Monday, November 28, 2016

Ice Climbing Gear List, 2016-2017

It's ice season! Full-on...

I seem to ice climb in binges. And December is looking like it'll hold a bunch of ice climbing for me. I have trips booked to Dubois, WY and the Canadian Rockies, with some other ideas floating around. This list works in those places, as well as ice venues like New Hampshire, Cody, WY, Ouray/Silverton, and Valdez AK. This list is primarily organized for guests on trips with me, but it should make sense for just about anyone.

(*- optional, depending on venue, conditions, and, to some degree, personal preference)

First, individual gear. Each climber needs stuff on the bulk of this list. At the end is shared, group equipment. On a trip with me, I can provide some loaner individual equipment, and I provide all the group equipment. In parentheses, for a number of items, are the exact products I use and recommend. I work with most of these particular companies and highly approve of their equipment. 

Hard goods/technical gear:

  • Helmet. (Camp Speed 2.0)
  • Harness. (Cassin Jasper)
  • Belay device with accompanying carabiner (Edelrid Jul to belay leader, CAMP Ovo to belay follower.)
  • 2 additional locking carabiners
  • Prussik loop/rappel back-up
  • Nylon, double length sling. 
  • Crampons (Cassin Blade Runner)
  • Ice tools (Cassin X Dream)
  • Trekking pole or two
  • *Ice tool tether (bifurcating “umbilical”). 
  • *Avalanche transceiver (BCA Tracker 3)
  • *Shovel (BCA B1 Ext)
  • *Probe (BCA Stealth 240 Carbon)
  • *Snowshoes (MSR Denali)

Daily kit:
  • 30L backpack (Camp M2)
  • Insulated 1 liter water bottle
  • Thermos
  • Snacks and lunch foods
  • Camera
  • blister and headache medicine. Whatever other medications you might need 
  • Hand and foot “shake-and-warm” packets. 
  • Headlamp

Clothing. Much of this is redundant, allowing for tailored selection given the day’s forecast and agenda. 
  • Ice boots. (Garmont Pumori)
  • 3 prs socks
  • long underwear
  • soft-shell climbing pants (Arc Teryx Gamma AR)
  • Hardshell pants (Arc Teryx Theta SV bibs)
  • *Puffy insulated pants 
  • Synthetic boxers/undies
  • Synthetic t shirt
  • Light fleece long sleeve (Patagonia R.5)
  • Heavier fleece. (Patagonia Piton)
  • Softshell jacket for approaching. (Arc Teryx Gamma MX)
  • Light “action” puffy jacket. (Arc Teryx Nuclei)
  • Heavier "action" puffy jacket. (Feathered Friends Eos)
  • Shell jacket (Arc Teryx Alpha FL)
  • Belay jacket. (Feathered Friends Volant or Helios)
  • 4 pairs of various light weight gloves, rotated for drying. (CAMP G-Hot Dry, CAMP GeKO Hot, CAMP GeKO Touch. Arc Teryx Alpha FL)
  • Belay mittens (CAMP Hotmit’N)
  • Warm hat for approaching
  • buff/balaclava
  • sun hat
  • dark lens glasses
  • light lens glasses
  • *ski goggles

Group stuff:
  • Twin/half ropes. (Petzl 7.7mm, 60m)
  • Single Rope (Mammut Serenity 8.7mm, 60m)
  • 12 ice screws. (One 10cm, one 22cm, the rest 13cm. Combination of Petzl Laser Speed Light and BD Express)
  • V-threader tool. 
  • Set of 'draws. 5 alpine style, 5 dog-bone style. With big carabiners. Camp Photon is the absolute best ice climbing carabiner made... 
  • Cordellete
  • First aid/repair/shelter kit
  • Satellite phone
  • camera
  • Portable boot dryer 
  • file for sharpening spikes
  • binoculars
  • Extra clothes

Monday, November 21, 2016

Stuff to Sell, Fall 2016

I do this periodically. This time, it's priced to go. Good deals, I promise. You cover shipping, or pick it up in Victor ID. We could also likely meet up sometime in Jackson. Email me with your order, interest, or questions jediahmporter at Facebook msgs, forum "PM"s, text messages are all less effective than email. For local "shoppers" I have other stuff not listed here. Jackets, backpack, etc. Email to arrange to drop by. Prices and "inventory" updated 11/25.

