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Ski Touring Kit List

Everyone loves a good kit list! You can always tell an experienced mountaineer by their rucksack, especially on a mountain like Mont Blanc. A light rucksack means you will move faster and more efficiently, and on a long summit day like Mont Blanc, dropping a few kilos from your back can have a big effect. Basically, drop all the luxuries and listen to the advice of your guide when it comes to clothing. Ditch the book, PJ’s and cuddly toy – go light and fast!

Ski Equipment List

You can always tell an experienced ski mountaineer by their rucksack, especially on longer tours. A light rucksack means you will move faster and more efficiently, and on a long hut to hut tour, dropping a few kilos from your back can have a big effect.

Basically, drop all the luxuries and listen to the advice of your guide when it comes to clothing. Ditch the book, PJ’s and cuddly toy – go light and fast!


Clothing  – for both heat and sun protection as well as colder early morning starts...

Clothing will need to vary according to the time of year. Below is a suggestion for milder spring touring. In general you will want to avoid bulky downhill skiing jackets, mountaineering style layering is much more flexible and generally lighter

  • Long sleeved thin thermal top
  • Micro fleece
  • Soft shell jacket / Goretex
  • Insulated top – medium weight
  • Soft shell trousers to fit ski boots
  • Lightweight Goretex over trousers, for bad weather and warmth.
  •  Head, Hands and Feet
  • Buff – sun hat – warm hat (All three are fairly essential).
  • Thin uphill gloves
  • Warm downhill gloves (mitts?)
  • Cat 3-4 sunglasses
  • Goggles
  • Sun tan cream and lip balm A high factor 50 is best.
  • Helmet. (An optional item, but recommended)

Clothing – There are lots of gear shops in Chamonix, from cheap to posh for last minute purchases:

  • Gaiters for mountaineering boots. Keeps the snow out and stops you catching your crampons.
  • Thin liner socks and mid weight walking socks. Can prevent blisters if you have two layers, but not essential.
  • Warm gloves for summit day, e.g Mountain Equipment guide glove or similar. Plus one pair of thinner fleece gloves for general walking.
  • Warm hat, buff/neck gaiter and a sun hat.
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers, lightweight is best. Ideally your jackets hood will go over a helmet.
  • Trousers – Mid weight soft shell trousers are ideal, and normally wouldn’t require a thermal layer underneath, you can use the waterproof trousers if it’s windy above the Gouter hut. E.g. Arcteryx Beta pants. Thinner trousers can work, but you may need a thermal layer as well.
  • Thermal top layer, thin long sleeved tops work best to keep the sun off.
  • Mid weight top layer. Fleece or other synthetic.
  • Lightweight down or mid weight synthetic over jacket. This needs to be able to go over all your other layers so you can add or remove it without having to take your waterproof or harness off.

Technical Equipment

Most of the following can be hired directly from us, we have a range of very good, lightweight ski touring equipment.

  • Climbing harness
  • “Cow’s tail” plus spare crab for harness
  • Crampons
  • Ice axe
  • Ski crampons – to fit bindings, hire shop should supply.
  • 35 – 45 ltr rucksack – the Arcteryx Khamski 38 works very well.
  • “Not a platypus” water bottle 1 ltr – Nalgenes are bombproof
  •  Bits and Bobs for Multi-Day Tours
  • Blister compeed kit/Very small first aid kit. We have the emergency stuff, you need the personal kit to look after your feet.
  • Hut clothes – spare socks, spare thermal top. That’s it.
  • Tooth brush
  • Wet wipes – just a couple.
  • Hand gel
  • Head torch – Petzl
  • Phone charger – optional.
  • Head phones
  • Sleeping bag liner – a silk liner is compact and lightweight. Compulsory in most huts.
  • • Cash for huts – for small purchases, and normally for the main bill as well.

Things to avoid bringing:

It’s nice to have luxuries but it’s even nicer to have a light rucksack, both for the uphill and the downhill sections!

  • Soap, shampoo, hairbrush etc etc. Most huts don’t have showers.
  • Hardback Book – a kindle or small book is fine, although think carefully how much you’re actually going to read it. I prefer a pair of headphones and a podcast.
  • Pyjamas
  • Towel – see shower comment.
  • Spare clothes – It’s not the Duke of Edinburgh scheme. Don’t fall in a stream!
  • Sleeping bag – The huts have blankets/Duvets.
  • Trainers/hut shoes – The huts have a good supply of crocs.

I hope the above lists make sense. Note the complete lack of luxuries!

We always have a good equipment check before the start of a trip and there is time to go and splash cash in Chamonix if need be.

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5 days ago

Vertical Frontiers Ltd

Awoke to a wild and blustery day at the Britannia refuge this morning. Plans were scrapped, extra coffees were drunk and we headed down.

Finished the day with some scrambling and summits on the Perron traverse above the Emosson Dam. A day salvaged.

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Fresh snow but summer temperatures on the 4000m Allalinhorn today.

It was nice to follow a track this morning. Tomorrow’s trail breaking is going to be a workout 😬

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1 week ago

Vertical Frontiers Ltd

Back up in the #alpine again and enjoying the autumn weather and conditions.

Lots of rime ice on the Marbrees traverse this morning. Scottish.

Off to tick off a couple of Swiss 4000m peaks this weekend.

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#climbing_is_my_passion
#britishmountainguides
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Perfect autumn climbing weather. Photo: @allyswinton of Sara scrambling across the Perrons yesterday. The classic rocky ridge line above the Emosson reservoir.

It’s been a mixed few days weather wise, and the original plan of climbing the Grand Paradiso was out on hold. Flexibility is the key to a happy trip :)

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#climbing_is_my_passion
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