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!
There seems to be a direct correlation between anxiety levels and tools dropped during a climb. Our studies have also shown that, once safely off the mountain, the number of tools you drop also correlates. When literally anything but an ego falls during a climb, everybody loses. Concerned you'll drop a leashless tool while climbing with cold hands? Not anymore. The Grivel D..
The CAMP Touring Leash adds support while climbing and prevents you from dropping your ice axe. It consists of a simple rubber ring that holds up a strap of webbing, which you then put your wrist through. The strap can slide up and down the shaft above the rubber ring so you can switch between picking and plunging. Verified to fit the Corsa and Corsa Nanotech ice axes. 29 grams (1...
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..
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 ..
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..
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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..
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 ..
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..
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..
If you're looking for a minimalist harness for via ferratta or to safely rappel during ski tours, look no further. The Alp Racing harness by CAMP weight just 92 grams (3.2 ounces) and packs down to the size of a small fist. Don't look for lots of gear loops and thick padding that would be comfortable climbing in all day, but this harness will get you through a race course or down a..
Unlike Icarus, when it comes to mountaineering you can never fly too high, and one way to hit those heights in a minimalist fashion is with Petzl's Fly harness. By removing all metal parts and traditional buckles from this design, Petzl has created an innovative harness in a lightweight package using its FUSEFRAME technology. The Fly harness has girth hitches at the leg loops and a..
Weighing in at under 100g, the Blue Ice Choucas Light harness is definitely light! At the same time, it’s also extremely practical. The ski mountaineering harness is robust, packs easily, and fits in your pocket. Leg loop clips let you take it on and off with your skis on. Winner of an Outdoor Industry Award for its innovative design, the Choucas Light is guaranteed to inspire you ..
When you pull the Loopo Lite out its tiny stuff sack, it's ok if you are confused at first. There's no metal hardware (no buckles at all for that matter) and it's so light that you'll probably be wondering where the rest of it is. That's because Edelrid went all-out to make the lightest mountaineering harness imaginable. Using a reflective color-coded loop system, you secure the Lo..
Using what they call "wireframe technology," Petzl has created a feature-rich but impossibly light harness for high-altitude climbing and ski mountaineering. The Altitude is light enough for racing but robust and feature-packed for all your ski mountaineering needs. The harness is very slim and packable yet doesn’t bite into you while hanging. The Petzl Altitude is the new standard..
The Edelrid Huascaran is a minimalist harness that doesn’t skimp on security. It has a beefy belay loop and a padded webbing waist that provides just enough comfort for long, light-n-fast missions. The harness is ultralight and packable, yet has decent gear loops and adjustment buckles. The leg loops have side buckles so you can put it on and take if off without removing your skis ..
The original Wasatch dawn-patrollers wanted a lightweight, packable harness that would handle ski belays and rappels while pioneering today’s popular couloirs. They made it in to work at Black Diamond and designed the original Couloir Harness to perfectly meet those requirements. The latest iteration surpasses even the original goals, with a new construction that uses hydrophobic f..
If you’ve ever stood on a peak or at an anchor and struggled to get a harness on or off, CAMP’s new Alp Mountain harness was made for you. Proprietary Sicura buckles on the waist and legs offer the security of steel autolockers but open and close quickly. The overall design of the Alp Mountain is perfect for ski mountaineering and light and fast alpinism in general. Simple load-web..
We've come a long way since the days when ski mountaineers used hip belays to keep their partners safe on steep pitches and lashed crossed curtain rods to their backs to catch crevasse falls. Nowadays, purpose-built harnesses for steep skiing and glacier traversing alike have reached a high level of sophistication. Petzl stepped back from the goals of their ultralight Altitude and ..
A "rad" little package! The Petzl RAD (Rescue And Descent) System is designed as a quick deploying kit for skiers traveling in steep terrain or on glaciers where they may need to rope up, rappel, or perform a partner rescue from a crevasse. The kit is comprised of 30 meters of specially designed 6mm cordage, a Tibloc ascender, Micro Traxion pulley/ascender, 3 Attache carabiners, a ..
