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Beginning Ice/Alpine Climbing gear list
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By Dan.Schultz
From SW Colorado
Dec 8, 2012
Selfie in the Sierras
I just saw the thread on a beginning rock climbing gear list. I have been climbing for a little while and have compiled decent rock gear, but I really want to get into Alpine rock/ice. I am an experienced backpacker, so I've got pretty solid ideas on bivy gear and such. But ideas on what to buy at the start and what to buy when you get more advanced would be helpful.


By Josh Allred
From Salt Lake City, UT
Dec 8, 2012
P3 on the Nutcracker.
Action Suit:
Baselayer - Light layer of Marino Wool or Capeline Style
Midlayer - Pat. R1 Hoody - Down doesnt insulate when wet
Outer Shell - Dont get caught up in a idea that you have to get Gortex. Just get something breathable. Patagonia Houdini
Belay Hoody - Get a synthetic hoody - 60g/100g/150+g of Primaloft (or something close)
Light Softshell Pants - Light Alpine Guide Pants
Synthetic Insulating Pants - You can get a lighter sleeping bag when you have warm pants
Socks - Midweight, avoid heavy usually leads to heal lift in boots unless you are doing high altitude
Boots - I like Sportiva, You can get Spantik and Nepal Evo (If they fit you) and it will get you anywhere in the lower 48 and beyond at any time.
Crampons - make sure they fit on boot Check out Cold Thistle Blog
30-35L Summit Pack
Trekking poles
Short Ice Axe
Ice Tools

The list goes on...check out Mark Twights book and read Cold Thistle Blog for good start.

By tsmartt
Dec 8, 2012
maybe this is impractical in the alpine realm, but....
i recommend getting lots of gloves. i was not a happy camper with just one pair of gloves the first few times i went ice climbing. definitely get a big warm pair that you don't climb in.

By ac1
Dec 8, 2012
It's hard for someone that doesn't know you well to give you advice. Without having a better idea of your strengths and weakness, what you already like and don't like, what your future goals and objectives are, etc. it's difficult to go into anything resembling specifics.

Find a mentor. Try a lot of stuff, and note what works for you and what doesn't. Don't take advice from strangers on the internet too seriously.

By Medic741
From Pittsford, New York
Dec 8, 2012
When I was a bum at Frey
+1 in finding a mentor. Also don't skimp on your shovel. Sucks when you're pinned down in the nastiess and all of a sudden your shovel breaks.

Re gloves personally find carrying 1 set of goretex shells with 2 heavily insulated, 1 fleece liner works great. That way you can always be drying one of your heavily insulated liners while you work. But the list is so variable it's hard to pin down.

I'd put mountain boots and crampons as #1 so you can climb with some buddies on tr and figure out what tool you like the most. Just some random non coordinated thoughts

By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Dec 8, 2012
Epic free solo with a pack on
"I'd put mountain boots and crampons as #1 so you can climb with some buddies on tr and figure out what tool you like the most. Just some random non coordinated thoughts"

Good advice...having your own pair of boots is nice, then you have to climb a lot to justify spending some significant cash on boots.

Having a good pair of boots can make the difference between a horrible day and a fun outing. I recommend the Sportiva Nepals!

By elliott.will
From Wasilla, Alaska
Dec 15, 2012
I think willingness to turn around early and try again later is a really important "thing" to have!

Here is what we brought recently (4000' 60 degree snow and ice, 30 hours)

camping gear:
1 full length pad
1 Reactor
1 real shovel and handle
a bunch of food
2 nalgenes and a waterbottle parka
2 headlamps

climbing gear
1 60m 8mm rope
4 pickets
4 ice screws
4 ice tools
2 umbillicals
8 runners
16 tiny carabiners
4 ice tools
4 crampons
2 harnesses
v-thread coat hanger thing
toilet paper
avalanche probe (crevasses)

personal gear:
30L pack. Less than $10, 10 oz. This is why I learned to sew.
powerstretch pants
simple guide pants
rain pants
smartwool shirt
r1 hoody
cheap, light shell
belay jacket
softshell gloves
lobster mitt shells
puffy liners for the lobster mitt shells
some kind of hat
plastic boots
thick socks

what I learned:

should have brought puffy pants
should have brought huge mittens
need to get an altimeter
would consider a bothy bag
mind your goggles
speed is not safety if it means tunnel vision
don't rush the snowcaveŚ you will be in there for hours and hours
stop often and reassess
tiny carabiners OK even with big gloves
waterbottle in parka on harness is a pain
take pictures even if the weather is bad

By Josh Allred
From Salt Lake City, UT
Dec 15, 2012
P3 on the Nutcracker.
I have a bothy bag Id sell ya if you are interested

By elliott.will
From Wasilla, Alaska
Dec 15, 2012
MaybeŚ how much and what kind? I was just going to sew one.

By S Denny
From Aspen, CO
Dec 15, 2012
i'm also interested in the bothy bag. how much and how much does it weigh??

By Josh Allred
From Salt Lake City, UT
Dec 16, 2012
P3 on the Nutcracker.
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By Steve Williams
From Denver, CO
Dec 16, 2012
When you're ready to buy ice tools/crampons, etc, go
to Ouray's Ice Festival and they have bunches of different
gear you can try out. . . borrow a friend's gear to get started. . .

By Alan Ream
From Lafayette CO
Dec 16, 2012
Breakfast of Champion slacker climbers.
Great fitting boots and five pairs of gloves - one super warm and dry non climbing pair and four light to med grippy gloves-

By Hombler
Dec 20, 2012
Attempt a considerable measure of stuff and note what works for you and what does not. Do not take counsel from strangers on the web too without a doubt. I was not a blissful camper with simply one sets of gloves the beginning couple of times i went ice climbing
mission hills golf tour

By Josh Allred
From Salt Lake City, UT
Dec 21, 2012
P3 on the Nutcracker.


I would read this.

By Martin le Roux
From Superior, CO
Dec 21, 2012
Stairway to Heaven
It really depends on what you're planning on climbing. Waterfall ice? Long snow couloirs? Multi-pitch alpine rock? The Grand Teton? Rainier? Denali? They're all different environments and they require different types of gear. The type of ice-axe that you'd want for the Ouray ice park isn't the best choice for glacier travel and vice versa. The boots and sleeping bag that you'd want for Denali would be ridiculously heavy on the Grand Teton. And so on.


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