As many of you probably know we are currently in the Bavarian Alps in southern Germany enjoying a ski season. Now that spring is approaching, we’ve had some amazing days of sunny warm weather lately, but this also affects the snow and makes it more dangerous if you go skiing off-piste.
If you’ve planned to do some off-piste skiing this spring, take a look at this gear guide to make sure you have everything you need for your trip to the mountains.
We’re going to assume that you’ve already figured out that you need a ski jacket and pants, gloves and base layers, and consider some of the less obvious items that can come in handy while you’re away.
And don’t forget, as the season draws on a lot of the gear you need will be available at a discount, so look out for a good ski sale before you buy.
Which can be tricky on a mountain. The latest version is solar charged, so you can top it up when you stop for a rest. Solar PowerMonkey
This will make your fellow skiers or boarders really jealous – a battery heated insole for your boots – not recommended for late season sun, but if you’re on the mountain in early January they’re worth their weight in gold.
Toko Hot Wax
Ideally, your board or skis need to be serviced after every trip away. So rather than paying for someone else to do it, buy some Toko hot wax and a file and do it yourself.
It’s easy (as long as you haven’t been hitting too many stones) and has the added advantage of letting you give your kit a quick once over half way through the trip.
This is one for the snowboarders; a pocket tool lets you adjust your bindings, or more importantly tighten them up if they get loose. This can happen with surprising ease if your set up is new.
And if you’re set up for freestyle and hit a huge downhill, then you can change the angle of dangle in a couple of minutes.
A phone signal can be hard to find in more remote parts of the mountain, so a couple of radios are the ideal solution. There are a lot on the market, so take your time and read some reviews before you decide which set to buy.
A lot of good ski and board jackets have an avalanche transmitter built in these days, but if your friends haven’t got a transceiver they won’t find you. Essential for deep off piste conditions high up the mountain.
This is essentially a lightweight stick that collapses to fit in your pack. It has one invaluable purpose – finding someone when they’re buried, and can literally make the difference if one of your party gets caught under the snow.
Does what it says on the tin, and once you’ve used the transceiver and probe to locate the buried person, it will help you get them out a lot faster. The fact that it can also be used to build small kickers is an added bonus.
If you’ve got the transceiver, probe and shovel in your pack, then statistics say it should take no more than 16 minutes to find the avalanche victim. Without them, it will take over an hour – so choose your mountain equipment carefully.
What gear would you recommend bringing on a ski trip?