Resort and piste skiing has never been more popular, but to get that outdoor tech working it’s hardest you’ve simply got to go further.
Ski touring is where it’s at, and as it can give you the keys to the remotest winter wildernesses on the planet it’s very much here to stay. We’ve rounded up the very best ski touring tech to keep you safe on your mountain adventure...
Haglofs Vassi II jacket
When you're out in the mountains only a proper shell jacket will do, one that lets you move freely but makes like armour when the weather closes in. The Vassi II jacket is a super-technical cut, designed specifically for ski touring, but is also lightweight and fully featured. The mid-thigh length is ideal for serious powder days, while the three-layer goretex shell will shrug off the worst of weather with ease.
£330 | Blue Tomato
Haglofs Vassi II Bib
The obvious pairing for the Vassi jacket, the Vassi II Bib is similarly single-minded but brilliantly designed. From the super-breathable mesh-like bib upper (which zips out to be entirely removable), small internal pocket and enormous waist adjustment to accommodate various layers this is a prince among mountain trousers. Two large zippable thigh pockets provide easily accessible storage in spades. Sadly previous models had a specific anchor point for an avalanche transceiver, which has been phased out in the 2015 version.
Mammut Pulse Barryvox avalanche transceiver
If there's one thing that needs to be idiot proof, durable and simple its an avalanche transceiver, and the unusually monikered Pulse Barryvox is the professional's choice. A combination of a digital and analog device with three antennas and a 360° display, the Pulse features simple, easy-to-follow instructions when set to search, and a missile-proof switch that prevents accidental switching between modes. In the event of disaster this is the tech you need. It’s essential you pair it with a probe and shovel though.
£350 | Mamut
Osprey Kode ABS
When things go really sour off-piste the Kode ABS could be your saviour. A highly competent rucksack in it’s own right, with separate quick access compartments for wet gear, such as shovel blade, handle, probe & ski skins, then dry gear such as extra layers of clothing and warm headwear. There’s ski and helmet attachment points too.
£120 (Kode Abs 22+10) | Osprey
Leki Tour Carbon III pole
One of the lightest poles on the market due to the combined construction design, this is an ideal choice where weight really matters. The Aergon Thermo Tour grips sit atop a full-strength alloy upper pole section, with the bottom segment being ultra-light carbon fibre. This combo gives you the ultimate strength and lightness mix, according to pole experts Leki. They've also built these with their tried-and-tested Speed Lock mechanism which allows easy adjustment between 110 and 150cm even wearing gloves.
£140 | Leki
Salomon MTN Explore Boot
One of the most specialised bits of tech you'll be needing are new boots, which feature a touring binding and a lockable ankle. This means you can get enough flex in heel and ankle to walk up, then lock them down to glide down. This offering from Salomon will hike up like a lightweight touring boot but charge down like a freeride boot, the best of both worlds. It's a mere 1462g and offers a massive 63degree range of motion to make walking easier.
£400 | Salomon
Suunto Ambit3 Peak
The latest iteration of Suunto’s award-winning Ambit line, the Ambit 3 Peak brings call and text notifications to your wrist thanks to a Bluetooth link to your phone, as well as route navigation, barometric information, altimeter with FusedAltiTM, and a 3D compass. Battery life is 50 hours (you listening Apple?), and there’s an HR version for added training value.
£360 (£410 with HR) | Suunto