For the second round of What’s In Our Quiver, Tahoe Mountain Sports touches base with top pro skier Sage Cattabriga-Alosa to see what gear he skis with and why. As it turns out, we carry several of his favorite pieces of professional ski equipment. Sage rides for The North Face and Smith Optics, and he swears by the following four items:
Sage: “Airbag packs are the way of the future, but they should not play into your backcountry decision making process. I have not been in a situation that I have deployed my air bag, and hope to not have to, but wear it for that “just in case” situation. I have, however, been on-deck while watching a partner pull his. A small pocket slab released while he was skiing a steep feature in Alaska. He started out trying to outrun it – this path lead to a cliff and he was unable to ski away from the landing. The snow rapidly caught up with him, and soon he was hit with a blast of moving snow. I remained alert, focused on keeping him in sight as snow pushed him towards a bergshrund below. I could see that his airbag was inflated and relieved as [I] could see the airbag holding him up, and allowing him to be pushed up and out of the small crevasse rather than being pushed in by the wave of snow.”
Click here to learn more about ABS avalanche airbag backpacks.
These pants are durable, waterproof and shed snow so you’re not forced to carry around any extra weight on big powder days. They breathe really well so you don’t overheat, utilizing The North Face’s “Chimney Venting” system that allows air to circulate so you stay cool. Maybe not as cool as Sage, but pretty darn cool nonetheless. With hand-warmer pockets and a useful cargo pocket to stash gloves, a beanie, or other items while you’re on the move, these pants bring a lot to the table. The North Face Freedom Pant is comfortable and reduces bulk so your uphill stride is more efficient. They also retail for less than $150, so you can save that extra loot for another heli-drop or gas for the sleds.
Smith’s best-selling goggle, the I/O (Interchangeable Optics), recently set the standard for snow goggles. The lenses are bonded with airtight silicone beads that eliminate delamination, so you’ll no longer see fog between the inner and outer lenses. A Carbonic-X spherical lens provides the best clarity and resists scratching, plus that extra bit of interior volume prevents fogging even further. A couple quick flicks of the finger releases the lens from the frame so you no longer waste time fumbling or becoming frustrated when the powder clock is ticking. With such a clear view, maximum field of vision, anti-fog technology and the ability to rapidly switch from brights to flat-light lenses and vice versa, the Smith I/O Goggle is Sage’s goggle of choice for good reason.
Smith Vantage Helmet
A lightweight, durable and comfortable Smith helmet with maximum ventilation so you don’t overheat. The Vantage integrates seamlessly with Smith goggles to create a barrier against wind and prevent fogging, and the vent system is simple to adjust with gloves on so you don’t have to stop while skinning a ridge or boot-packing laps at your favorite pillow line. Smith constructed this helmet with even less volume and more style than their top-selling Smith Variant, and just when we thought a protective dome-piece of this caliber couldn’t get much lighter, they reduced the weight another 3 ounces. Rippers like Sage who have a large head of hair (and ladies, of course) love the Vantage both in and out-of-bounds, from tearing up the park on warm spring days to cold, multi-day backcountry treks.
A big thanks to Sage for contributing to this blog post. We all enjoy watching him shred big lines around the world, and appreciate his modest yet affirmative review.
Adam Broderick manages the web content at Tahoe Mountain Sports. When he is not in the office, he tries his best to be in the field doing something awesome.