Can’t wait to ski this season? Us too! In order to hit the backcountry when the first flakes fall, now is the time to get your gear ready. Following is a list of items our guides carry in their packs on an average day of ski touring.
1. BCA Float 27 Tech Backpack – carries great, has FLOAT protection, and holds all of the items in this photo (plus water, food, and clothing).
2. Repair Kit – includes glide wax, skin wax, multi-tool with pliers and scissors, extra batteries, lighter, ski pole basket, skin tail clip & tip loop, zip ties, binding screws, binding screwdriver, 30’ of 7mm nylon cord to assemble a rescue sled, and 25’ of 3mm nylon cord for isolating large columns and cutting cornices.
3. BCA B-1 EXT Shovel – light, strong and packs small.
4. Goggles – with light lenses for low visibility conditions.
5. Field Notebook & Map – the field notebook contains a written trip plan for the day and the map is used for navigation in the field.
6. Extra Gloves – One pair of warm gloves for the downhill and one light, dextrous pair for skinning and climbing.
7. BCA Tracker 2 Beacon – easy to use, three antennas for accurate pinpointing, and a super fast processor for quick searches.
8. BCA Stealth Carbon 260 Probe – incredibly light, very rigid, has centimeter marking for snow profile work, and the Stealth assembly is easy and fast.
9. Snow Saw – used for isolating columns in snowpack tests.
10. K2 Skins – good grip for climbing and smooth glide for flats.
11. iPhone/Android Phone – with the following very useful apps: TopoMaps or Gaia GPS (overlays your GPS position on a USGS topo map), BCA app w/slope angle tool, CAIC app (for avalanche bulletins), and MyRadar Pro.
12. Alpine Threadworks Rescue Sled/EmergencyTarp – can be used to haul an injured person to the road and also doubles as an emergency shelter.
13. InReach Satellite Device – used to send text messages via satellite. Reliable communication from anywhere in the world.
14. Rubberized Ski Straps – used to strap skis on a pack, attach a splint, improvise a broken ski boot buckle, etc.
15. Headlamp – a small, lightweight LED version for pre-dawn starts or late exits.
16. First Aid Kit – with materials to manage minor trauma or minor medical issues.
17. Sunscreen & Lip Balm – sunscreen is carried in a small 1 ounce bottle to save space and weight.
18. Chemical Toe Warmers – can be a lifesaver when doing full snow profiles in cold, stormy weather.
19. Warm Hat & Buff Headband – covers all the bases for a warm head and neck.
20. Altimeter Watch – used for navigation in the field (along with the map, compass, and GPS).
21. Sunglasses – dark lenses for bright conditions.
22. Crystal Card & Loupe – used to identify snow grains.
23. Baseball Cap – for head and face protection on sunny days or when breaking trail on snowy days.
24. Compass – handheld compass for field navigation.
For trips that venture further from the road, we often carry a VHF/UHF handheld radio, an insulated pad, a more robust repair kit, a lightweight battery backup for the phone, and in some cases a very lightweight stove. Have fun out there and happy packing!
AMGA Certified Ski Guide
Peak Mountain Guides