The best advice is to stay on top. That means avoiding high-avalanche danger and possibly using an airbag pack. But you also need to carry rescue gear to dig someone out if plan A falls through. Beacons locate, probes pinpoint, and shovels dig.
These aluminum cartridges store the life-blood of the Mammut Airbag system: simple compressed air. The cartridges can be purchased with or without a charge, noting there are transport restrictions on a charged unit (no air travel). Either one can be refilled using a compressed air source such as a SCUBA or paintball tank. To recharge a unit, you’ll need a tank, adapter, and a refil..
In the unfortunate situation that you reach for your ARVA Reactor trigger handle, you’re going to want a canister attached to the other end. These high-strength canisters are built to withstand the pressure necessary to inflate your airbag and durable enough to tolerate the rough handling brought on by mountain travel. The canisters are available in two versions:
Steel Air cy..
Lighter means faster, right? In a skimo world where weight is the new measure of worth, the Arva Evo5 Beacon is worth its weight in spandex. One of the lightest and most compact beacons to come from the French wizards over at Arva, the Evo5 is a fully functional 3 antenna beacon with a range of 50m, and it fits in the palm of your hand (unless you have really, really small hands). ..
The Micro Beacon is the smallest and lightest way to get past gear check at a skimo race. For the 2016/17 season and beyond, the ISMF is requiring three antennas in all avalanche transceivers. This is good news because folks may no longer make a big safety compromise when racing. Although somewhat limited in range, the Pieps Micro beacon is full-featured enough for use in the backc..
The ARVA Neo beacon has been the Gold Standard for us at Skimo Co. In our independent testing, it performed the best in terms of range and accuracy when it was introduced. ARVA designers could have easily rested on their laurels as the Neo is still a top performer. However, when the lives of real people are at stake, the French are not satisfied with “good enough.”
The perfect gift for your ski partner, the ARVA Axio Beacon might give them the best chance of finding you if you’re buried in an avalanche. Other beacons rely on a very short third antenna which is limited by the depth of the housing. This renders the antenna useful only in the final search phase: refining the area to probe. In contrast, the Axio’s third antenna is designed to be ..
Here at Skim Co, we have been hesitant ot jump on the airbag train because of their excessive weight. Enter the Mammut Ultralight with the Removable Airbag 3.0 system. The pack is nearly race-weight without a cannister, and still comes in under 2kg with the cannister. That means you may not have to sacrifice much speed for the additional avalanche safety. The compressed air system ..
Not all airbags are created equal. Ideally, if you were to remove the airbag system from the pack, it would still be one that you enjoy skiing with. In the case of the ARVA R15 Ultralight, the excellent pack layout leaves little to be desired. The ultralight Reactor pack is a clean, low-volume pack for light and fast missions in avalanche terrain. It also has impressive reliability..
As the big brother of the Ultralight pack, the 30-liter version allows you to carry technical gear and a few more candy bars. The Light Removable Airbag 3.0 offers the same safety features since it’s also equipped with Mammut’s third iteration RAS. The bigger pack is still light by itself, but it’s built with an aluminum frame to better handle a bigger load. That is important when ..
Man, these avy airbags are really blowing up (pun intended). Whether you are a wisened backcountry skier or a fresh greenhorn right out of your Level 1, you can appreciate a good airbag. They are a useful tool when paired with judgement, terrain management, and objective decision making. The ARVA Reactor Ultralight 25 is a sleek, lightweight, and effective airbag designed to help t..
Due to its small 23x20 inch blade size, the Crest Shovel from CAMP would not be ideal in deep burial situations. However, given that the Crest is the lightest ISMF certified shovel on the market, it's perfect for skimo races when you have an army of blades for digging. It also has several options for condensing into or onto a pack so you can keep yourself streamlined during the rac..
