Backcountry skiing and riding may be all about going light, but that doesn’t mean it’s “gear-lite.” You’ll need a lot of specialized equipment to have a safe and successful day in the mountains. Here at Alpenglow, we field a ton of questions from people purchasing new backcountry gear and from people buying their first backcountry setup. If you’re in the market for something, our team has compiled a list of some of our favorites for men, women, splitboarders, and skiers. Here are the basics that you’ll need for a day out-of-bounds.
The Fischer Hannibal 106 is perfect for your one-ski-quiver. Light enough for big days in the mountains and wide enough for deep powder, the Hannibal 106 will take you farther than your legs can last.
Fischer Transalp touring boots for both men and women come in a variety of flexes and are a guides’ favorite. A wide range of motion in walk mode and a solid flex in ski mode make this boot the perfect option for every tour.
Dynafit has been making the TLT model bindings since the early 1990’s. Originally the TLT Speed, Dynafit’sTLT Speed Radical is the standard in Alpine touring bindings and has been perfected over nearly 30 years.
Spark R&D’s Arc and Surge bindings are a no-brainer. Easy to transition, lightweight, and quality downhill performance make them an obvious choice for the occasional backcountry rider and the experienced pro. Snowboard Boots: Most splitboarders use their same snowboard boots in the resort and in the backcountry. Stick with what you like!
Black Diamond’s Ascension series skins provide traction, durability and ease of use. Perfect for steep skin tracks and variable conditions, the Ascension series will take you and your splitboard or alpine touring skis anywhere.
Black Diamond’s Dawn Patrol 32 Pack is a mid-sized lightweight pack that accommodates either skis or a splitboard. 32L gives you enough space for a full day mission, but can also be strapped down and remains light and compact for a pre-work lap.
Beacon, Shovel and Probe
The most important thing with your beacon, shovel and probe is to practice with your equipment. Every piece of equipment operates a little differently, and a high level of familiarization with your equipment will make a difference if you ever need to use it.
Eddie Bauer Layers
A waterproof softshell and an insulating mid-layer are crucial. We like the MicroTherm Down Hooded Jacket // (women’s). It’s an ultralight insulating layer that is way less bulky than a down jacket but still packs in a lot of warmth. For quick weather protection on non-storm days, we love the BC Uplift Jacket // (women’s). It’s under 7oz and it packs down into its own small chest pocket when it’s stowed in our packs on the uphill.
Equipment is great (and important), but without skills and proper education, you endanger yourself, your partners, and other backcountry travelers. Be sure to get educated before traveling in the backcountry. Alpenglow’s AIARE 1 is the perfect place to start, but the learning doesn’t stop there! Continue on with Avalanche Rescue and AIARE 2.
These are the basics, for a more detailed and advanced list of gear, check out this post on “The Anatomy of a Guide’s Kit.”
For information on any of our other expeditions check out our website. For any questions call our office at 877-873-5376 or send us an email info@alpenglowexpeditions.