Caroline Gleich ascends a backcountry chute in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Wasatch Mountains, UT
Caroline Gleich ascends a backcountry chute in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Wasatch Mountains, UT (Photo: Andrew Burr/Patagonia)

Caroline Gleich’s 8 Travel Essentials

Gleich, a professional ski mountaineer, spends a lot of time on the road. Here's the gear she always brings along.

Caroline Gleich ascends a backcountry chute in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Wasatch Mountains, UT

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Last April, Utah-based skier and mountaineer Caroline Gleich became the first women—and the fourth person—to complete all 90 lines in Andrew McLean’s 1998 guidebook, The Chuting Gallery: A Guide to Steep Skiing in the Wasatch Mountains.

That book is widely considered the Bible of steep skiing in Utah’s backcountry. For Gleich, it was a mission four years in the making—one that she started for fun and wasn't sure if she’d ever finish. REI just debuted a new film about her accomplishment called Follow Through. We recently caught up with Gleich during a break from peak bagging in the Canadian Rockies to ask her what items she brings with her everywhere she goes.  

Eye Mask

(Courtesy Alaska Bear)

On the plane, or when I’m camping, I often end up going to bed really early. When I climbed Mount Rainier earlier this year, I laid down at around 6 p.m. and slept until 10 p.m., then got up to climb. I use an eye mask and earplugs to help me sleep whenever and wherever I need to. 

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Hiking Poles 

(Courtesy Leki)

I always bring my trekking poles when I hike. Being a skier, I have a lot of wear and tear on my knees and poles alleviate some of the impact.

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Portable Hard Drive 

(Courtesy LaCie)

I bring portable hard drives everywhere so I can dump my GoPro footage on them when I’m traveling. I also usually have to work on social media or write blog posts when I'm traveling, so I always like to have access to photos. 

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(Courtesy GoPro)

I usually have at least three cameras with me: a GoPro, iPhone, Sony RX100V, and sometimes a DJI Spark drone. There are some places you can’t fly drones, but If I can, it’s fun to bring that along because the footage is insane. I geek out. For something fast and light, I just bring my iPhone and my GoPro.

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(Courtesy Movement)

I ski on Movement Alp Tracks. They are made from carbon and wood which means they're lightweight but still durable. They’re so light, I can bring them everywhere and I can fit all my mountaineering gear in my ski bag and never pay overweight baggage fees.

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Insulated Jacket

(Courtesy Patagonia)

I wear my Patagonia Nano-Air Light Hybrid jacket constantly. It’s a lightweight puffy and I've found it is the perfect jacket for any season or any location.

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Nut Butter Bar

(Courtesy Clif)

I always travel with Clif Bars. I like the ones filled with nut butter. Most of the time, if I’m going out for a normal hike, I’ll just bring a bar and a gel. Even when I’m not skiing, I always have a bar in my purse for a snack.

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Travel Pillow

(Courtesy The Company Store)

I’m a creature of comfort, so I bring a small down travel pillow everywhere I go. I use it on the plane to sleep and then sometimes as a leg pillow. 

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Lead Photo: Andrew Burr/Patagonia

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