The essential items are ski jackets and salopettes. These can be pricy, so if itís your first trip, I recommend borrowing some from friends, or heading to Geartrade ( http://www.geartrade.com/
), where you can get some cheap skiwear. Once youíre sure you like skiing/snowboarding and want to go again, then itís worth forking out on some good gear. This year I had a new Columbia down jacket, and it was so warm Ė I could really feel the difference.