Antarctica & General Ski Mountaineering Gear List

| December 15, 2015 | 2 Comments

In conjunction with Ice Axe Expeditions, I’ve put together an annotated gear list for skiing in Antarctica,although most of the items listed here are what I use or recommend for general backcountry skiing as well.

ANTARCTICA ADVENTURE & SKI CRUISE – 2016 Gear List

This is an extensive list that will allow for a participant to access the most extreme of terrain. Please contact Ice Axe with any questions. We do not provide gear rentals and suggest you contact your local gear shop should you need to rent any equipment.

ALPINE TOURING (AT) BOOTS, SKIS & BINDINGS

AT Boots – all purpose, long tours

AT Skis – approximately 90-105mm under foot is recommended.

AT Tech Bindings (works only on boots with Tech fittings, i.e. Dynafit. Recommended.)

AT Frame Bindings (works with all AT or Alpine boots)

 TELEMARK (Tele) BOOTS, SKIS & BINDINGS  (Alternative to Alpine Touring)

CLIMBING SKINS (AT or Tele) – Pre-cut or cut-to-fit.  A tip/tail attachment is helpful for the cold temperatures.

POLES

SPLITBOARD SET-UP

  • Ski brakes or leashes recommended for glacier travel.
  • Hard shell boots are preferred for use with boot crampons or hiking on firm snow.
  • Ski poles – adjustable length (optional).
  • Climbing skins (snowshoes and/or booting is discouraged for long tours).

Releasable bindings may increase your chances of surviving an avalanche. If you choose to use non-releasable telemark or snowboard bindings, you must accept the additional risk.

SKI MOUNTAINEERING GEAR

Boot crampons – 10-point light alloy

Ski crampons – must fit width of ski/board.

Ice Axe – 50cm+, light alloy shaft and steel pick are recommended.

Ice Axe Tip & Spike Protector (important for Zodiac loading)

Light Ski Mountaineering Harness

Screw-gate Locking Carabiners – 3x  (pear-shaped is preferred).

Standard Carabiners – 2x (non locking)

Ski Pack (25 to 35 liter with a strap system to carry skis. Airbag packs are optional.)

 AVALANCHE SAFETY GEAR

Avalanche Transceiver  (457kHz with fresh batteries, plus spare set.)

Probe

Shovel

CLOTHING

This is a recommended optimum layering system. Certain items may be substituted but a combination of layers should equal the recommended list for warmth, moisture wicking, wind and precipitation resistance, weight and packability.

Next to skin layers:

Outer layers:

MISCELLANEOUS

OPTIONAL

Slings & Cord*

*This may be required for groups who desire more technical terrain. Your guide will be in touch with you before the trip to determine if you need to bring this additional gear. 

GearMountain
Standing in front of a mountain of gear in Ushuaia.

Category: Antarctica, Gear Reviews

About the Author ()

Andrew McLean lives in Park City, Utah and is a gear designer, writer, photographer, ski mountaineer, climber and Mountain Unicycle rider. He and Polly Samuels McLean are the parents of two very loud little girls.

Comments (2)

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  1. gwestheimer says:

    Thanks Andrew – I am packing for a trip to the bill putnam fairy meadow hut – this list will be quite helpful.

  2. Smokey says:

    Also very important is a huge fu*k*ing trust fund.

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