The Best Backcountry Ski Gear

Conor Hurley- ACMG ski guide, explains his backcountry kit

Over the years, I’ve honed my kit for optimized performance, utility and efficiency; here’s an in-depth look into the gear I use on a daily basis while working in the mountains.  In my opinion this is the best backcountry ski gear on the market.

Enjoy some discounts from our partners with these codes:

WNDR Alpine.  This code will get you 20% off FF20-CONORH

Folkrm poles will give you 20% off with this code ARCTOS20

Raide Packs will give you $50 a pack with this codearctos-50-off

Norrona will give you 5% off with this code PROCONORH


I’ve partnered with Wndr Alpine for four years now.  Their skis are perfectly suited for the backcountry experience.  Built to last, crafted with care while incorporating biotechnology, the choice to ride WNDR has been a no brainer.

Enjoy a 20% discount of WNDR skis and boards with this code:


Backcountry ski gear

WNDR Alpine Vital 100 

As human powered ski guide, finding a ski that skis and walks well is fundamental to the trade.  The Vital 100 reverse camber proved to be a one ski quiver this winter.  Contrary to modern ski choice, I decided to ski a narrower ski this winter due to a heavy work schedule and some early season medial knee pain.  The reverse camber profile gave the Vital plenty of float and the 190cm length helped it ski “fatter” in the deep powder for which BC is known. Read a full review here.

WNDR Alpine Intention 108

The Intention 108 was the ski to which I turned on deeper days or when I wanted to ski in a bit more of a new school fashion.  The Intention shreds pow with irreverence.  The shorter turning radius allows it to pivot on a dime while its consistent flex pattern and width provides plenty of stability to arc huge GS turns in the alpine.  Read a full review here.

WNDR Alpine Reason 120

For your deep snow pleasures.  That pretty much sums up the Reason 120.  Designed for the deep, the Reason shreds pow like no other.  A playful turning radius, coupled with a wood core, the Reason has an enjoyable snap underfoot and while giving an unparalleled ride in deep powder.  For the double overhead powder days, this is my tool of choice.  Read a full review here.

Avalanche Rescue Gear

backcountry ski pack, ski mountaineering

Ski Mountaineering and Glacier Travel Kit

Ski Mountaineering Kit, backcountry ski gear

Depending on the objective and the time of the year, I add or subtract various items on the list.  Here’s what’s in the photo above:

Partner with us

Arctos Guides is based in British Columbia and offers trips in Rogers Pass,  the Kootenays, Coastal BC, various backcountry lodges and custom basecamps and traverses throughout BC. Arctos also offers curated backcountry trips in Norway, South America, Japan and coming soon Georgia.  Arctos Guides are certified by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides.

Arctos Guides is committed to sustainability.  All of our trips have carbon offsets built into the price.  3% of Arctos’ profits are committed to local agriculture and sustainable endeavours in the Slocan Valley.  Be the change you seek.

Please get in touch if you’d like to partner with us.