Coming out of the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market and the SIA Snow show, the ski and snowboard industry’s two big tradeshows in January, it was overwhelmingly apparent that whether it’s via gate access from a resort or by earning their turns, more and more people are accessing the backcountry.
Both ease of access and snow safety dominated the product selection, including new boot and binding systems for hiking,
new ski and snowboard profiles that offer more versatility in off-piste conditions, and backcountry rescue kits and ABS avalanche backpacks all aimed at minimizing the danger should an accident happen.
Of course none of these items are as valuable as knowledge about avalanche risk and traveling in the backcountry. Keynote speakers for the Backcountry Experience exhibit at the SIA Snow show included respected big mountain riders and guides Jeremy Jones and Dean Cummings, as well as PSIA-AASI member and freeskiing icon Glen Plake who took the podium to talk about surviving a deadly avalanche on Mount Manaslu in the Himalaya this past year, and also to chime in on the dangers and rewards of gate accessed terrain.
As far as product is concerned, PSIA-AASI members can purchase everything they need to be prepared to ski or board in the backcountry through the PSIA-AASI Accessories Catalog. A complete selection of avalanche kits, transceivers, probes and shovels from Ortovox are available at members only pricing. Choose from three transceiver options, including the pinnacle of snow rescue technology the S1+ transceiver, or the go-to 3+, which has everything you need in a user-friendly package, or opt for the best value with the Patroller.
To comfortably carry your gear into the backcountry, the PSIA-AASI Accessories Catalog offers the best available ski and snowboard packs from Osprey Packs. The Kode 30 is used by some of the world’s best athletes in the most demanding conditions. The Karve pack is the perfect choice if you are planning on hitting some gate accessed terrain. Its low profile provides a comfortable ride on the lift, but still with plenty of room for the essentials.
Also, as a PSIA-AASI member you have the incredible privilege of shopping directly with these brands with access to a larger selection at the same great prices. Using your e-mail address as your user name and your personal I.D. number or chosen password login to the Osprey or Ortovox Pro Offers page.
Keep it safe out there, have fun, and remember to come home to those who love you!
Max Felix, currently in his fifth year as the merchandise coordinator/warehouse manager for PSIA-AASI, takes pride in selecting and providing the best available accessories for the PSIA-AASI membership. He has been actively involved in retail/e-commerce ski and snowboard companies for 18 years. “My passion is providing members with what they want and what they need, so that everybody can have the same life-shaping experiences that I have had in the mountains!” Felix said.
Got a gear question? Send Max an e-mail; he's happy to help!