HUT-BASED SKI TOURING GEAR LIST
You need to have everything on the list!
I can provide safety gear such as shovel, probe, transceiver and harness. Let me know as soon as possible if you need any of this.
I provide transceiver rentals for $80/week, all other equipment I provide free of charge.
AVALANCHE TRANSCEIVERS – IMPORTANT
Your transceiver has to have been manufactured since 2001 (so it meets EN 300718 standard). It is best if your transceiver is less than 10 years old.
We only allow modern digital transceivers on our trips.
Modern transceivers can have compatibility issues with transceivers manufactured before 2001 and any analog transceivers even if they work on the same frequency.
The manufacturer should have tested your transceiver within the last 3 years. If this hasn’t been done you must have tested your transceiver yourself for distance in both transmit and receive modes – it needs to have a signal at a minimum of 30 metres.
No "analog" transceivers are allowed. We also do not allow some older style digital transceivers.
The following transceivers are not allowed on this trip:
Ortovox: F1, M1, M2, X1, D3, Patroller, Patroller Digital
SOS: all types
Pieps: Vector (recalled) and Freeride
Others: any transceiver manufactured before 2001
I can recommend any of the newer transceivers manufactured by Pieps.
There are many other transceivers available. If they are sold by MEC they are acceptable. However, I do not have extensive experience in some other types so will not be able to help you learn about them as well as the recommendations above.
Let me know if you would like more information on transceivers.
If your transceiver does not meet the specifications above you will not be going skiing!
COMMON EQUIPMENT PROBLEMS
Issues we see with ski equipment include the following. Some of these problems might end your ski week or at least make life very frustrating! Make sure you have these things sorted out before the trip.
Slow skis/boards. Make sure your bases are smooth and waxed! A tune-up for your skis/board is well worth the investment.
Inappropriate backcountry skis/boards: too heavy, too narrow or skis/boards that are not backcountry specific. Try to keep your set-up as light as possible. Ski width under your foot should be in the 95-105 mm range, give or take. Narrower than this and you may have issues in deep snow or crust conditions, wider than this is often too heavy.
G3 SKINS MANUFACTURED BEFORE THE 2017-2018 SEASON ARE NOT RECOMMENDED. Glue failure on these skins has ended more than one trip for our clients. G3 skins manufactured after 2017 seem to be working well.
Other skin problems. Make sure your skin glue is in good shape and get them fixed if the glue is dirty, in clumps, or the glue has worn off at the edges or ends of the skins. If your skins don't work you can't go skiing. Some shops can replenish or re-glue skins for you or you can do it yourself. Here are a couple of tutorials: Replenishing or Re-glueing
Boot problems. Ill-fitting boots will give you blisters. And all boots have bolts and rivets that may come loose. If your boots are brand new or well-worn make sure fittings are tight and in good shape. Bring specific tools to tighten the bolts/screws on your boots and check them a couple of times over the week.
Binding problems. Beware of the following bindings:
Make sure all ski gear is in good shape and you are familiar with its use.
AT touring skis or telemark skis or splitboard
Understand that telemark and snowboard bindings may not be releasable and greatly increase your risk if caught in an avalanche.
No snowboard/snowshoe combinations, splitboards only.
FOR TRIPS IN APRIL: ski crampons
Boots: If they are new ensure you have the fit worked out! I recommend a professional boot fitting.
Digital avalanche transceiver. See recommendations above.
Skin wax: I find a simple candle works fine.
Water bottle and/or thermos
Small personal first aid/repair kit: band aids, blister kit, headache pills, hand and toe warmers, extra batteries for transceiver and headlamp, duct tape, pocket knife, special binding and boot parts.
Toilet kit: toilet paper, baggie for used paper, hand sanitizer
50-65 L capacity pack. You need to be able to carry all your gear and your share of the food for the trip.
WHEELER HUT AND HILDA HOSTEL TRIPS: an additional 30-40 L capacity backpack for the day trips. All your gear and clothing for the day trips must fit in your pack. Nothing should be strapped to the outside.
Optional safety gear: ski helmet, Avalung, balloon pack. Some airlines will not allow the canisters for balloon packs on the aircraft. Please check with your airline well before you arrive at the airport. Click here for info on how you can fill your own canisters when you get to Calgary.
Glacier travel and Crevasse RESCUE EQUIPMENT (I CAN SUPPLY THIS IF REQUIRED)
Most trips will require this equipment. Your guide will tell you if you DO NOT need this gear but if unsure please inquire.
Harness - any sit harness will do but one like the Black Diamond Couloir is good in that it can be put on easily while wearing ski boots and skis.
3 locking carabiners
1 - 5 m x 6 mm prussik cord
1 - 120 cm webbing sling
You may bring more crevasse rescue equipment if you are trained with its use
Be prepared for temperatures from -20 to +5! Average temperatures at this time of year are normally about -5 to -12.
Several thin layers are better than fewer thicker layers. No cotton!
Long underwear tops and bottoms - wool or synthetic
Ski pants – softshell or light hardshell pants both are fine
Thin windbreaker/softshell top - for walking uphill in warm conditions
Warmer softshell jacket – I prefer a hooded jacket but it’s not absolutely necessary
Shell jacket – to keep the wet out, Gore-tex or similar seems best
Warm down or synthetic "puffy" jacket – for breaks and emergency use
Lightweight gloves – for walking uphill in warm conditions
Warm gloves – 2 pairs (mittens are optional but recommended if you get cold hands)
Hand warmers if you get cold hands
Balaclava or neck tube – essential for cold conditions
Hut slippers or shoes (lightweight and easily packable)
Toiletries and toilet paper
Sleeping bag - the sleeping quarters are relatively warm so a bag rated to about 0 degrees is fine
WHEELER HUT AND HILDA CREEK HOSTEL TRIPS: one set of street clothes if you want something else to wear around the hut. For other huts you will want to make do with your outdoor gear as we have to carry everything long distances.
THE hut WILL have:
Outhouses, no paper
All cooking utensils
All eating utensils
Propane stoves with lots of propane
Some huts have heating systems but many do not. However, they are small enough that cooking and body heat keep them at a comfortable temperature.
U.S. and foreign participants need passports to travel to Canada. Ensure the expiry date is well after the trip ends.
Guides will provide:
Group first aid kit
Group repair kit
GPS, compass, map etc
Good looks and bright personalities