Winter Readiness: Winter Expedition Loadout

With winter fast approaching (October is next week, November = ski season!!!), I’ve been stocking up on various new gear items and thought it was about time to see that they all actually work together.

In particular, I recently wangled a GoPro, chest harness, and spare mount kit at a stupendous discount.  I kinda don’t want to mount it to my ski helmet for a few reasons: it’s completely outlandish looking, and I hear it tends to pop off if you wreck really hard.  So, I decided to spring for the chest mount.  My major concern with this decision was whether it would actually fit reasonably well with all the rest of the stuff I expect to be wearing if I’m actually skiing some place worthy of the GoPro.  Despite the stifling, disheartening, and entirely unseasonable temperatures in Boston lately, I got decked out in just about every piece of technical gear I own to see whether or not this is even feasible.

If I’m really out in the sticks, the avy beacon is a must have.  So that went on first.  One can imagine the gnarliest backcountry skiing trips, involving various bits of mixed climbing or traveling over glaciated terrain (for what it’s worth I’m no where near this stage of competence, but one can imagine such a scenario), so I jumped into my climbing harness.  Next, I threw on my shell jacket for purposes of realism.  On top of the jacket goes the Avalung II; after all we’re talking about slaying epic backcountry lines here, not cruising around on inbounds groomers…  Now for the centerpiece: the GoPro with the Chesty.  This works considerably better than one might imagine.  The Avalung is actually kind of flat in the center, providing a level vertical surface on which the chest harness can rest.  And finally, for good measure, I put on my winter day pack.  In some small miracle, none of the straps seriously interfere with each other.  Mission accomplished!  As an added perk (an operational necessity, in fact), I discovered that the climbing harness and beacon are both still entirely accessible without removing anything, but by unzipping the bottom zip on my shell jacket.  Ready for action!

Decked out.  The big bulge in my midsection is the beacon.
The beacon and climbing harness hardpoints are available by
 unzipping the bottom zip and unbuckling the hip belt. 

Gear List (click links for more product info):
Black Diamond AvaLung IIBackcountry Access Tracker DTS BeaconBlack Diamond Chaos Harness Ink, MBuy GoPro HERO Camera at GoPro.comFree Shipping on Orders over $50

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