Martin Chester picks backcountry set-ups for five very different types of skiers. Here’s what to ski if you’re obsessed with summits…
So you like standing on top of things, huh? This means you probably need a boot that can walk as well as skin as well as ski. Here is the set up for you:
Ski – La Sportiva Vapor Nano
When it comes to fancy new technology, I take a bit of impressing – for me the proof is in the skiing. So I have to be honest here and say that I neither know, nor care, what Nano-Tube technology might be. What I do know is that these lightweight beauties ski like a ski that is twice as heavy, and have me grinning from top to bottom every time.
Binding – Dynafit TLT Radical ST 2.0
Dynafit touring bindings were the original and best for years. This is the next generation of that pedigree, and combines all that we love about the Dynafit tech, with a pivoting toe piece for extra security on the descent. Of course, you don’t have to be too radical about this – so if weight is more important than toe release, you simply can’t go wrong with the TLT Superlites.
Boot – La Sportiva Spectre/Sparkle
These look like any other touring boot, they ski like any other touring boot, but put them in walk mode and you realise they are something truly special. The range of walk flex is as astounding as it is soft. This makes it effortless to skin uphill, and walking in crampons you feel like you are wearing a mountain (rather than ski) boot. When your life depends on that next crampon placement on an icy ridge, that becomes a really significant bonus!
Not your type of backcountry skiing? Here’s how to find your perfect set-up…