Wild Snow Christmas Gift Guide – 2011

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | December 15, 2011      

Yeah, some of us here at WildSnow.com are procrastinators. If you are as well, here you go — or pass on to your procrastinator significant other.

Ski Journal, need we say more?

Every denizen of the backcountry can use another lightweight headlamp option. The idea is you should never be without a light source in case of unplanned night action — but during most day trips you’ll never need it, so a tiny one will get walked while the big dog is left chained at home. Black Diamond Ion works for that, and the price is affordable at $20 street. If the giftee already has too many lamps? No problem, they’ll be glad for another one they can stick in their truck or purse.

Um, Gecko skins will eliminate issues that can destroy a marriage or (for you singles) cause your main unit to go slumming after argument inducing comments such as, “Honey, how come you just stuff your skins in there with your _enter lint covered item here_ .” Hey, we’re not being sexist. A good marriage is always a mix of personality types and the successful union will generally have one partner, male or female, who practices perfect skin hygiene, and another who allows the family dog to use their expensive furs as a doggie-mattress cover. Anonymous comments are activated if you care to vent. But better, get some Geckos for the you-know-who in your life. (Around $200 depending on width.)

Prolific WildSnow blogger Jonathan S. shares regarding Dynafit TLT5 boot: “Never before have I seen such a lack of boot diversity among my touring partners. It is possible to afford ($1,000 street) the carbon ‘Performance’ version by cheaping out on your gifts to everyone else and reselling all the gifts you receive.” Jonathan! Who knew? TLT5 Mountain works too (street $750.00).

For considerably less $ than radical ski boots, consider some of the innovative lightweight gear from CAMP Sure, some of these are not quite essential items, but hey, it’s the season to get things you wouldn’t otherwise get, right?

Gloves always make good stocking stuffers because if that backcountry skiing maniac doesn’t need new gloves now, he always will in another season or so. Or at least, that’s the theory that you hope will prevent, dare we mention, regifting? These ones are cool, with astounding dexterity that would make them excellent for warmer weather backcountry skiing.

Some of you may want to lean a new pair of planks next to the yuletide conifer. For the ladies, may we suggest the ski that will cause ultimate bliss both during and apres? Yes girls, K2 Gotback will do it ($650.00 street, consider dedicated K2 skins when you order). Guys? They’re easier to please in some ways, but more difficult in others. Nonetheless we’ll take the plunge and suggest perhaps a Dynafit Manaslu if this man likes to do many human powered laps on the powder fields ($700.00 street, Dynafit ‘Speed’ precut skins recommended). Lest we be accused of Dynafit bias, may we also suggest the latest, carbon infused BD Justice for a wider and harder charging option? We’ve been rocking these in our Ultimate Quiver project and are quite impressed. Black Diamond came up with the slogan “It’s all about the down.” Liars (can we say that on air?). It’s about the up, too, and this new Justice is a LOT lighter on your feet for the uphaul ($700 street).

Moving along, let’s talk safety and survival. One overlooked item in that category is the reliable insulation layer. We see all too many skiers out there who carry thin, down insulated jackets that would do them for a rescue situation about as good as stuffing wet newspaper in their shirt. Thus, if you have a hardcore in your life who you want to help stay safe, consider buying them a nice synthetic puff jacket (insulates when damp, as opposed to down). We recommend Outdoor Research Chaos ($250.00 street).

Spot Satellite Messenger. Our feeling here at WildSnow.com is, if nothing else, traveling the backcountry with an emergency communication device is social responsibility. If you want a raw unfettered experience leave your clothing behind, but remember your Spot Messenger. $150.00 plus yearly subscription fee.

Iridium 9555 satellite phone package, with minutes. Still less money than a new pair of skis and bindings, an Iridium phone is the end-all be-all way to stay in touch or call out in an emergency. Forget your Spot locator, forget messing around with two-way radios, forget trying to guess if you’re in an area where your cell phone will work. Just carry an Iridium and you’re done. No monthly plan required, just buy a SIM card with minutes, stow in your pack, that’s it. Approximately $1,800 with minutes.

And, if you’re over the cardiac event triggered by thinking about buying a sat phone: At the least expensive end of the scale, a cute little tool is always a nice stocking stuffer.

