Pure Powder's Ski Blog

Call +44 (0)20 7736 8191


Insider Guide to Ski Touring; Kit Needed

Part two of my insider guide to ski touring covers the all-important kit required. If you missed Part 1 you can check it out here:  Insider Guide to Ski Touring; Ski Tour Varieties

My very first ski touring trip of 4 days I got extremely over excited and packed everything and anything I might need at any point over the four days.  Our guide picked it up and laughed – and then laughed even harder when he went through what I had put in there! I was furious at the time but of course he was absolutely right and I very quickly learnt that after 7 hours of steep uphill that second book and third pack of cards would have been more weight than I could handle.

I don’t think that my experience is unique and so I wanted to share some of my top tips for what essential equipment to pack on your ski touring adventure.

Skis

Skis

As with most things when it comes to touring weight is an essential consideration and this is especially true for your choice of touring ski.  Given that you’ll be pushing your skis uphill for hours on end – or hiking up a steep couloir with them on your back – you will be thankful you wend for a light pair.  At the same time there will be skiing in tricky conditions; crud even and side-slipping across the mountain side in the early morning icy conditions so a good edge and ability to handle a whole range of conditions – not just perfect powder – is essential. Check out what Ellis Brigham recommends for skis this season for Ski Touring here.

Skins

Skins

Getting the right skins for your skis is absolutely vital – it’s the difference between an enjoyable uphill walk or absolute hell.  A few things to think about:-

> Buy your skins after you have bought your skis to ensure you get the width and length right
> Keep them dry and warm as this will make sure the glue keeps working
> Carry a small block of wax on longer tours – should the snow start to ball up on your skins it’s good to run the block of wax over them
> Look after your skins – there is no reason why they should stop working if you take good care of them and a malfunction with your skis is pretty much the end of your trip.

Jackets

Clothing

Layers layers layers!  You are most certainly going to go from being hotter than you’ve ever been before to colder than you can imagine so it’s essential to have layers rather than one big ski suit.  Definitely have a light weight shell layer – preferably with side zips in the arms and trousers when you don’t have the energy to stop and take a layer off.  Always keep a small light weight jumper and a pair of warm woolly socks in the middle of your ruck sack for that moment when you arrive at the hut freezing cold and soaked through so you have at least something dry to put on.  The points on your body where you lose heat the quickest are the head and wrists so a warm hat and gloves that go over the wrists or wrist warmers are essential. Have a look at our powder skiing equipment guide for more info.

 

 Rucksacks

 Extras

Following on from my opening paragraph you would think there should be no room for any extras in your bag however I do manage to sneak a few things past my guide Francis that he might not completely approve of but in my eyes are worth carrying up the hill:

> Head torch
> Dice or Cards
> Pieces of paper for a journal (you can copy it across later)
> Silk sleeping bag liner
> Mini mars bars (essential!)
> Small thermos for hot sugary tea (even Francis has one of these)
> Phone for music

The thing that surprises me the most is just how little you actually need – it’s taken a few years for me to get the hang of it but as always I’m afraid – the guide is always right!

For more equipment suggestions click here

Looking to go ski touring this coming season? Get in touch with the off piste experts at Pure Powder!’

Posted by: Lisa Gatehouse

Top Resorts for your Heli Ski Warm Up in Canada

The Telegraph listed their Top Ten Ski Resorts in Canada, among them was some of our favourites for pre-heli ski warm up.  They are great destinations to try out that famous Canadian powder before you embark on your heli skiing adventure with CMH.   Revelstoke Revelstoke is a small town but is the perfect place […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Heli Skiing for First Timers – What are my Options?

Embarking on a heli skiing trip for the first time can be daunting and so we wanted to highlight some options specifically geared towards first time heli skiers. If you are a strong piste skier, have a decent level of fitness and are keen to start skiing in the powder then heli skiing could be […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank

Heli Skiing in Canada: 4 reasons why it’s special

If you’ve ever wondered why 95% of the world’s heli skiing operators are based in Canada check out our 4 reasons why heli skiing in Canada is a must for everyone’s bucket lists. ONE// TERRAIN They say size doesn’t matter, but in the case of heli skiing, Canada’s sheer scale makes it the perfect place […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Skiing Resort Guide: Silver Star

Location: Located in the stunning Okanagan Valley, Silver Star is British Colombia’s third largest ski and is an unspoiled paradise where you can expect the famous champagne powder we all know and love.  The varied terrain spreads over the 3,282 acres (1,328 hectares) and attracts every kind of skier. Getting there:  Silver Star is extremely […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Skiing Resort Guide: Sun Peaks

Location:  Having added two new Alpine zones to their ski area in the 2014/2015 season, Sun Peaks has become the second biggest ski area in Canada, behind Whistler.  It is the perfect warm up destination for anyone who is heli skiing at CMH’s Cariboos Lodge. Getting there:  Easily accessible, Sun Peaks is about a 50-minute […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

How is snow formed?

