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.
Black Diamond's Guide Snow Saw is a unique multitool. Sure it rips through snow with the razor-sharp teeth, but it also has bonus features that are just what you need when you pull it out. There is a pit cord attached for cutting ECT blocks that stores on the handle, potentially helping with grip while sawing. Also integrated is a crystal card so it really is a many-in-one snow sci..
Transfer lots of snow while your partners are green with envy. This Envy Green Transfer LT shovel from Black Diamond is a lightweight, all-aluminum backcountry shovel that values both weight and durability. The riveted blade design let BD engineers keep the metal thin so it can slice through set-up avalanche debris. Strategically placed holes drop weight without affecting the 550cm..
A beacon that talks to you? Yep! Well, technically the Ortovox Diract Voice is only a chatty Cathy during search mode. Nonetheless, as the world's first beacon featuring voice navigation, Ortovox built the Diract Voice with the intent to create an even more intuitive beacon. Imagine for a minute that you're in the beacon park taking the time to educate yourself. As the drill begins..
If the unthinkable happens and someone in your party is buried in an avalanche, speed matters more than anything. The quicker someone is found and dug out, the more likely it is that they will survive to thank you with a cold beer later. Knowledge, training, and practice are quintessential to a fast rescue, but having the right equipment can't be understated when every second count..
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. This light and compact beacon made by 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). With features like G..
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’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..
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..
Mammut Barryvox is a classic name in the digital transceiver realm. However, this beacon is not the same old transceiver your uncle used. It has been completely revamped with the intention of being the simplest and most user-friendly beacon to date. Mammut nailed it. The user interface has been improved so one button handles all navigation through the concise menus. The exterior sw..
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 Speed 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 Speed Lock probe..
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)...
Here at Skimo 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..
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..
Professionals in the ski community have trusted Mammut for years due to their reputation for making the highest quality products that manage to be packed full of important features while still being quick and easy to use - the Barryvox S is no exception. Despite its simplistic design, the Barryvox S is packed full of useful features. One of the more handy and important features is ..
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 ..
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..
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, contoured handle, and protective sheath(+50g) make the Bonesaw a real favorite amo..
Say goodbye to constantly refilling airbag canisters and the hassles of traveling with them and say "Hello" to the SCOTT Patrol E1 30 Avy Pack! The E1 Alpride Airbag System is the lightest electronic airbag yet and is simple to use, simple to charge, easy to travel with, and extremely reliable. It’s powered by 4 supercapacitors that don’t use a chemical reaction to store energy so ..
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..
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..
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..
If you are in need of a super lightweight, skimo racing specific probe, look no further than the Arva Race 240. This probe weighs just 122g and, like the older Carbon Compact, has eight 30cm sections rather than six 40cm sections. Looking to be even more compact and lightweight? The Race 240 Probe can answer your call; one section can be removed if desired, saving some weight and l..
Race sometimes? Go fast all the time? If this describes your style, then ARVA built the Plume Carbon shovel just for you. Featuring a lightweight carbon fiber shaft, you can shave grams without sacrificing durability; ARVA knows your shovel needs to work in the event that it is needed. The T-grip handle makes for easy handling while shoveling from either side to let you move snow e..
Beacon, probe, and avalanche shovels are essential for recreating in the backcountry, ARVA's Evo5 Combo Kit has everything you need. The Evo5 beacon is light and compact enough to feel comfortable in your pocket while boasting a 50m searching range, group check, and multiple burial functions. The Spark 240 probe is made from 7075 aluminum tubing and stainless-steel tension cord, wh..
Increasingly, many airbag owners are discovering the benefits of a battery-operated system. That is, the ability to travel on an airplane, multiple deployments on a single charge, and forgoing the hassle of needing to refill a canister after a single use. Recognizing this, Ortovox and Arc’teryx collaborated to create the Avabag Litric platform. Taking this platform, Ortovox made th..
If you make a living teaching avalanche courses or otherwise value squeezing the most utility out of your avalanche transceiver, the ARVA Neo BT Pro is here to push the envelope. Boasting a massive 80 meters of search strip width, the search range can be pushed even further to 90 meters in analog mode (complemented by automatic sensitivity calibration). Other high-end capabilities ..
The Alpine Avy Safety Set from Black Diamond is a compelling set of light and fast backcountry skiing safety gear. The professional SKU makers at BD have combined the svelte Recon LT beacon with the impressive Transfer LT shovel and a Quickdraw Carbon 240 probe. If you prefer to travel on the lighter side, this package fits great in a lightweight ski pack and provides the tools nec..
Race weight and ready for reconnaissance! The BD Recon LT beacon is the ticket for light and fast alpine missions and skimo races. Ostensibly replacing the Pieps Micro, this adorable beacon features Bluetooth connectivity so you can stay on top of staying on top. A 50-meter range isn't for guides but suffices for lots of touring, missioning, and certainly racing. One battery keeps ..
