Hut to Hut Ski and Snowboard Mountaineering

The difference between ski touring and ski mountaineering in my book is that with the latter, we’ll be carrying a rope, for use on either glacial or steep terrain (or both!)

Snowboard kit in Italics

  • Skis any Freeride ski will do – doesn’t have to be a touring model
  • Snowboard
  • Touring bindings with brakes. Safety staps should be avoided if possible. BCA Alpine Trekkers are NOT suitable.
  • Harscheisen a.k.a. couteaux or ski crampons, must be compatible with binding
  • Skins cut to fit skis and well glued, preferably tail-fix type
  • SnowShoes MSR Denali or equivalent. Or a split board with skins and harscheisen.
  • Ski sticks usual length for you, preferably not adjustable. Powder baskets useful
  • AdjustableSki sticks Powder baskets useful
  • Ski boots ski mountaineering boots with vibram sole will be best. Try as many makes as possible to see which one fits your foot best. Try to avoid hiring boots as blisters often result. Downhill boots are NOT suitable.
  • Boarding Boots
  • Rucksack 35-50 litres, with side straps for carrying skis or rear straps for snowboard
  • Avalanche probe
  • Avalanche transceiver and spare batteries
  • Shovel folding or collapsible type
  • Crampons Need to be compatible with your boots.
  • Ice Axe A light weight 50cm axe is ideal e.g. a Grivel Air Tech or similar model. These are available for hire from Andy if required. Please contact Andy in advance.
  • Harness A light and simple model is best e.g. Troll Alpinist. Harnesses are available for hire from Andy if required. Please contact Andy in advance.
  • For crevasse rescue, I will be carrying a full set of kit. You will need 2 screwgate karabiners, one ordinary karabiner, a 120cm tape sling and 2 prusik loops.
  • Sunglasses high filtering lenses suitable for use on glaciers
  • Goggles
  • Suncream and lip-salve SPF 40 or higher
  • Water bottle 1 litre, wide necked type is easier to fill in huts. Hydration systems should be avoided as they often freeze. A half litre flask can be useful if it’s a cold season.
  • Head torch Petzl Tikka or Zipka is ideal. Bring new batteries and no spares
  • Blister kit ideally Compeed or second skin and zinc oxide tape to keep in place
  • Paracetamol or brufen for altitude headaches or other pains
  • Ski straps velcro, for holding skis together or making ‘A’ frame to carry skis on rucksack
  • Toiletries should be kept to a minimum, “Wet Ones” are a good idea, toothbrush, toilet paper (a few sheets), ear plugs.
  • Silk or cotton sleeping bag liner for comfort as only blankets are provided in huts, silk is lightest
  • Notebook and pencil (optional)
  • Snack food – fruit or crunchy bars are better than chocolate as a rule. Biscuits to take with afternoon tea are good too (see below).
  • Brew Kit – it’s cheaper to buy hot water in huts and then add your own tea bags, coffee, hot chocolate etc., than buy ready made drinks

Clothing:

  • Base layer preferably the wicking type e.g. Lowe Alpine Dryflo plus a spare
  • Mid Layer long-sleeved zip neck e.g. Lowe Alpine Powerstretch
  • Fleece Jacket e.g. Lowe Alpine Lunar jacket
  • Extra insulation A light duvet jacket or down vest could be useful if it’s a cold season.
  • Shell Jacket preferably Gore-tex or Triplepoint e.g. Lowe Alpine Ice Light
  • Thermal Legwear preferably the wicking type e.g. Lowe Alpine Dryflo
  • Trousers Lowe Alpine Powerstretch or ski pants
  • Shell trousers with side-zips preferably Gore-tex or Triplepoint
  • Socks ideally 1 thick pair and two spare pairs as a minimum
  • Ski gloves
  • Sun hat/ peaked cap a flap to cover ears and neck is very useful, white is coolest
  • Warm hat or balaclava