Equipment List for Iliniza Norte Mountaineering

Official Papers

Camping Gear


Climbing Gear





Optional Field Gear



Camping Gear

Western Mountaineering Badger SDL : 15 deg Long

This bag was the Backpacker recommended bag at the time I did my first trip. It's a down bag with a dry loft shell to keep it somewhat dry.

Illiniza Notes: This bag is great for mountaineering. Paired with clothing and a hat, you can be comfy at 0 and maybe even a little under.

Mt Rainier Notes: The first time I was on a glacier, and I was warm and cozy pretty much all night. The times I did get cooler were becuase I took off my socks!

North Face VE 25 : Expedition 4 Season Tent

The VE 25 is a 3 man expedition level tent that weighs about 12 pounds. It has two vestibules and can be bought with a tarp footprint that matches it's dimensions. It's one of the most used tents in the climbing and alpine market. I've heard only good things about it. This is the classic mountaineering tent. It has been around for about 25 years and will probably be around another 25.

Iliniza Notes: This tent at one point had 4 people in it...semi comfortably!

Cascade Designs Thermarest Ridgerest

I'm a sissy when it comes to my sleep. I need my confort, and since this blow up matress is only about a pound more than a foam roll and packs down much smaller, I figured this was a good choice.


Dana Design Terraplane X : Expedition Pack

This is the Gold standard of packs. It received the Editors Choice GOLD award from Backpaker Magazine in 1999 and all I saw on the net were raves about it’s quality, comfort and design. When I spoke to Rahman at Tent and Trails, he highly recommended it.

Why I bought it: This is the first pack I bought, for my first trip to Red Rocks, Nevada. Even though I didn't really need a pack right then, I knew I was going to sooner or later, so I bought this in anticipation of an upcoming trek.

Good for: This pack is perfect for a climb where you've got to carry 50 to 60 pounds of gear.

Not for: 1 to 3 day hikes. At about 8 pounds, it packs a wallop if all you are doing is carrying a fleece, food and water. This is an expedition pack. Like all packs, it is not very waterproof, so if you are going to be in the pouring rain, line it with garbage bags or get a pack cover.

Dana Design Notes: Dana Design has since been sold to K2 and marketed under Marmot. You can still get these packs under the Marmot brand, but I would argue they are not the same packs! Dana Gleason has since started new company, Mystery Ranch selling the same style backpacks to guides and military personnel. In fact, he has a contract with the navy seals to provide them with their packs. Check them out. The Mystery Ranch version of the Terraplane is the

Oyacache Notes: This pack is bomb proof. I brought a pack fly for the rainforest downpours. Didn't need it. It fits everything with a million pockets and easy access to everything. Love this pack.

Mt Rainier Notes: This was my main pack for Rainier and Adams. Still love this pack, even though its about 3 poinds heavier than the newest packs.

Dana Design Pckfly - $35

Even thought the Dana Design packs are completely waterproof, I figured I might as well get this thing too.

Packfly Notes: Waste of money. First off, it's not easy to attach. Second, it doesn't cover the bottom of the pack. The reason is that the teraplane x is rugged on the bottom, and this design will avoid the pack riping through the fly.

Bottom line, don't waste your money. Bring a couple huge garbage bags and that's all you'll ever need. The packs don't let water in anyway so I just wrap it up at night so I can take my pack inside my tent and I don't have the worry about getting water all over the place.

Gregory Chaos : Mid Sized Pack

This is the first midsized pack I bought. I picked it up at Tent and Trails. It was a recomendation of one of the guys there.

Why I bought it: I needed a daypack that I could use for 2-3 day hikes or for carrying climbing gear (ropes, protection, shoes, helmet, etc.) or other heavy itmes on one day treks.

Good for: Lugging heavy stuff like climbing equipment that you don't need to get to until you get to your destination.

Not for: Expeditionhikes or hikes where you need to constantly access your pack. It is a toploader so if you wwant to carry snacks, first aid or anything you need to get to in a hurry, put it in the top pocket.

Gregory Notes: Gregory makes really good packs. Their Denali Pro is supposed ot be a beautiful pack. I have not tried it, but I have only heard good things about it.

Iliniza Notes: This pack is great in terms of its comfort level. It has a very sturdy frame stay and the padding is cush on your waist and shoulders. A little bit heavy, but definately a quality pack. I used it as my summit pack.

