Ace of Base(layers): Arc’teryx Phase SV Zip Neck

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It’s borderline unsanitary how often I wear this layer. Literally every day that I’ve skinned over the last several seasons, the Phase SV has been my go-to top. It’s surprising that the collar isn’t crusted with sunblock, the cuffs aren’t permanently pasted with snot, and the pits haven’t discolored to a murky green….

Palm Pilot: Black Diamond Pilot Glove

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After spending my first several days of backcountry skiing with freezing fingers (and subsequent bouts of Screaming Barfies—that burning, rewarming feeling that makes you want to puke), I invested in some real touring gloves….

Troller’s Stamp of Approval: Kinco Lined Grained Pigskin with Cuff (#1927)

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I’ve been running Kincos since I started patrolling in 1998. They last about a year of ski patrolling and working construction. They’re not waterproof on their own, of course, but I treat the pigskin with mink oil….

Down Cloud: Mammut Biwak Jacket

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I got this jacket about six years ago before a mountaineering trip in Alaska—a cold, four-week NOLS course in the Talkeetna Mountains. It was my puffiest, warmest layer, and I wore it every night.

Softer Touch: Outdoor Research Ferrosi Hoody

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With fewer frills than a fancy pair of ski socks, my favorite jacket, a bare-bones softshell from Outdoor Research, could hardly be considered a shell when placed next to some fully-featured jackets that ring in at five times its price.

Not For Sale: Arc’teryx/Gore-Tex Pro Demo Jacket

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The late bass player Donald “Duck” Dunn had a great line in Blues Brothers: “If the shit fits, wear it.” Never an image guy and, frankly, a tough fit for jackets, I can abide. Enter this sample Arc’teryx/Gore-Tex piece that I picked up at a press event last year in Chamonix. Made of Gore-Tex Pro throughout, it’s like nothing in the Arc’teryx line. Well, aside from its high-quality construction and anatomical cut.

Tried & New: Suunto Vector

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I might have been drunk when I found this beat-up, scratched Suunto Vector pinched between two rocks in Vermont’s Brewster River. From a distance, its black housing looked faintly like a tin of chewing tobacco (which is why I actually ran to check its contents). Upon further inspection, what appeared to be a can of […]

Tried & New: Black Diamond Razor Carbon Pole

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As a ski magazine editor, I’m fortunate enough to upgrade my quiver, boots, apparel and accessories almost annually. But one constant in my gear over the last several years has been these Black Diamond poles. In fact, beyond some foot beds, a few pairs of underwear and one particular flask, my poles might be the […]

Tried & New: Black Diamond Glidelite Mohair Mix STS Skins

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If you’re the engine of your bc rig, then your skins are the driveshaft: they’re not sexy—at all—and they’re hidden under the prettier bits, but you ain’t going anywhere without ’em. And Black Diamond’s Mohair Mix is my go-to pair.

Tried & New: MontBell U.L. Super Spiral Down Hugger 0

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A good cold-weather sleeping bag should compress to the size of a cantaloupe; it should be true to its temperature rating; easy to get in and out of and cinch well enough to keep cold out and warmth in. Beyond that, a sleeping bag is pretty simple. MontBell, however, would beg to differ.

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