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Ski & Snowboarding Mountaineering

Tools for the Pursuit

The allure of riding big lines in the big mountains exerts a powerful draw on many dedicated skiers and snowboarders, but getting there often requires more than simply following a skin track up a ridge. It can require navigating crevasse-strewn glaciers, climbing technical ice, and rappelling rocky sections of the descent. It also requires experience, risk management, and a healthy respect of the dangers inherent in the mountains. In this collection we bring you the tools of the trade—gaining the knowledge required to use them is up to you.

Lucas Debari & Ralph Backstrom

Southeast Greenland Photo: Adam Clark
Follow The Journey
In The Pack Icon


Packing for a ski mountaineering adventure is a delicate dance: you need to prepare for every possible situation while keeping your pack weight as low as possible. No matter how Spartan your kit is, there are some items that should always be in your pack (possibly an airbag pack): extra layers, hydration, food, first aid, and most importantly, avy safety gear like your shovel and probe.

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The North Face Free Thinker Bib Backcountry Athlete

Johnny Collinson

La Grave, France Photo: Adam Clark The North Face Free Thinker Bib Shop Now
Skin Up Icon

Skin Up

In order to ride back down, one must first go up. The skin up calls for a breathable layering system, climbing skins, adjustable poles, and lightweight touring boots. Last but not least, make sure your beacon is strapped on and is transmitting.

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Lucas Debari, Johnny Collinson, Ralph Backstrom, & Hilaree O'Neill

Southeast Greenland Photo: Adam Clark
Spyder Eiger Shell Jacket Backcountry Athlete

Chris Davenport

Bella Coola, Canada Photo: Adam Clark Spyder Eiger Shell Jacket Shop Now
Steep Icon

It Gets Steep

When the pitch steepens and the terrain gets sketchy, it’s time to break out the technical tools. While the climbing gear you’ll need depends heavily on the requirements of your specific objective, it can include a basic alpine rack, harness, rope, crampons, ice axes, helmet, and a belay device. In this phase of the adventure, experience and good decision-making are of utmost importance.

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On Top Icon

On Top

In terms of reward, standing on the summit is second only to the thrill of the descent. Following the exertion of the climb, it’s important to layer up before descending. A down jacket stowed in your pack is perfect for adding warmth without taking up too much space or adding weight. You’ll also need a camera here since “pics or it didn’t happen…”

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Dave Rosenbarger & Johan Jonsson

Svalbard, Norway Photo: Adam Clark
Rip Icon

Let It Rip

This is the payoff. Getting the most out of your hard-earned turns requires a ski or snowboard setup that delivers the right balance of low weight and downhill performance, as well as outerwear that’s up to the challenge. Beyond the gear, taking steps to mitigate avalanche danger like assessing the condition of the snowpack, avoiding terrain traps, and communicating with your partner are a top priority.

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Smith IOX Interchangeable Goggle Backcountry Athlete

Griffin Post

Bella Coola, Canada Photo: Adam Clark Smith IOX Interchangeable Goggle Shop Now