Kilmanjaro Notes: After using this pack for the summit, I have decided that I need a lighter weight pack. There was really no need to have a pack this sturdy to carry water, camera, food and fleece.

The North Face Base Camp Duffel Large

Usually I am stuffing all of my stuff into a big back pack. But for trips where our gear is carried by porters, or when we will be setting up a base camp with some stuff being left behind, a duffel works better. Sometimes, you see the same thing all around because it's the only thing available. In this case, you always see a TNF Duffel on any expedition you go to because they are the best. This is the best duffel I have ever owned, hands down. I am now going to buy the XL version.

Why I bought it: This duffel has 3 things going for it. First, it is sturdy because it's made of a laminated material that resist fluids and can withstand abrasion. Second, the zippers are solid and can take a beating. Third, it has three hauling systems including twin handles on the ends (so you can drag it), the normal duffel handles that velcro together (so you can carry it) and finally backpack style shoulder straps that are adjustable (so you can throw the thing on your back). I have the Large, which is 5600 cu in (90 liters). The XL is 9070 cu in (140 liters).

Good for: Base camp. Long trips where your gear is going to get thrown around and punished.

Not Good For: I can't think of anything this thing is intended to do that it doesn't!

Mount Olympus Notes: The Olympic Range is the wettest place in the US and all we did was throw a bunch of wet, dirty and muddy stuff on top of our bags. So the fact that the bag is basically waterproof is huge for a trip like this. Loved it.

Iliniza Notes: I used this bag as my base camp storage. I kept all the stuff I wasn't going to be taking with me on the climb and the trek in it, back at the hostal in Quito.

Grand Canyon Notes: This was just big enough to carry everything on the plane to get me to the trailhead and back home.

Climbing Gear

Black Diamond Blizzard Harness

The three main companies I looked at when researching harnesses were Petzl, Black Diamond and Trango. When choosing a harness you really have to figure out what type of climbing you’re going to use it for. I know that in the next year or two, I will be attempting to summit a 18000+ mountain peak. In that case, I will need a harness big enough to fit over clothing, so I need adjustable leg straps. That, plus the Blizzrd’s seat drops out so there’s no problem answering the unavoidable “nature’s call.”

Notes: Very confortable harness.

Iliniza Notes: I never ended up using my harness because there was no ice at the top of the mountain and it was not a technical climb, so there was no need to rope up.

Petzl Ecrin

The Petzl Ecrin is the standard by which all other helmets are measured. the straps can be adjusted with a finger via the wheels on the side of the helmet.

Good for: Those who care about function over form.

Not for: Those who care about looking like a big red headed geek. It's bad enough you have to wear a helmet. The least they can do is make them look a little cool.

Iliniza Notes: I didn't end up using the helmet, since we weren't in any serious conditions on the mountain.

Charlet Moser Black Ice Crampons

Charlet Moser's 12 point Black Ice crampons are equipped for everything from glacier walking to climbing steep couloirs and alpine ice. They are arced enough to walk for long periods of time without getting cramped up.

Mount Washington Notes: I had major problems fitting these over my plastic boots. I just made it, but barely. If the straps had loosened and come undone on the mountain, I would have been screwed. I'll probably use these as backups going forward and pick up a new par of step ins.

Iliniza Notes: I never used them here because we never had need to.

Black Diamond Arc Light

The Arc Light is a general ice axe for general alpine use. It's pretty reasonably priced, light and can be bought with or without a grip. Personally, I like it without the grip so it can be slid easily into snow or ice for belaying. Also, you can add a slider leash to keep it in your paw.

Mt Washington Notes: When I bought this axe, I didn't expect to really be doing a lot of work with an Ice axe. It's a little heavier than I would like and after trying out Roy's rented BD Raven Pro, I decided I like the feel of that axe a whole lot better.

Iliniza Notes: Didn't get a chance to use them.

What to Buy Now: If you are going to buy an ice axe today, buy the Black Diamond Raven Pro. It's light and strong.

Leki super Makalu Trekking Poles

They say they're some of the best poles on the market. Cor-tec handles, anti shock tips and light as a pair of feathers, they seemed good enough for me. If I had one complaint it would be that they could fold in just a little bit smaller. But other than that, they perform and that's all you can ask.

Why I bought them: If you have bad knees like I do, or you are big boy like I am, you will definately want to bring along your sticks. There are some very steep descents on some of the trails and I can't imagine doing it without at least something in at least one hand. If you don't feel like lugging them on the trip, or they get broken in baggage, just pick up a good stick when you start on the hike. But my suggestion is these.

