Equipment List for Mount Washington Winter Mountaineering 2008


Climbing Gear





Optional Field Gear


Bags and Packs

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.

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.

Climbing Gear

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.

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.

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.

EMS Glove Liners
A nice set of liners are a great thing to have. light enough to wear during the cool night but just engouh to keep your fingers warm.


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.

Seirus Combo Clava

A fleece balaclava with the patented neoprene face mask built in. This was recommended by the lady at EMS as one of the better balaclavas they have.

Combo Clava Notes: I LOVE THIS THING! It was perfect. Not too obtrusive. Flexible enough to pull down below your nose, or chin, but tight enough to go over them as well. Love it.

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.


Raichle Mt Hike GTX

So far I have only hiked a couple of times with these, but so far I really like them. The toe is angled so the uphills are less strenuous and the toe box is not too spacious so you don't get your toes banged too much on the descents. And they are blue. No ugly brown!

Canadian Rockies Notes: Even though I brought these for the trip, I never used them once. Everything was day hikes and there really weren't many technical areas that I needed serious boots for, so I chose to wear my Salomon Trail Runners for every hike. Another big factor was that the weather cooperated so wonderfully. Had it been wetter, I probably would have used them.

Even though I didn't use them, I would suggest at least taking them with you because you never know what the weather is going to be like and if it is very wet, you may want boots with you.

Scarpa Vegas

This is the third pair of Salomon Trail Runners I've bought and they sure won't be the last. The best part is the quick lace feature that keeps them tied tight and eliminates the need to tie your laces!

I absolutely love these things. I did all of my hikes in these. They are vented so your feet stay cool. They did well on the wet day (even better than some in boots).

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.


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.

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.

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!


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.


It really doesn't matter which moleskin you choose. Personally, I like the thin moleskin, especially since I start applying it as soon as i feel even a hotsot. I never wait until i develop a blister so i rarely ever develop one. But i use moleskin almost every day of a hiking trip and remove it at night to air out the hot spot.

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.

Camera and Other Toys! :-)

Canon Powershot SD 630

Film is just superior to digital when it comes to pictures..being printed! But Im not really printing them anymore! I'm throwing them up on the website.

So this is the camera I usually carry with me. It's a 6 mega pixel handheld with a limited zoom and

Why I bought it: I bought this camera because I got tired of carrying about a purse with a bunch of camera stuff. I realized that I was all about the experience of the adventure, and not the documentation of it. The photography was only secondary to the experience, so I pared down to just what I needed to take a good photo in most situations. The decision wsa the best I've made so far. A major lesson learned.


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.

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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