Preparation for a ski guide course is a multi-faceted process. From fine-tuning your fitness to prepping complex tour plans, it is important to show up prepared for these courses. Correct equipment selection is a vital part of preparation process as proper gear selection can help a student succeed in a challenging course by providing them with the necessary tools to complete the task.
My ski guide pack is similar to a carpenter’s tool belt. Everything has its place on the tool belt. Likewise, I always keep my pack organized. Most tools can be used for multiple things and often certain gear and tools can be also used as rescue equipment. For example, 25 inch voile ski straps can double as a repair for broken bindings and are utilized in my rescue sled. Similar to a carpenter’s tool belt, weight is an important consideration. It’s important to have the right tool for the job – but you can’t bring the kitchen sink. An additional three or four pounds in my pack will make a big difference over a long season at work.
Ski guiding is similar to rock guiding in terms of gear selection. You wouldn’t show up to a rock guide course in Red Rocks with 1 pair of rock shoes. You would have a pair for sport climbing, trad climbing, and long multi-pitch routes. Likewise, it is important to show up for a ski guide course with different types of skis and boots for the given objection. Ideally, you would want a ski set up for off-piste guiding days close to the ski resort along with a set up for ski touring and ski mountaineering guiding days.
Below is a list of equipment I normally bring to a Ski Guide Course. (Of course I’m not using all of it on the same day).
Jonathan Spitzer – American Mountain Guide/IFMGA Guide and AMGA Instructor Team Member
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