Best of the Backcountry

Getting out to tour and earn turns is not just a gear-intensive pursuit. It’s gear dependent—both to best enjoy the skin up and the ride down, and to keep you safe. Here’s the stuff we appreciated most when we headed into the wild this winter.

Holden

Puffy Slipper Shoe

Pro tip: Nothing will make you happier than a comfy pair of kicks waiting back at the car after a big tour. These cushy, insulated slip-ons take away all the ouch of plastic boots. $80; holdenouterwear.com

Ortovox

Beast and 3+

A solid shovel and beacon you know well (meaning you must practice on it!) are mandatory tools for any backcountry travel. The shape of the Beast shovel blade both gives you a lot of digging power and slips easily into a pack. The reliable 3+ beacon automatically switches to the best transmission antenna when you are searching for buried partners, making for faster, easier location.
$60 (Beast); $340; (3 Plus); ortovox.com

Julbo

Aerospace

A goggle designed with the backcountry in mind, the photochromic (a.k.a. adjusts to changes in light)Aerospace sports lots of venting built in the frame and the ability to move the lens forward to stop fogging on a sweaty push. $235; julbo.com

Leki

Tour Stick Vario Vertical

The tirgger in these, 100-percent carbon poles makes it easy to adjust on the skin track even when you are wearing gloves. In fact, Leki’s Tour Plus V glove ($140) works in tandem with the Dyneema strap system here. $220; leki.com

Scarpa

Gea RS

The revamped Gea gives a hard-charging woman all she would want in an AT boot—it’s quite light at 1,260 grams per boot in a Mondo size 25 and the powerful, supple shell conveysw smooth flex thanks to carbon fiber stringers built into the plastic. A heat-moldable liner seals the deal.
$795; scarpa.com

La Sportiva

Solar 

This light (1,050 grams in a size 27 Mondo), two-buckle backcountry AT boot fits like a dream thanks to a closure system that ratchets down to the shape of your forefoot. That simple innovation imparts a lot of confidence. $699; lasportiva.com

DPS

Tour Wailer 112 RP2 Tour1

With a shape that simply floats in consolidated snow or deep pow, the Wailer has been a go-to ski for our touring crew for the past few seasons. A balsa-wood core makes this iteration even lighter and easier to schuss up the skin track. $1,099; dpsskis.com

Blizzard

Rustler 11

The most popular ski in the EO office, this 111-cm-underfoot charger is simply a fun ride—in the untracked wilds or popping into the trees at the resort. Credit that playfulness to a carbon frame and the perfect amount of rocker in its twin-tip construction.
$700: blizzardsports.com 

Phoozy 

XP3 SeRies

This simple accessory both keeps your precious phone protected—from cold and heat… plus, it floats—and easy to locate out in the hills. Plus, it provides a wallet pocket to hold cash and cards. $50; phoozy.com

 

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