Tim relied heavily upon his gear, especially while climbing. Eric Parker photo.
It's often been said that outdoor gear should be treated as "tools, not jewels." That isn't to say that indiscriminately trashing one's gear is the way to go—the message is more that gear is to be used, not stashed away in your car/garage/gear room. If things go awry and you get a core shot in your brand-new $1300 carbon shred sticks, that's just the price of getting rad. Break out the P-Tex and graciously accept that your gear is one step closer to retirement, painful though it may be.
Spending a month on the road with Tim Durtschi is a solid approximation of a gear stress-test, especially on a road trip with such a diverse set of activities and objectives. We sat down with Tim to learn more about his gear, particularly the gear which he put through the wringer. The team brought enough equipment to outfit the entire population of a smallish city, but Tim was able to pick out a few outstanding performers:
After an entire winter spent on the 120mm-underfoot version, Tim broke out the skinny version for late-season shredding. Atomic photo.
Atomic Bent Chetler 100 - $599.99
Atomic's Bent Chetler 100 has been critically acclaimed as a playful, buttery, well-proportioned all-mountain ski. It's not too soft, not too stiff, and easy to spin and maneuver in most conditions. Designed in partnership with Chris Benchetler, it also sports a bitchin' topsheet. Tim trusted this ski for activities ranging from casual shredding around Snowbird to survival-skiing couloirs, so you know it's versatile.
The Hawx Ultra XTD has one of the beefiest walk-mode systems on the market. Atomic photo.
Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 130 - $799.99
Ski boot manufacturers have been trying to reconcile aggressive backcountry skiers' desire for a light boot that retains the stiffness of a classic alpine boot for years. There are several options for "freeride touring" boots on the market right now, and as an Atomic athlete Tim has the pleasure of repping Atomic's top-of-the-line Hawx Ultra XTD 130. He's been using the boots all season, and they haven't let him down yet. He's a pretty big guy, so unless you're bigger than him and sending harder than him it's virtually certain that they'll take whatever you can throw at them.
It's the perfect mix of lightweight and functional. Mammut photo.
Mammut Ophir 4 Slide Harness - $69.95
While he is primarily a professional skier, Tim spends quite a bit of the summer rock climbing. As far as he is concerned, this harness from Mammut checks all of the boxes. It's lightweight, but doesn't sacrifice functionality in favor of ounce-shaving.
We couldn't find a photo of Tim modeling the jacket, but here's Dash Longe! Nic Alegre photo.
TGR Shangrila Puffy Jacket - $189.95
There are a lot of puffy jackets on the market, but Tim trusted TGR's very own puffy for his monthlong road trip. Whether he was standing atop a massive couloir or relaxing back at camp after a long day, it's a fair bet that he was wearing it. For a piece of gear as critical as a primary thermal layer, it's worth finding a jacket that is light, durable, and packable, and the Shangrila puffy meets those needs.
Bibs are the only way to go. Saga photo.
Saga Anomie 3L Bibs - $250.00
Tim has been repping Saga for years. While Saga might have toned down some of their color choices since the neon days of the early 2000s, the quality of their gear remains the same. It's hard to say exactly how many days Tim spent in them this season, but we can safely say that if a pair of bibs survives a season with Tim Durtschi then it's pretty much bombproof.
We like the blue trim, but Tim prefers the red. BCA photo.
Backcountry Access Stash 40 Backpack - $194.95
Backcountry Access is one of the biggest names in backcountry ski gear, and for good reason. Designed by and for hardcore skiers, their line of Stash backpacks is purpose-built for big days in the backcountry. Tim spends more days in the backcountry each season than the entire population of most U.S. states, and his Stash 40 is a constant companion. Durable, well-sized, and versatile, this bag is worth picking up if you're spending big days earning your turns.
Holy moly, that's a lot of ports! Goal Zero photo.
Goal Zero Yeti 1400 Power Station - $1799.95
Like most of us, Tim is attached to his electronic gadgetry. When on a monthlong road trip, electricity and ports for charging the aforementioned gadgetry can be in short supply. That is, if you aren't rocking one of Goal Zero's portable power banks. Tim was charging his things alongside a full crew of cinematographers, so the heftily-priced Yeti 1400 was the tool for the job (two of them, actually), but Goal Zero's Yeti line includes smaller, more affordable options as well as larger ones which are probably capable of charging your next electric car.
Will these five bike upgrades make you able to roost like Cody Kelley? Only time will tell. Max Ritter photo. When it comes to mountain biking, there exists a seemingly endless flow of new gear coming out day after day. Everyone’s telling you that this dropper, that drivetrain, or this new bike gizmo is going to make your day on the trail better than the last. Sure, that might be true for many of the products out there, but which ones actually make sense for the average rider who doesn’t
Sterbenz stands stop a classic Jackson Hole run, exactly where he wants to see his skis used. Carson Meyer photo. When Matt Sterbenz stopped by the TGR offices in Wilson, WY a few weeks ago, I was excited for a conversation with one of the most innovative characters in skiing. By innovative, I don’t necessarily mean in terms of literal skiing – though Sterbenz was and still is a damn good skier – but rather in terms of ski design and vision for the sport. As captain of the 4FRNT ship
Congratulations, you bought a mountain bike. Now here's the billion other pieces of gear you need to have a good time. Katie Lozancich photo. You’ve done it. You’ve bought your very first mountain bike. Still soaking in the purchase, your phone buzzes. It’s a text from your friends that reads “get to the trail loser, we’re going mountain biking.” Excitedly, you take off your front wheel so your bike can fit in the back of your sedan. Your friends huddled in the parking lot when you