Olly Allen is an IFMGA Mountain Guide and a direction of Mountain Tracks (MOUNTAINTRACKS.CO.UK), one of the UK’s premier providers of guided off piste skiing, ski mountaineering and touring. Exclusively for Climb, Olly has compiled his personal must-have items for ski mountaineering.
Dynafit TLT Superlite 2.0
I skied on this binding all last year and was extremely impressed with there lightweight (175g) performance. They have endured a fare amount of off-piste abuse over the season and look as good as new. As with all lightweight bindings there is always compromise to allow weight reduction. The bindings has a fixed vertical din (8, 10 or 12) so you purchase the heel piece with a pin bar rated accordingly. There is a full adjustable lateral din setting of 4-12 as per normal. The ski brake is bought separately and can be clipped on and off to save weight. It works well as a brake but getting it off with cold fingers can be fiddly.
Black Crows Navis Freebird
Despite the snot green graphics this is one of the best ‘fun’ touring ski’s I’ve had over the past few years. Its light enough (1600g) to handle rapid long ski touring ascents but comes into its own in the powder or on steeps. I have perfectly matched mine with the Dynafit TLT Superlite 2.0 especially as they compliment each others green colour scheme. It’s radius allows easy handling in tight terrain but not too much side cut to compromise grip on steep ground. The 102mm underfoot is fat enough to fly in the powder but not to wide to slow you down on the ascents.
Berghaus Asguard Hybrid Jacket
This goes everywhere with me in stuffed in the bottom of my ski rucksack. It’s light but warm and the combination of waterproof Hydroloft down and synthetic insulation on the exposed areas make for an awesome combo. Whether on a windswept col or snowy summit it gets thrown on over my other layers. I particularly like the tailored cut and mine is a nice shade of tangerine orange.
BCA Tracker 3
I have tested an awful lot of transceivers over the years and I still get drawn to the simplest ones. The third generation tracker is still has a simple user interface but now has the ability to mark multiple victims, antenna and up-datable software. I also love the fact its one of the smallest lightest devices on the market.
Thermos Ultimate Series 500ml Flask
For many years I invested in the cheap ‘supermarket’ stainless steel flasks but was disappointed when my tea got cold a few hours into a tour or my duvet jacket became a sponge for its contents. I did some research into flask technology, and came up with the Thermos Ultimate series. They are comparatively expensive, but worth every penny as my tea is always warm and the contents doesn’t leak into my rucksack.