Chris Figenshau on assignemnt in the burned forests of Sun Valley, Idaho. See more at figenshau.com
1. If I'm on a glacier, I need really dark shades. The Julbo Micropores [$120; julbousa.com], with Alti Arc X8 lenses, are the darkest I could find, and they have side hoods to keep out other reflected light. The more coverage, the better.
2. Black Diamond's Whippet Self-Arrest [$90; bdel.com] is a pole with an ice ax on top. It's for those times when you're walking on hard snow and you realize that if you fell, you wouldn't have anything to stop you. It's kind of nice to have that extra security.
3. I always have extra junk on my back, and I'm performing a lot of high-angle kick-turning getting to places, so my skis need to be really light and easy to maneuver. The K2 Seths [renamed Obsethed; $825; k2skis.com] are perfectforgiving and really good on climbs.
4. I'm a Nikon guy. I manually focus most of my shots, and Nikon lenses are easier for that, in my opinion. I shoot with D3 and D200 camera bodies [$5,000, $1,400; nikonusa.com]. I also used to stash a point-and-shoot Canon [canonusa.com] in my pocket for easy accessuntil I smashed it rock-climbing.
5. For mountaineering packs, my five-year-old The North Face Prophet 65 [since redesigned; $299; thenorthface.com] is one of my all-time faves. It has very little structure, so you can remove the suspension and smash it into a bigger bag. It carries well even when it's not full and has foldout padding on the back, which enables it to become a half-size bivy sack.