Deep powder is a religious experience, and it takes just one perfect day of blue skies and bottomless snow to become a pious worshiper. From Alyeska to Taos, powderhounds feverishly monitor weather reports for the next big storm, and after spending a weekend skiing 12,000-foot ridges in Telluride, we know exactly why: powder skiing is as close as man can get to flying in the mountains. The best way to enjoy the fluffy stuff is with the right gear. Here’s what we pack on Powder Day.
Salomon Quest Motion Fit Outerwear
All new for 2014, Salomon’s Quest Motion pants and jacket have waterproof zippers, an integrated powder skirt and gaiters, and a ClimaPro three-layer waterproof membrane. This is the power suit for freeskiers.
X-Bionic Radiactor Base Layers
There’s a reason alpine and nordic ski teams all over the world turn to Swiss company X-Bionic when they need performance layers. Our Radiactor shirt, pants, and socks managed heat and wicked sweat better than anything we’ve ever tried.
Discrete 41 Mittens
Four fingers and a thumb makes 41 (Discrete may have skipped math class a few times to chase untouched powder). These mittens a decidedly low tech: they ship as raw leather with a couple helpings of Sno-Seal waterproofing gel. Their old-school styling makes for a simple, classic mitten.
Wagner x GP Custom Skis
Our custom backcountry boards are the perfect ultralight pow-slashers. Outfitted with a pair of burly Dynafit TLT Radical FT ($600) alpine touring bindings, they’ve helped us move uphill in search of untouched snow almost faster than we can shred down it.
Black Diamond Quadrant Ski Boot
If ever there was a do-all ski-mountaineering, big mountain and freeride boot, this is it. One of the lightest four-buckle touring boots available, it’s got a 130 flex rating when locked down; ample room in hike mode makes the Quadrant our favorite for bluebird and storm days alike.