Car roof box. Good shape. Maybe not all the requisite hardware? Surely you'll figure out something cool to do with it?  $40.

Car. More details here:

Dynafit PDG skis with race bindings. And Dynafit race ready speed skins. Used lightly over two seasons. No base damage, no tunes ever done. Mounted for 297mm BSL Dynafit TLT6. Can be remounted for a different boot size too.  $750
Dynastar Cham 107 HM. 184 length. With G3 skins. And Dynafit Speed Turn bindings. $500

Hilleberg Nallo three tent. Lightest tent made for three people in burly weather! Barely used. $550 

Arc Teryx Bora 80 pack. Women size short. fits to 5'7". $35

Ski Helmet. Medium. $8

Small pelican case. $5
Nordic ski set up. Size 9 boots. 188cm skis. 160cm poles. $60. Or make an offer. 

Womens alpine ski set up. Size 7ish boots. 155cm skis. $100. Or make an offer. 

K2 Coomback 104. 184cm. With Dynafit speed turn bindings. And BD skins. Retail:$1177 Asking $588.50 firm. 

Scott SuperGuide 95. 180cm.  With Dynafit speed turn bindings. And BD skins. Retail: $1077 Asking: $538.50 firm. 

Dynastar Mythic. 177cm. With Dynafit speed turn bindings. And G3 skins. $1306 Asking $653.00 firm. 
One adjustable trekking/ski pole. Free with anything else. 

Used hoka running shoes. Size 10. Still some life left. $15

Evolv Geshido. size 10 left and 9.5 right. Very lightly used. $10

Old Petzl helmet. $10

Kong Gigi belay plate. $8

Size 9 Evolv Cruzers. $10

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Ski Mountaineering Gear List, 2016-2017 Season

Ski mountaineering is basically anything that isn't simple "backcountry skiing". And backcountry skiing is skinning up and skiing back down, to your car. Navigate a glacier, camp out, rappel a chockstone, protect a pitch of rock or ice climbing, and your endeavor enters the realm of ski mountaineering. The racer types talk about "ski mo". That's short for "ski mountaineering", but the lycra-clad, groomer-ascending typical races don't really seem all that similar to any sort of mountaineering I know of. It occurred to me recently that "ski mo" could also be short for "ski more". Which makes a ton of sense, and fits into the above catch-all. Going for distance or time isn't your typical backcountry skiing event. As such, it fits here. In the end, this is the page where I list the specialized ski gear I might carry for specialized missions. Whether it's a speed lap on Taylor Mountain, or a sea to summit burn on Mount Saint Elias, the list below will cover it. No joke.

I've gotten in the habit of updating this every year. This is the latest, as of October 2016.

Ski mo, don't ski less. Dropping into 11,000 vertical feet of powder on Alaska's Mount Sanford. Interestingly, the gear I used there has more in common with that used on a speedy roadside mission than it does with a typical day of "normal" backcountry skiing. 

