The two-buckle Ghost is the boot that Salomon’s big mountain athletes, like Cody Townsend, ski. It’s stiff and burly, but it’s also designed with a shock-absorbing footbed and shin guard, so it won’t chew up his feet when he’s stomping cliffs.
Even if he just uses it for cutting salami, a knife is a must have. The Gerber Octane comes with a blade, pliers, and screwdrivers and only weighs five ounces.
This snow safety classic, written by Bruce Tremper, the director of the Utah Avalanche Center, is easy to read and packed with information. It’s been a go-to for avalanche professionals since it came out, and it’s still the standard.
Skiing in deep snow usually equals snow down the pants or up the jacket. One pieces remedy that, but they usually come two models: what you dad wore in the 80s, or full-on skittly ridiculousness. The Kästle One Suit is non-dorky, breathable and waterproof, and comes with built in kidney protection. We’d recommend buying it in xxl, regardless of how big he is.
The Eclipse hoody is a baselayer that’s good looking enough to wear off the hill. And, since it’s all merino wool, it won’t stink that bad after he’s been hiking all day.
When Osprey designed their newest snow-specific pack they thought carefully about what it is skiers need to carry around. The Kode has specific pockets for avalanche gear, multiple ski carry methods, and room for plenty of layers.
Suunto is putting out a special edition of their Core altimeter watch in honor of Apa Sherpa, who has climbed Everest a world record of 20 times. If it’s tough enough for Everest it’ll probably do just fine anywhere from East Vail to Mt. Shasta.