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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 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
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 ..
$59.95
When you're looking for a ski racing harness there aren't many boxes you need to check, but those that do need to be checked are paramount to your safety, comfort, and fun. Thankfully, CAMP's Alp Race Harness confidently checks every one of them! The Alp Race Harness is extremely lightweight, breathable, and tear-resistant. It comes with a small pouch that enables it to pack down t..
$59.95
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
“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
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
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
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
To rappel, or not to rappel? That is the question. Whether it is nobler in the mind to down climb or suffer the extra weight of thy harness and rope that will add to your pack. With William Shakespeare’s words echoing in your head these are not decisions that we should take lightly, but with CAMP’s new feather-light Alp CR ski mountaineering harness this decision comes much easier...
$69.95
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 ..
$99.95 $74.96
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 ..
$79.95
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..
$79.95
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
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..
$99.95 $79.96
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
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..
$84.95 From $69.95
The Aero Lite Ice Screw from Blue Ice is a welcomed addition to any ski mountaineer's rack. Designed in the heart of Chamonix, these screws are some of the lightest ice screws on the market. A 13cm Aero Lite is significantly lighter than its Petzl Laser Speed Light counterpart. How is that possible? Both the shaft and hanger have been forged out of aluminum while the crank implemen..
$84.95
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..
$87.95
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
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..
$89.95
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 ..
$89.95
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 $69.95
Light, versatile, and protective. These are but three adjectives among many that can be used to describe the Petzl Meteora Helmet. With an In-Mold construction and women-specific cutout on the adjustment band to sit over a ponytail, the Meteora is designed to sit low on your head, increasing coverage for maximal protection. The large and numerous vents on the Meteora encourage airf..
$89.95
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 ..
$94.95
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
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
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..
$99.95
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
Only Petzl could design an even slimmer, simpler yet truly well-crafted and elegant progress capture pulley in the wake of the famed Micro Traxion. Behold the Nano Traxion! This nifty piece of gear was seemingly created with weight-conscious ski mountaineers in mind by shaving off even more precious grams for an already extremely compact device. The Nano Traxion now provides users ..
$99.95
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
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..
$139.95 $104.96
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
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
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
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
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
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 ..
$119.95
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
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..
$119.95
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
Offering just the right amount of protection, especially when considering their weight and breathability, climbing helmets are increasingly being pressed into service by many backcountry users looking to cash in on these qualities. Seeing this trend, companies like Mammut and Petzl have devised a “ski touring” standard that recognizes the unique protective considerations ski tourin..
$119.95
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
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 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
If you’ve ever thought to yourself “man, it’d be really cool if I could use my ice axe as a shovel handle,” you’re not alone. For years, weight and space-minded ski mountaineers have fantasized about the mythical ice axe that acted as a shovel handle. If you’re anything like us, you may have even tried all sorts of axe and shovel blade combinations, but haven't been satisfied. Alas..
$129.95
CAMP's Voyager helmet. Cool name for a cool helmet that keeps you cool. 17 (go ahead and count them) vents are just one of the upshots of this brain bucket. Don't worry, it will keep you warm as well. A removable liner and removable ear flaps will have you comfortably skiing and well protected from mid-winter, to spring all the way through volcano season. When those ski days become..
$139.95
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 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

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