Ski Touring Equipment – How To Dress In The North

Going on a pure ski touring trip and wondering which clothing setup will work best, and what hardware to bring? Lots of products are available – the choice is difficult.

This article is based on our experience and on the equipment that works best for ski touring in Lyngen Alps (a costal climate within the Arctic Circle in northern Norway). However, that said, we use more or less the same items when ski touring anywhere from Japan, to the Alps, to Svalbard.

We try to save weight where possible but our focus when ski touring is on the downhill and quality of skiing, which also reflects our choice of equipment and clothing.

How To Dress For Ski Touring in Lyngen – Be Prepared For All Kinds Of Weather

For many years we have had the chance to test the newest fabrics and products available, and also help to develop and improved them.

Typically for the very north of Norway is that the weather is very changeable. When ski touring in Lyngen we encounter many different types of weather (snow, wind, sunshine) often during one and the same day. For that reason, we are looking for one setup that works in all kinds of conditions.

WIND & WATER PROOF OUTER LAYERS – the storm layer !

Shell Pants:

– Lofoten Goretex pro light pants: (500g)
Light, breathable, good range of movement and options for venting. Leg pockets are easy to access and practical to store items when walking uphill.
Also suitable for: downhill skiing

– Lyngen DriFlex 3 pants (566g)
Light, breathable and good options for venting. Leg pockets are easy to access and practical to store items when walking uphill.
also suitable for: downhill skiing.

Shell Jackets:
Weight is a big issue on this item as it will stay a lot of times in the back pack on the uphill.

– Bitihorn dri1 jacket (200g) 
very light weight, very breathable, practical pocket for easy access of mobile phone
also suitable for: summer hiking, trail running, alpinism, rock climbing
.

WIND PROOF and very breathable layer.

– 
Bitihorn Aero 60 jacket: (175g)
A mid layer that is much more breathable then any shell jacket. Provides also weather protection in light snow fall and dries very fast. On very sunny days the loosely fitted hood provides good sun protection for the neck. Very durable, easy access mobile phone pocket on the chest.
Also suitable: hiking, rock climbing, mountaineering, trail running

INSULATION

Fleece 
Very breathable, preferable with a hood – to be able to regulate temperature feeling on the uphill without stopping:

– Bitihorn powerstech zip hood: (314g)
Yet our preferred fleece. Still comfortable in light wind, general good temperature comfort for uphill, durable, practical mobile phone pocket on the chest. Thumb loop for combination with short gloves.
Also suitable for: summer hiking, climbing, downhill skiing, mountaineering

– Down Jacket:
Lyngen down 750 jacket (336g)
Light and packable provides insulation and is always the first item you put on once you arrive sweaty on the top of your ski tour or if you have a rest on the way up.
also suitable for: mountaineering, downhill skiing, general travel

GLOVES

Uphill Gloves:
– 
Faletind windstoper gloves (49g)
Leight weight, very durable. As well as their function as an uphill glove and on very warm days in spring time, they are also our second pair of emergency gloves. The gloves are very prcise and are easy to work with on changeovers.
Also suitable for: mountaineering, hiking

– Warm gloves: 
Lofoten dr1 short gloves (162g)
Light weight and warm, yet you will still menage to do changeovers without taking them of during stormy moment.

BASE LAYER
S

Our preferred fabric for a base layer is wool. Modern wool base layers are comfortable to wear and can be worn for multiple days. Base layers made of synthetic fabric usually smell and you have to wash them after each day of touring. 
Long Johns: ¾ length are ideal as they do not make folds on the shins
Socks: Marino wool socks. Modern socks also keep their shape for multiple days of use.

HATS

Sunhat:
– 
Kask – mountaineering
. Preferable with a visor to make some shade on the eyes and protect them from too much sunlight on the uphill.

Balaclava:
– Kask – Balaclave 200
Marino wool. This item always stays in our ski touring pack hidden away until this one very windy stormy and cold day when it becomes our most favorite item.

Warm hat
:

BACK PACK

– Norrona Lyngen 35l back pack (940g)
Comfortable to carry and to ski with. Easy to use ski fixation, separate shovel compartment are the most important features for us. For those who like to bring a helmet when ski touring there is also na easy way to fix the helmet to the outside of the back pack.

Ski Touring Hardware – Gear For Skiers With Focus On The Downhill

SKIS

Ideally A fairly light weight but downhill orientated/ ideally between 98 and 108 under foot.

– Faction Prime 2.0 / 98mm (1550g at 178cm) 
Faction Prime 3.0 / 108mm (1740g at 182cm)
If you only have one pair of skis for off-piste skiing and ski touring this is a perfect choice.

PIN BINDINS

– Dynafit radical F10 (600g) (good allrounder / easy to use)

– Dynafit TLT Superlight 2.0 (175g) (light weight very nice for touring but only recommended for use without ski stoppers)

– ATK 2.0 (290g) (light weight with ski stoppers)

SKINS

– 
Kohla Evolution 100% Mohair
Very reliable in all temperatures and snow conditions, glide very well. But are a little hassle on changeovers as on always has to put a separation sheet between them.

– Kohla Vacuum base 2.0
Glide also very well and are easy to use on changeovers. But in very wet snow conditions in spring time they do not always stay well on the skis. In very cold conditions and also after multiple change overs in wintery conditions they have worked very well for us.

SHOVEL

– 
Arva Guard (500g)
Light weight metal shovel with an extendable shovel handle.

PROBE

– 
Arva Carbon 240cm (120g) or alternatively if you prefer to save some money choose and aluminum probe. The weight difference is about 60g.

TRANSCEIVER

– 
Mammut Elements

BOOTS

Downhill orientated ski touring boots: please consult your local boot-fitter it depends a lot on the shape of your foot.
 For example: 
Dynafit Beast or Vulcan
 or Salomon MTN lab

CRAMPONS

– Camp XLC 390 (390g)
Light weight crampon works well on snow and with ski boots.

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