From an external, perhaps chairlift-aided vantage point, ski touring can seem like a futile, Sisyphean exercise. But to understand why hours spent walking uphill — with skis, boots and bindings strapped to the feet and a heavy pack on the back — just to go down again, one only needs try it. Touring is meditative; it combines the emotionally restorative aspect of a hike in the woods with the physical fulfillment of a tough cardio workout. But unlike both of those activities, there’s a tangible reward at the summit: a long and empty descent far from the crowds at the ski resort.

Because ski touring combines the physical demand of the uphill with the more passive downhill, typically in a harsh mountain environment, the gear required for full enjoyment is technical and plentiful. Hardgoods like lightweight skis, touring bindings and avalanche safety equipment are mandatory. Tried-and-true accessories like natural energy snacks and lip balm are appreciated. Technical apparel that both looks good and performs during the up and the down fits somewhere in the middle. Without it, touring reverts back to misery; but with it, the experience of walking up (and skiing down) a mountain is entirely enjoyable.


Touring Vest by Alps & Meters $350
Touring Oxford Shirt by Alps & Meters $220
Touring Henley by Alps & Meters $160
Touring Crew by Alps & Meters $120
Wakayama Glove by Hestra $140
Uniform Beanie by Coal Headwear $23


QST 106 Ski by Salomon $700
S/Lab Shift MNC 13 Binding by Salomon Learn More
S/Lab MTN Ski Boot by Salomon $800
MTN Carbon S3 Poles by Salomon $150
Alugator Pro Shovel by Mammut $60
Barryvox Avalanche Beacon by Mammut $262
Carbon Probe 240 Light by Mammut $60
Light Removable Airbag 3.0 by Mammut $522
Ski Strap by Black Diamond $6
Slopeside Syrup by UnTapped $42 (20-pack)
Mini Tin SPF 23 Skin Protector by Dermatone $6