The perfect backcountry rig… for an uphill racing snake

blue skis, blue boot, blue trouser cuff clipping into a touring binding on a few mm of fresh snow. Ad for bindings

Martin Chester picks backcountry set-ups for five very different types of skiers. Here’s what to ski if you’re an uphill racer…

If 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:

Ova Freebird with a Plum Guide binding_La Sportiva Sparkle boots_DSC_6076

Ski – Black Crows Ova Freebird

This ski really surprised me when I skied it at the Kühtai ski test. Heading over the hill, we booted in to a secret stash, and I almost forgot they were on my pack. But when it came to the descent, I totally forgot I was skiing on just 85mm underfoot. Hooning after the team on their rhino-chasing über-boards, these coped surprisingly well with all manner of conditions. A small ski that packs a big punch!

Binding – Plum Guide

My favourite thing about these bindings is the quality of the engineering and the way that makes them look. But they give you more than visual appeal: the serious accuracy of machining gives a precision construction and a high rigidity frame. So what? When you ski on them, there is no slack in the system, giving you the best control and quickest edge-to-edge speed and accuracy. Oh – and they come in blue or purple!

Boot – Atomic Backland

I really didn’t want to like these. They look like rando boots, they weigh the same as rando boots, and I expected them to be bobbins as a consequence. Turns out I loved them – as did the rest of the team, awarding them FLs Boot of the Year gong (see p84). They are super light, super flexi, super simple, and great fun to ski in. Add to that the fact that this is the first touring boot that allows you to throw the liner in the washing machine and you haven’t seen the last of these…

Not your type of backcountry skiing? Here’s how to find your perfect set-up…