Don't forget the heated socks: what to pack on a Baffin Island Ski Expedition with Christina Lusti

Don't forget the heated socks: what to pack on a Baffin Island Ski Expedition with Christina Lusti

Posted by Joseph Schwartz on

This is an interview we were super lucky to have with globe trotter, ski crusher, and all-round great human Christina "Lusti" Lustenberger. Her Baffin Island trip took place in Spring 2022, where Christina and her team scored amazing conditions and some huge ski descents. 
Sadly, in September 2022, Hilaree Nelson, who was on the Baffin trip, lost her life in a ski mountaineering accident in the Himalaya. This interview took place before that tragic accident. 

RUX: Hi Lusti! Quick run-down of the trip: who, what, where?

CL: Hilaree Nelson, Brette Harrington, Emily Harrington and myself. It was a TNF expedition and we were fortunate to have Mathis Dumas, Jordan Manoukain, and Drew Smith documenting.

Our crew met in Yellowknife and from there flew to the town of Clyde River. From Clyde it was about a 150km snowmobile ride into the Sam Ford Fjord. This is where we set up camp for the next 11 days. The week before arriving in the fjord the area had received 50-60cm of new snow. This snow would grant us amazing ski conditions in the huge 1000-1200m Baffin couloirs.

10 key items you packed for this trip

What’s the most essential piece of gear that you packed?

My heated socks.

I’ve had issues with frostbite, so I was a little nervous heading to Baffin. My heated socks and overboots allowed me to head out each day knowing I’d be able to protect my feet from the cold.

Did you forget anything? What was the dumbest or most crucial thing you left behind?

We started planning for Baffin almost 1 year in advance. We had a strong team with so much experience. Leading up to a big trip like this it’s crucial that everyone pitches in, brings essential gear, and arrives organized.

My gear list was over the top! My list has a list. I’m pretty sure I didn’t forget anything, if anything we probably had too much.

Why do you use the specific gear and/or brands that you do? What makes them stand out from the alternatives?”

I’m fortunate to work with premium brands that allow me to preform in hostile environments. These brands and products give me the confidence to step into the unknown and push the limits knowing the gear will perform day after day.

What’s your favourite gear-organizing pro tip you could share?

Mini mesh bags. I have a bunch of mesh bags that keep things organized. They are sweet because you can see exactly what’s in them, but it keeps things in compartments.

In what ways did RUX help on this expedition?

Using the RUX was so great because it allowed me to fly north with it collapsed on my luggage. Once we acquired more food and gear in the north they snapped out and made for great gear and food carriers.

What makes this particular trip special for you?

First off the Crew! I have always dreamed of skiing with Hilaree Nelson. So that was a huge benchmark in my ski career!

Having my BFF and solid adventure partner Brette Harrington there was also so epic! Brette and I have spend a bunch of time skiing and climbing together so I knew she would be down to send. We also had Emily Harrington join. One of the strongest female climbers in the world that can also shred the skis. It was really great having Emily there and I was so impressed by her skiing.

Second would be the landscape. Baffin is like no other place I’ve been. The scale is insane. Skiing beautiful couloirs guarded by the most enormous granite walls above a huge frozen Fjord. It’s hard to explain the magic of the north, but I’d encourage anyone to experience the magic of Baffin.

Film crew consisted of

Mathis Dumas
Jordan Manoukian
Drew Smith
Local hunter/guide Andy Hainnu

Anything else you’d like to add?

I’m still trying to take it all in.

I can’t wait for my next big adventure but until then I’ll be relieving this amazing experience.

Follow Lusti @christinalusti

Lusti is supported by: 

The North Face 


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