1. SPOT Global Sat Phone – Black
(We still like Iridium, but Globalstar has the edge in price and performs fine in most areas of North America. Nonetheless, be careful what region you expect this phone to function in. For example, as far as I know you’re not going to get good performance in the Alaska Range. We’ve been testing here in Colorado and it’s working fine.)
2. DPS Wailer 99 Pure Wider might sometimes be better, but that 100 mm waisted form factor continues to rule when you’re earning your turns. And in a DPS, who could want more?
3. Dynafit TLT6-P boot (Evolution, the latest species.)
4. Garmin GPS radio. (Smartphones are nearly there for backcountry GPS, but we still like the stand-alone units when the going gets rough. We also like FRS radios, so why not combine both items in one unit? You can get a more expensive model with a camera in it, but really? Touch screen might be iffy for extreme conditions, test and return if you don’t like it.)
5. Dynafit Beast ski binding package (Not for everyone, but could be the only ski binding you need both on and off the resort. Availability will be limited this year, but if the binding does well in consumer testing look for better supply next season.)
6. Petzl Headlamp. Some models are programable, USB charging, work on AAA batteries if necessary.
7. Canon EOS Rebel SL1 18.0 MP with a couple of lenses. Ramp up your action photography with a real SLR camera, only this one is incredibly small and lightweight.
8. Fully guided Denali ski trip, Mountain Trip can do a custom designed guided ski expedition. About $11,000 each for you and two friends. If guided you’ll be required to stay roped up during every part of the descent (Park Service regulations the guides have to abide by). Being roped on Denali is not such a bad thing, but it’s not necessary for skiing from the summit down to 16,000 feet or so, provided conditions are good. Still, I’d say getting a fully guided trip to the top of North America, with your skis, is radical.
9. Cilo Gear backpack. The sack of life — in that it’ll last a lifetime. You might have to adapt their packs to use for ski alpinism, but they’re designed to be user configurable.
10. Arctic Cat M900 HCR. What costs more than a guided Denali ski trip? Your new ticket to ride. Push button reverse, electric start, configured for athletic brilliance. Click the link, but get your drool towel ready first. When you walk into the dealership, please tell them WildSnow.com sent you. (grin)