Equipment List for Mount Rainier Glacier Mountaineering 2009

Pack:

Sleeping Gear:

Technical Gear:

Head Gear: (no, not braces)

Extremities Gear:

Core Gear:

Leg Gear:

Other Gear:

 

Bags and Packs

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.

GoLite Pinnacle

This bag is basically a stripped down toploader with a roll top and an extra zip pouch in the front. I bought it becuase I wanted to try and strart packing as light as possible, and it all starts with the pack. At 1lb 9oz, this is the lightest pack I have ever used. I pretty much take this pack every trip I take.

Why I bought it: I bought this pack because when I was doing the sumit of Kili, my Gregory was way too heavy a pack for just holding a couple fleeces, water and snacks. Who needs a framestay for that! The goal was to get a really lightweight pack that can serve as an all around short duration hike pack.

Good for: Short 1 or 2 days hikes where you have less than 25 or 30 pounds in your pack or for throwing in your heavy pack to use as a summit or day pack on a multi day expedition.

Not for: Longer hikes where you have to carry lots of stuff in yourpack and its heavier than 25 or 30 pounds.

Favorite Features: the pack is one and a half pounds!

Canadian Rockies Notes: I will never go back to a big heavy pack for anything other than a 5 day or more campout. This bag was everything I hoped it would be. At 4300 cu in, its very volumous, which is what I need since everything I own is XXL. This pack was all I needed for all of the day hikes and the 2 overnights at Stanley Mitchell hut.

Mount Washington Notes: I love this bag. It is absolutely perfect for trips like this. It's extremely lightweight and doesn't get in the way. The only drawback is the water bottle holders are a little hard to get to, but I have yet to wear a pack where that was not the case!

Grand Canyon Notes: Hiking in the grand canyon with about 45 to 50 pounds in this pack demonstrated to me the needs for a framestay. I created a makeshift framestay by sticking my tentstakes down the middle of the back, which worked very well. However, going forward, my rule will be anything more than 25 pounds gets a pack with a frame. This pack will be strictly used for day hikes and simmit bids.

Rainier Notes:This is my daypack, summit pack, etc for all of my trips. I used it for the Mt Saint helens climb and as my summit pack for Adams.

Camping Gear

Mountain Hardwear EV 3 : Expedition 4 Season Tent

Based on Ed Viesturs' specifications for a compact, light, strong, expedition tent, the EV 3™ is designed for the rigors of high altitude mountaineering. It is designed to fit 3 people although in my opinion this is a two person tent.

It is a single wall tent (no rainfly) and has all kinds of nice features like the integrated vestibule which gives you lots of room for boots and the 2 windows for a bright interior. Also the reflective material strips along the tent poles help you find the pole clips in the night.

Mt Rainier Notes: This was my first time sleeping on a glacier and this tent did not disappoint. It let in lots of light during the day without letting in the heat. And the ventilation was great.

Big Agnes Insulated Air Core Sleeping Pad

Big dudes need cushion for sleepy time. After my Thermarest Neo Air got a slow leak at the worst possible moment, on a big expedition to Orizaba, I decided to try something else.

Mount Marcy Notes: This pad certainly is a little more hefty than my Neo Air, and definately took some heffing and puffing to inflate it. Once the pad was inflated, I really liked it. It also took some time and energy to deflate it is well, but the insulation was well worth it. To be fair, I used it in conjunction with a foam core sleeping pad. But it definately did the trick.

Cascade Designs Thermarest Z-Lite

This is my basic lightweight sleeping pad.

Mt Marcy Notes: I used this as a second pad to put below my blow up matress to keep the cold out. It worked extremely well.

Climbing Gear

Black Diamond Sabertooth Pro with ABS Ice Crampons

BD's 16 point Sabertooth 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.

Mt Washington 2009 Notes: This was my second time using crampons. These fit perfectly over my boots, but I had a little bit of trouble getting them on with the real deap snow and no place to sit.

