Ski Kit List

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					Ski Kit List 2006-2007 This list gives you an idea of the clothing and equipment you will need for one of our off-piste courses or multi-day ski tours and safaris. If you are uncertain about any items or need further information, don’t hesitate to contact us. Off-Piste Performance & Adventure courses On all our off-piste weeks you¹ll be staying in comfortable catered chalets or hotels. When skiing you need to carry just a small day pack, which contains your safety equipment and any personal items you may need. Ski Tours & safaris On our ski tours and safaris you usually stay in mountain huts and are able to ski with light packs to make the skiing easier. For hut-to-hut tours we recommend keeping the weight of your pack below 5-7kgs. If you are new to ski touring, try taking your pack out on the slopes before the tour to see how it feels. You quickly realise the benefit of ‘skiing light¹. Part 1: Clothing Part 2: Ski Equipment Part 3: Accessories Part 4: Safety equipment Part 5: Technical Equipment (for off-piste courses) Part 6: Technical Equipment (for ski tours & safaris) Part 7: Hiring Equipment Part 8: Clothing & Equipment Offers Part 1: Clothing (applicable for all our off-piste courses, ski tours and safaris.) • A good quality pair of ski trousers. Possible characteristics might include bib-style front with braces (to keep the snow out), side-openings (useful for when you get hot), breathable fabric (Gore-Tex or similar), stretch knee pads, integral snow gaiters. Bib-style trousers can be too warm in spring in which case waist-cut trousers would be better. An outer shell jacket made of breathable material (Gore-Tex or similar) and built-in hood. We advocate the ‘layering principle’ and so a shell is recommended rather than a padded jacket. Comfortable underwear with good wicking properties. Very popular at the moment are the wool based layers from companies such as Icebreaker and Smartwool. They are comfy, breathable, warm when needed and can be worn for days without your friends catching a whiff! Several thin (rather than fewer thick) layers between your skin and the outer shell - an approach that gives better heat retention and good flexibility. These tops are know as ‘mid layers’. Roll neck rather than a scarf. We use and recommend the ‘Buff¹ a light, stretchable tube. Excellent despite the name! They do both a fleece/cotton version for warmth or just a cotton one (to keep the sun off). Headwear to include warm hat and sun-cap or wide-brim hat for extra protection from the sun. Mountain Tracks fully supports the wearing of helmets for skiing. Good quality, gauntlet-style gloves or mitts if you suffer from cold hands. Silk inner gloves (BACK TO TOP) Face-mask (optional, but useful if you feel the cold)

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Part 2: Ski Equipment Recent years have seen big changes in ski, boot and binding design and technology, which make off-piste skiing and ski touring much more accessible. While standard downhill equipment is fully acceptable for our off-piste performance ski courses, for our ski tours and ski safaris skis with ski touring bindings are essential. We also recommend that they are used by participants on our intermediate, advanced and expert offpiste adventure ski courses. • Skis There are many ‘all-mountain¹ skis to choose from and we highly recommend Movement’s and Rossignol’s range of ‘all mountain skis’. Width is good and you really can’t ever worry that you have gone too wide. Movement Skis: Rossignol Skis: • Boots In the past ski touring boots were comfortable for walking but hopeless when it came to the downhill. The manufacturers have really addressed this problem and now if you are going to be getting into off-piste and ski touring, then ski touring boots just make more sense; not only are they much more comfortable to walk in compared to ordinary ski boots, they are great to ski in too and you are not sacrificing any appreciable performance. So if you are thinking of buying boots, go for ski touring models; there is a reasonable selection to choose from, they are no more expensive than standard alpine boots and will be fine for the occasional piste skiing holidays you may take! Failing that, choose Garmont¹s Adrenalin G Fit freeride boot ( that features interchangeable sole units for skiing and skimountaineering. For off-piste performance courses (with downhill bindings), standard boots should be adaptable and offer rigidity, responsiveness and flex depending on the snow conditions. We do not recommend you come on a trip with brand new boots. • Boot Liners These days many manufacturers offer ‘thermo-fit¹ liners as standard equipment. You may also want to consider a custom liner. Heated and moulded to your foot and boot for a perfect fit, they can make all the difference especially if you have trouble finding really comfortable ‘off-the-shelf¹ boots. Zipfit liners are a great option for anyone seeking total customisation in fit and comfort. They will replace the original liner. • Custom Footbeds Essential kit – to provide additional comfort and ski control. • Technical Socks Investing in good quality ski socks will improve fit, warmth and feel when skiing for long periods. Bring along a few pairs. • Bindings As with the boots, the new touring bindings are every bit as safe for downhill as alpine bindings, yet you have the additional advantage of being able to walk uphill with them to access the real off-piste. Fritschi lead the way here though other models keep appearing, most notably Naxo. Expect to pay a little more but the advantages are huge!

