MOST mountain clothing labels make an instant statement about their wearer. Burton: “I’m a boarder”; Spyder: “I’m a skier”; Billabong: “I’m more of a surfer”. Wearing Haglofs just says “I know my stuff”. This Swedish brand is one of my favourites and in Northern Europe the mountain-hardened locals won’t be seen in anything else. Built from Gore-Tex soft shell fabric, the Couloir is 100 % waterproof, and, due to its fleece backer, warmer than most Gore-Tex shells on the market. It has two hand-warmer pockets and a useful chest pocket to hide essentials, and the big helmet- compatible hood will shield you from Siberia’s winds. It has big cuffs to fit over gloves and mittens and an internal snow skirt that clips onto your pants, so you’ll leave the powder in the bowls where it belongs instead of taking it home in your pants. Available from Niseko 343 Call: 0136 23 0343. ¥73,500. Quality costs.