Going from the ground up, you’ll need a solid set of sticks to guide you down Argentina’s steep, technical terrain. Steer clear of aggressive rocker and overly playful flex patterns (this isn’t Japan), and instead look towards stiffer skis with some camber and minimal rocker. Probably something in the 100-115mm underfoot range. Our staff picks are the Lib Tech NAS POW, Folsom Primary, and Armada Invictus 108Ti. Slap a sturdy alpine binding on these if you’re thinking of sticking to the resort or nearby sidecountry, but if you’d prefer the multi-day backcountry skinning mission, dial in your favorite touring binding and take it from there. Just be sure they’re sturdy enough for Argentina’s terrain and your style of skiing… more often than not it’s a long way down the high alpine steeps of Argentina if you lose a shoe. Staff touring binding choices are the Dynafit Beast, Marker Kingpin, or the SI&I Cast System.
Since you’ll most likely be hiking a good bit, it always helps to have a walk mode on your boots (this also provides you with ultimate après efficiency – a crucial part of your ski day in Argentina). Again to accommodate for Los Andes’ steeps, a boot on the stiffer end of the spectrum (110-130 flex) would be wise. Also make sure that they are comfy… long days and even longer après hours will have you logging some serious hours in these boots. SASS’s staff picks are the K2 Pinnacle 130, Dalbello Lupo TI ID, and Technica Cochise Pro. Lastly, don’t forget ample pairs of ski socks, nobody wants to climb in bed with Mr. Stankfeet after leaving los clubos in the wee hours of the night.
Poles: adjustable with powder baskets, duh. Just buy these.
Here at SASS, safety is an absolute must for our clients and staff. Do yourself a favor and protect your noggin. Please. Pick up a helmet (preferably one made in the last five years) and rock it everyday on the hill. You won’t get made fun of, we promise. Smith and Giro have been making solid hats for a long time, and Pret Helmets is a newer company on the block with some awesome lightweight options. Even more importantly, if you’re going out into the backcountry, carry with you the proper backcountry safety equipment for your mission. At the bare minimum, make sure your whole group has functioning beacons (with 60% or more battery), shovels, and probes, and also make sure you know how to use this equipment. If you don’t have this knowledge or could use a refresher, check out BCA’s Avalanche Safety Guide, or better yet, join us at SASS Argentina and pick up and AIARE certification while you’re down there having the time of your life.