Pros: Very lightweight. Adjutable. Great feel in your hand. Love to cork handles.

Cons: They are a little longg so they are difficult to transport in your baggage given the post 9-11 security concerns. I am alwasy worried at how to protect them in my baggage. And the twist handles sometimes are a pain.

Illiniza Notes: Love these poles. They are really light and I like the fingertip control for tightening the loops.

Kilimanjaro Notes: I still love these poles. They did however jam up on the loops so that I can't always easily control the loop length. But I don't adjust very often so it's not that big a deal.

Mt Washington 2009 Notes: I had a major problem getting these to work properly in the freezing cold. Could have been user error, but at -20 degrees on mt Washington, I don't need to be wasting time screwing around with trekking poles! It was at this point I decided to go the "clip joint" route and will never look back. I will never buy another pair of twist lock trekking poles again. Ever!


Marmot Shell Jacket

Although I had originally planned to spend a whole lot less, I am glad I picked up this parka. It fit me well in the arms and does a good job of stopping wind.

Illiniza Notes: This jacket worked great on the climb. Period.

Kilimnajaro Notes: Really like the jacket.

Mount Washington 2009 Notes: At the top of the climb I saw that this jacket was not as good at breathing or keeping out the water as I thought it was (or used to be). Either way, this was my last time using this jacket. It's now the jacket I let friends borrow when I drag them along on some trip with me. Let's be Honest. I saw the Arc'teryx and fell in love. Gear junkies just need to buy new stuff!

EMS Gore-tex XCR Shell Pants

These Shell Pants have a full zip, suspenders and articulated knees as well as zippered side pockets and 1 thigh pocket. They are fleece lined for a little bit of warmth.

Kilimanjaro Notes: These are the pants I use for almost every mountain trip.

Mt Washington Notes: I have used these pants 2 years in a row on mt Washington and they have served me very well.

EMS Summittech Fleece Jacket

i no longer buy regular fleece. Sure, if you are on a budget, go for it. But with the lower cost of soft shell fleece, today, that's where I go with my bucks.

Illiniza Notes: It was pretty cold on the climb, but only at the beginning, before I got going, and at the end, when we wre really in the wind. In between, I had to take it off.

EMS Summittech Fleece Pants

I used to go with regular fleece pants. Today, I wouldn't bother with these. I would bring along soft shell fleece in case I needed to be out in the rain!

Iliniza Notes: The pants were too hot so I carried them in the pack the whole time. i was glad to have them along though.

Mountain Hardwear Fleece Hat

This hat is a little thin, but the fact that it completely covers the ears and ties off to stay tight against them makes it really warm. It's a great hat to have along on any trip. Plus you look funny which is always special!

Iliniza Notes: I brought this hat merely as a backup. The worst thing you can do is lose your only hat in the wild. I always bring an extra just in case.

Kilimanjaro Notes: Again, this was my backup hat. I definately pulled it out at night to sleep in.

Black Diamond Neve Gloves

These gloves have a zip out lining and a nice leather palm for less slipping.

Iliniza Notes: When I got them out in the field, I didn't like the fleece lining because they were not easy to get in and out when your hands are sweaty. And bottom line, they weren't as warm as I thought they would be. I think I have to go back to the drawing board on these. Maybe I'm a mitten type of guy!!!

Patagonia Stretch Balaclava

This stretch balaclava has a baggy mouth area so that you can pull it ove your face or down over your chin. It's made of a stretchy synthetic material so your sweat, spit and snot don't need to turn into and ice block after 5 hours on trail.

Iliniza Notes: I didn't end up using this thing too much. But I was happy I at least had it with me just in case. It wasn't windy or cold enough to warrant using it so I just pulled my jacket over my lip and sucked it up!

Keystone Notes: This stretch balaclava works ok for snowboarding. I bought it originally for mountaineering, for which it works wonders. For boarding however, it's not as usefull because the hole for the face tends to get in the ways of the gogles and interfere with the seal. I prefer to just use a thin skull cap under my helmet and a long neck gaiter or mask that just covers my nose, mouth and neck. That's always worked for me in the past and I'll continue to use that method until i find something signiifcantly better.

Mt Adams Notes: I brought this along purely as a backup and didn't have to pull it out.

Outdoor Research Gorilla Balaclava

The Gorilla balaclava is supposed to be great because you can basically change it's composition to suit the weather. Remove the nose and breathing port to tailor your coverage depending on the conditions.

