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.
You can be racing uphill without being in a race. Whether you are spandex clad or not anyone can appreciate the weight savings of ARVA's Race Carbon shovel. Built specifically for the race scene, the shaft length and overall blade dimensions are optimized for low weight with high levels of functionality and performance. Comboed with ARVA's Race 240 probe you can fit everything you ..
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..
In the lifetime of an avalanche shovel, how many times will it be used to uncover a buried person? Hopefully, if you take the proper precautions and have a bit of good luck, never. Ideally, this shovel will be used for more mundane tasks, like digging your stuck car out of a snowbank, building a sick jump, or scooping the occasional doggie surprise. However, if misfortune (or poor ..
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..
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..
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..
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..
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..
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)...
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..
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 ..
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..
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..
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..
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..
There are few things worse than carrying extra weight, especially when trying to move quickly and efficiently through the mountains. With the Reactor Tour 28 UL Airbag Pack, Arva has created an airbag for the weight conscious, ensuring you can have the protection of an airbag, without being weighed down. Predominantly built using recycled 210D CORDURA fabric, the Reactor Tour 28 UL..
Rumor has it that Mammut has the "scoop" on a top-secret supply of aerospace-grade aluminum, presumably harvested from the husks of planes at Area-51. While this rumor is mostly unfounded, according to Snopes, Mammut has elected to use aerospace grade 7075 aluminum with the Alugator Ultra, achieving a very high durability-to-weight ratio. Even with its svelte weight, the Alugator U..
The LiTRIC airbag system from Ortovox is a modular system that utilizes two bases with interchangeable "Zip-On" packs.* This effectively allows someone who purchased any Freeride or Touring LiTRIC pack to get a "new airbag" at a nominal cost. Both Tour and Freeride bases can be used interchangeably with Tour or Freeride Zip-On packs. Please note that "S" packs can only be used with..
The Ortovox LiTRIC Tour 30 bag is perfect for backcountry outings where you need reliability and functionality. With the LiTRIC system, you get both. Utilizing lightweight lithium batteries to drive a supercapacitor, the LiTRIC Tour 30 remains reliable in temperatures down to -22°F and once activated can fill the airbag in 4 seconds. Whether you simply want to practice with your ai..
The Ortovox LiTRIC Tour 40 offers a lot, and we're not just talking about volume. Fed up by traditional compressed gas cartridges, the LiTRIC Tour 40 uses supercapacitors driven by lightweight, lithium-ion batteries. This allows for multiple deployments in the field and easier travel, seeing as you can bring it along in your carry-on. If you find yourself wanting a smaller liter pa..
The Ortovox Avabag LiTRIC Tour 36S is filled top to bottom with features that are defined by quality and performance. The modular LiTRIC system, which serves as the foundation for the Avabag LiTRIC Tour 36S, uses supercapacitors and lightweight lithium-ion batteries, resulting in a design that allows for reliability in extreme temperatures. With two deployments per charge, you can ..
The “S” stands for short, but the Ortovox LiTRIC Tour 28S airbag is anything but short on functionality. With the electronically driven LiTRIC avalanche floatation system, you can fly with this in your carry-on, ensuring you can use your own familiar airbag instead of a rental. After a full charge, the Litric Tour 28S will have enough power for two deployments, providing a margin o..
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 blade size; ARVA knows your shovel needs to move snow. The T-grip handle makes for easy handling while shoveling from either side when seconds count. The 24cm x 24cm shovel blade..
We all try to save weight on those crazy long days with long, technical approaches. Water? Who needs it? Fuel? Meh...Now you can leave your shovel shaft behind without putting your partners at risk with Black Diamond's LT Transfer shovel blade. You will however need to bring along a Venom Classic LT axe, but you'll need that anyway for that crazy booter. The two together combine li..
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 ..
Ortovox turned heads when it released the Diract Voice Beacon… but only when instructed to do so. You see, the Diract Voice Beacon is the first of its kind - a fully functional avalanche transceiver that aids in search mode by giving clear and concise audio directions, in addition to the usual visual display. The Ortovox Diract Voice Lite Rescue Set combines this unique beacon with..
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..
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..
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..
What does it take to be a "pro?" When it comes to touring it takes the right equipment and Mammut has made the formula simple with their Barryvox Package Pro Light set up. Everything you need for safe travel in the backcountry this set includes the beloved Barryvox beacon, telescoping Alugator Pro Light shovel and the sturdy and depth seeking 280 Speed Lock probe. Time is everythin..
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 gem will inspire con..
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..
Identifying snow crystals in snow pits can be a fun time. Identifying snow crystals in a pit with some wind, good luck. Fortunately, our friends at BCA made a new Magnifying Loupe with closed sides to help you nerd out in the ever-changing weather. This Loupe allows you to view snow crystals 15 times their actual size, which is an extra 50% more than its predecessor. If you're seri..
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 eight sections measuring 30cm each instead of the traditional six segments of 40cm, this probe will fit much more..
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 ..
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, Spark 240 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 awry.
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..