Heli skiing and goggles

Lens Technology has improved over the years from photo chromic lens to interchangeable lens and even a GPS system. It still comes down to being ready for all weather conditions and a good fit. Shedding Light On the Basics – Which Goggles Are Right For Your heliski holiday?

There are a few things to consider when purchasing a pair of heliskiing goggles.

Lens Color

One of the most challenging tests of visual discrimination is to identify a white object resting on a white background. Skiers and snowboarders consistently face a variation of this task, discerning subtle terrain changes within a fast-moving, snow-covered landscape. Goggles can provide a great advantage in this effort, because they come in a variety of tints that increase contrast and improve both visibility and depth perception under different lighting conditions. Each tint is suited to a particular type of lighting, for example

  • Orange is considered to be the best all-around lens color for moderate to sunny conditions
  • Amber and gold are great choices for low-to moderate-light conditions
  • Rose and light-yellow lenses are well suited for overcast conditions and grey days
  • Brown and grey are ideal for bluebird days
Last Frontier Photo By Randy Lincks

Ultraviolet Light (UV) Protection

Even on cloudy days, ultraviolet, or UV, light can harm your eyes, especially at high altitudes where the intensity of these rays is increased. Overexposure to UV rays can cause serious near-term problems, such as photokeratitis – a painful and dangerous condition that’s commonly known as snow blindness – or it can sow the seeds for eye diseases that will affect you in the long-term, including cataracts.

Skiers and riders are especially at risk, because the wide expanse of snow that blankets the slopes provides the perfect reflecting board for UV rays to do some serious damage. In fact, it’s estimated that snow and ice reflect as much as 80% of UV radiation, so it’s vital to choose ski goggles that block out 100% of these harmful rays and to wear your goggles even when it’s overcast.

Last Frontier Photo By Dave Silver

Always check to see if the lenses are tapered. Progressively tapered lenses “straighten” out the light rays that refract (change direction) when they pass through the lens. Without this images may appear distorted, ultimately inducing eye fatigue.

To reduce the chance of fogging, manufacturers have come up with several features, some unique to particular companies. Different types of ventilation systems are employed, from common vents on the brow of the lens, ones that the wearer can manually regulate and even miniature, micro electronic, built in fans.