In Their Packs & On Their Backs is a recurring feature here on the CTA blog where we take a peek inside the packs of seasoned backcountry skiers to see what they take with them when out exploring Vermont in the winter. By exposing some of the choices these winter professionals have made, we hope to inform those who still have questions about what to bring when heading off into the woods. Please keep in mind that we’re not here to tell you what to do or not do… that’s for you to decide.
My name is Aaron Desrochers and I have been snowboarding for almost 20 years, and riding in the Vermont backcountry for over 10 of them. In 2011 I started ditching the bindings and ‘Snurfing” on powder days for a new challenge and now spend more than half my days on snow riding unstrapped. I grew up in CT and attended Saint Michael’s College so I could be closer to the mountains where I met my future wife and put down roots. We now own a small farmhouse in Colchester, have a 2.75 year old boy and a 7 week old little girl and can’t wait to get them making turns in the Vermont Backcountry in a few years!
I love my day job of Software Systems Analyst at Data Systems Inc, a worker cooperative software development company in Burlington that specializes in customized business accounting, order fulfillment and inventory management systems. I’m also STOKED to be a rep/brand ambassador here in Vermont for Grassroots Powdersurfing, December Snowskates and MTN Approach. I basically set up demos for like minded folks and try to get out to play in the snow as much as possible, lapping up the fresh tracks with my friends and self employed powderhounds Dalton Harben, co-owner of Worth Skis, and Peter Banta of PB Interweb Systems.
In the off season I spend a lot of time skateboarding, mostly at Talent Skatepark and Shop with the OG Half Dead Skateboard crew, honing my unstrapped skillset and getting a great workout! Last but not least I have been mentoring for the Chill Freestyle since it’s inception in 2011, a program that serves at risk youth with one-on-one snowboard mentoring at Sugarbush.
Check out my gear below… and see you on the hill!
On My Body List:
Insulated Gore-tex Jacket
Fleece extra layer
Darn Tough Socks
Mink Oiled Kinco Work gloves
Cell Phone (my mobile office)
In My Pack:
MTN Approach foldable skis with permanently attached skins
Leatherman Multi Tool
RED speed tool
Rub on Wax
Beef Jerky or Trail Mix
Lighter for making fires
A Heady Topper or 2 to share (availability permitting)
Grassroots Powdersurfer Powder Slut 140cm
PowderJet Cleaver 155cm (when I want to ride a snowboard)
Are you a backcountry explorer? If you are we want to know what’s in your pack too. It doesn’t matter if you use XCD, AT, tele, or splitboard equipment. We want to see it all. Just send us a photo of your equipment all laid out neatly, a picture of yourself, a short bio, and 2 lists… 1 detailing the equipment on your body, and the other detailing the equipment in your pack. You can submit your info to firstname.lastname@example.org