Mt Rainier Notes: These crampons are really nice. The only little pet peev I have is that the metal front peice slides to the side so you have to be really careful to set it properly when you frist put on the crampons.

Black Diamond Raven Pro Ice Axe

The Raven Pro is a general ice axe for general alpine use. It's a little expensive but rediculously light.

Best For: General Mountaineering. This is typically the axe you will see being rented by good gear shops such as EMS and REI.

Not For: Ice climbing.

Mt Washington Notes: Last year I used a much heavier ice axe, the Arc Light. But this year I picked up the Raven Pro, which is about as ligth as a toothbrush. I was very happy. I bought it really long (held by my side it misses the floor by about an inch) for the long slogs up glaciers.

Mt Rainier Notes: This Ice axe is perfet. I absolutley love it.

Smith Airflow Goggles

I needed a cheap pair of clear goggles for not only mountaineering as well as for night boarding.

Mount Washington Notes: The first time I climbed Mt Washington, I made the mistake of putting the goggles on the top of my head. They completely iced up and I had to take them off and squint the whole way up. The second time, I was smart enought not to put the things on top of my head. But at a certain point, I just had to go sans goggles because they were still icing up on the outside. I just squinted and looked away from the wind. Like the old time mountaineers! I'm starting to think my cro magnon brow is better than goggles. :-)

Mount Marcy Notes: Bring at least 1 pair of goggles. When we summitted, the conditions were Mt. Washington like.

Black Diamond Trail Compact 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: FlickLock adjusting is GREAT. I love it so much better than the twist style adjustments. Braek down to a very short size for easiy transport in your baggage. Still lightweigh even with the beefy grips.

Cons: Haven't really had any complaints yet. Although the FlickLock adjutments slook like they may need adjustment/tightening at some point and for that you need a tool. Inspect them prior to your trip if you don't carry a tool with you at all times.

Mt Rainier Notes: Love these poles. The FlickLock adjustments are so nice. I will NEVER go back to twist lock adjustment poles.

Outerwear

Arc'Tyrex Theta SV Shell Jacket

This hardshell has a Stow Hood and drop back hem for increased protection in bleak environments. The jacket is made from Goretex material and has five pockets, water tight zippers, and articulated patterning for mobility.

Rainier Notes: I absolutel LOVE the stow hood. I like self contained items and this is the epoitome of that functionality. This will be my new go to jacket.

 

Mountain Hardwear Navigation Pant

A mid-weight, soft shell hiking pant with four-way stretch and articulated knees. Excellent abrasion resistance, breathability, and low profile comfort.

Pros: Soft shell material allows me to only were one pair of pants and no outter shell.

Cons: The only con I have for these pants is that they don't have full zips. I like the ability to completely come out of my pants if needed.

Mt Adams Notes: I used these pants on the summit hike up Mt Adams and they were supperb. They were comfortable and just warm enough. These will now be my go to pants for most climbs.

 

EMS Glove Liners

these gloves are almost thin enough to be called liners. They fit really well to your fingers and have grippy palm material.

Mt Adams Notes: You don't need heavy gloves for this climb in the summer good weather. A good thick pair of liners or thin pair of fleece is enough. I liked this because they have this rubber plam grip that helps you hold on to the ice ax.

Black Diamond Soloist Gloves

The Soloist has a removable liner, goat skin palm and is designed for harsh alpine environments where warmth and dexterity are crucial.

I bought these gloves because I hated my Neve gloves. hopefully these are better.

Marmot Expedition Mitts

On my Ecuador climb I used gloves (Black Diamond Neve's) and absolutley hated them. My fingers were cold the entire time and I realized theres really not that much of a need for your fingers. Mittens will do. It's just that I have always hated those things! I feel like a little kid! UGGG. But I think these things will be a lot warmer so we will see.

Oh my god. I absolutely loved these things. They were so warm on the summit day climb it was rediculous. And they were nice pillows every other day!

