Ounces count and if you can actually increase performance while shaving some weight…all the better!

Big thanks to my amigo at CAMP USA, Jesse Matner. He knew I was headed to a long week of self-propelled ski touring in Canada and hooked me up with a 240cm carbon probe, made by CAMP (128g, 4.3 oz, $90, camp-usa.com). It remains to be seen if I get to keep this little gem…but I’m hoping the answer’s “yes”, as you’ll soon read why.

During my week north, at Whitecap Alpine hut in BC, I asked Canada’s foremost avalanche educator, Colin Zacharias, about carbon probes.

“What you don’t want with a probe is deflection,” answered Zacharias. “Carbon probes are stiffer, so you’re less likely to miss someone while probing.”

Deflection refers to the bend or flex in a probe when you drive it into the snow. Avy debris can be tremendously dense (upwards of 300kg/m3), so if your probe bends 40cm out of its trajectory, you could conceivably miss someone buried a couple meters down. Definitely undesirable.

I had been lugging around a 300cm probe made by another manufacturer and it tipped the scales at more than 11 ounces! Save a little weight on your pack, your skis, your bindings, and your probe and you can easily drop your tour weight by ten pounds or more.

Anything to avoid laying off the donuts, eh?

Well, count me a lazy man and willing to pare down wherever possible, apart from my ingested, bready fried delights. I’m loving my CAMP carbon probe. It’s light, stood up to a week of snow pits and tests with nary a scratch, and lightens my load considerably.

Now I just need to maneuver myself into keeping it…and I’m golden.

Snow forecast for the weekend…and I’m headed to Park City for a bachelor party. May the Wasatch deliver! Play safe and see you somewhere soon.