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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!

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Need help choosing safety gear?

Check out our overview of safety gear to learn which crampons, ice axes, helmets, and avy gear makes the most sense for you.

“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..
$74.95 $59.96
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..
$109.95
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..
$84.95 $69.95
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..
$74.95 $59.95
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..
$99.95 From $79.95
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..
$99.95
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..
$54.95
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..
$59.95 $44.95
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..
From $69.95
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..
$49.95 From $39.95
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 ..
$89.95 From $79.95
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..
$59.95
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..
$68.95
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..
$54.95
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..
$31.95
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..
$31.95
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)...
$19.95
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..
$11.95
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..
$149.95
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..
$24.95 From $19.96
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 ..
$11.95
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..
$19.95
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..
$34.95
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..
$119.95
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..
$29.95
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. Extended ..
$9.95
When you’re engaged in a European ski mountaineering race, it’s much more encouraging to hear cries of “Allez, allez, allez!” than “Oh, la la la!” To cultivate a more uplifting ratio of these phrases, the Dynafit DNA crampons will be your trusty ami(e). Tailored specifically for ski racing, these full-aluminum, ten-pointed spikey bits are ideal on packed, wind-affected, or refrozen..
$249.95
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..
$299.95
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..
From $199.95
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..
$149.95
Commandment #2477 of ski alpinism: thou shalt not scramble on rock with aluminum crampons. Instead of wincing each time you encounter a surface of mineralogic origin, suit up with the Dynafit Mezzalama Crampon, knowing you’ll have the best blend of durability and weight savings. The Mezzalama is built from the same chassis as the Dynafit DNA crampons but swaps the aluminum for full..
$249.95
Were you the runt of the family? You may have been the lightest, but you were probably the quickest too. Blue Ice's Harfang Tour is just the same - the lightest option in the Harfang family that will allow you to go that much faster as you carry less in your pack, or on your feet. The all-aluminum construction when paired with the slick Harfang design shaves weight that other cramp..
$169.95
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..
$159.95
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..
$229.95 $149.97
The Harfang Crampon from Blue Ice is one of the more innovative pointy accessories we've seen in recent memory. Featuring a three-part design, the Harfang is a highly packable crampon that rivals the likes of the Petzl Irvis Hybrid. With front points made from steel and the rest being made from aluminum, you're bound to notice the weight reduction AND increased security. Blue Ice h..
$179.95
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..
From $179.95
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 ..
$219.95
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..
$159.95 $129.92
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..
$189.95
We have all heard the term, "as hard as steel." If you need a set of crampons that fall into that category, then the all ChroMoly steel Blue Ice Harfang Enduro crampons can be your new rough and tumble adventure partner. This amazing design doesn't just look cool, it saves weight, offers up configuration options, and allows these sharps to squish down into a cute little ball of poi..
$159.95
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..
$279.95
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..
$149.95
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..
$189.95
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..
$99.95
There are heavy axes, and there are light axes, and then there's the CAMP Corsa Race Ice Axe. The Corsa Race is a hyperlight, skimo-tailored axe that is 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 holes into the bottom of the handle. An ad..
$159.95
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..
$169.95
Balancing technical prowess, rugged durability, lightweight, and an approachable price point, the Falk Ice Axe is a sturdy addition to the Blue Ice family. Swapping a titanium head for a steel one, the Falk is built from the same bones as the Hummingbird. Both axes feature an intuitive dual-textured grip, a featherweight aluminum shaft, and a beveled spike for security when plunged..
$119.95
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. Forg..
$119.95

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