Monday, February 1, 2016

Backcountry Skiing Gear List, 2015-2016 Season.

Ski season is well under way, and by this time in the season, I've kinda got my systems down.  I wrote up a similar list for winter alpine climbing.  And one for Ski Mountaineering.
Yours truly. Table Mountain. West Tetons. January 2016

Here and now we're talking about your typical day out.  6-8 hours at most, a group of 2-7 people, hunting down good snow and good terrain with minimal "faffing" around.  Don't think too much about it; this is standard skiing.  See the other posts noting what I carry for more "specialized" missions.  

Clothes:
  • Darn Tough ski socks
  • Maybe, just maybe, long underwear
  • Arc Teryx Sawatch pants (or Arc Teryx Hardshell Bibs for super stormy days)
  • CAMP Magic pants (in the pack).
  • Synthetic boxers
  • Synthetic/wool t-shirt
  • Patagonia R1 Hoody
  • Camp Magic Jacket
  • Camp Neutron Jacket
  • Arc Teryx Macai Jacket
  • Camp Geko Warm gloves
  • Camp Hot Mittens
  • Warm stylie wool hat
  • Buff
  • Sun hat
  • Smith Vantage helmet (sometimes…)
  • Sunglasses.  Native Hardtop, Julbo Explorer, or Kaenon Burnet, depending.  Maybe, just maybe, goggles. Of the 60-80 days a year I ski in the backcountry, I probably carry goggles 10 times on average.  And use them for one run before I remember how annoying it is.  
Ski Gear:
  • Dynafit TLT6 boots
  • Dynastar Cham 107 HM Skis
  • G3 Alpinist skins
  • Dynafit Speed Turn bindings
  • Black Diamond Fixed Carbon poles (mounted with a sweet Pole Clinometer)
Safety Gear, etc.  Some of this is individual and needed by each group member. Other gear can be shared by the group.  Divided well, even this comprehensive list of emergency group gear will go barely noticed in the pack:

Individual:
Some gear failure is repairable.  Some is not.  
  • Backcountry Access Float 32 Pack
  • BCA shovel
  • BCA Carbon Probe
  • Backcountry Access Tracker 3 Transceiver
  • Food.  4 bars and a salad or sandwich.
  • A liter of water or two. 
  • Headlamp
  • TP, sunscreen, lighter, hand sanitizer
Group: 
  • First Aid/Emergency kit.  
  • Ski repair kit.  (it should be around a pound for groups.  Less is probably inadequate.  More is silly.  Let me know if you want more detail on what I carry)
  • Brooks Range Ultralight Guide Tarp 
  • Brooks Range Eskimo Sled
  • 30m of thin sled dragging rope
  • 2 locking carabiners
  • Navigation kit:  GPS, maps, compass, clinometer, altimeter.  Often the iPhone versions are enough.  Sometimes bringing the dedicated tools is justified.
  • Snow Study:  Saw, crystal card, magnifier, ruler, documentation.  Be equipped and trained to make sound decisions for yourself and large column tests for the avalanche center.
  • Extra clothes:  An extra puffy jacket and pair of over mitts are regularly appreciated.  Especially in a large group.  
  • Iridium Extreme Sat Phone.

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