Gear for the Steeps

The essential items for skiing steep terrain, from a self-arresting tool to a helmet to a ski-tuning kit.
Steeps Gear

 1. Nutcase Tattoo Olive Helmet
Head protection is essential for steep skiing. This one, made by a former Nike designer, defends your melon from impacts and has 11 vents to keep you from overheating. [$85;]

 2. Black Diamond Whippet Self-Arrest Pole
Swap out one of your regular poles for this combination ice ax and ski pole. Use it to claw your way onto the icy entry of a slope or self-arrest if you fall. Just be careful not to stab yourself in the process. [$100;]

 3. Dakine Deluxe Tune kit
Sharp edges will help give you grip on steeps. Take your skis to a shop, or tune them yourself with the Deluxe Tune kit, which comes with a file, pocket stone, wax, scraper, brush, P-tex, and a handy booklet to show you how to use it all. [$45;]

 4. Rossignol Harness Pant
Wearing a harness is a required hassle when skiing in high-alpine environments that may involve crevasse rescue, roped traverses, or rappels. We like Rossignol’s Harness Pant, which integrates a mountaineering harness into the waist area. [$300;]

 5. Line Mothership
At 111 millimeters underfoot, the Mothership is Line’s flagship big-mountain ski—perfect for Alaskan-style steeps. Our testers liked its tenacious edge bite and floaty width. [$925;]

 6. Swany Bad Boy Glove
This waterproof leather glove has molded knuckles and a layer of insulation to protect your hands if you drag them on steeps. And the cuff cinches tight to keep out snow. [$125;]


Favorite Skis 2010

12 Cheap Skis

We asked manufacturers to make the case for their best low-cost, high-performance models. As you read, keep in mind that the prices listed are suggested retail prices. Shop around and you’ll likely find these skis for a couple hundred bucks less than what’s listed.

K2 Sidestash (2011)

Your Favorite Skis of the Year

Different skis are good for different people, but every year there are always a few pairs that everyone seems to be obsessed with. Here are the most popular skis of the season, the one's you've been searching on our site, googling, stalking on Steep and Cheap, and raving about. And, to stoke the fires, the one ski coming out next year that's already creating major buzz.