Iliniza Notes:I hated this thing. First off, it was not comforatble on my face. Second, the velcro was more than a little annoying. I'll bever use this thing again.


Asolo GTX 520 Hiking Boots

About 6 people had these boots on this trip. And all had good things to say about them. So i picked up a pair as well. I was unable to secure a pair that were a color other than black, but oh well.

Iliniza Notes: I did like these boots, but I definately should have broken them in a little bit more. I got a few hot spots during the trek, but I took care of it early and they were not a problem at all.

Oyacache Notes: This trek can be very wet so I suggest you bring boots as opposed to trail runners. These boots were very comfortable. I did buy them just before the climb and didn't break them in very much, so I had a few hot spots.

Outdoor Research Ankle Gaiters

Ankle Gaiters are great for people like me who typically hike in trail runners or low top light hikers.

Oyacache Notes: Although I brought these along, I only used them once due to the good weather and all the hikes being on maintained trails. take them along just in case you get a bad patch of wether.

Canadian Rockies Notes: Although I brought these along, I only used them once due to the good weather and all the hikes being on maintained trails. take them along just in case you get a bad patch of wether.


Duofold Varitec Long Sleeve Hydroduct Tee

The first time I tried out a Duofold shirt, I was surprised at how it performed considering how little it cost. It's a great way to build up your gear quickly without spending all your money on some big brands advertising!

Basic base layer shirt. A staple in my pack.

Madawaska Notes: I brought this along specifically for those hot days where I might just want a t shirt in the water. I actually didn't use it but its always good to have just in case.

Duofold Varitec Short Sleeve Hydroduct Tee

Any kind of non cotton shirt will do. Poly Pro, or wool, whatever.

wigwam ultimax cool lite hiker socks

II usually use Smartwool socks, but I've heard great things about this sock. They have a very thin top layer so that your feet can breathe with a very thick underside to absorbe sweat and shock.

Duofold Ultra Tec Heavy Weight Base Later top

Once again, I went for value when picking out my base layers. My other base layer was the bergelene brand available at EMS.

Madawaska Notes: I brought this along in case it got really cold at camp. I used it to sleep in and was really happy I brought it along.

Duofold Ultra Tec Heavy Weight Base Later pants

Once again, I went for value when picking out my base layers. My other base layer was the bergelene brand available at EMS.

Madawaska Notes: I brought this along in case it got really cold at camp. I used it to sleep in and was really happy I brought it along.

Grand Canyon Notes: I decided to only bring a pair of bottoms for bnightime since I was already bringing my North Face Flash Jacket for the night. I was glad I did too, because it was cold each and every night.

Bridgedale Liners

I have a tendency to get blisters but with one of these liners, it's not a factor. They move the moisture away from your feet very well and provide the extra softness beneath those wool socks.

Wigwam Coolmax Liners

I have a tendency to get blisters but with one of these liners, it's not a factor. They move the moisture away from your feet very well and provide the extra softness beneath those wool socks.

Smartwool Socks

Smartwool's Expedition Trekking line was the winner of Backpacker Magazine's Great Sock Test. They expertly control temperature and moisture, cushion your digits and are extremely durable. Wicks and evaporates moisture to keep feet and shoes dry. Keep your feet cool in the summer, warm in the winter and not too bad for odor prevention either. I can't see myself ever buying another brand of sock

Madawaska Notes: Usually, I am using these socks for hiking. But here, they were just for walking around and in case I needed them for the cold water. But it was warm enough that I didn't need em at all.

Canadian Rockies Notes: Once again, my favorites. Others say that the socks tend to slip or move on their feet, but i haven't had that problem. No matter what brand you bring with you, make sure you have wool socks for the hike.

EMS Superwick T

This is a lightweight polyester shirt that is highly breathable and quick drying. It wicks moisture away from the body and comes in a fe different colors. I actually picked up a long sleeve and a short sleeve. They were great as a first layer in the jungle.

Iliniza Notes: Most of the climbs will have you at some point in your t-shirt. Let it be a comfortable one.

Canadian Rockies Notes: Most of the climbs will have you at some point in your t shirt. Let it be a comfortable one.

Grand Canyon Notes: It gets hot down there in the canyon, so bring a lightweight t shirt.

