Outfitter: Backcountry, Lock Down-Accessories



A trip into the backcountry on AT gear requires a few other essentials. Adjustable poles are handy; make them longer for uphill hiking, shorter for the descents. Noteworthy models include the Black Diamond Carbon Fiber FlickLock ($125) with its user-friendly, nonslip adjustment mechanism, and the Life-Link Variant Composite ($140), which uses an oval-shaped locking system and converts into an avalanche probe. Climbing skins that attach to the bottoms of your skis-for friction on the uphills-are essential. Life-Link makes skins out of a mix of mohair and synthetic fibers ($84-$154, depending on width). Black Diamond now distributes tried-and-true Ascension nylon and mohair skins ($76-$144); the wider models come with a trim kit for shaped skis. And last but absolutely not least, never leave the ski area boundary without an avalanche transceiver. There are several good models available; what really matters is not which beacon you choose but that you and your touring companions all have one and are very familiar with how to use them.

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