Backcountry Setup: Women’s
Ski: K2 SideKick — $880
Boot: Salomon Quest 100W — $625
Binding: Salomon Guardian 16 — $550
Skin: G3 Alpinist Elle — $160
Whether it’s downhill performance, uphill functionality or easy transitions, the Salomon Guardian 16 touring binding delivers. A lower stack height ensures stability, while an oversized platform maximizes power transmission and responsiveness. On the descent, they perform like alpine bindings. A Hike & Ride Switch provides seamless interchanges between climb and ski modes.
The K2 SideKick offers 108 mm of love at the waist so she’s your best friend on a powder day, but with All-Terrain Rocker where you need it, she’s equally agile. Cruise uphill on G3’s Alpinist Elle Climbing skin—yes, there are women’s-specific skins. They pack small and are equipped with RipStrip, a nontoxic glue that reduces skin-to-skin adhesion, making them easy to pull apart and quickening your transition times. Plus, the versatile tip connector works on almost any ski shape or size.
Slip your feet into Salomon’s Quest 100W boots, which, thanks to a magnesium Backbone system, allow you to walk comfortably uphill. But with a 100 flex and removable heel- and toe-DIN pads, still perform like an alpine boot on the descent. In addition to the women’s-specific fit, the liner is extra warm for the inevitable cold toes.
Pros: After skinning, ski the resort comfortably
Cons: A tad heavy for all-day backcountry mission
About the author:
Damian Quigley is an Irish-born immigrant who traveled to the US with hopes of one day becoming an editor for Freeskier. Having accomplished his dream, he spends his days testing gear and sipping champagne.