(Inga Hendrickson )

The Best Snow Safety Tools of 2017


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The ski world is going all in on high-tech safety gear, packing more features into smaller packages. 


Mammut Carbon 240 Light Probe

When there’s trouble, you need a probe that snaps together fast. The seven-foot-ten Mammut Carbon 240 assembles in under three seconds and weighs just 6.5 ounces, allowing it to fulfill its other most important duty—disappearing when not in use.

Price $80

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(Black Diamond)

Black Diamond Razor Carbon Pro Poles 

You shouldn’t wear normal pole straps in the backcountry. If you’re caught in a slide or take a fall in deep pow, they can anchor you facedown in the snow. Black Diamond’s solution is a breakaway strap that gives you power when you need it but also keeps you safe when things go awry. The adjustable flick locks and low swing weight are bonuses. 

Price $120

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BCA Shaxe Tech Shovel

There aren’t many instances in which you need an ice ax (or what the French call a piolet) and an avalanche shovel at the same time. So BCA came up with a single tool that incorporates both. It also includes hardware for rigging a rescue sled out of compatible skis. 

Price $180

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(B and D Ski Gear)

B and D Ski Gear Ski Crampons

Free-hinging ski crampons—claws that fit over your skis for ascending steep, crusty terrain—bite least when you need them: in climbing mode. That’s because binding risers prevent your boot heels from driving them into the snow. B and D fixes that problem by adding riser posts to the crampons and keeper clips to the skis, so they’re always digging into the track at full depth. 

Price $51

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Pieps Micro Avalanche Beacon

This miniature beacon is smaller than a smartphone (and weighs a scant 5.3 ounces) but has a large screen and multiple-burial functionality. Instead of a toggle, it relies on a photo sensor to change from search to trans­mit mode. That means when it’s nestled in a harness under your jacket, it stays in transmit mode, but when it detects sunlight, it automatically switches to search. 

Price $390

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From Winter 2017 Buyer’s Guide Lead Photo: Inga Hendrickson

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