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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    19

    Multi-Day Ski Mountaineering Pack?

    Hi All, I've used the search function and found several "what pack?" threads but haven't found an answer to my question as of yet. Posting this in a last ditch effort to find what I'm looking for:

    I've been scouring the Internet for a pack that will work well for unsupported 2-4 day ski mountaineering trips. I'd love to hear the groups collective wisdom on this topic:
    • Does this feature list make sense?
    • What pack fits with this feature wish list?


    Ideal Pack
    Use Cases
    Primary: Unsupported 2-4 day ski mountaineering
    Secondary: muti-day (2-6 day) ski hut trips and all ski travel
    "Nice to have": 2-4 day backpacking trips

    Feature Wish-list
    • 50-55L Capacity
    • Enough room for: sleeping bag, sleeping pad, tent, 2-4 days of food, 3L water, change of clothes, extra jacket, extra gloves, down booties, rope, harness, crampons, glacker kit, 2 ice axes, beacon, shovel, probe. backpacking stove, first aid kit, map, and other misc items (ex. sunscreen, small toiletries, etc.)
    • Carries weight very well (easily carry 50lbs)
    • A-frame and diagonal ski carry (diagonal is nice to have)
    • Separate avy gear, crampon, and skins pocket
    • Helmet carry
    • Rope strap
    • 2 Ice tool attachments
    • Doesn't ski terribly
    • Strips down for summit missions
    • Back access zipper to main compartment of pack (could substitute size zip if need be)
    • Floating/removable brain with two pockets
    • Hydration bladder system compatible
    • External daisy chains for attaching gear to outside of pack.


    Packs I've considered
    • Too Small: most 45L-ish offerings like Alpine Threadworks Selkirk, Gregory Targhee 45, Ortovox Peak 45, Deurter Guide 45+, BD Cirque 45
    • No Avalanche Tool Pocket: BD Speed/Mission, Gregory Alpinsto, Arcteryx Alpha AR 55
    • Cilo Gear: Rumour has it these don't ski partucularly well
    • McHale: too expensive
    • Mammut Trion Spine: possible but heavy and funky suspension design weirds me out
    • Eddie Bauer 1st Ascent Alpine Sisu: Bought but don't like due missing features (helmet carry+ourside attachment points and to flimsy construction


    Really hoping there's some obvious answer here that I'm missing. Thanks for reading the novel.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    tahoe de chingao
    Posts
    606
    If you've looked at companies like alpine threadworks, osprey, ortovox, and cilo gear and nothing works for you, that's probably because you're doing something way out of the norm (or being too picky). I've done 4 day trips with the sellkirk pack - only difference in the packing list is a pyramid tent/tarp instead of a tent. If you strapped the tent outside it would work.

    If you have a specific idea for what you need and it isn't made, you might reach out to alpine threadworks (it's just one dude, neil) - he'd probs make a bigger pack for you

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    889
    I'm also in this market and curious what people tend to use. I actually tried out the Trion Spine and loved the suspension for heavy loads at least from walking around the store, but it doesn't have avy tool pocket or diagonal carry (although they could probably be added relatively easily).

    EDIT: Look at the Mountain Hardware Direttissima 50. The thing that I didn't like about this bag was no panel access, no diagonal carry, and not great load handling (from a brief walk around).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Tahoe
    Posts
    817
    I was searching for the same thing last season.

    I highly doubt you're going to find all of these features in 1 pack. Might have to give up a few features such as diagonal ski carry or a separate avy tool pocket. And good luck finding a pack with a helmet carry, separate skin pocket, and back panel access in this size. Even if you had all of these features I imagine it would get pretty heavy with all of the bells and whistles. Most packs this big don't seem to have a lot of these features. I think it's a pretty niche market and climbers/mountaineers tend to eschew these bells and whistles. Side and back panel access is another possible failure point when the pack gets bigger and heavier. FWIW diagonal ski carry is usually pretty easy to rig with Voile straps if you have someplace to lash it to.

