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luckboxing 02-22-2013 04:28 PM

Gear recommendations?
Time to get out in the backcountry...

I just ordered a Pieps DSP Tour beacon from Canadian Cartel. Seemed like a good deal for $259 and I found lots of positive reviews so I hope it was a good purchase.

Can anybody recommend a good probe, shovel, and pack? What else should I pick up? I plan on taking an AST 1 course as soon as I get everything. Can anybody recommend one in Whistler? Seems like there are lots to choose from. I've read that a 300cm probe is a good idea for the PNW. Would that apply to Whistler as well?

Escape Route and Excess Backcountry are the two main shops here, but I'm willing to shop online to save some money as I didn't find too much help in the stores.

As far as bags, I was looking at the smaller Dakine Heli pack or Baker. I'm looking for a small pack that I can wear on lifts with a board carry system. Just need room for a shovel, probe, skins, poles, and maybe a water reservoir system.

I'll probably be riding a bit of sidecountry for now, but shopping for a splitboard by the end of this season and planning on buying a sled next season.

Any other advice is appreciated.

killclimbz 02-22-2013 06:16 PM

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I take it you are planning on doing lift accessed backcountry. You are probably looking for a pack that carries around 20 maybe 25 liters. Skins take up a fair amount of room. A Dakin Heli pack will probably do that for you though you won't be able to carry much in the way of extras. If you are planning on doing any sort of touring I would highly recommend going up to a 30-35 liter pack. Cinch it down if you don't need the space. I would definitely plan on carrying some water and food with you.

Pieps DSP tour is a solid beacon. No worries there. Learn how to use it as much as you can before your level I.

I would say get a 300cm probe. I use a 340. Overkill in Colorado, but when I am in the PNW it is pretty obvious that you want one for the deeper maritime snow pack, which Whistler has.

As far as shovels go, get one with a metal blade. Several good companies for this. I like shovels that can convert into a snow hoe. That can be very handy for moving snow quickly without picking it up. In a team rescue situation this can be useful.

jwelsh83 02-24-2013 03:06 PM

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Nice, I'm in the same boat as you my friend. I'm gearing up to go out to Jackson Hole next year with a buddy and started accumulating stuff this past year. I ended up getting a Quiksilver Travis Rice backpack that is 24L and holds all my stuff. I've got the basic Mammut Element Beacon, Black Diamond Quick Draw Probe, and a Black Diamond Deploy 7 Shovel. The Shovel isn't the biggest but its folds nicely into my pack and the way I see it, in the time in need, the adrenaline will be pumping and Ill most likely be on my knees shoveling. It's small, but I can shovel away. I've also got a basic 2 person first aide kit, and being a Paramedic myself, I threw some extra things in the kit. I'm just trying to figure out what else I may need beside the essentials (Probe, shovel, and beacon). I've also got extra gloves, jacket, etc. Hope this helps. My buddy thinks I'm too paranoid, but he'll be thankful if he goes down and I've got enough life saving tools for the both of us. Avalanches are no joke...go to and they have everything with stuff on sale

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