Part 3: Accessories • Good pair of goggles – essential. Useful to have 2 pairs on powder days in case of head plants! • Good quality sunglasses – UV factor category 4 recommended • 35-40 litre backpack for ski tours and safaris; 20-25 litre pack for off-piste ski courses. • 1-1.5 Litre water bottle/nalgene bottle or water drinking system like Camelbak (can freeze in cold weather) • Suncream and lip salve (factor 30 or higher recommended.) • Wash kit with small personal first aid items i.e. any medications, blister kit. The guide will carry comprehensive set for emergencies. • Headlamp, lightweight and compact LED recommended. Plus spare batteries. • Lightweight sheet sleeping bag/silk liner – now compulsory in most huts and recommended for a good night’s sleep and personal hygiene! (ski tours/safaris only) • Maps (Optional) (BACK TO TOP) • Notebook and pen (Optional) Part 4: Safety equipment The “Safety Trilogy” - applicable for all our off-piste courses and ski tours. • • • Avalanche Transceiver/Beacon – we work with BCA and recommend the tried and tested Tracker. ( Snow shovel Avalanche probe

Remember it is not enough just to carry this equipment, you have to know how to use it. How about joining one of our specialist avalanche courses – check out (BACK TO TOP) Part 5: Technical Equipment for Off-Piste Adventure courses Although our off piste adventure courses rely heavily on the lift systems in resorts, access to and egress from runs sometimes involve climbing and walking a short way and so it is essential that skis are mounted with a touring binding. An alternative is to carry an adaptor like the 'Trekker', although in our experience they are more trouble than they’re worth. • • Ski Skins. Fitted skins are recommended especially if you have very wide skis. Ski Crampons (aka harscheisen). Most randonnee bindings have ski crampons specifically designed for the binding. We always carry these just in case. Fritschi now make them an integral part of their ski binding and although there were some initial teething problems they are now working well. (BACK TO TOP)

Part 6: Technical Equipment for Ski Tours and Safaris • • • • • Ski Skins and Ski Crampons as above (always required) Ice Axe - general lightweight mountaineering / alpine pick. Ideally this needs to be short enough to fit in your pack. Boot Crampons ideally lightweight aluminium with ‘quick fit clip-on bindings’. Climbing Harness a simple lightweight harness. The key feature is that it should have fully adjustable leg loops for putting on over ski boots, crampons, etc. Carabiners - 2 screw gates.

On some tours in non-glaciated terrain an ice-axe, boot crampons and climbing harness may not always be required. However as conditions and itineraries can change we do generally recommend that you bring these items with you. On our beginner-level tours we include sessions on ski touring skills and use of ice-axe and crampons. (BACK TO TOP) Part 7: Hiring Equipment Most resorts have ski shops that hire ski equipment and we try to provide relevant contact details for all our courses and tours. Prices do change by resort/country, but here’s an approximate guide to hire costs: Alpine Downhill Skis Touring Skis Touring boots Skins Ski Crampons Boot Crampons Ice Axe Helmet Transceiver/shovel/probe €25 per day €25 per day €13 per day €7 per day Usually included with touring skis €8 per day €6 per day €6 per day €15 per day

Our guides also generally have additional sets of safety equipment (transceiver/shovel/probe) which they hire out to clients for €60 for 6 days hire. Must be booked in advance. (BACK TO TOP) Part 8: Clothing & Equipment Offers We work with a number of leading UK retailers and distributors who offer our clients 10% discount. Lockwoods in Leamington Spa. The ski boot experts…and more Discount given on presentation of your Mountain Tracks Booking confirmation. Anything Technical – Mail Order. Fritschi bindings…and more Discount given on presentation of your Mountain Tracks Booking confirmation. Anatom Ltd. BCA safety equipment, Smartwool…and more Orders to be placed through Mountain Tracks. Stores nationwide. Vouchers available from Mountain Tracks and redeemable in-store or via mail store. (BACK TO TOP)

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