Off Piste Skiing Equipment List

Here is a summary of the items of equipment you will need for off-piste skiing on one of our Guided courses. Please check you have each item and refer to the bottom of the page for details on hiring equipment.

  • Ski with Bindings – You need to have skis suitable for off-piste skiing so around 85-100mm underfoot is ideal these should be mounted with either downhill or ski touring bindings.
  • Ski Boots – either a downhill ski boot or a type of hybrid touring boot is suitable.
  • Ski Poles
  • Suitable Ski Clothing including base layers top & bottom, mid-layer fleece and waterproof / windproof outer jacket and trousers.  Remember that you will need your layering system to be adaptable to different weather scenarios from warm to very cold and snowy so having a number of layers is the best solution
  • Small Rucksack – around 25 liters is a good size to put personal belongings in, avalanche safety kit, food / water, spare warm layer e.g. Mammut Nirvana 25
  • Hat or balaclava – buff or neck gaiter also useful.
  • Helmet – recommended to use
  • Ski Goggles and Sunglasses – essential to bring both for off-piste skiing
  • Sun Cream & Lip Salve
  • Gloves – thin pair (fleece or softshell & warm, fully waterproof pair)
  • Avalanche Transceiver, Shovel & Probe – these items can be rented from us, please contact us if you wish to do so
  • Snacks and drink – ensure you have water and snacks / packed lunch with you for the day
  • Ski Strap – to tie skis and poles together for walking sections
  • Mobile phone with the Chamonix PGHM (local mountain rescue) number programmed in: +33 (0)4 50 53 16 89
  • Rescue & health insurance – suitable for off piste skiing – see our Insurance FAQ
  • Lift pass – wait to speak to your guide before purchasing your pass to ensure you have the correct one
  • Cash & Credit Card – for refreshments
Superb velvet snow in the back bowls at La Thuile on an away day ski touring from Chamonix – at La Thuile in Val d’Aosta

The Guide will also carry the following items:

  • Rope
  • Shovel
  • Probe
  • Navigation Equipment (map, compass, gps)
  • Spare gloves
  • Skins
  • Group Shelter
  • First aid kit

Take a read of our useful article on What’s in your Rucksack for Skiing Off-Piste & Day Touring?  This also has some packing advice and other top tips!

Equipment Hire

Please follow our Sanglards Ski Hire link below to access your 15% discount (more in quieter periods), or tell them in the shop you have a booking with High Mountain Guides for the same discount. Shops are in Chamonix, Argentiere – Les Grands Montets and Vallorcine.

Sanglard Sports, location de matériel de ski, snowboard, skis de randonnées à Chamonix, Argentière, Vallorcine

Avalanche safety & mountaineering equipment hire can be arranged in advance with us. Please let us know which items you will require from the list above.

Buying New Kit?

If you plan to make some new kit purchases for this course then we recommend a few places to look online that not only provide a good range of clothing and equipment but also some excellent advice on suitable products for your chosen sport.  They are:

Needle Sports – An independent climbing gear shop that supplies mountaineering, rock, ice, alpine & expedition climbing equipment.  They have a shop in Keswick in the Lake District.

Facewest – with 20 years of providing an excellent online retail experience and plenty of knowledge and enthusiasm, they stock a wide range of products for climbing, skiing, running, and hiking.

Sport Pursuit – is an online retailer, mainly of clothing who sells, at highly discount prices, end of lines, and unsold stock from shops and brands.  If you look carefully through their website you can find some excellent clothing items at a really great price.