Do you dream of skiing bottomless powder snow, staying in a warm cabin and enjoying a soak in the sauna before dinner? It’s the triple threat of ski vacations. But, when this moment arises—that split second you decide to pull the trigger on the Canadian backcountry ski trip you’ve been drooling over for years—will you have the gear you’ll need to perform at your best as you hike and ski your way through the backcountry of British Columbia? No need to fret: We’ve partnered with the folks at evo to get you kitted in all the right ways.
Endless refills and pillow lines are the focus of this Canadian backcountry expedition, but planning the trip is a daunting task, so let the experts at evo’s adventure travel business evoTrip lead the way. Offering guided trips to locations around the globe, including tours of British Columbia’s best skiable terrain, the team at evo is ready to show you the ins-and-outs of exploring new mountains and foreign cultures. This winter, through evoTrip, you can book your dream adventure to Whitecap, BC with two different touring-oriented offerings. The first session, January 2-6, 2018, is nearly full, so get your crew together fast. And, listen up, ladies: There’s a women’s only session, March 17-20, 2018, with a limited number of spots still available.
In part three of this four-part series, we’re showing you how to suit up for your next adventure travel trip into the mountains—this time with a women’s kit for a trip to British Columbia. Below, you’ll find our top picks from evo’s extensive inventory. We’ve hand-selected a pair of rippin’ Volkl skis, light yet sturdy Scarpa touring boots and top of the line G3 alpine touring bindings; a Flylow outwear kit with style and function; a protective Backcountry Access airbag-compatible backpack; super comfortable Smartwool baselayers that’ll keep you cozy on the up and down, and much more.
One tester asserted quite appropriately, “If you want to go 108 MPH, the Völkl 100Eight is for you.” This beaut’ not only rips, it allows you to stay firmly in the driver’s seat while at speed. Völkl utilizes a raised central ridge that levels out on each side toward the edges in front of and behind the binding area; this reduces mass in the pivoting area of the ski, resulting in a pair of planks that are lightweight, agile and can turn on a dime. Carbon stringers lend further to stability while keeping weight savings in mind. A full rocker profile rounds out the package, allowing for optimal maneuverability across any and all snow conditions.
The Ion 12 received an update for 2017-18 in the form of a redesigned boot stop in the toe. The new mechanism guides your toe for a pain-free step-in, as always, but it’s lighter than before, bringing overall weight down a smidge’. And as every backcountry skier knows, every gram counts. What remains the same: The Ion 12 is still built with a combination of durable glass-filled nylon and aluminum for weight savings and bombproof-ness. Also, a wide toe jaw provides exceptional power transmission to your skis and forward pressure adjustment in the heel piece ensures consistent release values for an orgasmic downhill experience.
The Gea RS saw a redesign for 2017-18, resulting in a stiffer, more powerful boot without added weight—weight, reaffirming its position as one of the best women’s freeride-touring boots on the market. The Grilamid shell is infused with carbon fiber for a sturdy boot that weighs 1,260 grams per boot (at size 25). It’s a delight on the skin track, yet burly enough (125 flex) to induce hoots and hollers all the way back down to the trailhead. A roomy 101 mm last does well for mid-sized feet, and its intuitive walk mode, complete with a 60-degree range of motion, aids in mobility on the ascent (we’ll refer you back to that “delight on the skin track” comment). As the icing on the cake, a Crossfit Pro Flex G Intuition Liner wraps your feet, ankles and shins like a warm, soft, perfect Chipotle burrito.
Lyric X has raised the bar with an exceptional blend of design and technology, yielding phenomenal performance. The Lyric X builds on the strengths of the Lyric and takes it to a whole new level. Developed for world-class athletes and all women demanding the highest performance, this helmet delivers style, safety and a perfect fit with MIPS® technology. X-Static® fabric was added to keep it fresh and detachable Covert Ear Covers make it audio-ready.
Oakley introduced the Flight Deck goggle with PRIZM lenses in 2014. Four years later, we turn to this goggle time, and time again. The Flight Deck goggle draws inspiration from the helmet visors worn by fighter pilots. The end goal for Oakley was to offer the widest field of view while remaining fully helmet compatible. They hit that nail on the head; the large frame size and clean, rimless design yield a field of view that’s very tough to match, in our humble and correct opinion. The PRIZM lenses also provide enhanced detail on the hill, and thereby extreme optical pleasure. We recommend Sapphire or Torch Iridium PRIZM for a wide range of light conditions.
