(Last Updated On: December 10, 2011)
Last year, we posted a last-minute gift guide for skiers. So, without further explanation, here’s the 2011 version of some of 14erskiers’ favorite ski gear.
Brittany’s Top 5 List:
1) A Buff – I carry a Buff with me every time I go backcountry skiing. The Buff has become a permanent fixture in my backcountry ski pack. Those who have tried a Buff, will generally rave about it. Put me in that praising category. The Buff can be worn in many different ways– converting from a face mask to a hat, to a helmet skull cap, to a “doo-rag”. It’s a multifunctional piece of clothing essential for every backcountry skier. I’ve even used it to tie the tips of my skis together when I’ve lost my ski strap!
2) Merino Wool Long Underwear tops – After spending a couple of years working in a backcountry shop, I’ve been converted. Highly moisture-wicking, warm when you want it to be warm and cool when you want it to be cool, new Merino wool blends provide some of the best fabric for baselayers. Plus, it doesn’t hold the stink like so many of the synthetic baselayers do! My preferences – Icebreaker or Smartwool.
3) Gordini Fuse Gloves – I’m critical about my gloves. I have the classic “cold fingers” syndrome. My hands never seem to stay warm enough- enough that I often sport mittens. Still, the Fuse gloves rival any mitten I own. Warm, moisture-wicking, and highly durable, my Fuse gloves have suffered a season of Brittany-abuse unscathed- which is nearly unheard of. (Frank’s note- I use these gloves as well- top notch)
4) Smartwool PhD socks – My feet sweat- a lot. It’s a gross practice, but my body simply can’t help it. Thankfully, my Smartwool socks keep my feet nice and warm even with all that moisture and help to guard against the dreaded sweat-foot stench. The PhD socks are padded in all the right places necessary for a backcountry skier, helping prevent against blisters on those long touring days.
5) Glop Stopper – Among every backcountry skiers nightmare are skins glopping with snow. Many can attest that glopping skins have ruined ski days. Worst yet, it seems unpredictable. I’ve had my skins glop during all times of the year. Glop stopper can the rescue in scenarios like this. It’s a must-have in every BC skiers backpack.
Frank’s Top 5:
1) GU brand energy gels – I love gels, and GU makes the best. Quick easy energy, easy to digest, tasty, and they don’t freeze and break your teeth like energy bars can in the winter.
2) BCA Float 36 Airbag Pack – Yeah, I know- a gift in this price range is almost as ridiculous as those “Lexus with a bow in the driveway” ads. But nothing says “I want to see you come home safe” like an airbag pack. See our review.
3) GoPro POV Camera – Sometimes it seems as though everyone on the mountain has sprouted one of these “teletubby” helmet cams, and they’re a little silly in some ways. But more than anything, they’re just FUN. I look forward to re-watching my footage when I’m an old, old man. The GoPro is my choice for POV cams since it has a wide range of mounting options…
4) Altimeter Watch – Just how big (or small) was that face you just skied? How much faster did those Carbon boots and tights make you on your dawn patrol? Why did that 10 mile bike ride take so long- must have been a lot of vert, right? Where are we on this topo map? The answer to all these questions and more can be found with an altimeter watch. This one is nice and affordable:
5) Nikwax Leather Protectant – Leather gloves and boots last longer and stay waterproof with a little love and care. Try this:
There’s our list for this year. By all means, if any of you have a great gift idea, leave a comment- we’re not done with our shopping either! And if you’re still stumped, there’s always a gift certificate from Backcountry.com: