Some of the best backcountry gear is created in Jackson Hole

29 Apr 2023

Local gear picks

Winter/Spring 22-23

Written By: Gavin Hess | Images: Courtesy

Since the earliest days of backcountry skiing, Jackson Hole and the Tetons have been the center of the North American backcountry skiing scene.

Along with some of the best terrain, snow, and athletes, amazing backcountry gear has and continues to come from Jackson. In the past, brands like Lifelink and Powderhorn Mountaineering have been the local brands of choice. Lifelink was an early producer of avalanche safety gear and still has a cult-like following among locals, many of whom revere their simple backcountry packs and sleek carbon poles. Powderhorn Mountaineering, owned by John Horn and Exum guide Peter Carmen, made functional and stylish down jackets with leather reinforcements and western styling.

Nowadays, there is a strong local contingent of specialized gear makers continuing the legacy of designing, testing, and producing world-class gear right here in the Tetons. CAST Touring, Igneous Skis, Apocalypse Equipment and Bri Moore Creative are highlighted here, but keep your eye out for other locally produced gear from the likes of Sego skis, Franco Snowshapes snowboards, and 22 Designs telemark bindings.

CAST Touring

Based in Teton Valley, CAST Touring’s binding systems are trusted by some of the world’s top freeride and big mountain skiers. The brainchild of Freeride World Tour competitors and brothers Silas and Lars Chickering-Ayers, CAST produces an interchangeable touring toe piece that turns the legendary Look Pivot Alpine bind- ing into a relatively efficient uphill touring binding.

Igneous Skis

Well known for their striking wood-veneer topsheets, Igneous skis are high performance artwork. Headed up by Mike Parris, Igneous has been hand crafting skis for over 25 years. Each pair is custom crafted at their workshop located right here in Jackson. Their designs are purpose built for the unique demands of Jackson Hole, and have gained a following with big mountain skiers both locally and abroad.

Apocalypse Equipment

Apocalypse Equipment makes ultralight, ultra-functional backcountry skiing and Alpine climbing backpacks. Despite its small footprint in an apartment in Wilson, Apocalypse has developed a following with top skiers and climbers worldwide. By producing all products locally, as well as using recycled fabrics wherever possible, Apocalypse seeks to minimize its impacts while making gear that is purpose built for the needs of Teton skiers and climbers.

The author of this article, Gavin Hess, owns and operates Apocalypse Equipment.

Bri Moore Creative

Bri Moore has been hand sewing and embroidering hats, snoid (snow hoods), and other functional, fashionable clothing and headwear since 2017. For those cold and blustery winter days Jackson is known for, her fleece snoid hoods fit over a helmet to create a warm cocoon. Bri also makes fleece hats in a huge array of prints and patterns, as well as hand-embroidered snapback hats and western caps — perfect for any apres ski activity.

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