All the hardware you need to set up a haul system in one clean package. The Petzl Crevasse Rescue Kit (aka KIT SECOURS CREVASSE, naturally) is a compact self-contained collection of hauling hardware (no rope as in the RAD system). Using the rope you are hopefully already carrying, and the hardware in the kit, you can rest easy knowing that you are ready to tackle just about any pro..
The Beal Escaper may challenge your sensibilities. The Escaper is clever design that allows a descending party to rig their rappel as a retrievable single line. Not only can you ditch the weight and bulk of the second rope, but in many cases the Escaper will allow you to carry a shorter, and thus, lighter rope because you will have eliminated the need to double your line through th..
It is an undeniable fact that more is just better. More vegetables, mo' money,* more fiber, etc… With the “more is better” attitude in mind, the folks at Mammut designed a ridiculously versatile climbing rope in the Bluesign certified 8.7mm Alpine Sender Dry Rope. This triple-certified rope can act as a single, double, or twin rope providing unmatched all-season capability for wher..
Serenity is defined as the state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled. If that doesn’t sound like fun, grab a Serenity rope and turn it up a notch. The 8.7mm thin rope is certified to handle all your troubles by being rated for single, half, and twin-style climbing. With a best-in-class sheath proportion of 38%, the Mammut alpine rope is durable and easy to handle. It also won’t..
$239.95 From $189.96
The lightest & skinniest half rope on the market, the Beal Gully is a great rope for ski cuts, rappels, glacier travel, and emergency climbing. The French company specializes in dynamic ropes that have very low impact forces, so you don’t get jarred if you set off an avalanche or fall in a crevasse. With its Golden Dry treatment, the rope will not soak up moisture from the snow..
$169.95 From $135.96
Victorious summit photos atop a hard-won ski mountaineering objective nearly always fail to capture the nuanced steps of progression which led to that moment. Crevasses, steep snow fields, and icy ridges all had to be navigated to reach that summit, and without reliable and capable tools like the Mammut Glacier Cord Dry 6.0, travel through that terrain can be harrowing (at best). W..
To reach those obscure peaks, the distant couloirs, and the reverently spoken-of far away glaciers, you'll need some rad gear. The folks down at Petzl have been churning out high-quality gear since before any of us here at Skimo Co snapped into our first infant-sized spandex race suits, and they have verifiably perfected the art of making truly rad gear. The astonishingly light Pet..
Classic cord from the inventors of modern rope (a.k.a. Kernmantle). The Powerloc Expert SP accessory cord from Edelrid is very hard wearing with low elongation and excellent knotability. It’s made in Germany and has earned the bluesign® label, meaning it comes from certified sustainable sources and uses eco-friendly manufacturing techniques. Priced per foot. Special sheath co..
$0.32 From $0.28
As a general rule, outdoorsy folks love themselves some good accessory cord. It doesn't even matter if they don't have anything they need to tie together-- the mere thought of a nice coil of new cord will entice even the most ascetic. Petzl has been the purveyors of fine ropes and cordage for many years, and their accessory cords have been substituted for shoelaces, keychains, tent..
Tying things to other things is so, so satisfying. Sometimes, you need to attach one thing to another thing, and a nice strong piece of cord/twine/rope/string is the perfect solution for your dilemma. Tent guy lines, bracelets, nut tools, miscellaneous repairs, key chains, shoelaces... pretty much anything. In a pinch, this stuff might even work as toilet paper, just be careful. Wh..
Made of high strength Dyneema webbing, the Edelrid Tech Web sling will hold up to whatever shenanigans you find yourself a part of. Measuring 30cm in length, these 12mm slings are perfect for both alpine draws and anchor building. Rated for dynamic loading up to 22kN. Made of high strength Dyneema. Rated for dynamic loads up to 22kN. Weighs 17g. 30cm long. ..
