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Alpinist High Traction Climbing Skins
G3’s new High Traction skins are great for two things: frozen or wind-scoured conditions (read: more avy-safe) and those aggro-steep skin tracks Wasatch tourers have a nasty habit of setting. The extra grip comes at the cost of some glide, but they provide the most direct way to climb a mountain short of bootpacking.
Super Light Mitt
Ideal for those ultrafrigid days or winter camping, the Super Light mitt swaddles your digits in toastiness. Even with 284 grams of PrimaLoft Kodenshi insulation, it packs extremely well, and it has a sturdy, reinforced palm for grasping a ski pole. We also dig the convenient elastic wrist straps and the ridiculously soft lining.
Like two packs in one, the Haines can
expand from 35 liters to 45 liters. It’s perfect for hut trips, when you need space for extra whiskey on the way in but not while skiing. With its top and side access, your stuff is always easy to reach, and a separate avy-gear pocket keeps safety equipment readily at hand. One downside: The vertical ski carry is a bit awkward.
Most avalanche-beacon technologies—three-antenna search, multiple-burial marking function, etc.—help when you’re not the one buried. The 3+ has them. However, in the horrible event you’re in a slide, Ortovox’s Smart-Antenna-Technology detects your position and switches between two separate transmitting antennas to maximize range. We’ve seen the technology at work. Your partners will find you faster.
Designed to provide a measure of protection from rockfall and ragdoll wipeouts, the Couloir is purpose-built for climbing and skiing more-technical routes. It meets European safety standards for both mountaineering and skiing. The ear pads and inner lining can be removed for warmer days, and it’s designed to accommodate a headlamp.
Stealth 270 Probe
The Stealth 270 deploys easily with BCA’s plungerlike Quick-lock system. It’s built from light but durable aluminum and has laser-etched depth markings for more-accurate measurements for both rescue scenarios and snow-pit analysis
B-1 Ext Shovel
Built from high-grade aircraft aluminum, the B-1 Ext is one of BCA’s smallest and lightest shovels, but it still packs plenty of punch when you’re digging through set-up snow. The extendable shaft gives the shovel more leverage, and the modified T-style handle is
Exploration step one: Equip yourself with reliable equipment. A beacon, probe, and shovel are essential, while the rest of this gear will make life much easier—and safer. Step two (here’s the important part): Educate yourself. Ski with partners you trust, and make levelheaded decisions. The backcountry requires some prep work.