A Few “Different” Gift Ideas for the Backcountry Skier

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | November 28, 2007      

Thinking outside the wrapper, some ideas for the backcountry skier in your life.

Know a technical rider who likes swapping bindings and experimenting with stack height? Is someone mounting a pair of thin skis such as the Goode? Wrap a screw kit and stick it under the tree this Christmas. Available from SlideWright.

Black Diamond Verdict backcountry ski
Ultimate gift for the homebrew ski mech.

ISHA sticker.
An ISHA membership gets you this sticker and a magazine subscription.

Memberships to related non-profits are always a good holiday treat that gives in both directions.

For anyone with a blink of appreciation for the shoulders we all stand on, a membership in the International Skiing History Association is always recommended. Available here.

Know an up-and-coming avalanche geek? No better gift for them than membership in the American Avalanche Association. Available here. But watch out, after your budding avalanche scientist reads the Association publication you’ll be dodging scientific big words and getting asked to spend three hours in a snow pit every time you go backcountry skiing.

Speaking of avalanche study, another excellent gift for the water crystal fanatic is a snow study kit. BCA makes a nice one. and Life Link provides a few as well.

Snow study kit.
We like this BCA snow study kit, as it comes in a padded case that makes it last through multiple adventures.

For the weight weenie, check out the lightest ice axe known to man and beast. CAMP Corsa weighs in at an amazing 7.3 ounces. While it feels funny to pick up an axe this light, we’re certain it works for most of what we need an axe for — mainly doing moderate snow climbing and glacier travel. If someone already has an ice axe, they can grow their quiver with this, though we wouldn’t recommend it as a first ice axe. Available here.

CAMP ice axe.
We’re not sure if this axe brings out the beast or the girlyman when used by a backcountry skier, but it’s cool either way at 7.3 ounces!

Airdrive earphone

Here is something a bit different for WildSnow gear words. The other day I got a marketing email asking us to check out Airdrive Earphones. The idea with these things is they don’t plug up your ears but still provide good fidelity. They seem to do the job just fine, and it’s indeed nice to get some ambient noise into the mix. The volume control works well and the easily customized ear rider keeps them positioned well enough to prevent radical changes in volume, though you do get a bit of modulation when doing things that tend to move the buds to slightly different positions in relation to your ear. We recommend these as a gift for the active ‘pod zoner, provided they don’t mind having an earphone with holder that goes behind the ear. Check ’em out here.

Okay, and now for our denouement of the “different” backcountry skier’s gift guide. A good friend of mine just put their 2004 Porsche Cayenne Turbo up for sale, mint condition, garaged, low miles. I can testify that this guy cares for his cars like a vintage airplane collector lavishing attention on their fleet. Put a ski box on top and you’ve got the end-all for a trailhead approach vehicle. (SOLD)

Ultimate TAV?
I’ve driven this thing and let me assure you, it rocks.


Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


9 Responses to “A Few “Different” Gift Ideas for the Backcountry Skier”

  1. Perry November 28th, 2007 3:32 pm

    Hey Lou, how about a plug for our own CAIC. Most people around here are probably already members, but for those that aren’t it is a great organization. You also get some great features including the emailed avy forecasts.

  2. Lou November 28th, 2007 3:58 pm

    Jeff, I’d love to give it a go in Mirror Gulch and see how the mirrors hold up!

    Perry, you’re welcome to make a plug, sometimes I’ve got to stay away from being too regional.

  3. brian November 28th, 2007 4:03 pm

    … the screw kit reminded me of an old project that I’d like to revisit- I’ve been on the lookout for metal inserts of the type used with k2 tele skis and all snowboards. I tried slidewright, tognar, sun valley ski tools, even k2 and voile without luck. skibuilders.com uses them, so i sent them an email, but haven’t heard back. can you think of any leads? thanks.

  4. Jeff Prillwitz November 28th, 2007 3:27 pm

    But Lou, have you driven the Porsche on Metal Masher?

  5. Josh Hartung November 28th, 2007 9:03 pm

    Brian… you can get a screw that is commonly used in snowboards that does a similar trick as those inserts. They are used to add width to a stance on a snowboard, or I’ve used them to make a bomber mount for splitboard tour plates.

    check out this catalog page from Snoli:


    This product comes with a ptex disc attached to the bottom for seamless installation (some epoxy required). You MUST use the special bit as well.

    Basically you just bore a guide hole from the top, run the counterbore bit in on the bottom, clean the hole, epoxy and pound in insert. Clamp overnight. Base grind in the morning to level the surface.

    These things are slick! Just the ticket for installing threaded fasteners in your skis. (shop secret)

    Good luck,

  6. Terry December 1st, 2007 9:12 am

    The insert ‘project’ is on my personal wish list as well, We will order and supply brass inserts (similar to the nylon inserts)

    We can order a similar t-nut kit to Josh’s link, with only white ptex. The kits aren’t cheap and the counterbore seems like the bomber way to go, but you could try the brass insert approach first?? If I can find a supplier (or if someone clues me in) of one with more ptex colors, I can conider that option.

    Due to the kit cost and low demand, like the heli coil kit, we would consider ordering an t-nut kit and offering it as a rental tool if we got a gauge on interest.

  7. Marko Pyhajarvi December 3rd, 2007 2:27 am

    heh.. that car’s price is way beyond my budget 🙂

  8. Lou December 3rd, 2007 6:40 am

    Oh come on Marko, just skip a few coffees.

  9. Search Perfect Gifts June 9th, 2008 11:40 pm

    your article on gift ideas was very intresting.

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