The difference between ski touring and ski mountaineering in my book is that with ski mountaineering, we’ll be carrying a rope, for use on either glacial or steep terrain (or both!)
If you’re snowboarding then you’ll need some telescopic poles plus either a split board or some snowshoes instead of skis. But you knew that, didn’t you?
I’m a big fan of check lists – check out The Check List Manifesto by Atul Gawande.
This page functions as an online checklist by checking off the tick button for each item.
Alternatively, access a print version by hitting the button to the right.
This will hide all the images and supplementary info and you can then print it off as a hard copy.
If you need to rent kit while skiing with me in Chamonix, I can strongly recommend the Concept Pro Shop.
I have worked with Nico, Louisa, David and Mathieu for many years.
They are helpful and professional with a wide range of modern kit
|Skiing Kit||Things to slide with. Things to stop you sliding too much||For more info on my 2020 ski touring kit selection, click here|
|Boots||Ski touring boots.Try to avoid hiring boots as blisters often result.||Try as many makes as possible to see which one fits your foot best. Downhill boots are NOT suitable. I use Tecnica Zero G Pro boots fitted by the Concept Pro Shop|
|Skis and bindings||Your preferred ski with a touring binding||I ski tour on Fischer Ranger 107's. They're not for everyone, being wide and stiff.
I use Marker Alpinist bindings
|Poles||preferably fixed length. Powder baskets useful||Adjustable/telescopic poles often break or malfunction. I've been testing Zeek carbon fibre ski poles for the last 2 seasons. These British made poles have made a significant improvement to my ski performance as well as saving weight|
|Skins||cut to fit skis and well glued, preferably tail-fix type||I use Pomoca Climb Pro S-Glides|
|Couteaux||a.k.a. harscheisen or ski crampons, compatible with binding|
|Transceiver||preferably a digital triple antenna model||I use a Mammut Pulse, but strongly recommend the Element. The Mammut Barryvox is getting very good reviews as well.|
|Shovel||with a telescopic handle and a metal blade||I use either a K2 Shaxe or a Voilé Telepro|
|Probe||2.4m minimum length||I use a Black Diamond QuickDraw 240|
|Pack||35-50 litres, with straps for carrying skis||The size of your pack is going to be determined by the size of your kit. Please bear in mind that you will be asked to carry some group kit such as repair kits, a group shelter, a rope or a spare layer. This will probably take another 2 or 3 liters so you will need to have some margin. On hot days you'll also need space for your warm clothing in the pack. I prefer packs with a zip off back to access stuff that's low down quickly and easily. I also like packs that carry skis diagonally across the back rather than A framing. I have had a connection with Lowe Alpine for many years and was asked for design specifications for a ski touring pack. The resulting product is the Descent 35 which I use for much of my ski touring work.
Should an airbag pack be necessary, I use a modular ABS system
|Helmet (optional)||The decision to wear a helmet is a personal one||Helmets are becoming more and more popular. I personally don't use one for skiing, but equally you are very welcome to wear one if you so wish.|
|Ice Axe||A light weight 50cm axe is ideal||I use a Grivel Air Tech with a steel pick and adze.|
|Crampons||compatible with and adjusted to your boots||I use Petzl Leopards for most snow work. If I expect to encounter Ice then somthing steel such as a Grivel Haute Route would be more appropriate|
|Harness||A light and simple model is best||I use a Blue Ice Choucas, which looks disturbingly like something from Anne Summers - apparently
|2 Screwgate krabs||preferably wide bodied HMS type||I use Petzl 3D Attaches|
|Sling||240cm in circumference, 120cm in length|
|Ice screw||17cm length||I use Petzl Laser Speed Lights|
|2 Wire gate krabs||To carry your screw and prusiks||I use DMM Phantoms|
|Prusik loops||Or Micro Traxion and Tibloc||These will need to be matched to the rope size. I use 4mm cord for ski touring. Alternatively make it simple and use a Petzl Micro Traxion and Tibloc.|
|Clothes||We all have different systems. This one works for me|
|Shreddies||That's underpants in northern England|
|Socks||Good quality socks are essential.||I use Lenz heated socks. I must be getting soft|
|Thermals||Depending on temperatures, you may need 1, 2 or 3 leg layers|
|Powerstretch pants||The second layer of leg insulation|
|Shell pants||For ski touring, a good shell pant with side zips for uphill effort||I use Patagonia Untracked Goretex pants. I'm on my secnd pair and the Patagonia repair policy has done me proud several times on both pairs.|
|Thermal Top||A long sleeved crew necked or short zip top|
|Mid layer top||A long sleeved top with a full length zip|
|Insulation layer||A light weight synthetic or down jacket||I use the Arc'teryx Atom. Light and warm|
|Shell top||A good quality waterproof, windproof and breathable shell jacket||I use the Arc'teryx FL|
|Beanie||Woolly hat. Long enough to cover your ears as well|
|Sunhat||Baseball cap if you want to look continenta, a cricket hat for Brits|
|Sunglasses||Category 3 lenses at least. Additional low light lenses useful||I use Cébé S'Tracks with interchangeable lenses|
|Goggles||Low light screen useful|
|Light Gloves||Gloves to skin up with and/or ski down when it's warm||I use leather gloves from Simond for 99% of my days on skis|
|Warm Gloves||For when it's chilly. Mittens if you must, but not recommended||I have a pair of ski gloves that stay in my pack most of the time|
|Suncream||SPF 30-50. Just enough to last the trip. Share with your mates?|
|Lip salve||Don't share this with anyone unless you're prepared to kiss them|
|Blister kit||Compeed and Zinc Oxide tape|
|Watch||So you can get up for breakfast at the right time.||I use a Suunto with an integrated GPS|
|Sandwich bag||Unlikely we'll be doing long lunches on days in the hills|
|Lunch||Something to go in that bag||Often we will be getting to the hut in early afternoon but you'll still need something to keep you going. At most huts you can buy a late lunch but I like to carry a sandwich as well as snack bars|
|Snack bars||Chocolate, nuts, energy gels ? Keep some in your pockets|
|Water bottle/flask||"How much water do I need?". If I had a £ for every time...||I use an insulated 1 liter Nalgene bottle|
|Wallet||You'll need money for huts and wine at the very least|
|Lift Pass||If you've got a pass for the area we're in, bring it along|
|Mobile Phone||Switched off and at least 40cm away from your transceiver||Make sure you know the emergency number for the area. Ask me if you don't|
|Silk liner||Mandatory in nearly all mountain huts for hygiene reasons|
|Ear plugs||In case there are snorers in the dorm|
|Headtorch||To get to the toilet at night. Fresh batteries or fully charged||I use a Petzl Tikka RXP as it has reactive lighting and a red bulb option as well
|Headphones||If you like your music. But only at night please|
|Phone charger||Share with your mates?|
|Spare pants||It shouldn't be too frightening, but you never know 😉|
|Spare top||Nice to change into for the evening|
|Spare socks||Give your feet an essential evening treat|
|Brew Kit||Builder's tea, coffee, left wing tea. Whatever you fancy|
|Pack towel (optional)||Some huts have showers these days.|
|Toothbrush||Cut the handle off to save a few grams|
|Toothpaste||A small sample tube is best|