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Our staff at Rhythm live and breathe the mountains. Spending any moment we can up there, from early mornings, long days, overnights to even just a couple runs to get the legs going.

Deciding on your touring setup is all about figuring out your priorities and picking a setup that matches the individual; my favourite gear might not be right for you. For me, my touring skis are solely for backcountry use, and I’ve had to make decisions based on weight, performance, features and durability.

These are some of my favourite bits of my backcountry kit.

Black Crows Camox Freebird

The Camox is one of the most popular touring skis of the moment and for good reason. It’s light, skis hard and is a good profile for most snow types. For me, weight is one of my main concerns, as each metre I ski downhill is another I have to skin back up, and the Camox comes in at a featherlight 1250 grams (183cm). On top of it’s light weight it has excellent edge grip for those steep runs and chutes which is a big concern for me in my touring skis. It carves hard on corn with its medium classic camber and floats well on the fresh stuff with generous tip rocker and a little bit of tail rocker.

I've also found it capable enough on icy hard stuff.

If you're looking for a ski that can do anything in the Australian backcountry, I can’t recommend this one enough.

Marker Alpinist

The Alpinist is Markers response to the need for lightweight touring bindings. It comes in at 280 grams without a brake (I just use a leash on mine).

On the performance side of things this binding shreds. It uses the same toe piece as the kingpin whicH gives it excellent power transfer and damping on the down hills. 

The heel piece is easy enough to step into, and I've had zero issues with pre releases.

There are a few compromises some skiers may find issue with in the Alpinist, such as the slightly fiddly to step into toe piece and the low heel risers, but for me they aren't too much of an issue given how well the binding performs in other areas. 

Pomoca Free Pro 2.0 Skins

These are some of my favourite skins I've ever stuck on a set of skis, they balance glide, grip and packability perfectly for me.

Going through the process of using them. Putting these on is easy. They have nice durable toe and tail hardware, my only gripe is that if your skis have a vertically wide tail they can be a tiny bit fiddly to get on. Once you are skinning on them, they grip with no issues on all of the skin tracks I've set (until it turns into hard ice) and on the downhills and flats they have an amazing amount of glide for a full nylon skin. Transitioning to the downhill I fold them in half, roll them up and chuck them in my pockets to keep the glue warm. They each roll up smaller than a coke can.

My other go to bits:

Scarpa Maestrale XT Boots
Great walk functionality and charge hard on the downhill

Anon Goggles
Easy change magnetic lenses

Staff picks are coming weekly, so stay tuned for more!

All photos taken, and words written by Flynn Armstrong

Instagram: @Flynn_does_adventures

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