Winter's Wonderland Workout

Tools of the Trade

Feb 1, 2004
Outside Magazine
Backcountry Skiing Gear

K2 SHUKSAN RANDONNÉE SKIS have a lightweight wood core that makes them easy on the legs when climbing, while the titanium-alloy wrap strengthens the skis to let you bomb rugged steeps. This year's wider waist (78cm) makes the Shuksan float better—on the trail up and the powder roller coaster down. ($459; 800-426-1617, Unlike most snowboard boots, which are designed for 120-pound groms, the BURTON DRIVER is tall and stiff enough for adults to put power on the edge in all conditions. Bonus: Retractable metal spikes in the sole offer solid traction on steep, hard snow and ice when kicking steps uphill. ($230; 800-881-3138, Convenience is a below-zero necessity, so the INDIGO EQUIPMENT SNOW LOGIC SHOVEL has a squared-off, telescopic shaft to prevent swiveling, and it quickly expands for more leverage. The meaty blade (made from the same plastic as Nalgene bottles) won't bend or crack if you ever need to dig deep—or sculpt a base-camp La-Z-Boy out of snow. ($40; 970-429-1005, —E. H.