"Time spent climbing mountains will not be deducted from your life." - Ray Smutek
Mountain climbing is an equipment intensive activity. Having good equipment in the mountains increases safety and your comfort level and therefore your chance of having a successful climb. Alpine Ascents does not sell equipment nor do we receive any outside incentive to recommend a particular brand name over another. Our recommendations are based on quality and performance with your best interest in mind.
People new to the sport often find gear purchasing a daunting chore. We recommend you examine our gear list closely to assist in your purchasing decisions and consider renting gear whenever possible. Begin preparing for your trip as far in advance as possible so that you may find sale items. As always we highly recommend consulting our staff of experts prior to making major equipment purchases.Gear Lists
The gear list Alpine Ascents International provides to our climbers reflects years of experience and careful deliberation. Our lists have been developed and refined by our guide staff and people like you who spend time in the mountains using and testing equipment. We make every effort to keep our gear lists accurate and up to date reflecting the finest gear options available.
Our gear lists are specific and tailored to each trip and course and our climbers are expected to bring every item on the list. We have found that by being well-equipped on climbs and expeditions our climbers are able to succeed in conditions that force other teams back. No matter which trip you are considering you can trust the gear list has been carefully thought out to every last detail. Please note that the gear lists generally reflect and worst weather scenarios for a particular location, and some items may not be used on your climb/course.Suggested Brand List vs. Gear List
The Suggested Brands List shows up-to-date retail purchase suggestions for items on the gear list and is applicable for use with all gear lists. Other retail options do exist beyond the items on the Suggested Brand List as long as they are of equal quality. Please be sure to consult your gear list for items that are required for your specific climb.
All of our students and climbers undergo a thorough gear check prior to departure for the mountains. We perform these gear checks to ensure all necessary gear is brought along and to serve as a packing double check. A single piece of missing equipment can prevent you from participating in a course or climb.
How do the various clothing systems work? What layers will I need for my trip?
There are Four basic layers you will need on Most of our trips, including our Mount Rainier programs. They are illustrated below: (click on photo for larger image)
Will I be sharing a tent?
Yes. On climbs where Alpine Ascents supplies tents you will generally share a 3-person tent with one other person. On school courses you may choose to bring your own tent or rent one. In the interest of saving weight we always recommend you share a tent.
Is there some place I can store personal items while I am on the mountain?
This varies from program to program. For many of our international climbs storage is available at the hotels we use. For our mountaineering school programs, bags may be stored at our office while you are on the mountain.
Will I really need that piece of equipment?
Our gear lists are comprehensive. The equipment on the list will prepare you for a wide range of weather and climbing conditions, some of which we hope you won't have to experience.
Do airlines allow camping stoves?
This policy may vary with each airline. Some airlines allow stoves to be checked provided the pump and stove are clean and have no fuel residue or odor. Travel with stoves is at your own risk. They will not allow fuel containers or liquids of any kind. We provide fuel and fuel bottles for all of our programs.
How do I fit all this gear into my pack?
If you follow our gear recommendations closely, and pack your pack well, you should be able to get all your equipment in with very little hanging on the outside. Once you master the art of packing you can always find more room for more stuff. "If you're not sweating, you're not packing" - Neil McCarthy
Do I really need two sleeping pads?
Yes, to have the best night's sleep possible we recommend two sleeping pads.� The closed cell foam pad provides a higher degree of insulation while the air inflated pad provides comfort.� This is extremely important when sleeping on snow.� Please note that lighter weight air inflated pads provide less comfort due to their thin construction.
Can I substitute my ski mitts for double mitts?
In most cases no.� A double mitt is constructed mainly of two components: an outer shell which is a waterproof breathable shell material and a removable fleece or insulated synthetic material.� The removable liner is unique to mountaineering mitts and is extremely important allowing the liner to be removed to dry.
Do my pants need to be full side zip?
In most cases yes.� A three quarter zip can work in some situations but a full side zip is easiest to manage.� It is important because it makes the process of putting on and removing your pants easier when you have boots and crampons on and are roped up.� It also allows you to manage your temperature by allowing you vent the pant.