The Essential Ski-Mountaineering Gear
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Eric Henderson crosses Lost Lake in the backcountry near Eldora Mountain Resort during a training mission. Sam Bass

As I found during six weeks of training for the Power of Four race in Aspen, Colorado, ski-mountaineering is one of the most physically demanding and fun sports you can do. For first-timers, the difference between liking it and loving it often comes down to gear. A less-than-totally windproof pair of gloves, skins that won’t effortlessly glide, or base layers that trap sweat will derail workouts, leaving you cold and frustrated. During training, my ski-mo racing partner Eric Henderson and I tested a warehouse worth of gear. Here, we boiled down the best of the essentials, and everything you need to get started.