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Ski-mountaineering – equipment overview

If you like kit, and I do, ski-mountaineering provides an excellent excuse to buy lots of exciting stuff.  However in almost all cases, everything you buy will need to be carried on your back, so every piece of kit needs to have a purpose.  All else equal, weight is probably the biggest factor in how much you enjoy your ski-mountaineering, so make sure you really need everything you buy and pack.  Of course you can buy expensive lightweight kit, but the lightest solution is to not take unnecessary kit in the first place.

It goes without saying that just having the kit will not make you safe – you need to know how to use everything, and get lots of practice.  Parts of this site will give you some information but for total beginners, nothing beats going on a course or hiring a guide for a few days.  Ski-mountaineering is usually a safe sport, but the mountains aren’t to be underestimated and you need to have the right know-how to survive when conditions get bad.

Here is a picture of some kit I took on a recent trip – it is by no means a exhaustive selection but contains most of the main pieces of kit you might need (not including skis, which obviously aren’t in the picture).


Starting top left and working left to right:

1. Collapsible ski poles

2. Avalanche probe (in blue bag)

3. Lightweight ice-axe (orange handle)

4. Micro 4/3rds camera

5. Ski-crampons (red bag)

6. Snow shovel

7. Goggles (white bag) and sunglasses (black bag)

8. Avalanche transceiver

9. Hats

10. Thermos flask and water bottle

11. Sturdy gloves for rope work, and warm/waterproof gloves

12. Slings etc.

13. Waterproof/breathable shell jacket

14. Harness (grey webbing bag)

15. Length of rope for crevasse rescue

16. Ice screws, carabiners

17. Crampons (yellow bag)

18. Ski touring rope

19. Touring skins (red bag)

20. Lightweight tent

Middle row, starting on the left:

21. Roll mat (in dark green bag)

22. Hip flask (not strictly necessary!)

23. First aid kit (red)

24. Toiletries

25. Synthetic mid-layer insulation (blue jacket)

26. GPS (yellow) and compass (hidden)

27. Waterproof map case

28. Mid layer insulation, synthetic fill

29. Merino wool base layers and underwear

30. Climbing trousers

Bottom row, starting on the left:

31. Down jacket (compressed)

32. Kit bag (yellow)

33. Ski-mountaineering ruck sack with ski straps

34. Waterproof bag

36. Contact lenses and medicine

37. Silk sleeping bag liner

38. Waterproof stuff sack

39. Down sleeping bag (uncompressed)


Permanent link to this article: http://www.snowgenius.com/ski-mountaineering/ski-mountaineering-equipment-overview/

Ski-mountaineering – equipment in detail

See the “Equipment overview” page for a picture of the kit described below. Top row: Adjustable poles            –           there are loads of different types of pole out there – although they might all seem the same it is worth putting some time into choosing them as they are a key piece of equipment and a …

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