Welcome to the first installment of What’s In Our Quiver. This week, TMS owner Dave Polivy takes us through a run-down of what he rocks on the mountain. From the big dogs he shreds on to what he wears next-to-skin, Dave’s stoked on these four particular items for good reason.
Dynafit Huascuran – What a ski! I really do like Dynafit skis as they have wood cores, are super light and ski very solid. Still, until recently I could never commit to a Dynafit ski as my everyday ski here in Tahoe because they just weren’t fat enough. Then I met the Huascuran. The fattest ski in the Dynafit line is a true game-changer for both myself and for Dynafit. By appealing to backcountry skiers like myself who seek out pow regardless of the day, this fat ski is the answer for somebody who spends 80+% of their free time in the backcountry. This ski effortlessly floats and carves the powder but also holds an edge really well. I have them paired up with a Dynafit Radical FT binding and these skis can go anywhere and ski anything. I have trusted them on scoured 45-degree colouirs and in deep powder fields alike. These skis deserve as many stars as our ratings will hold because they truly are a do anything, ski anywhere, FAT ski that is perfect for everything Tahoe has to offer.
Deuter Cruise 30 Backpack – I have used the Cruise 30 now for almost five years but it finally got a redesign this year, and now it is even better. I really like this Deuter pack because it is fairly light for a ski pack, does not have too many bells and whistles, and is extremely comfortable. First, the differences between this year’s and past years’ packs: The shovel and probe area is vastly improved. In the old pack, everything was together in one big compartment. This year, the pack has a separate pocket for the shovel and probe and they are actually easier to access than in the old pack because you don’t have to go in through the back or top – you can access them straight from the front of the pack. Another plus is the ability to accommodate the Deuter Helmet Holder. This is a big one for me because I bring my helmet on all my backcountry trips and the old pack just did not have a good solution for this. The new pack utilizes the Deuter helmet carry system, which is perfect. Lastly, the back panel stays the same and this is what makes Deuter stand apart from the rest. The Alpine Back System allows air to pass up and through your back so you don’t have a solid wet back when you get to the top. Click here to read a detailed Deuter backpacking backpack review.
Let’s take a short break from reading to enjoy this shot of Dave skiing early-season powder on the west shore of Lake Tahoe:
And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming:
Smartwool Lightweight Boot Top Bottom – I know I might sound crazy, but base layers are my key to happiness and bodily comfort when I am out in the backcountry or skiing the resort. First, I usually run warm and living in Tahoe, it generally runs pretty warm for most of the year. There is a constant balance of keeping warm but also dry, therefore not sweating so much that you overheat. Lightweight long underwear bottoms are the norm for me and I really like the soft touch of the Merino wool that Smartwool uses. I don’t get any chafing or bunching and the bottoms fit me just perfectly. As for the legless part, at first I laughed at this concept. Then I tried it. Now, I will never go back. The sock-long underwear interface has always given me problems because socks bunch up and long underwear overlaps. With the legless (or 3/4) bottom, you no longer have that problem. The long underwear stops just below your knees and your socks come up just above your boots. They meet in harmony at that area above your boot so there is no bunching in your boot and everything is silky smooth down by your calves and ankles, whereas previously there was a battle for space that resulted in both pain and annoyance.
Gheek Goggle Cover – I know it might sound crazy that I could like a goggle cover so much, but hear me out before you laugh. I know this is a problem for other people as well, so pay attention. I used to (and still do) stuff my super nice Smith IO goggles in my pack, in my jacket pocket, in my helmet or even on the dashboard of my truck. Sure, sometimes they used to make it into the bag they came with, but more often than not they instead ended up hanging out wherever they were last left. Enter the GHEEK! The Gheek is a super simple design that I wish I had invented, but in general, its a neoprene case with some reactive, stiff “clips” on the end. It also has a chamois cloth for cleaning for the back of your goggles so they stay crystal clear. The Gheek cover is super easy to put on and off and keeps my goggles in great shape, with no scratches or dirty fingers always mucking them up. The Gheek is also a great goggle protector, as my goggles have been known to get damaged even while in my pack if I act carelessly, and now they have some great padding thanks to their “gheeky” cover.
Of course, I wear and use a lot of other cool stuff, but these are four items that deserve mentioning. Stay tuned for other What’s In Our Quiver updates in the future, and please ask any questions about my gear in the comments section of this post.