Equipment List for Mount Washington Winter Mountaineering 2009

Packs

Climbing Gear

Outerwear

Footwear

Clothing

Accessories

Optional Field Gear

Food

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.

Osprey Aether 60 : Mid Sized Pack

The Aether 60 is the smaller sized pack in the Lightweight Backpacking pack seires with a recommended pack wieght of between 40 to 55 lbs. The Large size is 3800 cu. in. and has stretch packet on the front as well as double entry water bottle pockets.

Why I bought it: Hiking in the grand canyon with about 45 to 50 pounds in my GoLite Pinnacle 1 and 1/2 lb pack demonstrated to me the needs for a framestay for heavier loads. I wanted a pack that was about 4000 cu in for overnight AT hikes and other 2-5 day hikes but that was lightwieght compared to the Gregory Chaos I already have.

Good for: Multi day backpacking trips where you are carrying more that 20 or 25 pounds, but want a lightweight pack.

Not for: Expeditions where you have to carry lots of stuff in yourpack and its heavier than 55 or 60 pounds.

Grand Canyon Notes: This is now my go to pack for anything where there is a need to carry a mid to heavy weight pack. I love the suspension and the ventilated back area is perfect for the heat. The back stretch pocket is also great for quick acces to the stuff you need quickly.

Mount Washington Notes: This is the perfect sized pack for a day hike of Washington. It's big enough to fit lots of layers, which is what you need on that thing. It's also got lots of pockets, that makes it great to throw your crampons or food or other stuff that you need to stowe. And the thing is very lightweight, which is now my number one feature of any peice of gear I carry on a mountain.

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.

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!

Outerwear

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 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.

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.

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.

Savage Gear Supergaiters

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.

This trip I bought them and they worked very well. Kept out the snow.

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!

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.

BILT Water Bottle

After the BPA Nalgene debacle, I got rid of all my nalgenes with BPA and started looking for some non platic alternatives. Bilt bottles were the onesI liked the most. They have the standard Nalgene size mouth and a sturdy plastic clip top.

Pros: Made of bacteria resistant stainless steel, not BPA Plastic.

Cons: Threads don't match Nalgene (most water filters!), the steel is an excellent source of cunduction, so hot water will burn your hands and cold will freeze them.

Grand Canyon Notes: The one thing I did not like about these are that the threads do not match the standard Nalgene threads.

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.

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.

Kettle Valley Real Fruit Bar

Fruit bars are my favorite food. And you can get them pretty much anywhere.

I take these on any trip. once again, highly nutrient dense.

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.

Stretch Island Fuit Leather

Fruit bars are my favorite food. And you can get them pretty much anywhere.

I take these on any trip. once again, highly nutrient dense.

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