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What Ski Guides Carry

This is the gear Arc'teryx athlete and ACMG assistant ski guide, Christina Lustenberger, trusts for long days of ski guiding in the hills. Photos by Bruno Long.

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Canadian badass Christina Lustenberger grew up ski racing but retired at age 24 to see what else the mountains had to offer. She switched her focus to backcountry skiing and is now an Arc’teryx athlete and ACMG assistant ski guide in British Columbia. This is the gear she trusts for long days of ski guiding in the hills.

1. SKIS: VÖLKL BMT 109

“Weapon of choice for sure! Super light but it doesn’t give up anything on the performance. It’s not a wiggle-touring ski; it’s a solid powder/ski-mountaineering ski.”

2. BINDINGS: MARKER KINGPIN 

“I love the way this binding skis. Talk about adding confidence to my kit! It skis like an alpine binding but walks like the best of the touring bindings. The bit of added weight is no big deal.”

3. BOOTS: DYNAFIT TLT6

“Walking and climbing performance is something I look for in a boot. This boot is great because I can stiffen it up with the tongue when it’s time to ski.”

4. POLES: VÖLKL STICKS CARBON LIGHT POLE

“I take the straps off because I’m constantly probing with my pole, cutting hand shears to assess the conditions as I go.”

5.OUTERWEAR: ARC’TERYX SENTINAL FULL BIB PANT + FISSION SL JACKET

“Outerwear is crucial because it keeps you warm and dry. Gore-Tex is a must.”

6. MIDLAYERS: ALPHA COMP HOODY + CERIUM SL JACKET
“I insulate with down or synthetic, depending on the conditions. The Comp Hoody is possibly the best track jacket for most B.C. winter days. The Cerium SL is always in my pack. So light and warm.”

7. HELMET: MARKER CLARK

“It doesn’t have pads or earmuffs, which lightens it up. I wear a toque under it. I have started taking my helmet in the backcountry because they’ve gotten so light, and it’s important to protect my head.”

8.GLOVES: ARC’TERYX VENTA

“I wear this lightweight windproof, breathable fleece glove while hiking and skinning.”

9. GLOVES RUSH

“Plenty warm, and still extremely packable.”

10. BEACON: BARRYVOX PULSE

“This is such a great tool. It’s user-friendly but also has a lot of advanced tools and functions.”

11. PACK: ARC’TERYX KHAMSKI 31L

“It’s smaller than the original Khamski—perfect for big ski-mountaineering missions. One specific feature I look for in all packs is an easily accessible pocket designed to hold your shovel, probe, saw, and snow kit.”

12. PLASTIC SKI STRAPS (x4)

“One time my friend broke the toepiece of her Dynafit binding at the top of our objective. We strapped her boot back onto the ski with four straps and she was good to go. It saved the day!”

13. GLACIER KIT

“My glacier kit changes depending on the time of year, terrain, and local knowledge of the area. Generally speaking, I need to be able to rope up in glacier-travel mode, build anchors in the snow and ice, secure someone, raise and lower, and rappel. It includes a harness, an aluminum ice screw, three locking and three nonlocking carabiners, a Petzl Micro Traxion, a sling, six-millimeter Prusik cord, an ice ax, and a 40-meter glacier rope.”

14. TARP

“It’s always good to have an emergency shelter in the backcountry. It can also be used as an improvised toboggan.”