Ski season 2019/2020! It had its ups: getting into ski touring with my girlfriend and conquering many routes 👍, its downs: broken metacarpal 👎. But overall it was a great season. What allowed for such adventures was good fitness and good gear. Here I touch on the gear.
Late last season I broke my pair of Lines Sir Francis Bacon free ride skis 😠. Turns out spring slush can get rocky in the Alps. In the end I was down to just boots, poles, old Burton jacket that eats snow, and old snowboard pants. Time for an upgrade. This season I was determined to get into ski touring and was lucky enough to find someone also interested. Wanted to use what I had but even the boots had to be replaced because my old ones did not have pin groves 🤷♂️.So all new gear set 🥂.
After to many hours of research a new set was formed: Salomon QST 106 skis, Salomon shift bindings, and Salomon MT Explore boots. Never owned anything Salomon in my life but Cody Townsend’s the fifty was very convincing.
In theory it’s a pretty versatile set. Solid enough for groomers, big enough for powder days in the side country, and able to tour in the backcountry. Does it deliver? Yes! They ride like a dream in the powder. Bit of a boat on the groomers but still fun. On tour you definitely feel the weight but the ride down is super solid and easy to control. I had zero problems that some reported with the MT Explore boots driving the big skis. Maybe I just don’t ski that hard but they work fine fo me.
Also made use of my Blackdiamond trekking poles with the powder baskets!
Soon as there was enough snow we primarily did ski touring the whole season. Makes me with I had a lighter kit ex: Dynafit 88s, Atomic carbon boots, and the lighter pin bindings. Would have make the skinning, my favourite part of the sport being close to nature, easier. The weight didn’t hindered adventures. The G3 Minimist Skins gripped well and worked for everything but the steepest icy slopes. Next season I’m planning to get ski crampons to help with steep ice. Already carrying safety gear anyway.
Avalanche probe, avalanche transceiver (PEPS DSP Sport), and snow shovel are mandatory ski touring safety gear. I’m very happy with my set. I bought a dual set so my partner and I are aware how to use each others kit. The PEPS transceiver is rock solid. Having used many transceivers during the Lenggries training, this PEPS is simplest to use. The partner check mode is really smart I like how it automatically puts you in send mode afterward 👍📶. At first I thought I’d never use the safety stuff outside an emergency but the shovel is super handy. Easy to dig a snow bench to share lunch on. Also planning to use the safety kit in future mountaineering focused adventures.
A carry over from fall is my Arc’teryx Beta AR jacket. Worked absolutely flawlessly as a ski jacket. Small enough to rollup and put into the pack but strong enough to block summit winds. The arms are long enough to not have problems leaning forward with ski poles on the decent. When paired with the Arc’teryx puffy makes a great high altitude kit.
Thanks for checking out my gear reviews. For photos of me using the gear checkout my ski related posts.