Snow in the Rockies is light and fluffy, meaning waterproofing isn’t the highest priority. Staying warm when those bitter cold fronts move in, however, makes insulation or warm midlayers a must. Wide, strong planks capable of holding on in the steeps are also beneficial.
A. Black Crows Anima
At 115 millimeters underfoot, the Anima from Black Crows was made for winter’s deepest days but don’t let this beefy plank fool you; a rocker-camber-rocker profile allows for stable, yet instant pivoting and an extended sidecut adds security when you’re opening it up on big-mountain faces in Banff or Taos, making these a versatile workhorse.
B. FW Root Pillow Fleece
Easily the coziest midlayer in this magazine, the Root Pillow Fleece from FW will keep you toasty warm when the mercury drops and the snow falls. Made of Polartec fleece, this sweater packs into its front pocket for a pillow-on-the-go when the weather is calling for an overnight rest stop on I-80.
C. FW Manifest 3L Jacket
FW’s Manifest Jacket, with a 20K/16K waterproof/breathability rating, will keep you dry when the flakes fly, but cool when the clouds part–a near-daily weather trend in the Rockies. A jacket-to-pant connection thwarts invading freshies and a built-in visor keeps your line of sight clear for optimum powder plundering.
Pair w/ FW manifest 3l pant
D. Strafe Lucky Jacket
Early morning powder days on the Continental Divide can be frigid, which is why Strafe’s Lucky Jacket is the perfect piece to balance warmth and performance thanks to PrimaLoft Silver insulation and a two-layer waterproof and breathable face fabric. Underarm vents provide an escape for heat during the powder frenzy and a removable, four-way stretch softshell powder skirt keeps the comfort sky high and the cold stuff from creeping in when you’re getting #titted.
Pair w/ Strafe wildcat pant
E. Zeal Hatchet Pine
The Hatchet is Zeal Optics’ first cylindrical goggle and offers an incredible field of view and crystal clear line of sight for your rowdiest descents. Zeal’s sliding Rail Lock quick-change lens system dispels any fear of fogging up on the East Wall bootpack or when the skies decide to open up.
F. Pret Cynic X
Utilizing MIPS technology and an in-mold/multi-shell construction, the Cynic X is lightweight and low profile while still providing the utmost protection for your noggin’. Passive ventilation efficiently dumps heat without letting the elements slip through, so you never have to think twice about it.
G. K2 Mindbender 116 C
By implementing a strategically woven carbon fiber threading throughout the ski, the K2 Mindbender 116 C is torsionally rigid and stiff where you need it but a powder-focused rocker profile makes it ultra playful, ideal for the wide-ranging terrain—from steeps to bowls to trees—found in the depths of the Rockies.
H. HEAD Nexo LYT 110 RS W
The Nexo LYT 110 RS from HEAD is the epitome of a performance ski boot for women seeking out steep lines from Utah to Wyoming. Utilizing Graphene material, HEAD is able to lighten the boot’s load without sacrificing power and a new liner-molding process with paraffin material, called Liquid Fit, dials in the exact fit for the most precise response on every turn.
I. Atomic Hawx Ultra 130 S
Atomic’s Hawx Ultra 130 S is the lightest alpine boot the brand has ever made, but what it lacks in weight it more than makes up for in power. Atomic’s revolutionary Prolite construction—starting with a minimal chassis and building reinforcements around that—keeps that strength-to-weight ratio high, ensuring you can charge all season and never tire out.
J. POW Alpha GTX
POW took the performance features we all love about GORE-TEX–extreme waterproofing–and implemented it into the Alpha GTX for a powder-day dream glove. Packing four ounces of PrimaLoft Gold insulation in a leather shell, this glove is guaranteed to keep your phalanges from freezing up.