How to pack for backcountry ski mountaineering
How to pack like an ACMG Ski Guide:
Backcountry Ski Mountaineering Gear List
- Transceiver – I wear mine in the manufacturer provided harness.
- Skin wax
- Rescue Toboggan
- First aid kit
- Lighters or waterproof matches
- Extra ski straps
- Small repair kit (multi-tool/knife, bits for bindings, and bailing wire)
- 700x 28c bike tube without the valve stem (This can be used as fire starter, tourniquet, tensor bandage or to help strap a ski to a boot.)
- Sunscreen with SPF50+ and lip balm, zinc
- Headlamp with extra batteries
- 1l of water
- Sunglasses and goggles
- Sun cap
- Waterproof and windproof shell- I’ve been using the Norrona Lyngen dri2 Thermo60 jacket
- WNDR Alpine Vital 100 184 cm reverse camber
- Soft shell pants- I’ve been using the Norrona Lyngen flex1 pants this spring.
- A packable synthetic insulation layer. I opt for the Norrona falketind Thermo60 Hood.
- Wool long johns (Norrona PureUll)
- Extra gloves
- Map and compass
- Crampons and an ice axe if required
- Ski crampons
- 30m RAD line for glacier travel, rappelling and basic short roping
- Crevasse rescue kit (2x6mm cordelette, 1x240cm sling, 3-4 non- locking carabiners, 3 locking carabiners and 1 triple action locking carabiner with a captive eye, 20 cm ice screw, Micro traxion, tibloc, personal prussik) and v-thread tool
- Emergency Communication Device
- VHF radio
- Arborist saw and scabbard that doubles as a splint
- Norwegian Avalanche Forecast
- Avalanche Canada Mountain Weather Forecast
I like to pack my ice axe in my pack to keep my to keep a sleeker profile and avoid catching my axe on things.
I maintain a consistent system of how I pack my backcountry ski mountaineering pack. The tarp/rescue toboggan always goes on the bottom and then I layer gear according to how I’ll need it during the day. If the approach is long, I try to keep the weight as low as possible, thus the rope, crampons and crevasse rescue kit goes on top of the tarp. Spare gloves and long johns can be used to fill in any voids near the bottom too. My spare puffy goes in next followed by my ice axe, lunch pouch and helmet. I like backcountry ski packs that have designated avalanche rescue gear compartments. I also like packs that have lids with pockets; I keep my goggles, sun block and snacks in them.