Packs for the Backcountry, Skiing or Otherwise – Wind Rivers Backpack


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | September 7, 2005      

Our recent backpack in the Wind Rivers was a terrific laboratory for lightweight equipment, much of which applies to backcountry skiing as well as hiking.

Wind River Mountains, Wyoming, trail to Shadow Lake
On the trail to Shadow Lake, Wind River Mountains. Bollinger Peak and Wolf’s Head to right. Granite Gear Nimbus Ozone pack on back!

Consider packs. You get your load down to reasonable heft by trimming nearly everything, then weigh your pack and find out it’s the third heaviest thing you have (next to food and sleeping bag). Does it need to be that way? Not if Granite Gear (GG) can help it. Louie and I both used the GG Nimbus Ozone, a sack that only weighs 3 pounds, yet provides plenty of volume and a truly comfortable suspension system.

I’ve looked far and wide and have simply not found anything on the market that comes close to these Granite Gear packs. Sure, the less durable silnyl fabric requires thought about how you place your gear in the pack, and the lack of zippered pockets is a bit disconcerting at first. But what’s a pack for, first and foremost? It’s to mule your junk from camp to camp as easily as possible. This one does the job, and saves up to 2 pounds over many packs of comparable comfort and size. We’re inspired by this gear — excited to try some multi-day winter backcountry skiing trips with loads that resemble our day-pack weight.

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  Your Comments

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  • rob glieden: Bohemia is pretty legit. It belongs in your post Lou as the drive up the pe...
  • Aaron Mattix: Bohemia has been high on my radar of interest. Would love to hear more feed...
  • JCoates: Lou, I grew up in rural Montana so "I get it" when you're talking about the...
  • Maciej Pike-Biegunski: Lou, I abandoned heavy "beef" boots years ago. The marginal gain in ski ...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Jake, I tested on bench, forward-upward release is fine, heel to the side (...
  • Chris: Clean, affordable, and efficient mass transit (whatever form that might tak...
  • Jeremy C: Unfortunately for anyone who likes driving, self drive cars will slowly ero...
  • Lou Dawson 2: In Western Europe, I sure see a lot of people driving... it's not the nirva...
  • Shar: If your subways cars are "grunged out", then that is a reflection of the la...
  • Maz: So when you're in Europe, how do you enjoy the "grunged out subway cars and...
  • zippy the pinhead: Rob, Answer to your question seems to be "yes". https://www.google.com/...
  • peterk: More features than an Alien: carbon, powerstrap-buckle, dual durometer sole...
  • rob trauscht: Possibly dumb question on the soles, but is anyone resoling AT boots? Seem...
  • Scott S Allen: Thanks Lou for the feed back, I really appreciate it! I have worked with B...
  • Topi: I have used Mammut RAS Light 30 for two past seasons (Euro). No durability ...
  • Lou Dawson 2: All fine Dave, appreciate the industry voice chiming in here with useful st...
  • Mammut Dave: Forgot to mention--regarding durability, with any of these light packs you ...
  • Mammut Dave: Harpo and Lou--a bit of info on the light fabric from Mammut. These two pa...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Maciej, in my opinion not quite a stiff feeling as TLT6-P, a bit stiffer th...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Scott, if lasting is your concern, when doing shell fit without liner you p...
  • Lou Dawson 2: John, I'd say your view is accurate. Until they reduce the weight and cost ...
  • John S: I have a little bit older BCA Float model, and this fall I'm helping my dau...
  • Scott: I got a 28 shell and seems tight with 1.5 fingers....may up it to the 29, b...
  • Lou2: There is no real industry standard for how lasts are measured. I go with SK...
  • Scott Allen: Scarpa site claims a 102 mm last in this model of F1 (one of the reasons I ...
  • Maciej Pike-Biegunski: This boot looks really appealing. My feet measure out at an 8D on a Brannoc...
  • Jake: Does this binding work with la sportiva spectre? Had assumed it would sinc...
  • Christian: I made the switch to these late last winter after giving up on my old TLT5 ...
  • Scott McCullough: You could make a bungy lock for split boarders. I bet someone might like t...

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

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