Ski Mountaineering

Equipment List

A note about gear lists: Remember, nothing can ruin a day in the outdoors faster than having the wrong clothes for the weather at hand.  All our programs, especially backcountry skiing, are subject to rapid and severe changes in the weather.  Select garments that are warm, lightweight and durable.  Generally speaking, the best arrangement is to think in terms of layers – a system that dries quickly, allow flexibility and resists wind, water and abrasion. All of us have different tolerances for heat or cold; for example, you might choose warmer gloves than specified here if you tend to get cold hands. If you have doubts about a specific garment’s appropriateness confer with your guide in advance about conditions you are most likely to experience.  In many circumstances we have recommended specific products or brand names.  There are many comparable products out there: these are only personal favorites.  We are more than happy to advise you on equipment if you have questions.

For All Trips/Courses that involve overnight backcountry skiing:



Item Description Example
>Hat (warm) Wool or Synthetic Ski Hat Patagonia Beanie Hat
>Hat (sun) >Baseball Hat >NCMG Trucker hat
>Gloves (light) >For skinning and warmer weather >Black Diamond Arc Glove
>Gloves (warm) >For skiing and colder weather >Black Diamond Spark Glove
>Socks (ski) Wool or synthetic; boot-top height >Patagonia ultra lightweight snow socks
Jacket (softshell) Breathable and water resistant >Patagonia Reconnaissance Jacket
Jacket (insulation) Synthetic or down insulation Patagonia Nano-Air Hoody
Long Underwear Top (lightweight) Lightweight or silkweight synthetic or wool Patagonia Capilene or Merino
Fleece top (midweight) Midweight synthetic or wool Patagonia R1 Hoody
Pants (softshell) Breathable and water resistant Patagonia Kniferidge Pants
Long Underwear Bottoms (light) Lightweight or silkweight synthetic or wool. May not be necessary in the Spring Patagonia Capilene or Merino
Jacket (waterproof hardshell) Waterproof Breathable and light as this may live in the bottom of your pack Patagonia Alpine Houdini or M10 Jackets
Pants (waterproof hardshell) Waterproof Breathable with full or ¾ side zips. Light as this may live in the bottom of your pack  


Ski & Climbing Equipment

Item Description Example

Skis – Alpine touring or telemark. Generally >105mm waist width for midwinter conditions and 80-95mm waist width for spring conditions. Rockered construction is highly recommended.

Snowboard – For splitboards we recommend going a little longer and setting up your stance for riding deep snow.

Skis – Midwinter: DPS Wailer 112. Spring: DPS Cassier 95 Tour 1.


Ski Boots Appropriate boots for your set up. Boots should have a walk / ski mechanism


Dynafit TLT 6 / Dynafit Khion
Poles Skiers – Adjustable 2-piece poles or 3-piece poles


Snowboard – or 3-piece poles

Skiers – Black Diamond Traverse Poles

Black Diamond Expedition Ski Poles

Snowboard – Black Diamond Carbon Compactor

Climbing Skins Properly trimmed to fit your skis. Black Diamond Mohair Mix Skins
Ski Strap Rubber ski strap. Voile ski straps
Shovel Aluminum, NO plastic Backcountry Access B-2 EXT
Transceiver Less than 5 years old, digital 3 antenna Backcountry Access Tracker 3
Probe 240cm or longer Backcountry Access Stealth series probes
Ski Pack ~30-35 liter capacity with a separate storage area for avalanche rescue tools Backcountry Access Float 32 (airbag pack). Patagonia Snowdrifter (non-airbag)
Ice Axe Lightweight and short.  50 cm ideal but no longer than 60 cm. Black Diamond Venom
Harness With belay loop and gear loops. Black Diamond Ozone or Aura
Belay Device Belay and Rappel device. Black Diamond ATC Guide
2 Locking Carabiners Large pear-shaped carabiners are best. Black Diamond Magnetron Vaporlock
Non-locking Carabiners >Optional. Some people like to bring one or two non-locking carabiners for organization. Black Diamond OZ
Boot Crampons Must be compatible with your boots Black Diamond Serac Strap
Ski Crampons Make sure they fit before packing  


Camping/Miscellaneous Gear

Item Description Example
Headlamp Lightweight LED model Black Diamond Storm
Water Bottles and/or thermos At least 2 liters of fluid.  Collapsible containers are recommended because they take up less space in your pack MSR Dromlite 2 liter Bag
Sunglasses UVA & UVB protection. Dark lenses are required.  
Sun Protection Sunscreen and SPF lip balm Neutrogena Ultra Sheer 70
Blister Kit A small amount of moleskin and tape  
Coffee/Hot Drinks If you are addicted to caffeine, like most of our guides are, make sure you bring more than enough. Starbucks Via
Dinner and Breakfast Freeze Dried Dinners and Oatmeal are the standard alpine meals.  Cold pizza and Danishes can also work well.  Breakfast and dinner will be quick and efficient, so meals with only adding hot water are advised.  
Snack Food Bring a variety of food with plenty of calories for big days in the mountains.  1,500 to 2,000 calories per day in snack food works for most people.  
Bowl Collapsible Bowls are preferred because they take up less room in your pack and are easy to clean in the backcountry. Fozzils Bowlz
Spoon Lexan camping spoon  
Cup Optional. If you want to go light skip the cup and drink out of your bowl.  
Toiletries Toilet paper, a tiny tube of toothpaste, a toothbrush and possibly some earplugs are all you should need.  
Tent Single Wall or Double Wall. Tents can be shared with team members.  Contact your guide to coordinate Black Diamond Firstlight or Black Diamond Skylight
Sleeping Bag Typically 15 to 30 degree bag works for most climbs depending on weather and personal sleeping temperature. Down is much more compressible than synthetic. Mountain Hardwear Phantom 15 or Phantasia 15
Sleeping Pad Inflatable pads are typically more comfortable and packable.  Closed cell pads are more durable and less expensive. Thermarest NeoAir Xtherm
Stove Often this can be shared with your guide. MSR Windburner Stove or Jetboil Flash Stove
>Fuel For canister stoves budget a minimum of 1 oz. per person per day in warm conditions with running water.  Double that for colder conditions or for melting snow for drinking water.  
Camera Optional but recommended  
Garbage Bags (2) Used for lining sleeping bag stuff sack and pack for wet conditions.
Tip for Guides Optional Guides work hard to ensure you have a fun and safe day and a 10-15% tip is a great way to thank them