Ski Gear.  Keep it small, light and simple.  Use skill to negotiate funky snow and terrain:
  • Dynafit TLT 6P boots
  • Dynafit PDG skis (or something a little bigger. From the OutdoorGearLab test roster)
  • Contour mohair race skins 
  • Dynafit race bindings 
  • Fixed length poles. Equipped with a sweet "Pole Clinometer" 
Clothes.  Most carry and wear too much.  Keep it simple, move fast, carry an awesome puffy jacket or two. I get very cold. Colder than most. And this clothing kit is all I need to 18,000 feet in Alaska. No joke. 
  • Darn Tough Socks
  • Crazy Idea Century pants
  • Syn boxers.
  • Syn/wool t-shirt. 
  • Light fleece hoody. Like Patagonia's R1. 
  • Camp Neutrino Hoody
  • Camp Magic Jacket. Or hardshell jacket for wetter endeavors.
  • Camp Magic Pants. Or beefy hardshell bibs for coastal AK missions. 
  • Feathered Friends Eos Hooded jacket. Or the Volant jacket for the high and wild. 
  • Camp G Comp Warm Gloves. Plus Camp Hot Mitt'ns for colder trips.
  • Warm hat
  • Buff
  • Sun hat
  • Kaenon Burnet Sunglasses

Safety Gear, etc:
  • Backcountry Access Tracker 3 Transceiver, BCA B1 shovel, BCA Carbon Probe.
  • Communication
    • Almost always have a set of BC Link Radios for comms within the group. 
    • And then, in terms of talking to the outside world, sometimes as simple as a cell phone,  occasionally (mainly in Canada) a 2-meter, 2-way radio, and most often my Iridium GO Smartphone modem.  Adventure is awesome, thriftiness is noble, but failure to consider communication with the outside world is ridiculous.
  • Navigation- 80% of the time the phone, preloaded with maps and apps, is enough.  Carry a "back-up" paper map and analog compass.  In big, new-to-me, complicated terrain where visibility is likely to shut down, I'll bring the full kit:  Dedicated GPS (Suunto Ambit 2), large-scale waterproofed paper map ( is brilliant), compass, altimeter, clinometer.  
  • Emergency Shelter- Very occasionally it is as simple as the mylar (space blanket style) bivy bag that lives in my omnipresent First Aid/Emergency kit.  Usually though, I bring the 8.5'x8.5' 9 oz Hyperlight Mountain Gear Cuben Tarp.  
  • Emergency Evacuation- Sometimes it's as simple as the bivy or tarp.  Drag someone on that.  In many cases, I'll carry the Brooks Range Eskimo Sled.  I also have a little bag of bolts and drill bits that can be used to bolt skis, shovel, and ski poles together into a sort of sled. If you are not already packing a rope, carry a chunk of cord for dragging a packaged casualty.
  • First/emergency aid kit.
  • Ski repair kit.  (it should be around a pound for groups.  Less is probably inadequate.  More is silly.  Let me know if you want more detail on what I carry)
  • Snow Study:  Saw, crystal card, magnifier, ruler, documentation.  Be equipped and trained to make sound decisions for yourself and large column tests for the avalanche center.
  • Food, water. Whatever's clever.  
  • Headlamp
  • Sunscreen, TP, hand sanitizer, lighter. 
  • If I need a rope while skiing it's almost never less than a 30m Petzl Rad rope.  If I need a rope while skiing it's almost never more than a 60m half rope.  
  • Spikes.  As it gets steeper and firmer, add in this order: 
  • Also as needed:
    • Camp Speed 2.0 Helmet
    • CAMP Alp Mountain harness
    • Rack of gear.  If it requires more than 5 of anything (cams, nuts, screws, slings) leave the skis behind.  
  • Glaciers?  Crevasse rescue skills and equipment.  
  • Pack:  Maybe the BCA balloon pack, maybe an alpine pack (Camp M3), maybe the little CAMP Rapid race pack.  
Multi Day Ski Touring
This is what we live for.  Getting way out there, going out of contact.  Seeing what few get to see.  Most of the gear is the same as for day trips.  But you'll add in camping gear.  And eliminate some things.  You won't need emergency shelter if you have a dedicated tent, for instance.  
Living the good life in British Columbia's Coast Range.  April 2013.

  • Shelter.  I pick from three, in increasing weight and weather protection:  Black Diamond Betalight, Black Diamond Firstlight, and Hilleberg Nallo 2.  
  • Feathered Friends Widgeon -10 sleeping bag.
  • Thermarest NeoAir XTherm.
  • MSR Reactor with 2 oz per person per day of fuel
  • Lighter and matches.
  • Bigger Pack.  Hyperlight Mountain Gear 4400 Ice Pack
  • Food.  Just add water for dinner and breakfast.  A mess of bars and energy candy and jerky and cheese for lunches.  It should all add up to about 2 pounds per person per day.  Depending on individual metabolism and work load. You'll need some way to serve and eat this food. Lightest is to just use the first night's freeze dried bag. And a spoon. 
  • Toiletries. Toothpaste and brush, eye care, sunscreen, personal medications.
  • Water bottles.  2 gatorade bottles.  Nothing more, nothing less.  

Backcountry Skiing Gear List, 2016-2017

I do this each season. In planning out my equipment before the season ramps up, I am doing a sort of risk management. Thinking through the equipment now leaves me free to better monitor conditions and choose terrain wisely. To be honest, much of my professional life is built around freeing up mental energy for making wise terrain choices. It is that important. I have similar lists for rock climbing, alpine climbing, and ski mountaineering.

Season opener. Grand Targhee BC, Wyoming. Yours truly. Selfie. 10/2016

Here and now we're talking about your typical day out skiing.  6-8 hours at most, a group of 2-7 people, hunting down good snow and good terrain with minimal "faffing" around.  Don't think too much about it; this is standard skiing.  See the other posts noting what I carry for more "specialized" missions.  

  • Darn Tough ski socks
  • Maybe, just maybe, long underwear
  • Arc Teryx Sawatch pants 
  • CAMP Magic pants (in the pack).
  • Synthetic boxers
  • Synthetic/wool t-shirt
  • Patagonia R1 Hoody
  • Camp Magic Jacket
  • Camp Neutrino Jacket
  • Arc Teryx Macai Jacket
  • Camp G Comp Warm gloves
  • Camp Hot Mittens
  • Warm stylie wool hat
  • Buff
  • Sun hat
  • Smith Vantage helmet (sometimes…)
  • Sunglasses.  Native Hardtop, Julbo Explorer, or Kaenon Burnet, depending.  Maybe, just maybe, goggles. Of the 60-80 days a year I ski in the backcountry, I probably carry goggles 10 times on average.  And use them for one run before I remember how annoying it is.  
Ski Gear:
  • Dynafit TLT6 boots
  • Any one of a number of OutdoorGearLab tester skis. 
  • And associated skins
  • Dynafit Speed Turn bindings
  • Black Diamond Fixed Carbon poles (mounted with a sweet Pole Clinometer)
Safety Gear, etc.  Some of this is individual and needed by each group member. Other gear can be shared by the group.  Divided well, even this comprehensive list of emergency group gear will go barely noticed in the pack:

Some gear failure is repairable.  Some is not.  
  • First Aid/Emergency kit.  
  • Ski repair kit.  (it should be around a pound for groups.  Less is probably inadequate.  More is silly.  Let me know if you want more detail on what I carry)
  • Brooks Range Ultralight Guide Tarp 
  • Brooks Range Eskimo Sled. Or my improvised bolt-based kit. Depending on the objective.
  • 18m of thin sled dragging rope
  • 2 locking carabiners
  • Navigation kit:  GPS, maps, compass, clinometer, altimeter.  Often the iPhone versions are enough.  Sometimes bringing the dedicated tools is justified.
  • Snow Study:  Saw, crystal card, magnifier, ruler, documentation.  Be equipped and trained to make sound decisions for yourself and large column tests for the avalanche center.
  • Extra clothes:  An extra puffy jacket and pair of over mitts are regularly appreciated.  Especially in a large group. 
  • Set of BCA BC Link radios, for intra-group communication. I was skeptical. But I'm a solid convert now. Even close together, radio communication is clean and simple. Have back-up plan and procedures in place, but use the radios too.
  • Iridium Extreme Sat Phone.