EMS Adventure zip off pants : $50

These zip off pants are quick drying, comfortable, and come in good colors. What else can you ask for. The bottom of the pants have the side zip to the calf so you can zip off the bottoms without having to take off your boots. Comfortable shorts by day, bug-thwarting pants by night! These travel-savvy convertible pants offer versatile comfort. Plus they are baggy with a deep enough crotch.

Canadian Rockies Notes: Definately bring at least one pair. I personally brought 2 pair. While I never unzipped tham on any of my hikes, others in my group did on the one hike I didn't do, because it got so hot.

Patagonia Stretch Zip Long T

I love this shirt. It has thumb holes to keep your sleeves from riding up (or keep your wrists warm), it's comfortable and it has the half zip neck which I love because you can use it like a turtleneck or you can open up to breathe. Designed to be versatile enough to use as a high-mobility base layer for winter sports or a midweight outer layer in warmer climates.

Canadian Rockies: This was my staple shirt for the entire trip. I don't go anywhere without it.

Grand Canyon Notes: I will only bring one long sleeve shirt. And since I did, this was the only one I brought. My staple shirt on all my trips. So much so, that everybody says I need to buy some new shirts!


Nalgene Water Bottle

These bottles are indestructible and supposedly, they don’t promote bacteria growth or hold odor. In every picture I see of someone camping or on a mountain, I see them holding a Nalgene bottle. I’m not even sure they have any competition they’re so well entrenched. And what makes them even better is most water filtration systems are built specifically to fit Nalgene bottles!

I always wrap some clear and some gray duct tape around my bottles. First, it helps to tell whos they are and it also is an easy way to keep duct tape which is the most important item you can take on a mountain! It fixes everything from blisters to leaky tents. I always bring 3 liter bottles for summit day. I also sometimes bring an extra to pee in if im too lazy to get out of the tent! just be careful. Aim smart.

Nesters Cookware

Nesting Stainless Steel Cookwear.

Good for: The non gear junkie and the guy who is not trying to shave every ounce from their pack.

Not for: The guy who cuts the handle off of his toothbrush to save weight.

Iliniza Norte: So far, this set has worked well for me. On this trip, we used it every day on the mountain. Since my job in our cook group was to provide the pot/pan.

OR stuff sacks

I am a very organized person, or at least I try to be! So a couple of extra stuff sacks to straighten out my gear is always a necessity for me. I picked up the non-waterproof ones for the mountain and rock climbing. But once I start paddling, I'll move up to the hydro seal.

MSR Waterworks 2 water filter

The Waterworks II is supposedly on of the better water pumps. It removes all bacteria in one pass and has aceramic membrane that filters out organizms 0.2 microns or larger. The one drawback is it doesn't pump all that fast.

Iliniza Notes: Man. This turned out to be a really slow and difficult pump to use for a number of bottles. Compared to the First Need that a few others brought, it's like pulling teeth. We ended up putting this thing away after the first couple of days and just borrowing other peoples First Need. This one goes in the junk drawer.


Julbo Pamir

The Julbo Pamirs can be worn as glacier glasses since they have 100% UV protection and reduce up to 88% of visible light. But they look good enough to wear anytime doing anything.


Black Diamond Gemini

This is the obne peice of camping equipment I have come to feel is essential. Once out in the pitch dark, I could not live without it. If you have any hopes of reading, writing or doing anything with both hands in your campsite or tent, you should get one of these things. With an LED lamp as well as a Halogen spotlight, the Gemini is the way to go. It’s relatively inexpensive and works well. I went to the local climbing gym (Desert Rock Sports) and snapped one up.

Camera and Other Toys! :-)

Nikon F401 Film Camera

A few years ago I got into photography a little bit, and I bought this camera used. It was a good deal and has worked well for me.

Iliniza Notes: I'll tell you. This was my first mountain and I could not believe how heavy this thing was. Next time, I will only bring a point and shoot up on the summit bid!


Gatorade Packs

Gatorade is one of the best tasting electrolyte replacement drinks. I't probably not necessary when mountaineering because you are not sweating, but it can't hurt. But if you're out there in the heat, you need to replace those electrolytes.You can get them in 1 quart packages which are perfect for your nalgene liter bottles.

Mt Washington Notes: Adding gatorade to your water on a freezing cold mountain helps to keep it from freezing. It's high salt and sugar content will add at least a few degrees to your drinks max freezing temperature.

Grand Canyon Notes: You should definately bring at least one liter per day. It gets really hot in the canyon.

Action speaks louder than words, but not as often!
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