Friday, January 20, 2017

Alpine Climbing Gear List, 2017 Version.

Perfect granite and carefully selected gear. Paso Guillaumet,
Patagonia, Argentina. Jan 18, 2017. 
This oughta be fairly timely... I'm in the shadow of one of alpinism's most classic sky-lines, pondering gear, weight, logistics, and strategy while waiting for good weather in El Chalten. The climbing here is technical, long, with steep, human-powered approaches. In many ways, it is among the most challenging venues to pack for. What works here will work in any non-winter alpine range. Here's what we're packing for huge alpine mixed ice, snow, and rock climbs of Argentine Patagonia.

I divide the packing list right away into group and individual gear. If someone is equipped exactly this way, by my scale it should come to about 27 pounds individually. The group stuff, listed further below, comes to basically the same weight, but is then roughly divided in half. So the total team weight comes to about 84 pounds. And that is everything... Clothes, boots, rock shoes, tools, spikes, camping, food, rack, ropes, etc.  This is a hearty rack of pro, and two 60m ropes. Steel crampons, two ice tools per person... basically, for the most technical routes around. Put each climber in his or her clothes and personal climbing gear, and put a lead rope in play with the gear on the harness, and the packs end up being about 30 and 20 pounds. Now, that's not lightweight. But a competent climbing team should be able to climb smoothly to about 5.8 and WI 4 with packs like that. When it gets harder, get out the other rope and haul the heavier pack.

Also, note that many items can be swapped out for lighter alternatives. Easier rock climbs? Leave most of the cams behind. No ice? No screws, replace steel with aluminum crampons, ditch at least one tool each. Excellent weather forecast? No tent, substitute lighter shell gear. Shorter route? No camping gear of any sort. These are obvious things that the "list" doesn't fully capture. The list is on the "comprehensive" end of the spectrum, and the pack weights are still workable.

Without further ado...

Individual gear:
Clothing:

  • Synthetic t-shirt
  • Synthetic boxers
  • Two pairs of socks. I'm digging some Bridgedale, tall, thin "compression socks".
  • Arc Teryx Gamma AR pants
  • Patagonia thin gore tex pants
  • Patagonia R.5 hoody
  • Arc Teryx Nuclei puffy
  • Arc Teryx Alpha FL shell jacket
  • Feathered Friends Helios down jacket
  • Sun hat
  • Buff
  • CAMP belay gloves
  • CAMP Geko Light Raincover gloves
  • Camp G-Hot Dry gloves
Individual Camping "etc":
  • Sunglasses
  • Collapsible trekking pole
  • Wallet and passport
  • Two trash compacter bags
  • Headlamp. Petzl RXP
  • TP, hand sanitizer
  • Suunto Ambit GPS watch
  • Iphone and charging cord. Loaded up with maps and entertainment.
  • Headphones
  • About a pound of food per day
  • Spoon
  • The smallest Thermarest NeoAir
  • Feathered Friends Vireo... This thing is a secret weapon. Comfy and warm down to the low 20s, it works with your puffy jacket and keeps the weight to just over a pound. Game changer!
  • Arc Teryx Alpha FL 45 pack. 
Individual Climbing gear:
  • Cassin X-Light tool, pair. Modified with the after-market "X-Dry grips". 
  • Cassin C12 crampons
  • Evolv Kronos rock shoes
  • Garmont Ikon Plus boots
  • Hand Jammies
  • Two small lockers
  • Two larger lockers
  • Helmet. CAMP Speed 2.0
  • CAMP Flash Harness
  • Tibloc
  • Prussik loop
  • Micro traction
  • Belay device (I'm partial to the Edelrid Mega Jul these days... there's no real reason anymore to climb with a device that doesn't have some sort of assisted break. Ask me for more details...)
Group gear:
Camping, etc:
  • BD FirstLight tent
  • MSR Reactor stove and pot and hanging kit
  • Two lighters
  • Snow melt cup
  • Fuel (1-1.5 oz per person per day. Allows for some snow melt, but largely finding liquid water)
  • Iridium GO satellite communicator
  • Extra battery power to charge phones
  • Map and climbing topos
  • Emergency/First Aid kit
  • Pack towel (for tent condensation, mainly)
  • Sunscreen
Climbing gear:
  • Metolius "Mini Aider"... Sure, it's decadent. But iced up cracks are slow going. With an aider, they're less slow...
  • Pair of ascenders... Again, decadent. One of the first things to leave behind.
  • 10 draws. Mixture of short draws and shoulder length slings. All equipped with the category leading CAMP Nano 22. 
  • Knife
  • A set of Metolius Ultralight Master Cams from 0-4 (purple to red), each on a Nano 22  
  • A set of BD ultralight Camalot's from .5-4 (grey to grey), each on a Nano 22
  • Set of stoppers
  • Four pitons. thin
  • 5 ice screws. The aluminum Petzl ones
  • V-threader tool
  • 60m Esprit rappel cord
  • 60m 9.5mm lead rope

2 comments:

  1. My brother loves to climb and he's quite a pro at it. I know how he invest in great gear so for his birthday, I thought of giving him something to use for his climbing. I heard so much of the Black Diamond ATC and thought of giving that to him. And a climbing helmet would be great, too. This will give him protection against falling rocks or ice. I've recently stumbled on a site that has a lot of reviews about the best climbing gears. It's worth a look see so here's the link: http://myoutdoorslife.com/gear/climbing/best-climbing-gear.html

    ReplyDelete