With 10K waterproofing and a breathable membrane composed of three layers of stretchy Intuitive fabric, Flylow’s Puma Jacket is the lightweight, tour-able jacket you’ll be sporting everyday in British Columbia. A slim fit and stylish cut, combined with the bomber DWR capabilities of Flylow’s acclaimed outerwear, will have you skiing from first bell to last all season long.
The Foxy Bib is a burly, 20K/20K, three-layer garment that comes in a modern, athletic fit. It has a kangaroo chest pouch, two additional torso pockets and two mid-thigh pockets for crazy amounts of storage space. An extra-long exterior zipper on the sides of the legs allows for easy on and off.
The Atom LT Hoodie is the ideal mid-layer for every condition. Lightweight, breathable and constructed of materials that earn Arc’teryx’s seal of approval, the LT Hoodie is a must-bring on outings in the mountains this winter. Designed with a trim fit that accommodates motion and sits nicely underneath a shell, the jacket is warm enough to use on its own in drier conditions.
Black Diamond’s Razor Carbon ski poles offer everything you’d want from a ski pole. Properly balanced for ultimate snow-poking capabilities, these ski poles also feature FlickLock tabs for simple gloves-on length adjustment. The quick-release strap offers the safety of an easy release in bad conditions, while a soft, tacky coating on the upper shaft allows for ease of movement, while maintaining grip, in steeper terrain.
Merino wool is a popular fabric for its ability to keep you warm while maintaining breathability. Smartwool’s Merino 250 baselayers utilize this natural fiber to keep you comfortable in every condition, providing natural odor-resistance and undeniable all-day comfort. Look no further if you’re seeking an ultra-comfy baselayer set that will provide necessary warmth, coziness and performance when it matters.
This highly coveted ski sock is the go-to choice when you’re looking for all-day cushioning and comfort. Additionally, its unique Southwestern style adds a bit of flair when you have your feet up by the fire.
The Army Leather Abisko is lined with wool-terry fabric for an über cushy feel. To put it bluntly: the comfort of these bad boys is on a sexual level. For maximum hand mobility, the back of the hand is constructed of wax-finished cotton-polyester and vegetable-tanned goat leather. The neoprene cuff will ensure dryness around the wrists, too.
Stock power straps are adequate for some people, but others demand elevated drive and control in their skiing. Booster’s dynamic power bands replace a boot’s stock strap, cinching the upper cuff ultra-tight for a stiffer flex which generates increased power transmission and handling—like Ken Block-style handling. Additionally, Booster Straps provide a bit of cushioning to prevent dreaded shin-bang.
At just $500, the BCA Float 22 Pack emphasizes affordability among other airbag packs. It’s also jam-packed with features. In the event of an avalanche, the pull of a trigger engages a refillable, compressed-air cylinder (sold separately) to deploy a 150-liter airbag. The pack’s 22-liter capacity is ideal for full-day backcountry missions, thanks to both shovel and probe sleeves, a separate dry compartment meant for wet items and a diagonal ski carry for easy bootpacking.
Traveling long distances means you don’t have your local ski shop to rely on if anything happens to your equipment. In lieu of cutting your ski day short because of a loose screw, bad wax job or other unpredictable mishaps, pack Dakine’s Quick Tune Tuning Kit for ski rehab on the go. Includes a torque driver with five bits and a 8/10mm wrench, edge tuning tool, triangle scraper, octane bar (for use on all temp wax) and a scuff pad.
An organized travel bag makes you a happy traveler. The Boundary Ski Roller will help you meet that goal. It comfortably accommodates two pairs of mid-sized skis, ski boots, ski poles, a helmet, goggles, gloves and also outerwear—and your boots and apparel even get their own removable, internal bags to keep things tidy. Two zippered, padded pockets on the exterior provide even more storage. You can stuff this thing for miles, just be wary of that 50-pound airline limit before you hit the skies.
Ideal for the après, the Ballard Lace II boots from The North Face will carry you around town with style, season after season. The outer soles of these boots, made of temperature-sensitive rubber soles, provide the traction you need to get to-and-fro with out any slippage while the classic leather exterior can truly take a beating. And on the inside: ultra comfy Ortholite footbeds to keep comfort at the max.
As nice as coozies are, let’s be honest: most do absolutely nothing useful. Wrapping those flimsy pieces of cloth around your beverage is more for style than function at the end of the day. But a coozie made by YETI, constructed with stainless steel and double-wall vacuum insulation? Not only does that work well, it looks sleek as heck, too. Enter the YETI Colster: In addition to the aforementioned tech, it features a Load-and-Lock Gasket to keep your drink screwed in place, as well as a No Sweat exterior to prevent damp or cold hands. We’ve been keeping our beers frosty with this thing, and suggest you do the same.