    I have an old Osprey Variant 52 I've used on overnight ski tours. It works well. No diagonal ski carry or avy tool pocket though. No side or back panel access. But it's simple, pretty light, and bomber. The Mutant 52 seems to be the replacement for the Variant 52, you might have a look. I was looking for something with a little more room however in anticipation of possibly doing some longer 5+ night tours.

    I ended up picking up a Cilo Gear 60L work sack. I've only used it on 1 overnighter, but it worked well. Big enough, enough climbing-specific features, bomber, strips down well. It has a crampon pouch and it's easy to rig a diagonal ski carry. It has a rope keep below the lid. Carries ice tools well. I thought it carried weight fine. No pack will ski super well when it's loaded down with a bunch of overnight shit. I think it's less a function of the pack and more a function of all of the weight. If it carries well it should ski well.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    5,856
    I have a brand new Mutant 52 sitting in my gear room that should fit the bill if you're interested.
    I remember a bottomless freedom...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    19
    Quote Originally Posted by sruffian View Post
    If you've looked at companies like alpine threadworks, osprey, ortovox, and cilo gear and nothing works for you, that's probably because you're doing something way out of the norm (or being too picky). I've done 4 day trips with the sellkirk pack - only difference in the packing list is a pyramid tent/tarp instead of a tent. If you strapped the tent outside it would work.

    If you have a specific idea for what you need and it isn't made, you might reach out to alpine threadworks (it's just one dude, neil) - he'd probs make a bigger pack for you
    Point on being picky well taken. I did reach out to Neil and he wrote a super thoughtful reply saying that he didn't think the Selkirk was big enough (bummed but appreciated the honesty!) and that he's not in the business of designing one-off packs (which I totally understand).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    19
    Quote Originally Posted by thejongiest View Post
    I'm also in this market and curious what people tend to use. I actually tried out the Trion Spine and loved the suspension for heavy loads at least from walking around the store, but it doesn't have avy tool pocket or diagonal carry (although they could probably be added relatively easily).

    EDIT: Look at the Mountain Hardware Direttissima 50. The thing that I didn't like about this bag was no panel access, no diagonal carry, and not great load handling (from a brief walk around).
    I've looked at both and came to a similar conclusion. They're the closest things I've found but each has their flaws. If necessary I'd compromise on the diagonal ski carry but no easy access to main compartment on the Direttissima is a deal breaker. It looked like the Trion's internal pocket could work for avy gear but the fabric was kind of flimsy and I'm not stoked about putting wet skins next to all my dry stuff...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    2,534
    If you have any interest I have a cilogear 30:30 guide pack with a frame sheet and a shovel and probe attachment.

    I dont get to do multi day anything these days except diaper changes.

    I personally think the pack as set up is great for a light carry multi day. 2-3 days without a ton of gear (axes and crampons) and food and fuel. You can pack a sleeping bag and pad between the pack and the shovel pocket. The shovel pocket has decent room for other gear.

    Someone said its not great at ski carry and I would agree and disagree. Its not made for ski carry and you need to get a little creative with the straps. I bought the ski carry straps they offered and it helps. Voice strap at the top is nice too but need to thin it down to get it to feed into the buckles.

    Lots of options, it is a great pack for 2-3 days. Maybe 4 if you go light. 4 or more days at great distance with more than 40#s and I think you need a solid frame pack.

    PM me if youre interested.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    19
    Quote Originally Posted by whatsupdoc View Post
    I was searching for the same thing last season.

    I highly doubt you're going to find all of these features in 1 pack. Might have to give up a few features such as diagonal ski carry or a separate avy tool pocket. And good luck finding a pack with a helmet carry, separate skin pocket, and back panel access in this size. Even if you had all of these features I imagine it would get pretty heavy with all of the bells and whistles. Most packs this big don't seem to have a lot of these features. I think it's a pretty niche market and climbers/mountaineers tend to eschew these bells and whistles. Side and back panel access is another possible failure point when the pack gets bigger and heavier. FWIW diagonal ski carry is usually pretty easy to rig with Voile straps if you have someplace to lash it to.

