Doug Chatten, Professional Ski Patroller and Mont Ambassador, has had plenty of experience when it comes to on-snow camping. Read on for his guide to a comfortable night on the slopes.
My preferred style of overnight ski touring is combining gear & clothing in a lightweight minimalistic sleeping system so I’m not wasting energy on the approach. I like to head for the steeps where I can ski & climb & give the Mont team some real product feedback.
When bivvying on the steeps I fashion a dog box; a pit across the slope which keeps me arrested particularly in icy conditions. A wind spine amongst some good rock anchors on a steep slope makes a good site. At one end I have a foot well with a bench in front so I can sit up, get organised & cook. It adds a new dimension to ski in ski out accommodation & provides for some spectacular sunsets. A Helium sleeping bag and Warmlite sleeping mat under the open sky provides adequate comfort & warmth.
The following is a clothing list for a mid-winter trip, from this I have choices to regulate my sleeping system by how much I wear at night
Travelling light doesn’t provide the sanctuary of a base camp, is reliant on suitable weather conditions, a disciplined approach, quality gear and clothing, keeping busy, being fit, fuelled up, hydrated & maintaining a realistic schedule. If any of these factors are missing you need to reschedule or fatten up your kit! If one thing’s for sure I never compromise on the quality of my gear, that’s why I choose Mont.
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