Check the functionality of your backcountry kit, just in case a little mouse has had a nibble over the summer
Do not leave this to the morning or your first powder day!
Transceiver, Shovel and Probe
Check the functioning and familiarise yourself again with transceiver, shovel and probe. Make sure batteries haven’t leaked and are still working fine, if not or you are unsure, then replace them! Every 3 years manufactures recommend the beeper software be updated. Direct contact with the manufacturer or a retailer can help with this.
If using an Air Bag system in your backpack check handle and gas cylinder is full and attached correctly, or batteries are in working order.
Apply silicon lube on the handles’ attachment and weigh gas the canister to ensure its weight matches the weight noted on it. Un-pack and re-pack the airbags – repacking is like refolding a map, just replicate the crease marks.
If in doubt please take it to a retailer who can organise a full system check.
Personal First Aid + Repair kit
Ensure all medication is within its date.
Example of a personal first aid kit; Blister pack, paracetamol/ ibuprofen/ antihistamine (selotape the top of the packs to stop the pills popping out), inhalers or Epipen if required, penknife, emergency energy gels, zip ties, pack of tissues, On-the-hill screwdriver for those on-the-fly boot and binding adjustments. Little tube of sun cream. Stored in a little zip-lock bag.
Wrap some duct tape around an old credit card or shovel handle to stop it getting too damaged.
Carrying a Garmin Inreach mini or similar means you will always be in contact of help if needed.
Check bases, remember to scrape off any storage wax you may have applied at the end of last season, re wax and edge if necessary. A little edge rust will soon disappear after one run.
Check glue is still in good condition. Skin glue, when overheated can turn overly sticky which leaves residue on the ski bases.
Remind yourself how uncomfortable your feet will be on that first ski of the season by trying on your ski boots.
I assume you haven’t grown too much over the summer so as long as you have 2 of them I guess that’ll do.
Check boots are fitted correctly to the bindings and Dins are on the correct setting for you. – There’s nothing more annoying than refitting your boots to binding at the ski lift.
Gloves (+ spare pair in bag)
Re-wax if they are leather
Owen is a Lead mountain guide, and coverts a roll in the snowsports industry that many would sell their Kidney for, he works for the Northern Escape Heliskiing operation out of British Columbia.