    I have an old Osprey Variant 52 I've used on overnight ski tours. It works well. No diagonal ski carry or avy tool pocket though. No side or back panel access. But it's simple, pretty light, and bomber. The Mutant 52 seems to be the replacement for the Variant 52, you might have a look. I was looking for something with a little more room however in anticipation of possibly doing some longer 5+ night tours.

    I ended up picking up a Cilo Gear 60L work sack. I've only used it on 1 overnighter, but it worked well. Big enough, enough climbing-specific features, bomber, strips down well. It has a crampon pouch and it's easy to rig a diagonal ski carry. It has a rope keep below the lid. Carries ice tools well. I thought it carried weight fine. No pack will ski super well when it's loaded down with a bunch of overnight shit. I think it's less a function of the pack and more a function of all of the weight. If it carries well it should ski well.
    Yeah there's probably a comprimise here and the diagonal ski carry can go but the avy tool pocket (or something that can be used as one) and either side or back panel access that work with skis strapped on the pack are must-haves which throws out the Mutant/Variant.

    I was under the impression that the 60L Cilo wasn't available with a ski carry or tool pocket. Anyone know if that's incorrect or if the 45L ski pack from Cilo expands to be much bigger than a Mutant/Selkirk?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    2,039
    Black Diamond Mission 55. They also have a 75L and a 45L.

    Doesn't check all the boxes, but it's pretty solid. https://www.blackdiamondequipment.co...g.html#start=4

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    7
    What about a regular Mammut Trion 50 rather than the spine version, lighter weight, less funky and gains a front pocket while still having access to the main compartment through the back panel?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    siberia.ru
    Posts
    99
    Your check-list points are pretty much mutualy exclusive, 1-day technical climbing/skiing features + upper multiday trekking volume.
    So for 50+ liters you should forget about things like back panel zipper access, separate avi tool pocket or helmet carry. Or make it yourself.
    Or ... it is easier to take two different packs instead, 1 for hauling and 1 for technical skiing, and keep the same (or even lighter) total weight and legit features. Not sure about money.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    6,043
    Ortovox's options may be worth looking at.
    For Sale:


    Dynastar Legend Factory 115 mounted 1x for 306mm Look Pivot

    Steeple 102 in a 184 mounted 1x for 302 Kingpins (mounting insert mishap though)

    Salomon Ghost 130 (Orange and Black Model Year) 26.5

    POC Auric Cut BC Spin XL

    https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...90#post5923890

    If you're in the Northeast and would like to borrow some Jigarex Plates I have:

    Rossi/Look plates
    Salomon Warden 13 plates
    Marker Kingpin Plates

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    889
    Quote Originally Posted by random_watcher View Post
    What about a regular Mammut Trion 50 rather than the spine version, lighter weight, less funky and gains a front pocket while still having access to the main compartment through the back panel?
    This was interesting to me, but I was a bit worried about how robust it would be. I wish there was an easy way to see it in person.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    1,431
    Support a US maker
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  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    northern BC
    Posts
    20,022
    Quote Originally Posted by auguyette View Post
    Point on being picky well taken. I did reach out to Neil and he wrote a super thoughtful reply saying that he didn't think the Selkirk was big enough (bummed but appreciated the honesty!) and that he's not in the business of designing one-off packs (which I totally understand).
    I got on one of Neils trips last year, at least 3 of the group were repeat customers of his, they had threadworks packs with their initials monogrammed on the back and I noticed the packs were customized as to what features were on the ouside, I should have tried one on, I enjoyed the trip and can recommend Neil as a good guide

