Powder-ready gifts for ski lovers

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Colorado is getting the early season powder but the cloud full. Photo: Jakob Schiller/Cult of Mac
These gifts will get any skier ready for the powder. Photo: Jakob Schiller/Cult of Mac

Here in Northern California we’re still awaiting our first real snow dump of the year.

And while we have our fingers crossed and have been diligently doing our plyometric exercises, we’re still left with plenty of time to build up a big old lust for some new 2014 ski schwag.

Cult of Mac has put together a gift guide for that special fresh-powder chaser on your list. Or, you know, for yourself.

Here’s to a knee-deep powder year for all of us.

Line Supernatural 108

Line Supernatural 108 skis. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Line Supernatural 108 skis will take on any slope. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

With the precision of a German luxury automobile and the smash-the-crud capabilities of a monster truck, the Supernaturals are, well, supernatural.

If you or the one you love are looking for a ski to pound the frontside all day, knowing full well that what is glorious to ski in the morning will eventually turn to crud, you need look no further than the 108s. There’s no such thing as a perfect width underfoot but 108, in my opinion, is close. These skis will be great all-day companions.

Line Supernatural 108s — $699.95

Mountain Hardwear Minalist jacket and pants

Mountain Hardware Minalist Jacket. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Mountain Hardwear’s Minalist jacket will maximize the fun of snowy shenanigans. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac


The Minalist jacket and pants stay true to their name with a no-muss, no-fuss attitude. Using technology that Mountain Hardwear calls Dry.Q Elite, this setup will keep the good stuff in and the bad stuff out.

Whether you are charging into the backcountry or tooling the corduroy of your favorite frontside groomers, the material is working nonstop, keeping the air circulating and the moisture moving away from your body.

The jacket has gone to the trendy off-center zip and we love the fact we can pull the hood over our lid without completely cutting off our peripheral vision.

This pairing, like a nice, clean white wine, offers everything you want for a trip out into the winter wonderland — and nothing you don’t.

Minalist men’s shell pant — $325

Dakine Skyline Mitt

Dakine Skyline Mitt in Rust. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Oh what a difference a zipper makes in Dakine’s Skyline Mitt. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Mittens are a befuddler. They keep your hands warm, but make every small task seem so much more difficult. Pulling a lens cleaner from your pocket, unzipping your jacket or even adjusting a boot buckle seem to be more annoying in mittens.

Dakine has solved this problem with the Skyline Mitt by simply adding a zipper. How ingenious is that? A zipper in your mittens, so you can accomplish all the little on-mountain tasks without pulling your digits into the cold. The Skylines even come with glove liners capable of working your swiping smartphones.

Dakine Skyline Mitt — starting at $44.96 on Amazon

Fischer Transalp Vacuum TS Lite ski boots

Lite is right with these Fischer boots. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Light is right with these Fischer boots. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Fischer has brought its vacuum-fit technology to the ski-touring game. The Transalp TS Lite is the flagship boot of the lineup (with the regular TS being a slightly heavier boot at a slight cost savings).

The Lites are shockingly light in the hand and underfoot, with the ski/walk buckle surprisingly easy to use even in gloves.

We’ve been skiing the Vacuum 130 for a couple of seasons now and we can attest to the amazing fit, feel and comfort of Fischer’s vacuum technology. The fit process is a bit daunting and feels a little like a medieval torture chamber experience, but once those boots come out of the oven they are oh so delicious.

Earn your turns in relative comfort in this boot formed specifically for your feet.

Transalp Vacuum TS Lite — $850

Giro Discord helmet and Onset goggles

The Giro Discord and Onset goggles make a stunning combo. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
The Giro Discord and Onset goggles make a stunning combo. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Wearing a helmet is meant to be a function-over-form equation. As in, safety first and the need to look baller second.

But thanks to advances in helmet technology, form has officially caught up to function, which is clearly evident in the Giro Discord helmet and Onset goggle combination.

The Discord lands in what Giro calls its soft shell construction category, designed specifically for the freestyle skier. Which basically means they know you are going to have an impact sooner rather than later and this helmet is designed to protect in small and large impacts and keep on keeping on. Pair this bounce-back beauty with a pair of matchy Onset goggles, which sport Carl Zeiss lenses, and you’ll be ready for an all-day, fog-free powder extravaganza.

Giro Discord helmet — $150
Giro Onset goggles — $150 to $210

Patagonia Women’s Ultralight Down Hoody

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
This puffy pleasure from Patagonia will keep the ladies warm. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

This hoody from Patagonia is clean and crisp like an early season powder day and comes in three beautiful colors, including the Tobago Blue pictured here. It is a great standalone piece, but also thin enough to layer up on brisker days.

Patagonia Women’s Ultralight Down Hoody — $349

SmartWool PhD Slopestyle socks

Sexy Smartwool Socks. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Sexy SmartWool socks — this year’s edition, please! Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

You can safely hit the slopes with last year’s skis, boots and even jacket. But don’t be caught in the lodge wearing last year’s (clearly inferior) socks. SmartWool is working in conjunction with the U.S. Freeski Team to make sure you have superior comfort and style. And don’t your toes deserve to be wrapped in the best?

SmartWool PhD Slopestyle Diamond Lamb Socks — $24.95

Osprey Kode ABS 22+10

Osprey Kode ABS 22+10 backpack. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Osprey’s Kode backpack rules the backcountry. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The Osprey Kode ABS 22+10 is the one ski pack to rule them all, whether you’re a single-planker or a double-planker.

Need separate places for dry and wet things? Done. Headed out into the great backcountry and need ABS compatibility? Done. How about a space for goggles, insulated hydration, a separate pocket for your avalanche gear and zippered expansion for when you get carried away? The Kode has you covered. This pack is ready for the POW — get one on your back and you will be, too.

Osprey Kode ABS 22+10 — $140