Dean Cummings is a well-known big mountain skier and Alaska heliskiing pioneer, and with such territory comes an expertise on the gear needed to embark on such journeys. Cummings has introduced a new line of products built for the outdoor enthusiast who demands quality, durability and innovative function while being able to withstand the most harsh environments of Alaska.
Dean founded H2o Outdoor Gear with the vision of bringing mountaineering gear fit for the most challenging climates Alaska had to offer down to the Lower 48. The brand is a logical extension of H2o Guides, the heliskiing company Cummings through which Cummings pioneered protocols for mechanized guiding and on-the-go assessment of avalanche conditions that have helped keep client safe since 1995.
Two standout products in H20 Guides new Alaska-tested lineup are the Tusk Guide Pack and the Kodiak Kid’s Day Pack. The Tusk was designed by Dean to be an all-in-one pack that includes all the features and benefits considered necessary to safely guide heli clients on the most remote and technical slopes of the Chugach Range. The Tusk is referred to as being like a Clydesdale, and can carry a lot of weight while allowing the skier, climber, canyoneer or guide to still feel secure and nimble out in the field.
While best known for his skiing achievements, Cumming is also an experienced mountaineer and sought to achieve the needs of both sports through the Tusk’s design. Cummings created a pack that contributes to a low center of gravity especially in crucial situations where you can’t afford to have an “angry midget on your back, threatening to throw you off the hill.”
The Tusk features a diagonal ski or snowboard carry system that incorporates a retractable cable that’s wear-resistant and retracts back into its sleeve when not in use. Easy-access carabineer loops are sewn into the removable, padded waist belt. A front compartment offers quick access to probe and shovel.
Cummings said the Tusk is an all-season pack also good for climbing and canyoneering and any other adventure that demands a pack that helps the wearer stay well balanced in even the most precarious situations. Suggested MSRP for the 28-liter pack is $165.
The 15-liter Kodiak kid’s pack may well be among the first technical packs specifically designed with the youngest of backcountry snow sports adventurers in mind. The pack is incredibly versatile to keep pace with the action-packed day–to-day life of active kids. Named for Cumming’s son Wyatt Kodiak, 8-year-old Cummings says he uses the Kodiak for school since it has pockets for pens and other school supplies, going to the pool since it’s waterproof inside and out, traveling through airports since it has a handle that allows it to be carried like a briefcase or heading out for a tour or ice climb with dad since it has loops for climbing gear, ice tools, and sleeping pad not to mention side pockets for on-the-go access to water bottles.
To see the full line of H2oG skis, packs and soft good stop by booths at the upcoming winter outdoor and snow sports shows where Cummings will also be offering avalanche safety clinics and screening his new film, “The Steep Life.”
Outdoor Retailer Winter Market Booth #54; SIA Snow Sports Show Booth #4313. For a complete list of Cummings special events during the shows, visit the H2o Outdoor Gear Facebook fan page.