The Best Snow Safety Tools of 2017
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.