A metal shovel light enough for racing? ARVA says yes, it's possible, with the new Ultra. Weighing just 302 grams (10.7 ounces), this ISMF compliant digger features a carbon fiber shaft that easily snaps into a svelt aluminum blade. When disconnected, the parts are slim enough to stow easily in a race pack. If you're not quite comfortable carrying a kids' toy during a race, the ARV..
A basic-yet-advanced aluminum shovel that won’t weigh you down. The Mammut Alugator Light features an anodized blade and telescopic shaft for some serious digging. The automatic zipper-lock system allows for quick assembly and deployment. The blade has stabilization ribs for rigidity, yet the back remains flat, which helps when cutting a snow profile. There are also strategically p..
Through continual refinement, minor tweaks, and small advancements, breakthroughs can happen. For Ortovox, this happened in the case of the Pro Lite Shovel. By starting with the highest quality materials, Ortovox has made no compromises in functional capacity. This remarkably light, compact, and packable shovel has a 6061 T6 aluminum blade that features subtle notches and ribs that..
The ARVA Plume is one of the lightest functional avalanche saftey shovels on the market. With a 46cm (18.25 inch) carbon fiber shaft and a sizeable 24.5cm x 25cm (9.6in x 9.8in) aluminum scoop, the Plume will actually move some avalanched-hardened snow. But since it weighs right around 400 grams, you might not feel like you're carrying a true rescue device.
Full length carbon..
The Mammut Carbon Probes have stable, lightweight segments that snap together with a telescopic locking mechanism that is easy to use with gloves on. The tip is drop-shaped to help save energy when probing, and the sides are marked with precise scales so you know your target depth. The Mammut Carbon 240 Light probe is light enough to race with and useful enough for touring. The 280..
As light and awesome as the Carbon 240 Light probe is, the one drawback can be its length. The 43cm folded length can make it awkward to fit in shorter skimo race packs. Disliking drawbacks, ARVA decided to make a compact version which has a folded length of just 33cm. This is accomplished by having eight sections instead of six and making the probing point sit flush. The tradeoff ..
CAMP's lightest, the Carbon Fiber Avalance Probe is great for competitive ski mountaineering or everyday touring. Weighing only 133 grams (4.7 ounces), the six section probe is 240 centimeters (7' 10.5") in length, making it compatible with ISMF racing regulations and deep burials. The probe is connected with strong Dyneema® cord, a tug and cinch of which makes for quickly assembly..
A sturdy aluminum probe with a focus on assembly speed. Mammut recognized that time is of the essence when probing, and the last thing you need is to waste time assembling your probe. The Fast Lock system is easy and secure, matching well with the stable aluminum segments. The tensioning cord is durable and the system can be used with gloves or mittens. The Mammut Fast Lock probe i..
Avy professionals and International Ski Mountaineering Federation officials don't recommend using a probe shorter than 240 centimeters (94.5 inches). In fact, we don't even sell shorter probes, as there are easier ways to tell your ski partners you don't like them. If you're looking to send the opposite message, however, consider carrying a well-worn ARVA Pro 240. Made of 7075 alum..
Designed to cut snow blocks, the G3 Bonesaw might be more at home in the zombie apocalypse. A proper backcountry skier should know exactly what he/she is about to ski on, and what better way to analyze the snowpack than with a saw inscribed with a snow-crystal sizing grid? Offset teeth, a long blade, and contoured handle make the Bonesaw a real favorite amongst guides and studious ..
Saws are great for all kinds of things (especially sawing!) and usually it’s pretty tough to innovate on a design that’s worked for hundreds of years. Leave it to Backcountry Access to take sawing to the next level. Using a 35cm fixed blade attached to a 13cm injection-molded handle, the BCA Snow Saw is as easy to hide in a pack as it is to dig a respectable snow-pit. The burly han..
Multi-use gear is bonus for ultralight enthusiasts and G3 offers one with the Rutschblock cord. The coated steel cable is designed for isolating snow columns but is also great cutting small cornices. No need to carry dynamite and a snowpack tool, just carry the G3 Rutschblock cord. The cord is dotted with stiff metal springs that create slicing friction while you saw like a lumberj..