Mt Washington Notes: These are really nice to take on a big cold mountain like Washington because they are warm, light and packable. Oh my. They were lovely on the climb. My fingers only got cold when they weren't in the mitts!

Mt Adams Notes: I brought these along purely as backups. I didn't even need them at all.

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.

North Face Ascent Beanie

Nice little fleece hat to cover my newly shaved head! I like it because there's more fleece on the ears thatn the top which is exactly how I like it. My ears are sensitive like a little girls!! lol

Grand Canyon Notes: I brought one fleece hat and only used it in camp at night and in the morning. But I was glad I brought it. it's cold enough in camp during the spring that you will definately need one.

The North Face Flash Hat

This is just a normal fleece hat. It is very warm and very light.

Mt Marcy Notes: This is my warmest hat and it was cold up top.

Footwear

La Sportiva Nepal EVO GTX

This is considered the best leather mountaineering boot on the market. I have a few guys who swear by them.

I will never wear another mountaineering boot again. Period. End of story.

Mt Washington Notes: Used thes in 2009 as replacements for 2008 HEAVY Scarpa Vega's. They need a super gaiter for really cold conditions like Mt Washington. They were pretty good. My feet did get a little cold, but I think it was because they are just a little too tight.

Mt Adams Notes: These boots are so good. I love them. The biggest mistake I made on this trip was not putting them on on the final day coming down the last part of the glacier.

Orizaba Notes: Get boots at least one half size bigger to allow for descents to prevent jamming your toes. the bruise on my big toenail is still there 4 months later.

Outdoor Research Crocodile Gaiters

On the ecuador trip, I was happy with my low gaiters (Outdoor Research), but not exstatic. I sunk in some mud that went way past the calve and at that moment regretted not bringing some high gaiters as well. This time I know better.

Kilimanjaro Notes: These would have been a great thing to have on the summit day. There is just a huge amount of scree you come down to get back to high camp and gaiters are a must. I was just too tired to care about all the pebbles in my shoes.

Canadian Rockies Notes: This trip I bought them and never put them because there was really never any need. Even the muddiest day, I only got some on my pant bottom. I only wore my low gaiters the first day and after that, left them in the pack since there really wasn't a need for them on any of the hikes. But i would at least have low gaiters with you just incase you get a really wet and muddy area, you may need them.

Clothing

Under Armour Heat Gear Ss Tee

Under Armour's heat gear is "engineered with a microfiber blend featuring the signature moisture transport system. It is tight fitting, yet not restrictive in any way. There are no tags, so it's like there's nothing there - It becomes a part of you and it most definitely enhances your performance. I would not even think about competing without it.

For mountaineering, I wear a heat gear under shirt to wick away the sweat. Then on top, I wear a synthetic thicker shirt to absorb and quick dry. This worked really well this time. I don't think I'll go back to a thicker undershirt anymore. This combination works well in my humble opinion.

Under Armour Cold Gear 2.0 Leggings

The Cold Gear system is just like the Moisture Transport system except this takes the moisture from your body and spreads the heat to all parts of your upper body using an intricate pattern of weaving. It helps you to keep from getting too cold or too hot, leveling out your body temperature.

Mount Washington Notes: These worked well for me as well. I just wore 2 pair and was fine the whole trip up and down the mountain.

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 Mountaineering 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

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 (partly because I almost always wear a liner). No matter what brand you bring with you, make sure you have wool socks for the hike.

North Face Momentum Shirt

I needed a microfleece and this one was cheap and felt softer than a baby's a$$. Plus I really wanted a fleece that was a pullover rather than a full zip for a mid layer so that I could tuck it in.

This synthetic fabric wicks moisture away from the skin, dries quickly, and resists wrinkling, tearing, and unraveling—a must for the adventure traveler. A lightweight, high performance microfiber fleece with a luxurious finish, TKA microfleece provides lightweight warmth next to the skin or in a layering system. This 100% polyester fabric is engineered to be both durable and resistant to pilling. It offers warmth when wet, launders well and packs easily.

