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.
- Black Diamond Glide Lite
- G3 Expedition Skins
- Dynafit Denali Speedskin (only fits Dynafit Denali skis)
- Black Diamond Pure Carbon Adjustable Ski Pole
- K2 Power 8 Flipjaw Adjustable Ski Pole
- Black Diamond Whippet Self Arrest Pole (hybrid ski pole & ice axe)
- 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
- Black Diamond Neve Pro (works well with AT boots)
- Petzl Irvis 10 Point Strap-On (fits wide variety of boots)
- Grivel Haute Route Ski Matic Strap-On (fits wide variety of boots)
Ski crampons – must fit width of ski/board.
- Dynafit Ski Crampon (only works with Dynafit bindings)
- Voile Universal Ski Crampon (works with almost all bindings – mounts to ski)
- Marker Kingpin Crampon (works only with Marker Kingpin bindings)
Ice Axe – 50cm+, light alloy shaft and steel pick are recommended.
- Black Diamond Venom (good for glaciers and technical climbs)
- Black Diamond Raven Pro (lightweight glacier & snow axe)
- Petzl Glacier Ice Axe (lightweight glacier & snow axe)
Ice Axe Tip & Spike Protector (important for Zodiac loading)
Light Ski Mountaineering Harness
- Black Diamond Couloir Harness (minimal ski harness)
- Black Diamond Alpine Bod Harness (very basic alpine harness)
Screw-gate Locking Carabiners – 3x (pear-shaped is preferred).
Standard Carabiners – 2x (non locking)
- Black Diamond Hotwire Carabiner (good all around ‘biner)
- Black Diamond Neutrino Carabiner (small, superlight)
Ski Pack (25 to 35 liter with a strap system to carry skis. Airbag packs are optional.)
- Black Diamond Dawn Patrol 25L Pack (nice, small day ski pack)
- Osprey Kode 22L Pack (well made ski pack)
- Mountain Hardwear Direttissima 35L (Good ski and alpine climbing pack)
AVALANCHE SAFETY GEAR
Avalanche Transceiver (457kHz with fresh batteries, plus spare set.)
- Black Diamond Quickdraw Carbon Probe 240cm (short & light)
- Backcountry Access Stealth 240 Probe (good value)
- G3 AviTECH Shovel (the Mercedes Benz of BC shovels)
- Voile Telepro Shovel (a perennial favorite)
- G3 SpadeTECH Shovel (lightweight & minimalist)
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:
- Short sleeve T-shirt – light merino wool or capilene (3x) – Ibex W2 Sport Basic
- Long sleeve light merino wool or capilene zip t-neck (2x) – Patagonia Capilene Zip-Neck
- Merino wool or capilene briefs (3-4x) – Patagonia Capilene Daily Boxer Brief
- Merino wool or capilene light long johns – Patagonia Capilene Thermal Weight
- Ski socks – wool/nylon blend or similar (3-4x) – Bridgedale Socks
- Soft-shell jacket or fleece pullover or full zip – Mountain Hardwear Hueco Jacket
- Soft-shell mountain pants (AKA “guide pants) – Dynafit Mercury Softshell Pant
- Puffy jacket (Nylon with synthetic insulation) – Mountain Hardwear Compressor Jacket
- Light outer shell – Mountain Hardwear Quasar Jacket
- Light outer pants – Arc’teryx Sabre Pants
- Rain suit for Zodiac trips – oversize – Harbor Freight Tools
- Wool or fleece hat – Patagonia Beanie Hat
- Fleece neck gaiter or Buff for storm conditions – Buff Neck Gaitor
- Sun hat – with visor – Baseball Hat
- Gloves – medium weight – Black Diamond Guide Finger Mitten
- Gloves – light weight – Marmot Spring Glove
- 1 or 2 one-liter water bottles Nalgene Wide Mouth Tritan Bottle
- 18” (50cm) ski strap Voile Ski Strap
- Sunglasses Julbo Explorer
- Goggles with light & dark lenses Julbo Universe Goggles
- Sunscreen – 50+ SPF (small amount in squeeze bottle) Sun Bum SPF 50+
- Lip balm – 30 SPF or greater Sun Bum Lip Balm SPF 30
- UGG Boots, Crocs, or other comfortable shoes for aboard ship
- Heavier insulated jacket for aboard ship Mountain Hardwear Dynotherm Jacket
Slings & Cord*
- 1 Double Length (120cm or 46”) Sewn Runner Black Diamond Dynex Sewn Runner
- 1 Cordalette, 4.5-5m (15-20’) 6mm Perlon Edelweiss Edel Precut Cord
- 1 Short Prussik Loop – Sterling Hollow Block
- 1 Ice Screw (16-19mm, Black Diamond or similar) Black Diamond Turbo Ice Screw
*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.
- Ski helmet – Camp Speed 2.0 Ski & Climb Helmet
- Small stainless steel thermos for hot drinks. – Snow Peak Kanpai Bottle
- 20-liter drybag for Zodiac trips – Outdoor Research Lightweight Dry Sack
- 1 Petzl Tibloc and/or Petzl Micro Traxion Pulley (for those with crevasse rescue training).
- CamelBak hydration system (these often freeze – water bottles are preferred).
- Small stuff sack or Tupperware box to hold lunch.
- Digital camera, memory cards, charger and cables.
- Pee Bottle – old Nalgene/water bottle. May not be needed.