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Old 11-17-2009   #1
smurf's Avatar
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 118
What's in your pack?

So, I recently bought a used splitboard (Venture Divide) w/ skins and am wanting to start going into the B/C. I need some help with gear recommendations like:

- who do you recommend taking an avy class from?
- avalung?
- what probes/beacons are recommended?
- what spare parts do you carry?
- aluminum vs plastic shovel?
- what collapseable poles do you use?
- any other gear that you can think of?

I've been a snowboarder for many years now, but have spent 99% of the time riding resorts and would love to explore more areas around here. For the mean time, while I practice getting used to my gear, I'll be doing laps at Sunlight and Willies peak after work once the snow starts falling. I most likely will not be doing anything too crazy this season, but would like to have the proper gear for when I eventually do, and want to be damn sure I know how to use it.

Any insight would be helpful. Thanks.

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Old 11-17-2009   #2
JCKeck1's Avatar
Seattle, Washington
Paddling Since: 1999
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Posts: 1,471
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So the BCA tracker is the gold standard of beacons. Everyone's been claiming to put out a better one and this has been going on for years, but I haven't seen it yet. Not that it hasn't happened, but until it's actually been shown, don't buy the hype.

Carry a full length probe - not one of those half sized ones stuffed into a shovel. I had one of those, but it would take minutes to just pull out of the shovel. That equates to a dead friend.

Carry an aluminum shovel. Yes it is heavier, but have you ever tried digging avi debris? It's like moving wet cement with rocks mixed in. If your plastic shovel breaks, your friend is dead.

Carry a small leatherman to help repair gear and open the back of your beacon when the batteries run out.

Carry a small headlamp - it gets dark quick and early in the winter.

Take a class the emphasizes staying out of avalanches. 25-50% of people caught in an avalanche die of trauma - all the rescue gear and knowledge in the world wont help nearly half of burial victims. Staying out is the most important knowledge.

That's a short list to get you started...

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Old 11-17-2009   #3
pagosa, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 25
i like to cary some chocolate... its quick pick up, 2 4 ft cam straps... you never know, a wistle, lighter, mirror(plastic) metal shovel... i carry a candle, i like to think if i had to make a fire i could, like 2 birthday candles, iodine tabs, you can get gardia from snow( wind blown poo) i usualy keep my booze in a metal bottle so i could boil water, oh booze, i like whisky, usualy for the hike out and drive home... haha... have fun. peace
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Old 11-17-2009   #4
the fort, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 672
i ride dynafit, so i carry the little heel adjuster piece and a couple of screwdrivers.
first aid kit w/ some basic supplies
tracker beacon w/ extra batteries
at least one extra layer of clothes and some glove liners
hat, leather gloves, and glasses/goggles
some food and water plus a couple of emergency clif bars or snickers in case the day goes long.
matches, firestarter sticks, a pepsi can stove and fuel, and a grease pot so that i can melt water and/or build a fire if needed.
i use some old leki poles that i've had for a while. don't have the collapsible ones because i'm cheap and the other ones still work.
bca probe and shovel (aluminum)
inclinometer (or whatever the little card you use to measure slope angle is called)
my splitboarder friend always carries an extra strap and duct tape for his skins because they always seem to become unsticky on warmer days.
i'm sure there's other stuff that i'll rememer on the first day of the year.
By the waterside I will lay my head.
Listen to the river sing sweet songs to rock my soul.
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Old 11-17-2009   #5
JDHOG72's Avatar
Wolcott, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 432
Did you buy it from the guy in GJ? Damnit that was the board I wanted! Anyway I got a Voile instead.

CMC offers avi courses for a reasonalbe price. I hear they definately stress staying out of an Avi as Joe suggested above.

I carry a little sponge with a chamois to clear goggles and a $5 snickers i bought from Beaver Creek.

BCA tracker beacon and probe
spare pin and binding strap
Alum shovel
Duct Tape
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Old 11-17-2009   #6
Porkchop's Avatar
Eagle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 144
headlamp for sure, metal shovel, probe. if your shopping for a beacon look at the range or how far away it will start to pick up another beacon. skin wax for the spring. ham sandwich in your pocket to help the dogs find you. a good snow saw will help with pits and stability tests. check out the caic website and be conservative. just like white water rescue is difficult even with best equipment and skill.
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Old 11-18-2009   #7
smurf's Avatar
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
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Posts: 118
Thanks everyone. Hopefully someday I'll see you out there.
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Old 11-18-2009   #8
The next zone, .
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,200
Smurf once we get into the winter you have to come over to get sunday session of ridin in.. I am also going to be in gwood on and off over this winter so I will give you a call as I have some new terrian scouted out on the flat tops of all places.

Oh yea here is what I keep in my pack.. As you can see the "bulk" of it is wiskey, coors, ribs, and a .45...

The other guys have hit most of the stuff I carry...

We are out sometimes 30+ miles so I take a few other things. In my pack I also take glow sticks, zip ties, spott, a small tool kit for the sleds, water, knife, extra balaclava, simple 2 way wal-mart radio, syphon tube, gps, extra battries, a tow kit for when we have skidoos around, rope, ice axe, heat packs 2 large for your belly and back, and 4 small for your fingers and toes.. Also a dry pair of wool socks, dry 1st layer, and a down sweater... If or when you spend your night out these things come real handy..
"I feel better than any other time when I am in the mountains and uh I cant explain it ya know...." - Shawn Farmer..........
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Old 11-18-2009   #9
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Seattle, Washington
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I agree with lots above and just wanted to mention that my list was for short tours/side country. If I'm getting back into it, I'd definitely recommend more gear for the unexpected bivy.

Also for beginners...don't forget a second set of goggles/sunglasses for hiking, because these will fog really fast once you stop moving and start going down. Extra AAA batteries are also a great call, but thankfully my headlamp runs with them, so I just call these my spares for my beacon if need be.

Bring a bit of ski repair stuff. Even a short tour can become epic if you're post holeing to your tits. And a safety kit...for the lighter.

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Old 11-18-2009   #10
Park City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 700
Steel Shovel

I've cut down a steel flat blade shovel. It probably weighs 10 pounds, but I've broken everything else I've used. I'll see if I can get a picture. I've never been a part of a rescue, but those times I've worked and practiced post slide, it sets up so hard, this gives me some comfort. Others will rip me for this, but ultimately I'm out there to get excercise.

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