Durable, lightweight, trustworthy. Think of the Mammut 240 Short as the "Sting" to your Bilbo Baggins. This trusty sidekick is made with high-quality aluminum and features an effective telescopic locking tension system. The drop-shaped tip adds to the probe’s efficacy in penetrating compressed snow. When you are up against a dense debris pile, these features give you the confidence..
Airbags, contrary to their name, are not made of air, and thus are not known to be the lightest of protective systems. This abundance of extra heft, therefore, has traditionally left many airbags out of the quivers of those seeking to put in the biggest vertical days. Thankfully, the good folks at Arva realized the need and created the Tour 25 UL. This airbag is light on weight but..
The Plume TS shovel has taken the ultralightweight Plume shovel and added a telescopic shaft making a good thing better. Like its predecessor, it is extremely lightweight, durable, and compact as the Plume but in the Plume TS, Arva has updated the shovel to incorporate even more surface area without adding weight. This creates a more efficient shovel without concerns for extra heft..
“Good friends, deep snow, wood-fired hot tubs, seclusion, and plenty of whiskey.” This is an old recipe that all but guarantees a good ski trip. We’ve also found that gear called “Ski Trip” doesn’t hurt while out on a ski trip, either. Thankfully, Arva got the memo and ensured that their Ski Trip Shovel followed suit and is aptly named for the good times. With its telescoping handl..
It may look like a jump rope, but unlike the traditional schoolyard toy, BCA's ECT Cord has the ability to help keep you safe while playing in your mountain playground. After all, Extended Column Tests (ECT) aren't very helpful if you're digging them out with your ski poles. By using this ECT Cord, you can create consistent snow pits. With knots every 10 inches (25cm) and two alumi..
ARVA’s Guard shovel is a straightforward take on the modern avalanche shovel. Its new compact blade was created to make it easy to step on and efficiently shovel, no matter the type of snow. The 76cm shaft provides great leverage for shoveling when time is of the essence. It may bail on fancy weight saving features found on other models, but its reliability and packability means it..
The backcountry is a sacred place where the cares of our busy day-to-day should be forgotten. Conversation should revolve around the excitement for the skiing to come, the sting of cold air in your lungs, the majesty of sparkling snow and towering trees. Or, you can talk about gear and how psyched you are that you picked up ARVA's Access probe! This lightweight, compact little gem ..
Whether you're a seasoned ski-mountaineer or fresh out of your first AIARE course, it's always wise to have a plan for a day in the backcountry. Developed by the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education, the Backcountry Decision Making Guide is a tool that guides you through planning your trip, recording observations in the field, and debriefing the day's snowpack an..
The ARVA Spark 240 is the BMW Isetta of the probe world; it's compact, yet still incredibly functional. It may not turn heads in quite the same way, but it does have all the features and ease of use you want in a probe, and it comes in a more easily stowed package. With 8 sections measuring 30cm each instead of the traditional 6 segments of 40cm, this probe will fit much more easil..
The ARVA Rescue 300 probe is designed for professionals and backcountry enthusiasts who recreate in areas of the world with a consistently deeper snowpack. The 8 37.5cm long sections make it relatively packable despite the extra length when fully deployed. When it comes time to put this gear to use, the Rack Lock system allows for quick and efficient setup. The 13mm diameter shaft ..
ARVA is in a continuous search for perfection when it comes to their avalanche safety gear and the newest Neo Pro Beacon is sure getting there! It has maintained all the same excellent features of its predecessor, the Neo+, but with a few extras added on.
In addition to the already vast 70m search radius, the new Neo Pro can switch to analogue mode to get a maximum search range ..
From new backcountry users looking to get their first avalanche safety pack to enthusiasts who need a full upgrade of their old, trusty gear, the Neo Pro Safety Pack is an ideal choice for anyone in the business of playing in the backcountry. The Neo Pro Beacon is one of the most user friendly, fully-featured transceivers with a vast search range of 70+ meters, a motion sensor that..
If you are new to the backcountry ski scene you will immediately hear that safety comes first. You can cover all your safety needs in one move with the ARVA Evo5 Safety Snow Pack. Including the amazing Evo5 avy beacon, Light 240 Compact snow probe and Access TS shovel, your touring partners can feel confident that you have everything you need to help them out should anything go awr..
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.
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. The BCA Snow Saw is as easy to hide in a pack as it is to dig a respectable snow pit. The burly handle uses a two-prong design, with one prong having 14mm and 16mm ste..
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..
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..
With the third design-iteration from Mammut, the removable airbag system is the most reliable yet. It centers around refillable compressed air cartridges that are capable of filling a 150-liter airbag in less than 3 seconds. A large “T” deployment handle is easy to grab and now can be adjusted to the height of a skier. The handle folds down for stowing in the shoulder strap for tra..
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..