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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.

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 yo..
$129.95
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..
$49.95
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..
$174.95
The Petzl Sm'D has much in common with its brethren: a modified "D" shape, manually locking gate that snaps closed reliably, and an aluminum body. The special characteristic that sets this carabiner apart is the small hole just below the gate on the body. This hole is specifically designed to tie a keeper sling for your Tibloc or Micro-Traxion, two valuable items that deserve the s..
$17.95
The Petzl Attache is a pear-shaped carabiner designed for all things related to belaying. Thanks to the compact design and Screw Lock system, this carabiner is perfect for attaching to a belay device or running a Munter hitch. The H box section helps to reduce weight to a svelte 56 grams while the Keylock system reduces snagging. The lock system has a great visual indicator to tell..
$16.95
The weight of a wire-gate with the function of a traditional spring-gate? Sounds great! Petzl’s new Ange L (L for Large) weighs in at a svelte 34g with a seriously impressive 22kn major axis breaking strength. This is primarily due to the H-profile shaping. However, none of this matters if the gear doesn’t function properly. Luckily, the Ange is also incredibly well designed for sm..
$13.95
Useful gear weighing less than 30g (28g, to be exact) is trying to earn a spot in your backpack. Petzl’s Ange S (S for Small), is the perfect companion for technical ascents, descents, side-scents, and impromptu zip-lines in the field. Built to perfection with a MonoFil Keylock gate that brings the best of wire and solid gates together in harmonious union, the Ange is smooth and du..
$12.95
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..
$21.95
Outfit your Kong helmet with bells and whistles. Or more appropriately, ear pads and liners. Look here for Kong helmet accessories. Kosmos Ear Pads – Warmth and protection for your listeners. Available in white and black to match the helmet colors, these pads pop into place so you can have both winter and summer modes. With the dual-certification nature of the Kosmos helmet, you..
$17.95
Goggle Clips - Elastic bungee retention system that installs on the Ski Trab Race Helmet to secure your goggles. Also works with headlamps. GoPro Mount - Use this to bolt directly into your Ski Trab helmet for mounting cameras or compatible lights. Aero Goggle Straps - Straps to connect the Aero goggles to the attachment points on the Attivo helmet. Winter Ear Pads - Fuzzy..
From $24.95
Weighing 15% 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 ..
$99.95 From $79.96
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..
$384.95
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..
$84.95
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..
$229.95 $172.46
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
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..
$199.95
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 ..
$119.95
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..
$44.95
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 ..
$399.95
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
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
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..
$109.95
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
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..
$89.95
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 ..
$119.95
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 $127.96
The Mini Link is an ultralight stainless steel oval that is good for rigging rappels. The ovals are only 5cm x 2.5cm in size and weigh 21 grams (0.7 ounces) each. Perfect for ensuring a smooth rope pull-down without weighing down your pack with hardware. The Mini Links are made with 5mm thick stainless steel and rated with a 25kN (5620 lbf) breaking strength. Not CE certified...
$5.95
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..
From $99.95
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
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
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
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..
$449.95
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..
$69.95
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..
$69.95
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
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..
$199.95
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 ..
$579.95
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..
$499.95
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
Replacement holsters for ARVA avalanche transceivers with adjustable straps. Choose from Neo Pro or Evo5 beacons. These are the same holsters that ship with the beacons...
From $34.95
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 ..
$124.95
If you replace both the shaft and head of George Washington’s ice ax, is it still the same ax? Trick question: he died before the first modern ice axe was created in 1840. Nevertheless, you should feel free to change the identity of your ice axe by replacing these parts as often as you’d like. Everything listed here is sold individually. X-Alp Leash – Padded leash with a “lock o..
From $9.95
You can never have too many Nanos. Especially if you’re the type to litter the mountain with biners. The 22 is a revamped version of the classic CAMP Nano carabiner, which set the standard for lightweight functionality. The new version has a refined gate for easier clipping and a deeper basket for holding the rope position. CAMP also managed to increase the open-gate strength while..
$6.95
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 ..
$139.95 $104.96
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...
$9.95
A simple 4 gram (0.1 ounce) piece of rubber could save a much more expensive pack or jacket. Slide the protector on the spike of your CAMP ice axe for some peace of mind. Verified to fit the CAMP Corsa Nanotech axe...
$2.45
The head protector is a simple piece of rubber that stretches over the pick and adze of CAMP ice axes. Weighing 28 grams, it helps prevent slicing yourself while skiing with a ice axe attached to your pack. It also could help save nearby items if you toss axes in your pack or car. Verified to fit the Corsa line of axes, including the Nanotech...
$7.95

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