Powder Guides Backcountry Uniform
With winter adventures right around the corner, it’s time to break out the winter gear. Mountain Hardwear is our go to gear for backcountry clothing and is the official uniform for Powder Guides. We chose Mountain Hardwear because they make the most technologically advanced products. Their R&D staff is innovative and creative, and they spend almost as much time outside as we do.
The gear you wear when you are in the backcountry heli-skiing and touring can make the difference between a great day and a not so great day. Yes, I am telling you what you wear makes a difference, but not in a fashionista: that color looks good on you kind of way. I’m referring to the performance of the gear that you wear. Wearing gear that is specifically designed for performance and function, lets you focus on enjoying the adventure. Being cold and wet in the backcountry isn’t just uncomfortable, it can put you at serous risk for hypothermia or injury. Gear that bunches and binds and doesn’t fit correctly can impair your ability to ascend mountains and navigate terrain.
Mountain Hardwear backcountry apparel provides us with better with a better physical and emotional experience through fit, weather protection, temperature regulation and moisture management. In other words, it keeps the elements out and the fabrics wick sweat away from your skin so you don’t get chilled, the gear is designed for ski touring movements. Mountain Hardwear designs their alpine gear with the philosophy that the backcountry has a way of reducing life to its essentials. That’s why their bomber gear features everything you need and nothing you don’t.
Over the years we‘ve come to learn and appreciate terms like: articulated, breathable, waterproof & vented; these key features combine to keep you at the perfect body temperature all day whether you are zipping around in the heli, touring the backcountry or skiing deep powder. I’ve made a list of our core go-to gear. While these pieces are essential, remember to layer correctly. Layers work best for backcountry ski touring so you can be prepared to regulate body temperature when you are hiking and making turns. Insulation layers are available in a variety of weights for every season from silk weight for spring to expedition weight for full-on winter.
Men’s Alchemy Hooded Jacket
The Alchemy is a fully featured alpine jacket and we use it everyday for Whistler backcountry touring and heli-skiing. This soft shell jacket has an active fit and features Dry.Q™ Elite technology. An active fit ensures a free range of motion without any added bulk. The The Dry.Q™ Elite fabric is a 3-layer construction that’s durable, tough and is well known for it’s incredible breathability. The jacket is pack and harness compatible with hand warmer pockets, a 3 way adjustable helmet compatible hood that adjusts easily–and stays adjusted. The side pockets have mesh linings for ventilated airflow, and you can always access them, even with a harness or pack on. It keeps you warm, dry, and comfortable whether you are ascending a peak, or making deep powder turns.
A high-performance ski pant that’s simple, tough, and utilitarian, the Minalist is the essential Whistler backcountry ski touring and heli-skiing pant. It has: 3-layer construction that makes the pant waterproof and windproof. The outstanding knee articulation allows exceptional freedom of movement for any alpine activity. The pant features ambush edge guards to protect against boot tearing; internal powder cuffs; thigh vents; and more. The enhanced knee articulation allows for ultimate mobility whether you’re hiking up that ridgeline, making precise turns on a tree run, or knee deep making powder turns. Hook-and-loop adjustment on the waistband allows for a customized fit, no matter the thickness of your base-layer, and a vertical-entry thigh pocket gives you a secured place to stash essentials. Inner thigh vents let you keep your cool during warm ski days or while earning your turns, and internal powder cuffs keep that champagne snow from working its way up your legs.
Men’s Super Compressor Hooded Jacket
If Powderguides had to pick just one jacket for all around warmth and weather protection it would be the Super Compressor Hooded Insulated Jacket. This jacket is our go to for long cold days ski touring in the Whistler backcountry. Made with highly compressible Thermal.Q Elite insulation, it’s easy to stash in your pack without taking up a lot of room or adding a lot of weight. Thermal.Q Elite insulation is 20% warmer than the industry standard trapping warmth within its down-like, 3D structure of synthetic fibers. The synthetic fibers of the Thermal.Q Elite don’t hold moisture, which means you stay warm even during the harshest and most miserable of backcountry conditions.
The jacket’s Dry.Q Core 2-layer membrane seals out the elements and offers weather-shedding performance when you’re hunkered down waiting for nasty weather to pass. Its pack and harness-compatible hand pockets allow you to retrieve items while you’re touring. The single hem cinch-cord seals out cold drafts. In addition, the Super Compressor has a three-way adjustable, helmet-compatible hood with a wire-brim easily holds its shape.
Whether we are securing skis on the heli or conducting snow stability tests for the Whistler Avalanche Courses the glove of choice is the Typhon Glove. It’s tough and versatile while maintaining phenomenal fit and dexterity. The glove features a waterproof, breathable OutDry membrane that is bonded to the four-way stretch soft shell fabric. This gloves keeps out water, wind, and cold and keeps your hands warm and dry. The glove is modular and is lined with brushed tricot for comfort and has a removable wool-blend liner that adds warmth or can be worn on its own. The gauntlet style cuff has an adjustable draw cord that cinches easily to protect your wrists and block out the cold. The palm is leather lined providing excellent grip.
When you are touring around the backcountry you’ll be happy to have the Powzilla 30 Backpack strapped to your back. The Powzilla’s HardWave suspension system includes a comfortable and well-padded back panel, hip belt, and shoulder straps that maintain excellent fit and ventilation regardless of what’s in the pack. The Powzilla’s continuous webbing snow gear system provides several ways to carry skis, a snowboard, and other alpine gear. The large main compartment is easily accessible so you can get to your gear and equipment with ease. A convenient front pocket gives you an ideal place to pack your skins so they don’t dampen the puffy jacket you have in the compartment. A generously large front pocket offers enough room for your avy gear. Once packed, you can cinch the Powzilla down tight with the compression wings so your gear doesn’t bounce around on the heli, while switchbacking up the skin track or making untracked turns with Powder Guides.
Choosing exceptional gear designed to fit properly and keep the elements out is the first step to being prepared for backcountry and heli skiing. The second step is calling Powder Guides to book your adventure. If you are ready to ski tour in the back country and heli ski Whistler, grab some new Mountain Hardwear gear and give us a call.