    I have a bora 40 which arcteryx doesnt make anymore but with the 6 " expanding top I am pretty sure it can carry 50+ liters and the suspension system is up to the task, I quit using it for skiing because of the weight but I still use it for travel

    SO a normal top loader with a top that expands might fit your needs ?
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    siberia.ru
    Posts
    99
    Also, never had a chance to actually see any CILAO product, but their backpacks looks very intriguing.
    Some unique combination of features and weight

    Papang 10D - (47 liters, 0.975 kg) https://www.cilao-shop.com/en/backpa...apang-10d.html

    Maido 10D (47 liters, 1.095 kg) https://www.cilao-shop.com/en/backpa...maido-10d.html

    Ticks almost all of your marks, may be except zippered back panel and floating top lid (which is pretty easy to improvise using any other pack's removable lid).

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Fairhaven
    Posts
    53
    I've been looking for a pack similar to what your describing. I've had a decent number of packs that are close: Cilo 45L work sack with the shovel pocket, Mammut Trion Pro 50+7 (or whatever it used to be called), a Mystery Ranch Patrol 45, a Mammut Pro 45L airbag pack and I'm probably missing something else in the list.

    I loved the flexibility of the straps and the configuration of the Cilo pack. I hated the suspension. I got bruises on both shoulders and chest anytime I carried more than 25 lbs. The detachable shovel pocket works great for tools and also to hold a splitboard against the pack. It could carry skis pretty well if needed as long as you get creative with the configurable straps.

    The Mammut was my favorite pack and had almost everything you are looking for once I stole a helmet net from my wife. I could strap a helmet to the top of the brain or to the front of the pack. I love back panel access for a ski pack, it carried well, and swallowed a lot of gear. I don't know why I haven't replaced it with another Mammut in the updated version.

    The Mystery Ranch pack is heavy but also has the best suspension on any pack I've had. It makes sense coming from a company that makes hunting packs intended to carry 100+ lbs. It's a bit small for what you're looking for. It carries an overnight kit and technical ski mountaineering gear (crevasse rescue) but not enough space for 4 days of food. It also doesn't have a great way to carry an axe (just the flap), and the tool pocket is a bit short for a full length probe. The update is the Gallatin 40 which lost the flap and 5L and did not add an axe carry option. Still great for light packers and single night trips.

    I've been looking at the Osprey Mutant 52 but don't really want to order one without getting my hands on it first.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    whitefish
    Posts
    1,022
    Quote Originally Posted by thejongiest View Post
    This was interesting to me, but I was a bit worried about how robust it would be. I wish there was an easy way to see it in person.
    i've had the trion 50 for like 5 years, doesn't get used regularly but have used it for hut trips, several night ski tours, ice climbing, etc. works great, no holes or failures. and they're pretty cheap all things considered and handles weight well.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    889
    Has anyone tried the Evoc Patrol 40L or 55L packs? They look pretty sweet.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Rossland BC
    Posts
    1,211
    Get over your fixation with gimmicks. The Arcteryx Alpha AR 55 has everything you need.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    2,534
    I will say for cilogear if anyone cares, a frame sheet is absolutely critical, especially for carrying heavy things and or skis.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    4,934
    Yall really think the 4 days of gear listed by the op can fit in a 50l pack? Maybe if your partner(s) can carry the bulk stuff?

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Rossland BC
    Posts
    1,211
    Quote Originally Posted by bodywhomper View Post
    Yall really think the 4 days of gear listed by the op can fit in a 50l pack? Maybe if your partner(s) can carry the bulk stuff?
    Seems optimistic. Id be carrying my Arcteryx Needle 65 for such a trip.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    northern BC
    Posts
    20,022
    I've fucked up a bora 40 and arcterxy fixed it so I bought another a Kea 37 which I also fucked up and they fix'ed that one too, in fact they have fixed everything I have fucked up somethimes giving me a credit for > I paid
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

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