The Gear I've Used to Make Turns All Year

Because everyone should do it once. And this is the gear I've loved using to get it.

A friend of mine challenged me to committing to TAY (turns all year...meaning ski every month of the year) this year. Having recently made some major life changes, I accepted the challenge, excited to keep my focus on one of my favorite sports, all year long. The journey has been fun, I've met a bunch of new, adventurous friends, and I've been surprised at how much I've needed it.

When I went to the ski resorts this winter, I only counted a day as a ski day if I took 5 chairlift rides. (If I made the effort to pack up my car and drive to the resort, I might as well get at least 5 runs in.) So, for my TAY experience, my goal was to get a minimum of 5 turns each month. Luckily, the snow gods were incredible this winter and the Sierra snowpack has made this year-long feat a bit easier (I have yet to get less than 36 turns in one day)....though I still have one more month to go...

Here's my favorite gear that I keep picking up every month to help me complete my challenge:

DPS Zelda 106 Alchemist

Ever fall in love at first ski? I hadn't, until I put on the Zelda's. Lightweight, but hefty enough to pound through crud and wind-blown ice chutes, these skis have been a joy for me to ride, regardless of the conditions. My friends make fun of me for always saying "Man, I love my skis" every time I put them on. 

Dynafit Hoji PX Ski Boot

Well done, Dynafit. The Hoji's have made my life better. I struggled to find a lightweight touring boot that was stiff enough for me. (Often, I'll ski in men's boots... and skis... for this reason.) I took a chance on the Hoji's based on reviews, and I'm so glad I did. These boots, AT bindings, and my DPS Zelda's are now my staple setup, both for inbounds and backcountry. Yes, they can hold up inbounds. I've had my share of injuries and I have no desire to jump off cliffs in my setup, but I can charge, and I know how to put pressure into my ski system. These boots perform better and are stiffer than I had anticipated. Oh, and the walk mode is awesome. Just be careful when you're skinning and hit a short downhill section. There is so much flexibility in the boot in walk mode that it's easy to lock your knees out when you're pizza pie-ing your way to the next uphill section.

Dynafit ST Rotation 10


Light, strong, and they'll protect my knees if I need them to. Not much else to say besides that I've enjoyed using them. You do need to make sure you're locked in walk mode when heading up uphill, otherwise the toe piece can twist and it gets funky, but it's not annoying to deal with, and I'm glad to have it know to release and protect my knee from injury if I wipe out going downhill. 

Black Diamond GlideLite Mix STS Climbing Skins


I've heard people complain about BD skins, but I've never had an issue with them. Treat them well, be prepared and bring skin wax if conditions need it, and have fun. These have performed incredibly well for me.

Costa Del Mar South Point Sunglasses


Because it sucks to skin in goggles sometimes, you should always protect your eyes when in elevation and on snow, and let's be honest...you'd look funny hiking to your snow patch in the summer with goggles on. These sunglasses get mixed reviews online, but I haven't had any issues with lenses falling out, or them breaking. In fact, I wear them so much that I've beaten mine up quite a bit, and the glass is still fantastic. I love the depth of vision I get with the green lens, and I like the wide arm for days on the snow... I'm always amazed at how well it blocks out the sun/snow glare. I'm rarely squinting, even on super sunny days. If you can pull off aviators, you can pull these off, and I love mine. 

Outbound Collective Camo Snapback


Because I work for the Outbound. And obviously I like rocking this rad hat. Pick up Outbound swag here.

La Sportiva Kaptiva Running Shoes


I have an irrational aversion to hiking boots. As a former competitive gymnast and a rock climber, having my feet in bulky, heavy boots doesn't feel right. So whenever I have the opportunity to hike in trail running shoes, I take it. The snowpack in the Sierra this year was deep, which means that I have only needed to hike 2(ish) miles each way to find my snow patches. In rock climbing, La Sportiva is my shoe brand. They fit my feet better than any other brand I have tried. The Kaptiva's are my first exposure to La Sportiva as a running shoe brand, and once again, my feet love them. They're super light, they feel like a sock, and every time I put them on I am amazed on how precise foot placement can be in these. Big fan. 

Backcountry Spruces Merino Baselayer

I freaking love this top. It's incredibly lightweight and the perfect long sleeve to protect you from the sun while hiking to the snowpack on hot summer days. This was my first try at Backcountry branded attire, and I'm impressed. 

Black Diamond Ski Poles


I purchased my first pair of Black Diamond touring ski poles 9 years ago, and I still have them, and they're still in great shape. BD doesn't make my exact poles anymore, so I've linked you over to their main poles page so you can decide what you want for yourself. 

Smith Vantage MIPS Helmet


Don't mess around with head injuries. Warm, functional, and my goggles fit well with it. Grab a fun color and rock it. 

Smith Goggles


If you go with a Smith helmet, it helps to have Smith goggles. I have the I/O goggles and while I've loved them, I honestly am saving up for the I/OX, which I think is now the I/O Mag XL. I prefer to have as much field of vision as possible, and for my face, I found the I/Os to cut off some peripheral vision the I/OX didn't. 

Mammut Aliver HS Jacket


Super lightweight, I loved this jacket this winter, and it packs down small so I would carry it as a just-in-case or wind layer this summer. 

Patagonia Capilene Air Crew


This baselayer is incredibly warm, despite it being super lightweight. The waffle-like texture is super soft and does an amazing job of keeping you warm... it's even made me think about trying out those waffle bath towels everyone is talking about these days. This is warm. And dries super fast. It was the layer I reached for on colder days this winter.

Mammut Ride 30L Backpack


While I have a different pack for high avalanche risk days, I've reached for this pack over and over again this spring and summer. The avy gear pocket fits everything perfectly, the main pocket fits everything else that I need. My skis fit snugly to the back or sides.

Hope this inspires you to get out there! Stay safe, and have fun.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Kristi TeplitzAdmin

Executive Producer, Content Strategist, and Gear Editor at The Outbound