Rules and Required Equipment


Uphill skinning marked with green flags – must use skins to climb (no snow shoes or boot packing)

Bootpacking marked with yellow flags – must have skis or split board attached to back pack

Descending marked with red flags – must wear helmet, skins removed

If a skier or boarder is in need of help, you must stop to assist them

Helmet must be worn for descents (some races require helmets for bootpacking as well)

Gloves must be worn at all times

Competitors must wear a 3 antenna transceiver in their clothing throughout the race and carry a shovel and probe

Additional rules vary by location, race director, and type of race.

For more detailed and the most up to date rules for the sport of Ski Mountaineering, please visit the website for the International Ski Mountaineering Federation and follow the links through Official Texts – Sport Regulations – Sporting Rules.

Required Equipment

  • Skis with metal edges or split board
  • Bindings (alpine touring or telemark)
  • Boots
  • Skins
  • Poles

Safety Equipment:

  • Beacon
  • Probe
  • Shovel
  • Helmet
  • Gloves
  • Pack (capable of carrying skis or split board)
  • UV protection sunglasses or googles
  • Emergency blanket/bivy
  • Whistle


  • Three top layers
    • one long sleeve or skin suit (must be worn)
    • long sleeve breathable wind breaker top (optional to wear or pack)
    • second long or short sleeve top (optional to wear or pack)
  • Two bottom layers
    • 1 pants or skin suit (must be worn)
    • long sleeve breathable wind breaker pants (optional to wear or pack)

Other recommended equipment:

  • Food
  • Water
  • Buff

Equipment Specifications

Equipment MenWomen
Ski – minimum length160 cm150 cm
Ski and binding – minimum weight750 g700 g
Boots (shell and dry liner) – minimum weight500 g450 g

Skis: must have 90% metallic edges, minimum 60 mm underfoot

Bindings: must be able to release from toe and heel

Skins: must cover 50% of surface area and 50% length of the ski/board

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