Safety Gear for Backcountry Skiing
Never leave home without your avalanche gear unless you plan on sticking to low angle terrain. Move on rock and ice safely with crampons, ice axes, and harnesses. Don't forget your helmet!
You may have seen images of mountaineers like Steve House and ski alpinists like Jason and Andy Dorais grimacing their way up high and snowy peaks with the letter "G" on the front of their helmets. That "G" stands for Grivel, the alpine equipment company that brought the first front-point crampon to life way back in 1929. Now you too can find superhuman strength and dual-certified ..
Meeting both climbing and skiing certifications, CAMP's newest skimo race helmet lets you rest assured that your noggin is protected. The Speed Comp has been beefed up to account for side-impacts that are more likely when skiing versus pure mountaineering. Complementing the added safety features, the Speed Comp helmet improves comfort as well. CAMP uses a glove-friendly adjustment ..
Expanded polypropylene (EPP): that's the magic fairy dust used to make this helmet. This material along with a webbing retention harness translates to the Petzl Sirocco being the lightest climbing helmet made and infinitely adjustable to ensure a comfortable fit. EPP, in addition to being very light, maintains the ability to be somewhat flexible. A lesser touted benefit of this hel..
Doubly certified, doubly cool. The Ski Trab Race Helmet is certified to both skiing and mountaineering standards. The extra certification adds a touch of weight compared to climbing helmets, but having the right protection on the downhill is worth it for some. And soon it will be required for others, since the ISMF has adopted rules to mandate both certifications for sanctioned rac..
$149.95 From $118.96
In the battle for lightweight head protection, Black Diamond has moved a-head with the Vapor helmet. With a head-turning weight of 199 grams (7.0 ounces) [M/L], the Vapor can already be seen atop the heads of many skimo racers. It’s packed in the back with head-cooling vents, while remaining head-lamp compatible. The fore-head is a smooth wind-blocking sheet, preventing head-sweat ..
The Attivo is a lightweight, ventilated skimo helmet lined with comfortable padding. Uniquely, it has implants designed to hold Ski Trab goggles, which can then be raised onto the brim as necessary. The helmet is built with high-density polystyrene for impact absorption and is covered with a smooth polycarbonate shell to improve deflection. The fit is adjustable, with an easy-turn ..
Rocketing through the atmosphere, Petzl's updated Meteor helmet seems to appear only as a brief flash of light whizzing past on the skin track. This is the first CE-certified "ski touring helmet", combining light weight protection and ventilation into one package. With the Meteor, Petzl has pioneered a cutting edge race helmet with side, front, and rear protection that will keep yo..
Ski mountaineering compounds the risks of typical backcountry travel. With the potential for falling rock and ice, steep terrain, and all sorts of rope shenanigans, keeping yourself safe involves finding a great helmet. Protect your head from the unexpected with the Black Diamond Vision MIPS helmet. The Vision uses a classic dual-foam construction to ensure daily durability as well..
Ski mountaineering can be risky business. Most routes are comprised of some combination of cracks, dihedrals, chutes, couloirs, or steep-but-not-quite-vertical rock faces that inevitably hold potentially day-ruining hard chunks and blocks. Water is routinely melted and refrozen as the temperatures change from day to night and back again, and this cycle is notorious for encouraging ..
With the recent focus on dual-certified helmets for skimo racing, it’s refreshing to see a proper light helmet with maximum ventilation. The CAMP Storm helmet replacing the incredibly popular Speed helmet, which protected the heads of skimo racers and alpinists across the globe. The helmet features improved fit and user-friendly operation in a technical alpine environment. The dial..
Lightweight backcountry ski gear has been a revelation to many skiers, but new technologies in the school of fast-and-light have mostly stuck to the three main categories: skis, boots, and bindings. Recently, however, we've seen a surge in innovation in other pieces of ski-mountaineering kit, with an exciting new option coming in the form of a Vision. BD claims the Vision is their ..
The Vision helmet from Black Diamond is a no-nonsense, durable helmet that you'll find yourself using for dawn patrols and once-a-season missions without hesitation. Full of simple and clean features, like the buckled chin strap and the low-profile headlamp clips, the Vision is as close as we've ever seen to striking the perfect balance between simplicity and usability. The Vision ..