These kits enable refill of Mammut compressed air cartridges. Consisting of a gasket and cover plate, the Refill Kits are available in 3 or 20 unit quantities. These are the parts that go boom when a canister is triggered. Attach the cartridge to a compressed air source using an adapter and soon you’ll be ready to ski unstable snow (not recommended)...
Each deployment of the Mammut Airbag 3.0 system uses up a refill kit. You also need to find a compressed air source to reload the cartridge. Enter the Trigger Test Tool. This handy device lets you practice deployments without emptying a cartridge. Screw the tool into the deployment mechanism, put on the backpack, and pull the handle. A clear snapping sound means you’ve successfully..
Be sure the dive shop in your target destination can fill your airbag pack by bringing this adapter. It connects to any SCUBA tank and refills Mammut air cartridges. You’ll also need a refill kit for each cartridge, as those parts get used up each time the airbag is triggered. The adapter makes a connection between the cylinder and an empty cartridge, and can be reused indefinitely..
Make sure your axe doesn’t blow you safety net by covering the spike with a Mammut protector. Since most axe-carry systems on packs leave the spike pointing right at your airbag, it’s a good idea to cover them up. The Mammut Ice Axe Spike Protection works with most axes to prevent accidental puncture of your airbag...
The BCA Slope Meter is a necessary tool for just about any backcountry enthusiast. The simple device is great for validating your choice of ski-line, ensuring proper bragging rights, and helping to gauge your comfort-level in questionable terrain. At the very least, it’s a great way to hone your instincts with many rounds of “guess the slope angle”. The BCA Slope Meter doesn’t requ..
Crystal Cards are crucial for analyzing snowpack-structure as the difference between a weak layer and a well-bonded layer doesn’t look a whole lot different to the naked eye. Crystals placed on the cards, however, become instantly recognizable and sizable. The BCA cards are available in two options, Polycarbonate and Aluminum. The polycarbonate version doesn’t absorb as much solar ..
If you are birding, inspecting coins, practicing astronomy, or studying snow, the naked eye doesn’t always cut it. In all these fields, transcending to the next-level of geekery requires a visual aid. Level up your snow-studies with the BCA 10x Magnifying Loupe. It allows you to see snow crystals at ten times their actual size. he folding base makes it compact enough to never leave..
If you’re not familiar, thermometers are good at measuring the temperature of things. Now that you’re all caught-up with the intricacies of thermometers, this BCA version is one of the best on the market. While covering a large temperature-range, the tool is designed with an emphasis on cold snowpack. Accurately measuring temperature gradients is crucial for a detailed report while..
A comprehensive set of snow-study tools in a handy kit. The BCA study kit is designed to be beginner-friendly due to its simple and self-contained natured, but it’s also used by expert forecasters for the same reasons. The durable fabric-case includes several pockets for dedicated snow-study equipment and a handle to hang it over the tip of your ski while in use. Even when packed f..
Who better to design a field book than the gurus? The BCA Field Book was developed with AIARE to record detailed snowpack analysis. It provides a clear structure to write notes as taught in the avalanche-awareness and snow-science curriculum. Encompassing just about every variable used to make educated decisions about the snowpack, the BCA Field Book may just be the ultimate analog..
The 2-meter Ruler from BCA is a compact, foldable ruler that measures snow depth or anything else you’re sizing up. Featuring a small carry-size, the ruler expands to two meters which is the most important snow-depth to analyze (deeper snow is typically better bonded due to the weight on top). If the BCA 2m Ruler ruler isn’t long enough, you’re having a good season.
Replacement holsters for ARVA avalanche transcievers with adjustable straps. Choose from Neo, Neo+, Axio, or Evo beacons. These are the same holsters that ship with the beacons...