Japan, NZ, AK and occasionally Australia
Any backcountry regular worth his or her salt has some straps in their pack. They're a bit like a backcountry WD40, there are a million-and-one uses, particularly when something breaks.
Make sure you get a few different lengths, not just the long ones. You can always daisy-chain them together.
My favourite use is to attach my splitboard crampons to my waist strap on my backpack.
This is highly embarrassing, as I'm a snowboarder, but I've even used them to A-frame my splitboard when bootpacking like in this photo!
They will, just.. I have Driver X's and they're fine. With previous snowboard pants, I used to wear my cuffs over the top of my highbacks to reduce friction wear 'n' tear between the highback and boot, with these they're not loose enough to do that. This is no problem, just something to be aware of. The plus side of this is that you'll NEVER get a single flake of snow in your boot!
Not much use if you don't have it in your mouth (or at least unzipped) when riding in avalanche terrain!
Going from "ride" to "tour" is easy, no need to take off the bindings. Simply unclip from ride mode and then drop the toe part into the touring plate.
Karakorams are the real deal when it comes to split board bindings. The days of fiddling with pins or, worse, snapping a pin on an exposed ridgeline are over! (sorry voile)
Aligning pucks is also a thing of the past. Of course it's worth spending an hour or so getting the fit snug and tight at home to avoid problems in the field. Make sure you re-tighten the screws after riding them once or twice.
In ride mode the bindings connect solidly with 5 contact points to the board.
Get yourself some heel lockdowns (enables split "skiing" although you can't put too much load on the binding as it'll snap) and on those flat run outs back to the trailhead you'll arrive at the same time as your 2-plank buddies.
Going from ride to tour, you don't even need to take the bindings off your boots.
These bindings aren't compatible with the old 'chinese' board hooks so you'll need to get the karakoram board clips as well, they're way better than the chinese hooks anyway.
I'd recommend the karakoram split crampons and you can fit these on the fly as well.
I've never had a problem with snow build-up, even in extreme balls deep powdery conditions such as Japan, all it takes is a tap to shake off excess snow.
The new bindings from spark r and d (tesla system) look a pretty solid alternative, although I haven't tried these.
My only (minor) gripe with these is the binding straps are a little low grade, could be better.
They also do a carbon version that I wish I'd bought, more expensive, but also lighter.
These are absolute beasts and work really well with the Karakoram bindings. The design is slightly different from normal ski crampons in that they don't have 'free' and 'fixed' modes. It's kind of a hybrid between the two (although probably closer to 'free') and seems to be the best of both worlds. The toe end of the crampon will always be in contact with the snow (or ice!) and the rear part lifts up with your foot.
They're quite large and they do nest as advertised but they're not what I'd call compact when nested. I generally ski strap them in the nested config and then 'biner them to my backpack waist strap (or harness).
Importantly, you can fit/remove them on the fly without taking your feet out of the bindings (or bindings off the split).
Like any touring gear, it's worth spending some time at home with a screwdriver getting the fit right.
This is a great polo shirt for across-the-globe travelling or anything else where your time between showers is a little longer than you prefer as, like all merino type products, there's virtually no "clunk factor" even after a few days of wearing it. It's comfortable, there's no itching that was once the hallmark of wool products worn next to the skin.
The one minor problem I had with a lot of icebreaker products is their durability. I returned one icebreaker product that started to disintegrate after it'd been washed once. Most have lasted reasonably well, but on average not as long as synthetics. Tumble drying is definitely bad for their longevity and should be avoided.
This is last years model. I'm splitboard touring in the Mt Cook (New Zealand) backcountry.
Traversing the Fox Glacier Nev� with NZ 2nd highest mountain, Mt Tasman, in the background.
This is a great light addition to your pack for day backcountry split/ski touring. It's ultra-light, takes up next to no room and is waterproof so the contents don't get damp from condensation. The only thing I add is finger/thumb splints. You could probably stuff it in the inside pocket of a ski shell if you really wanted to.
I love crowbars, but now they've come out with the airbrake, get them instead as the lens is much quicker to change.
No, not designed to be zipped into a shell. You could certainly wear it under a shell, but if you're sweating down might not be the best insulation choice.
North Bowl of Mt Shiribetsu, Hokkaido, Japan
I fully admit to having a beanie fetish, but this is one of my favourites. I am a big fan of natural fibres and the yukon is all natural wool. Don't worry though, the inside has a light fleece lining so it won't irritate your precious noggin'.
I use mine for backcountry touring and I like the brim as it keeps snow off my sunnies if it's snowing or blocks the sun a little if it's sunny.
It's quite warm as the wool is the thick woven style.
And when you pop into the local bar for an apres ski tour bevvie, you'll look quite stylish too!
As shown in the photo, I bought this item to use over the top of my shell when splitboard touring, in particular for when you reach the top of a snowy, windy ridge line and are getting ready for the descent and you want to add another layer, but don't want to take your shell off and expose yourself to the elements.
Anyway, this is a light and warm vest that does the job. It packs away nicely into its own pocket and takes up hardly any room in my pack. The outer material is tough enough that wearing it underneath your pack won't damage it.
First day I used this, it froze up after a few hours at -15c. I'd used it a couple of times no problem, then I went for lunch and it froze shut, luckily I had some pliers and I was able to open it. I will be returning this.
You sound like a medium, I'm 5'9" and 180lbs (errrr, I obviously carry a little more weight than you!). I got a large as I wanted room for layering and room to stuff skins down the front when it's super cold. Mine fits pretty well (I've got big shoulders), but it's a little long in the arms, which doesn't really bother me, as you can see in this photo.
I've had these about a year now and used them in all kinds of conditions ranging from neck-deep Japanese powder to icy new Zealand glaciers to Aussie spring snow and I'm most happy with them. I haven't tried the g3's which allegedly 'glide' better but don't grip quite as well. Get on an icy traverse and tell me you prefer glide over grip!
I haven't bothered with wax or cheat sheets and I haven't had a problem getting them apart in temps as low as -15c (use your thighs!). I've heard g3 have come out with a new grippier skin, which I might try, but for now I'm happy with these.
I've had tail clips from the start (sparkrandd), I'm not confident enough to "macgyver" them and I've never had any problem with the skins coming un-glued.
This photo is drying my skins on an overnight camping trip in the Aussie backcountry, Mt Feathertop.
Fantastic lightweight and tough goretex pro shell jacket.
I use it for splitboard touring and I'm over the moon with it. The chest pockets fold really flat, but you can pack them with a heap of stuff when necessary.
The goretex pro shell fabric is tough and light.
The zips are well constructed and seal well.
The best feature is the hood. It's big enough so you can wear a helmet underneath, but with 2 easily adjustable set of pull cords will cinch up nicely when you're just wearing a beanie.
The photo is from New Zealand, Fox Glacier.
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