You’re headed to a 10th Mtn division hut trip in Colorado! Perhaps a Summit Hut Association Hut. What do you really need to bring?
1. Ski Gear
- Backcountry Skis
- Touring bindings
- Backcountry Ski Boots The Backcountry Babes consensus for best make and model? Scarpa Gea RS boots.
- Ski Poles -adjustable height, lock firmly into place, powder baskets, extra grip. Black Diamond is a good brand.
- Climbing skins trimmed to fit your skis
- Scraper and wax – to get sticky snow off your skins while you tour on those warm days. Also remember to scrape your bindings during transitions and before setting your skis out overnight so that ice doesn’t build up.
- Avalanche Transceiver w/fresh batteries. BCA Tracker2 is a solid, easy to use beacon.
- Shovel – metal not plastic G3 Shovels
- Probe –G3 Probes
- Make sure all your ski gear and avy gear is in good working order before the trip. Do you have fresh batteries? Do you know how to step into your bindings? How to put on your skins? Have you tried assembling your shovel and probe? Doing all these things before your trip will help you focus on touring and skiing, not fiddling with your gear.
- Wanna learn the basics of touring first? Take an intro to the backcountry class! Go out for a tour! Learn to put in a skin track and how to turn the corner uphill in powder 🙂
- At least 70oz carrying capacity for water. Water bottles, a hydration bladder (beware the frozen hose situation) and an insulated thermos for tea.
- Backcountry ski backpack to put all this in
- Headlamp – we’re never planning to do any nighttime ski touring, but a good habit is to bring a few things on every outing in case things don’t go according to plan and you are out later than expected.
2. Skiing Outfit
- Sun hat
- Sun glasses: High quality, polarized sunglasses with great sun protection. You’ll see Backcountry Babes guides wearing SMITH Optics.
- Goggles: For snowy days. Once again, Smith Optics is our favorite. Their I/OS model is good for smaller faces.
- Sunscreen: Winter formula to prevent chapped skin.
- Lip Balm with SPF
- Helmet? Some people don’t use a helmet in the backcountry, others do. SMITH Snow Helmets for Women
- A warm layer: down jacket or vest
- Waterproof outer shell
- Waterproof shell pants. I opt for uninsulated and bring layers for underneath.
- Wool Buff to keep your neck warm
- Layers! Once you’re hiking uphill you might want to shed layers until you’re in your lightweight base layer, even on the most arctic Canadian Rocky days. Here’s my layering system:
- Patagonia R1 Hoodie or some kind of expedition weight base layer top
- Wool long sleeved shirt or some kind of midweight base layer top
- Lightweight base layer – short sleeved wool tshirt to hike in, or long sleeved to keep the sun off
- Wool long underwear aka midweight base layer bottoms
- Fleece Pants aka expedition weight base layer bottoms. I just got some Patagonia DAS puffy pants. I think I’ll never be cold again. I wear these hanging out in a cold hut, but never while touring.
- Ski Socks I like wool socks, as thin as possible, and a new pair each day to keep them from getting crusty and cold.
- Sports Bra – I found the unstinkable fabric from Athleta is actually unstinkable. It is awesome.
- Gloves – My new favorite: Handout gloves. I usually bring 2 pair of gloves to rotate through wet and dry.
- Warm Hat – Pistil Designs for style points
4. Random Essentials
- Credit Card, Driver’s License, and Insurance Card in the world’s thinnest Allet Wallet. Emily used to work for Allet years ago… and she still loves spreading the word about how awesome they are!
- Personal first aid, blister ampoules, bandages, personal medications, tampons
- Hair ties, mini hair brush, mini shampoo, mini toiletries
- Contact lenses or eyeglasses
- Cell phone – great for photos and communication on your way into and out of the backcountry. Usually no service available at the hut.
5. Bonus Points
- a surprise stash of chocolate to share on a special day
- a quote or reading to share with your group on a peak
- a ukulele or guitar with chords/lyrics
- a great camera and share your photographic efforts
- a Skhoop skirt – throw it on over your long underwear and voile, looking ski hut chic!
We’re headed back to Francie’s Cabin and Janet’s Cabin near Breckenridge, CO. Join us in 2017!
For great information about each hut, route descriptions and free topos , I suggest going to Hut-ski.org. A wonderful, and free, resource.
This is great,
I’d like to hear from you about a day pack you recommend because I don’t want to use the large one I pack in with.
I like the skirt idea for ski but chic. Can hardly wait to go.
Thank you for your ideas.