Gear I Trust 2,  Mountaineering
Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 11:28PM
Dave Watson

Folks seemed to like the last post about gear I use for ski touring so I thought I'd do another for my mountaineering kit.  This gear is pretty much the same whether I'm guiding or climbing with buds.  It's another busy pic but, chances are, if you visit this site you are detail oriented.

For clothing I use the Mammut Eiger Extreme collection plus a few of their more classic pieces.  

Jackets

Wind/rain shell is the Felsturm, gore active shell means it's light and breathable, durable and packable.  Insulation: Synthetic is the Rime Pro, best for climbs when you could get wet from mixed precip, ice melt etc. The Broad Peak Hoody is my favorite down jacket, light with no frills.

Pants

Wind/rain shell is the Nordwand pant, gore pro, full featured pant.  Soft shell for cold weather is the Eisfeld pant, I use it for skiing as well.  Warm weather, Advanced Courmayer pant, light and breathable, zippered pockets.

Baselayers

Anything stretchy and non cotton works great. Light-weight, light colored longsleeve shirts with a hood are great sun protection and commonly seen of people who spends long hours on sunny glaciers (guides, rangers etc).  Darn Tough socks have been my favorite ever since I first tried them, they put all other socks to shame. Forget about smartwool and others, Darn Tough is the best for durability, lifespan, loft, comfort, breathability, wicking, easy to care for and the elastic doesn't get loose- They are made in Vermont, thats why.

Boots

Mammut Nordwand TL  It's the best mountain boot I've ever used. Wicked light, warm and comfortable.  It's a single boot so although it's warm, I wouldn't take it to Denali.  A great boot to replace your old leathers. The integrated gaiter is especially nice on muddy approaches and in deep or wet manky snow.  As with all footwear, put a custom/supportive footbed in it, like the Superfeet red hot (cold temps) or orange (cushioned for long approaches)

Climbing Gear

Zephir Altitude Harness, wicked light and pretty dang comfortable.  For a crevasse rescue kit I usually carry 2 cordelettes, Petzl micro traction, 2 DMM revolver carabiners (pulleys), a few single and double length slings, a few extra non-locking carbiners and an auto-blocking belay device.  For protection you'll want to carry ice screws and snow pickets. With this kit you could do pretty much anything.  I like the El Cap helmet, it's light and durable with a brim that keeps rain from dripping onto your face.  Petzl Vasak crampons are great for snow and moderate ice.  They are lightweight and very durable.  These crampons need mega miles on rock to get start getting dull.  For ice axes I'm using the Petzl snowwalker 68 as my piolet and the Petzl sum'tec 43 as my extra tool (hammer for pickets). 

Backpack

Mammut Trion Pro 50+7, its a full featured pack with a lightweight and effective suspension system.  Waterproof fabric with taped seams keeps your gear dry.  Comfortable waistbelt and shoulder straps.  Compression straps on the side to hold a foam pad, pickets, wands etc.  2 axe attachments and the detatchable crampon pocket is a great place to store wet or muddy gear and trash. Gear loops on the waist belt keep rescue gear accessible.  Roomy lid.  It's a great pack.  Durable too.

Extras

I'm leaving out quite a bit but want to focus on the pieces I feel deserve special recognition.  Thermarest's neo air x-therm sleeping pad is rad.  It's very comfortable, I'm a side sleeper and never bottom it out.  Wicked warm (5.7 R Value) and it rolls down to the size of a Fosters beer can.  It is pretty thin so I'm suspect of it's durability, just take care around sharp rocks and course sand.  Another item I'm stoked about is the folding and collapsible bowls and cups from Orikaso.  They are easy to clean, take up no space in your pack and double as plates/ cutting boards.

This post is pretty Mammut heavy. I am extremely grateful for their support, and I would be using this gear even I didn't have a relationship with them.  I feel they are one of the top dogs. Many of the best companies are using the same fabrics for their high-end apparel, so it is up to you to decide which company has the best fit for your body type, what features you want (pocket configuration, etc), colors, brand loyalty.  It will all weight in to your decisions.  If I had to buy, I'd get what is in the photo.

Article originally appeared on Dave Watson (http://k2tracks.com/).
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