As skiers we are obsessed with those tiny little flakes falling from the sky – constantly on the lookout for the next powder dump and eagerly awaiting those cold mornings when you wake up to find a white blanket covering everything and the perfect powder skiing conditions! But a question we often ask ourselves is […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Do I have to break the bank to go heli skiing in Canada?

Floating through knee-deep powder with only your buddies to keep you company.  A helicopter waiting at the bottom of each run.  Being whisked up to the top of another glorious powder filled peak.  That’s what dreams are made of – but the key question is do you have to break the bank to make making […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank

The Top 5 Heli Ski Lodges in the World

Pure Powder have put together their top five heli ski lodges in the world.   ONE// Deplar Farm, Iceland This first-class, modern lodge, located on Iceland’s Troll Peninsula, is a remote retreat ideal for thrill seeking heli skiers who enjoy the finer things in life.  As well as epic heli ski lines down to the […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Skiing Resort Guide: Big White

Location: The third largest ski resort in British Columbia, Big White, is sandwiched between the Okanagan Valley and the Monashee Mountain range.  It has a fantastic reputation for its first-rate powder as it receives an average annual snowfall of 750cm. Getting there:  West Jet and Air Canada run daily flights to Kelowna Airport via Calgary […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

The Ultimate Ski Bucket List – Telegraph October 2016

Canadian Mountain Holidays named one of The Telegraph’s Ultimate Ski Bucket List: ‘The tension of waiting for the weather to break, the expectation as the helicopter rotors begin to spin, the eagle’s eye view of pristine wilderness peaks as you’re flown 
to the drop zone, the deep, dry snow you get to ride… all of […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Heli Skiing in Iceland – An Adventure of a Lifetime

The Telegraph have named heli skiing in Iceland one of their 50 adventures of a lifetime. ‘Ski from the mountain peaks down to the sea or fly-fish for salmon in glacial rivers accessed only by helicopters. You’ll be staying at Deplar Farm, the ultimate wilderness retreat located in a remote valley in north-west Iceland, surrounded […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder Sponsoring London Screening of ‘Ruin and Rose’

Come and join us on Friday 11th November at The Ham Yard Hotel, Central London for an exclusive viewing of MSP Films newest movie “Ruin and Rose”. We are absolutely delighted to be sponsoring “Ruin and Rose” alongside Surefoot London for the second year in a row.  This new 4K HD definition film features jaw-dropping action […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Top 10 Ski Blogs

Back in November 2010 we blogged about the ‘best ski blogs in the business’ and now, after some extensive research and deliberation we bring you our newest, hottest top 10 list… These blogs are set to bring you the latest news, fashionable destinations and first-rate tips and advice.  They are 100% guaranteed to whet your […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s CMH Heli Skiing UK Tour – October 2016

CMH Heli Skiing Presentations:  For over 35 years,  Pure Powder have been the exclusive UK representatives of CMH Heli Skiing in Canada – the largest heli ski operator in the world.   Each year Pure Powder team up with one of the CMH heli ski mountain guides and set about spreading the love for powder skiing on a […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Summer Adventures in Western Canada

When you think of Western Canada you think of winter.  You think of the cold and the rain and the snow.  What you may not realise is that a summer in the mountains of British Columbia and Alberta is like no other, there are so many activities to choose from, and it is breathtakingly beautiful! […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Heli Skiing in Chile – 5 Things You Shouldn’t Miss

If you’re missing the snow this summer, fear not – there is plenty of the deep powder skiing to be had in the Southern Hemisphere.  And arguably the best place to ski in summer is the central Chilean Andes; famed for it’s consistent (and big) storms and endless terrain this is explorative heli skiing at […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder feature in ‘In the Snow’

Heli skiing can seem like an impossible dream to many of us. You’ve seen the glossy magazine pictures, perhaps watched a video, but could you really do it yourself?  Most are happy on the piste, but never really see the “wow” factor of off-piste (which seems more like hard work!), and may never have the […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank

Pure Powder and CMH feature in Fall Line Magazine

Pure Powder and CMH feature twice in April 2015 ski magazine Fall Line.  “Heli-skiing: the ultimate trip of a lifetime.  Fresh lines all day, zero uphill effort, floating through bottomless pow, blah blah blah: sound alright.  Which is why my ski-mad husband and I used the excuse of ‘winter honeymoon’ to book this extravagant and […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank

CMH feature in Fall Line Magazine: A Day in the Life of Doug Dykeman

‘Nobody knows the vast, shreddable terrain of Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH) – which marks 50 years in heli-skiing last winter – better than Alpine’s chief pilot, whose precision landings have delivered trillions of vertical feet of thigh-deep fun’ To get your hands on the gripping article which takes you into ‘a day in the life of… […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank

Pure Powder and CMH Heli Skiing in the FT Weekend Magazine

Pure Powder and CMH Heli Skiing were featured in the 16-page ski special ‘Pink Snow’ article which celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of heli skiing.  We took Tom Robbins with us to Canada in order to uncover what all the hype about skiing with a helicopter is. “It is dark when we turn alongside the Columbia […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank