Suunto Ambit2 – My training watch – keeps track of the all important vertical ascent. The Ambit2 is a combined HR monitor and navigation device. It’s the least bulky GPS watch I have tried. Knowing that I have a digital trail of breadcrumbs that I can use to backtrack in the event of losing a track or ending up in a whiteout definitely gives me confidence. I’m looking forward to trying out the bluetooth enabled version – the Ambit3.
- Hammer Gel & Hydrapak Softflask – While I have traditionally been a ‘real food’ guy while training and skiing in the mountains, I have moved to using more gels. Hammer Gels mixed with water in a Soft Flask are the best way to maximize calories and minimize the weight/space in the pack.
- Crazy Idea Training Pants – I have a pair of tight pants and softshell pants and they are hands down the best. Tight pants are great for skimo training days when I don’t want to wear a full race suit. I want to wear the softshells at home since they are so comfortable. Next purchase will be a full zip pair.
- Aluminum Crampons – Aluminum crampons are awesome for ski mountaineering. Usually I don’t need a full steel crampon but just a bit of added traction for bootpacking up steep snow or walking along a ridge. The CAMP Race 290 crampons are crazy light and fold up really small. They also clip into the Dynafit heel of my boot. The Grivel Strap crampons are more versatile and work with running shoes or boots but are much more bulky. Finally, I have been experimenting with a new pair of ‘tech’ crampons from Pro Ski Guides. They are essentially just steel front points that clip into the Dynafit toe piece. I haven’t had the chance to try them on anything technical yet but they seem promising.
- Ski Gloves – CAMP race gloves with the wind cover are light enough to be able to manipulate skins and gear but the wind cover gives them some warmth on descents. They do wet out eventually though. On mountain days, I carry a pair of DB Dirtbag Gloves – lightweight full leather – and these are plenty if I am working in the snow or doing lots of descending.No-Stick Fry Pan – During ski season, I always start with a pretty big breakfast. Six scrambled eggs with meat, onion, cheese, spinach. I hate crappy fry pans that the legs burn onto and get wasted. I bring a good non-stick fry pan on the road to cook my eggs so they turn out right and my day gets started on a good note.
- Camera – I use a variety of different cameras depending on the day. My iPhone takes pretty good pictures in landscape mode. The Garmin VIRB is a GoPro knockoff that I use for action videos and photos but is really just good for closeup stuff. It does not take great beta photos for far away mountains. The Cannon Elph point and shoot gets left behind most of the time because the iPhone is really almost as good. The Cannon T5i is my favourite and comes along anytime I am not trying to go absolutely light and fast. I have a chest bag from LowePro for it that works alright but I need to cut it apart and make something that will attach to pack straps. Regardless of what took the photo, I almost always touch it up with the Google Snapseed App on my iPhone.
- Dynafit RC-1 Boots – They weigh *almost* nothing but they are super stiff and ski incredibly well! Shockingly well. I am usually a 28.5 and these just come in full sizes. The 28 was way to tight so I had to go with the 29. With an insole, they fit well and actually allow for some circulation compared to my previous boots. With just a tiny liner, they dry out quick but I still use my Hotronic Boot Dryers all the time.
- Petzl Nao – Awesome headlamp. Uses ‘reactive lighting’ so when you look down, it gets dimmer and when you look up, it gets brighter. Really bright. Rechargeable battery can be replaced with AAs if you run out of juice in the field.