Please check your specific ski touring holiday details to see whether some of the equipment below is provided in the holiday package. For example, you are booked on to our refuge to refuge ski touring trip in the Queyras or our Ski touring trip in the Ecrins your safety equipment: avalanche tranceiver, shovel and probe and other safety equipment, is provided but if you have your own and would prefer to bring it, it is no problem.
If you are still looking for a ski touring trip to join, have a look at our ski touring holidays.
Ski touring skis with 'couteaux' (ski crampons) and skins, ski touring boots and poles. It is important that your equipment is in good condition, that your boots are compatible with your bindings, your skins stick properly on to your skis and your skis are serviced. If you wish to hire equipment then this is possible to do when you are in resort. Downhill alpine skis and boots are not suitable.
Avalanche safety kit. An avalanche transceiver (with new batteries), shovel and probe are the essential basic kit for all ski touring (some of our ski touring trips include this in the package). It is also possible to get specialised rucksacks with avalanche airbags, but these do not replace the basic kit required and sometimes the rucksack size is not big enough for a tour so it is important to choose these carefully if you are investing - they are not essential but can improve your chances of survival if caught in an avalanche. Avoiding avalanches is obviously the first rule of thumb and there is debate about whether having airbags increases the level of risks people are prepared to take so beware of this.
2 or 3 pairs of skiing socks - proper ski socks have extra padding where you need it the most and are worth getting. For ski touring you will sweat when skinning up so good wicking socks or ski touring specific socks are a good idea.
Waterproof jacket and trousers or sallopettes. A good set of outdoor winter waterproofs with snow cuffs are essential. You will get warm going up hill so a shell with layers underneath is better than padded ski wear. If you have the new stretch waterproof fabrics or mountaineering clothes even better!
At least three layers - thin thermal layer or t-shirt made of wicking material rather than cotton next to the skin, a mid weight fleece and a thicker fleece.
Extra fleece, sweater or thin duvet type warm layer. This is good for putting on when you stop for lunch as an extra protection against the cold!
Fleecy bottoms or mountaineering trousers and /or thermals to wear under your outer trousers. When skinning up, you may just wear these as you will sweat and get hot so it is a good idea to choose bottoms you are happy to wear without your overtrousers. Some people use thermals and a pair of mountaineering trousers or just the mountaineering or fleece trousers.
Gloves, hat, neck warmer or ear warmer. It's worth getting decent waterproof warm ski gloves or mitts and a pair of good fleecy gloves with some grip for when it is warmer or skinning up.
Rucksack (45 litre) to carry safety equipment, skins and ski crampons, harness, helmet, crampons and ice axe (if doing any ski mountaineering on the trip) spare clothing (especially for overnight refuge trips), packed lunch, water bottle, headtorch, and other bits and pieces. If you have a sack that can take skis in the side panels and strap on ice axes, that is preferable.
Good sized water flask or water bottle. A Platypus or similar water system is very handy but in winter the tubes can freeze so make sure you get the insulated protection with it.
Sun screen – please bring factor 50 as the sun is very strong.
Lip salve with sunscreen
Sun glasses - you should make sure they wrap well round your eyes at the sides to protect you from snow glare from the ground
Goggles - good quality googles are invaluable on snowy days
Sun hat or cap for warm spring ski days.
Large plastic bag to put inside your rucksack to keep the contents completely dry. No rucksack is waterproof (too many seams!)
Duvet jacket - not essential but serves as a good lightweight warm jacket for those frosty cold days.
Camera, spare film or memory card and batteries.
A small sit mat or bit of old camping mat - not essential but good for a bit of comfort when picnicking on the snow
Swim suit – for your free day if you have one - please note boxer short style swimming trunks are not allowed.
Games or cards for evenings and a good book!