Totally drawing a blank? Just buy that maniac backcountry skier a gift certificate. Links: Backcountry.com, REI.

Lastly, anyone with last minute gift ideas, feel free to comment with links. Just please don’t spam us.

(Full disclosure: Some of these product links may result in obscene profits for Wildsnow.com, which will be allocated to the chainsaw that got wrecked cutting our Chirstmas tree due to our hurry from procrastinating the process.)



16 Responses to “Wild Snow Christmas Gift Guide – 2011”

  1. Sarah December 15th, 2011 9:35 am

    What about giving the lady (or man) in your life a gift certificate for a custom boot fit, particularly if they have been experiencing blisters or other causes of grumpiness and discomfort climbing up/skiing down the hill? Skin wax is also a nice stocking stuffer in the PNW and other sticky snow areas. Happy Holidays!

  2. Steve December 15th, 2011 9:46 am

    Snow would be a nice gift at this point.

  3. Halsted Morris December 15th, 2011 11:03 am

    Parents should think about giving their kids an avalanche course. And fieldbooks are always a gift that any snow nerd would like…

  4. Andy December 15th, 2011 11:20 am

    Whatever you give should probably be wrapped up in a few ski straps.

  5. OMR December 15th, 2011 2:44 pm

    What side of the tracks is your Santa from? I’m coming on to fifty but, while making more $$’s now than ever, more dollar conscientious than ever. With THE boot going like hot cakes at over $1K, it’s a major investment to quiver-up. Oh to be young and carefree and cash out that 401k for new gear.

  6. Julian December 15th, 2011 4:34 pm

    Given the price of some of the gifts noted above, I would think you put on the list a BCA Float 36 pack. It seems that the avalanche pack is the item that many bc skiers lack but realized as a necessity as much as a beacon.

  7. Lou December 15th, 2011 7:09 pm

    There is a certain website and gear outfit who is basically predating on us here, as borderline spam. I keep deleting their stuff. You know who you are. Please stop. We sell advertising if you want it.

  8. Sofia December 16th, 2011 1:23 am

    Some great gift ideas here! I think I will go for something a bit smaller for my boyfriend, like a pair of awesome ski gloves, you can never go wrong with that 😉

  9. Olaf Metal December 16th, 2011 7:24 am

    Lou, sounds like you need to come skiing on the west coast of BC and get some power saw lessons.

  10. Devon December 16th, 2011 10:49 am

    Oh, sorry that is what you interpreted my post as – I have no connection with them. I saw that on another blog and thought it was interesting.

  11. Lou December 16th, 2011 10:59 am

    My mistake, getting overwhelmed sometimes by spam stuff behind the scene I have to deal with. The item we’re talking about is the avalanche balloon, which has been around for about 40 years and is lame. Check it out: http://youtu.be/NqUMLmvJ_2k

  12. Devon December 16th, 2011 11:10 am

    Yeah, my intuition was that it was a novelty and useless in practice, but in my somewhat newbie status, I was unfamiliar with them and thought there might be a chance they were cool.

  13. Lou December 16th, 2011 11:29 am

    They make a good dog toy.

  14. Ed December 17th, 2011 1:22 am

    One gift that’s not so expensive might be a copy of All.I.Can. – I gotta say one of the best ski films i’ve ever seen. A cut from the movie – shot in the town of Trail B.C. – is at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5dOB3VSyC8
    All.I.Can.is available on iTunes to rent or buy in HD or on DVD from Sherpas. Some of the music is on iTunes as well.
    It’s a hoot, and would be a much watched thing on Christmas Day. Crank up the sound on the home theatre!

  15. Lou December 17th, 2011 6:22 am

    Good suggestion Ed, thanks! Louie suggested that might be the best ski flick ever… need to get a review up! Due to travel taking us away from the The Meeting ski film premiers this year, we didn’t do the usual push to get some reviews up. Hopefully they’ll have a ski flick or two at 5-Point festival this spring.

  16. Josh December 19th, 2011 9:51 pm

    How bout giving a gift certificate for that maniac backcountry skier from a local backcountry ski shop. No link required, just stop in.

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