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A Skimo helmet that is certified for skiing - what a concept! This is Ski Trab's second dual certified helmet, proudly and appropriately named the Aero. Ski Trab utilizes their Hollow Core Technology to cool your head with two different front air-intakes that funnel air through 6 different channels - hence the name "Aero." The clean-cut design looks less like an 80's bike helmet an..
The dual-certified Couloir Mountain Helmet by SCOTT is a lightweight and low-profile helmet that is great for both winter and spring conditions. Its dual-padding configuration is ideal for either skiing or mountaineering. Because climbing is hard and sweat-producing they have equipped this dome-protector with a Coolmax moisture management system along with a passive venting system ..
The Kong Kosmos helmet might be our new favorite multi-purpose helmet (since most of our "ski" helmets are actually climbing helmets). While it's not the lightest around (385g for a S/M) it certainly has the functional know-how to back up the beef. The adjustment strap sits really low on your noggin' and provides a secure wrap all the way around your head. A single button operates ..
When you hear the word 'functional' used to describe clothing, an image of someone wearing camo cargo shorts while wearing a toolbelt may come to mind. While some folks may not see anything wrong with that look, others might want something more tasteful. Movement has, for years, been creating world class skis that epitomize masterful craftsmanship while looking beautifully elegant ..
Feel free to open the throttle a little further with the Salomon Mountain (MTN) Lab helmet. The ‘Lab is certified to both alpine skiing and mountaineering standards, so you are better protected if you sketch out. Plus, Salomon was listening to its backcountry team when they explained no one will wear it if it’s heavy, cumbersome, or hot. They innovated with a new 4D EPS constructio..
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..
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 ..
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.” Incorporating..
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..
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 ..
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 ..
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..
The Leopard is a lightweight, aluminum crampon with a unique linkage Petzl calls Cord Tech. By eliminating the metal linking bar that is traditionally used between the toe and heel of the crampon the weight, and especially the bulk, of the crampon are greatly reduced. These are the crampons you forget are in your pack and won't hesitate to have with you just in case. Much easier to..
Crampons that are super light and fast to put on? We’re listening! Dynafit is introducing a novel new crampon system that makes sloppy toe-bail fits a thing of the past: the Cramp-In Crampon. If you are a lucky owner of a Dynafit boot that are compatible with this crampon (hint, if it doesn’t have a toe welt, it’s likely compatible...see note below), your luck is about to be double..
Solve your boot-to-crampon compatibility issues with the SkiMatic 2.0 attachment system from Grivel. With the levering bail at the front of the boot instead of the rear, you no longer have to worry about a collision with ski/walk mode mechanisms on alpine touring boots. As a side benefit, it’s the fastest system for getting crampons on and off. The Race version of the crampon is li..
CAMP’s penchant for light ‘n fast gear is almost as geeky as ours. And we must say we're honored they chose Skimo blue for these awesome race crampons that were seemingly designed for our store (the Italians did admit they had us in mind). CAMP tasked some obsessive speed freaks with creating the fastest race crampon in the world. The plan is to further solidify podium finishes, to..
If you're anything like us here at Skimo Co you generally like things that are lightweight. Turns out CAMP likes lightweight equipment too! In that spirit they have put together a fully fleshed out, flyweight steel crampon with tons of features. The Skimo Pure Nanotech crampons are able to cut grams thanks to the Sandvik Nanoflex stainless steel frame material, which is 70% stronge..
The CAMP Skimo Tour Crampons are built with the same efficient design as the race version, but tailored to fit the needs of the everyday backcountry skiers and alpinists. The fool-proof T-Stop that corrals your toe welt into the front of the crampon makes dicey transitions that much easier. The height-adjustable heel lever ensures a proper fit regardless of the boot. A micro-adjust..
The CAMP XLC 390 Automatic Crampons are the lightest 12-point crampons in the world, perfect for light and fast ski mountaineers that appreciate a longer front platform with an extra spike on the side. Enjoy safer ascents when booting up icy couloirs and safer traverses when crossing exposed faces with bulletproof snow. The XLC 390 is built especially for ski boots, with a simple w..
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CAMP bills the XLC Nanotech as the most sophisticated mountaineering crampons in the world. We think calling them sophisticated belies the simple, reliable security these add to ski mountaineering adventures. Even though they have innovative Sandvik Nanoflex® steel reinforcements on the front points, they are still easy to put on and to kick into snow ice. Just be warned that they ..
