispersion of pollutants in the atmosphere (the pollutants are then trapped on the ground as if they were “under a bell”).

It is therefore not surprising that some schools forbid their pupils to participate in outdoor activities when pollution levels are highest. What about the skiers who frequent the surrounding resorts of Chamonix, Saint-Gervais, Vallorcine, Les Houches or Combloux? The subject remains taboo.
It’s the same story in the resorts overlooking the Maurienne valley, which provides access to the Fréjus tunnel, or Grenoble. The city is located in a basin surrounded by mountains where the polluted air is trapped. Pollution is very often stronger there than in Paris!

Grenoble under pollution cloud
Grenoble under pollution