Rory Southworth loves to adventure outside. In his spare time, Rory’s a UK-based long distance runner, mountaineer, rock climber and wild swimmer. With kind permission from Rory, here’s a review he originally published about his top essentials for UK skiing this winter
Rory has published several other brilliant articles on his Instagram page @rorysouthworth including kit for wild swimming, the top routes and summits in the Lake District and his five favourite running shoes.
You couldn’t find a better person to help you #TakeLifeOutside.
Tried and tested kit I use for UK skiing
However the real essential is knowledge and experience! I’d always recommend going on a ski touring and avalanche rescue course and doing your “ski apprenticeship”. Here’s just a list of key kit that I use alongside the standard items of ski, boots, bindings, poles, skins, avalanche kit (transceiver, shovel and probe).
Skiing is inherently dangerous, take advice at your own risk.
#1 OS Maps Subscription
Seeing your live location on a digital map that you are able to zoom in and out on, scroll and plot distances and routes is so appreciated in the coldest of ski days! Plot the distance of your boot packing hikes, your skin tours and how much descent you will actually be getting! Also is a game changer for quick checks of where you are, and paired with a touch screen glove. Perfect! Always bring a paper map and compass as a backup.
#2 Leki Snowflake Baskets
If you don’t already have snow baskets on your poles, definitely upgrade them for UK skiing. Stopping that pole from sinking for the sake of less than £10 will make your life so much easier, plus you look like a badass back county skier by default with these even when you are skiing on the piste!
#3 Petzl e+LITE Head Torch
I always carry a back up head torch, packed in my first aid kit, the e+LITE has saved me on a number of occasions. Just about giving enough light to get you.
#4 Salomon Active Liner glove
A liner glove that has touch screen capabilities is a game changer for those cold days when you still need to operate your phone. As a mitt wearer for my UK skiing, I tend to combine it with the Active glove for the added warmth, and to wear alone on the ascents. It’s the glove that is put on at the car and not taken off until I’m back at the car at the end of the skiing.
#5 Stance Ski/Snowboard Socks
I never skimp on ski socks, a poor fitting sock with fall down throughout the day, cause discomfort and just not be nice. I’ve been exclusively wearing Stance for the past few years now, never having any issues and always having long lasting comfort. As a kid I remember having tube ski socks. Heinous things. You want something that locks around your foot and protects it, whilst letting it breath and keeping it warm.
#6 SunGod Vanguards™
Interchangeable lens, massive field of vision and super comfortable of the face. Last year I swapped to the Vanguards and loved being able to change my lenses from clear for night skiing, low light for the not so good weather days and dark for that one sunny day we might get that winter! These also fit really well on my climbing helmet for the days where you have more up than down!
#7 Outspeed Down Jacket
Super lightweight and packable. Only comes out when I stop and before the skiing down. I size mine to fit over all my layers so I don’t need to take any jackets off when I stop. I personally like a hood with my jacket, as things get cold fast. I also like mine to work well with harnesses.
#8 NAO Plus Headlamp
The headlamp I use for night skiing and early starts. Providing enough light for both the up and the down, the beam spread works great for skiing and the reactive lighting stops you getting blinded from the reflection as you check your phone or map mid route. Fits well on my Petzl Scirocco helmet, alongside my Vanguards.
LifeJacket 50+ Sun Gel
Skiing in England, you still want to be protected. I’ve been experimenting with different brands of sun cream and seeing what feels the least sticky and horrid to put on and whilst being on the pricey side. I actually most prefer the LifeJacket Sun Gel. On the tiny bit of my face that will be visible, I’ll be protected.