How to find the perfect backcountry rig

Matching boots to bindings to skis to objectives is no easy feat. Luckily, our backcountry guru Martin Chester is here to explain how to do it

You wouldn’t put a Marker Duke binding on a rando racing ski; and there is no point in having mahoosive powder planks if you only have some wellies to drive them. Here are some of my favourite combos to help you choose the right rig for your sort of thing:

1. The Uphill Racing Snake

Ova Freebird with a Plum Guide binding_La Sportiva Sparkle boots_DSC_6076If you enjoy skinning uphill as much (or even more) than the down, then you need a set up that is seriously lightweight. This is especially the case if you are one of those nutters who does any sort of rando racing or carrying your skis for any significant amount of time. Here at Fall-Line, we are all (mostly) about enjoying the downhill though, but here’s a super-light set-up that you will be sure to enjoy after the real fun is over.

2. The Backcountry Seasonnaire

Marker Kingpin on a Volkl BMT 94_DSC_5991

This is a really exciting category, as this is the one-quiver rig to suit the whole winter. So I approached this by thinking: “If I had to choose just one set-up for the rest of my skiing career, what would it be?” This is undoubtedly the best combo, so long as I didn’t have to look at the price tag!

3. The Summiter

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.

4. The Haute Router

Courtesy of Scott
Courtesy of Scott

OK, we’re going to make a sketchy assumption here: you probably do a touring trip every year, but spend the rest of the season cruising the off-piste in-resort, pretending that you’re skiing with the family. Right? Well if that is the case, here is a set up for you.

5. The Powder Hunter

Elina Sirparanta / Black Crows

If your skiing is all about the steeper, the harder, the further, the faster, then you need a rig that will keep up with you, like this one.