The lightest way to get your steel on! The Irvis Hybrid crampons feature steel toes designed to hold up against rock impacts for those questionable routes. Petzl also understands that you don’t want to lug a massive crampon up a mountain, so with weight conservation in mind they paired the toes with an aluminum heel and connected the dots with the ultralight Cord-Tec linking system..
Crampons can be finicky little necessities, but they're extremely valuable allies when it comes to general mountaineering. Lucky for you, we have a very good recommendation that will fit just about any boot, even those of our splitboarding brethren. The CAMP XLC 490 Universal crampons are lightweight and 3D pressed to help maximize design strength. Keeping in mind your motivation f..
A beefier version of the Race 2.0 crampons, the SkiMatic 2.0 Touring edition features a steel toe and anti-balling plates. The novel attachment system is the same, with the levering bail at the front of the boot instead of the rear. This solves many boot compatibility issues due to collisions with ski/walk mechanisms and pivoting cuffs in general. The Touring model is equipped with..
The CAMP XLC 470 is essentially the 390 with a toe bail that accommodates more boots. This means you can fit it onto boots with oddly-shaped or missing toe welts (looking at you TLT7). CAMP also used a boot-length adjustment mechanism that doesn’t require a screwdriver so lets you quickly adapt to your boot quiver. At the expense of a few ounces, you’ll have a crampon that easily a..
This is the lightest ice axe you will ever find. No, we're serious! The Corsa Race ice axe is the lightest EN certified ice axe you will find on planet Earth. This is no coincidence as it was specifically designed to eliminate extra weight. At 50 cm in length, the Corsa Race has managed to slim down by removing materials in the shaft, getting rid of the shaft plug and machining hol..
The species known as Anna's Hummingbird is a tiny bird indigenous to the Pacific coast of the United States, and measures only 4 inches long from beak to tail. These hummingbirds must remain light and small enough to maneuver the delicate aerial world that they inhabit, yet tough enough and fit enough to tirelessly seek out the pollen-laden flowers they need to survive. Just like o..
The Petzl Gully is the axe we’ve been wanting to see for a long time. It blends the minimalism of a lightweight axe with the features of a larger, heavier, more technical axe that can be necessary for successful objective completion. Multiple head options allow you to select the correct tool for the job. Take the hammer for more technical objectives or choose the adze for general m..
Take CAMP's ultralight race axe, the Corsa, sprinkle in some high-tech reinforcements, and you get the Corsa Nanotech. Sandvik Nanoflex® is a steel alloy that is 60-70% stronger than steel, allowing CAMP to dramatically increase the durability of the pick and spike without significantly increasing the overall weight. Also added is a single curve in the shaft which provides better c..
When the going gets steep, the Ride ice-axe from Petzl steps up to answer the call. Purpose-built for steep skiing, the Ride has a steel head, curved shaft, and a pick tapered to 3mm. These features ensure that you get a placement you can count on when you’re picking or plunging. The Petzl Ride axe is durable enough for daily ski mountaineering yet still impressively light. It will..
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Grivel proudly touts the Air Tech Racing as the lightest forged-steel ice axe in the world. The ATR is a no-compromises mountaineering tool for serious adventures where weight is of utmost importance but strength and durability cannot be compromised, even a little. A slightly curved shaft facilitates greater leverage in the case of self-arrest. The Grivel Air Tech is a burly axe th..
The Corsa Alpine Axe is what we would call a necessity when it comes to lightweight mountaineering. This axe is designed with technical mountain travel in mind; the Corsa Alpine is almost like holding a feather. Well, a very durable feather that's made of steel and aluminum. This lightweight axe features a machined grip for easy handling. It's sleek design helps keep extra clearanc..
The CAMP Corsa Ice axe is ridiculously lightweight. It is perfect for technical rando races and light duties such as basic ski mountaineering, glacier travel and self-arrest. It can also be used in a pinch as an anchor. The Corsa meets all CE and UIAA requirements for strength and durability, and its clean design provides surprising performance in a super light package. Forge..
Sum’Tec is Petzl’s abbreviation for “somewhat technical.” Ok, not likely, but we are going to make the claim anyway and we’ll explain why. Light, and easily employed for daily use, its incredibly versatile design may be the ultimate axe for ski mountaineers. The 55cm length is perfectly suited for walking in the piolet-canne (cane) position or plunging the shaft up steep, firm s..
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