Made of nylon, CAMP tubular webbing is 16mm (5/8 inch) in diameter and rated with a breaking strength of 13.5 kiloNewtons. It weighs 34 grams per meter. It comes in pretty purple and is priced per foot...
The Laser Speed Light is another beautifully designed piece of kit from Petzl. It’s an ice screw comprised of a durable steel drill, a stout anodized aluminum tube, a compact aluminum hanger, and a foldable lever. The “LSL” represents a minimal weight impact for such a high level of insurance in the mountains. The aluminum tube is anodized for corrosion resistance which increases d..
Weighing 25% less than classic Camalots, the Black Diamond Ultralights are the best cams for light ‘n fast technical ascents. Use them for protection while climbing and as an emergency anchor on the descent. The lobes have been exquisitely machined to save weight and anodized to stay clean and color-coded. A Dyneema-core stem has been employed which further sheds the grams without ..
CAMP is known for movement through technical terrain very efficient. Indeed, with the Kinetic Rewind Comp via ferrata set, flowing through the fixed-line sections of a Euro-tour or technical race is that much easier. 19mm Rewind webbing stays compressed and out of the way, so you can focus on moving instead of organizing lines at an anchor. Icarus carabiners open with one hand, so ..
We like simple gear because it’s easy to use with cold hands, in a daze of calorie-debt, or under the light of a headlamp. Petzl’s Reverso is a classic example of a simple piece of equipment that does its job and does it well. Capable of rappelling and belaying, the Reverso weighs only 57g. Deep V-shaped friction channels provide precise braking power on skinnier rope while also qu..
We like simple gear because it’s easier to use with cold hands, in a daze of calorie-debt, in the middle of a storm, or under the light of a headlamp. Plus, with no moving parts, there is almost nothing to break. Petzl’s Reverso 4 is a classic example of a simple piece of equipment that does its job and does it well. Capable of rappelling and belaying leaders or followers, this bel..
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If terms like ultra-light, hot-forged, twin, single, and half rope get your wheels turning then we advise you to keep reading. If that did nothing for you then we suggest you look here for more inspiration. Weighing in at a scant 54g, the Petzl Verso is one of the lightest belay/rappel devices ever to grace this ski bum’s eyes. Designed for improved braking on skinnier ropes, the V..
Skinny rope fans often struggle to find a suitable rappel device to match their favorite cord. The ultralight Nano 8 from Mammut is the new default choice. Weighing only 40 grams, the miniature eight-plate features a unique shape designed to help you achieve the ideal rappelling speed. It also has a handy tie off prong so you can free your hands if you need to set up another rap. A..
The Petzl Micro Traxion has become an essential piece of hardware for modern crevasse rescue methods. This little device can be expediently used to haul a victim out with less rigging than traditional systems. It accomplishes this via a lightweight, self-contained, progress-capture pulley which obviates the need for more complex pulley/prussic combos. If you fall into a crevasse y..
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The Tibloc is light and compact ascending tool that should always be in your pack if you’re carrying rope. It’s perfect for self-rescue in a crevasse and ascending a rappel that didn’t quite make it to the dance floor. Rather than carrying around a full-size ascender, just hook a carabiner through the hole and the angled directional teeth go to work. The body is made of corrosion r..
If you’re looking to ascend a rope, Petzl’s got your back! The Ascension is an aptly named ascender that will quickly have you at the top looking for the fastest way down. With a wide, glove-friendly hand-slot and an ergonomically molded grip, you will not lose your grasp even on the coldest days. The toothed cam provides great grip and is self-cleaning to work with dirty or icy ro..
Now that the Powder Keg has installed a tradition of technical skimo races in North America, it’s time to drop the excuses and grab the fixed rope. Best to grab it with the Pilot Ascenders from CAMP, since you don’t want to burn through your glove if you fall. Not to mention an ascender is required for your safety and the safety of those below you. Leave the weight and worry behind..
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