Ski or Board Hut to Hut Touring

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One major factor which will add to your enjoyment of ski touring is a light pack. If you can keep the kit to a minimum and ensure that everything you have is light, then the uphill will be easier and you’ll have more energy left for the downhill.

See my recommendations below
Snowboard kit in italics

  • Skis any Freeride ski will do – doesn’t have to be a touring model
  • Snowboard
  • Touring bindings with brakes. Safety straps 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
  • Snow Shoes 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
  • 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. I carry a toothbrush, some tissues and 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 long sleeve, preferably the wicking type
  • Base layer short sleeve for evenings in huts
  • Mid Layer long-sleeved zip neck
  • Fleece Jacket
  • Extra insulation A light duvet jacket or down vest could be useful if it’s a cold season.
  • Shell Jacket preferably Gore-tex
  • Underwear and a spare set
  • Thermal Legwear preferably the wicking type
  • Mid Legwear
  • Shell trousers with side-zips preferably Gore-tex
  • Socks ideally 1 thick pair and at least one  spare pair 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

A note on Overnight Kit

In general, huts provide slippers so you will not need any extra footwear
Most high mountain huts do not have showers, and many do not have running water in the touring season. However,many Austrian huts do have showers and so you can add a pack towel and a small bar of soap