This is now one of my more favorite shirts. First, the material is breathable. Second, the shirt is warm. Third, the shirt is quick drying. And last, the half zip is highly functional.

5 Boro Bike Tour Notes: This is usually all you'll need on the five boro because it's usually spring like conditions. I like this one because it looks good no matter what you do to it.

Snowboarding Notes: This is my number 1 favorite Shirt for boarding. I now longer go on a snowboarding trip without it. It's warm, but has a half sip for hot days in the sun. It doesn't need ironing and doesn't get wrinkled so you can go right from the slopes to the bar and be good to go. It has thumb holes that make it easy to layer and not get you're sleeves all bunched up. Perfect shirt.

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!

EMS Techwick Zip Mock Shirt

This is a lightweight synthetic shirt that is highly breathable and quick drying. It wicks moisture away from the body.

Pros: Highly breathable, wicks great, breathable, soft.

Cons: Snags very easily.

La Malinche Notes: Malinche got warm and a lightweight t shirt was all I really needed for a good portion of the climb.

Accessories

Dermatone Lip Balm with biner

I really like this balm. Its very much like "Unpetroleum" that i took on Alaska trip and loved.

Grand Canyon Notes: Do not forget to bring lip balm on this trip. You will regret it if you do.

Mt Rainier Notes: If you have never been on a glacier in the middle of the summer, you can't really understand how important it is to have lip balm. I buy these 6 at a time every time I go to the camping store. I avoid chapped lips at ALL costs.

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.

Jetboil PCS

Jetboil PCS – the original Jetboil – has sparked a revolution in outdoor cooking. Boiling two cups in two minutes at 75-80% efficiency, the PCS is twice as fast and uses half as much fuel as conventional stoves. The PCS boils up to 50 cups (12 Liters) of water from only one Jetpower isobutane/propane micro-canister. Such outstanding performance results from the patent-pending FluxRing™ heat exchanger, which captures and focuses the burner’s heat.

Jetboil Notes: I love this thing for backcountry camping because its self contained and easy to set up and put away. And I don't have to deal with any fuel issues. Just hook up the taknk and get to boiling.

Mt Marcy Notes: This is great for winter camping. Easy to set up and compact.

Camera and Other Toys! :-)

Canon Powershot SD 630

Film used to be superior to digital when it comes to pictures. Recently, digital has caught up and in some cases even possibly surpassed film in terms of quality.

Why I bought it: I chose this camera for a couple of reasons. First, it is a 10 megapixel camera. Second, it shoots in RAW format so I have ultimate flexibility in manipulating the photos in Lightroom, Photoshop or any other photo software. Third, the camera is very light so I can carry it in my chest pocket on the top of a glacier.

The only drawback to this camera is that it doesn't have a hot shoe to connect a flash. However, since i bought this for small size to carry in a pocket, that's not really a requirement.

Food

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.

Backpackers Pantry Freeze Dried Meals

There are a number of freeze dried meals on the market. These are by far my favorite. Specifically, the Chicken Cashew Curry- Oh My God is that thing good.

Tip: any of the meals with rice, the key is to not over hydrate, and then as soon as you pour in the hot water, trap as much air as possible in the package and roll it tight. This will basically create a pressure cooker and steam the rice.

Larabar Fruit Bars

Fruit bars are my favorite food. But these are fruit bars to the next level. They are gluten free, soy free, vegan, etc, etc. I don't go anywhere without them.

Pure Protein Bars Chocolate Deluxe

This is the best tasting protein bar on the market in my opinion. I always bring protien bars on my trips because it's very difficult to keep your protein levels up on trips. Most camping geared dehydrated foods are really low in protein and high in carbs, so i always bring some protein bars to supplement my dehydrated meals.

"I know a lot of people that used to ski, but I don't know anyone who used to snowboard."
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