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An Ingenious Winter Gift : Your Piste Map on a Lens Cloth

Featured in: | Alison Shayler, Alpe d'Huez Reporter | Published
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Here's an innovative, highly functional gift for skiers and snowboarders: fledgling company, Wipeout, have printed piste maps - for this winter's most popular European ski destinations - onto high quality microfiber lens cloths. Put simply, a Wipeout cleans your goggles and is an everlasting piste map.

Compared to normal paper maps, it doesn't disintegrate in the elements and it can be opened with your ski gloves on. You don't need to refold it – just shove it in your pocket, ready for action to help you see and know where you are going next!

Launched last winter in 10 resorts, most of the local ski shops were selling out of Wipeouts, from Chamonix & Courcheval to Verbier and Les Arcs. This winter, Wipeout have created microfiber piste maps for over 35 resorts, with Serre Chevalier, St Anton, Flims, Laax, Megeve and Davos joining the craze!

The size of the Wipeout allows for a genuinely usable piste map and the microfiber cloth is a high quality lens cleaner for sunglasses and goggles. The Wipeout continues to be an excellent cleaning cloth for any shiny surface – anywhere!

To get hold of a Wipeout piste-map lens cloth for your preferred ski resort, visit the Wipeout website. Wipeouts retail at £7.95 and last indefinitely!

Product developer and ski industry expert, Julie Slaughter, explains the background to such a simple, multi-functional ski accessory: “While it seems like a new idea, maps have been printed onto fabric since WWII, when parachute regiments put their escape route maps onto silk, so if caught by the enemy it was unlikely they would find their map... Not that piste maps need to be secret (although some powder bowls should be). Once presented with the idea of piste maps on fabric, it seemed so obvious! In a harsh ski and snowboarding environment of snow, wind and water, a paper map is not really destined to survive... but fabric is.”

To make it even more practical, the product was developed onto high quality optical lens cloth, to double up as a goggle and sunglass cleaner. Julie Slaughter spent the summer of 2009 with hundreds of samples, doing the washing up with them to test absorbency, smearing the mirror with suncream and wiping it off, until she found the best microfiber fabric for the job. The ink is printed into the fibres of the cloth so the surface remains very smooth – so you don't risk scratching even the most expensive of glasses.

The Wipeout even reduces environmental damage by replacing the mass-produced, disposable paper piste-map that traditionally uses up valuable resources and can litter the environment. The Wipeout's durability and usefulness ensures that it is retained for use again and again!