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kyperman


Dec 27, 2006, 9:32 PM
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Overwhelmed by choices for gear and what I really need.
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This is a follow up to a question I just posted. The recommended gear list for climbing Baker or Rainer is HUGE...I don't have that kind of money right now, yet I want to be safe and I don't want to die. I will be using a guide service and you can rent from them. I do however want some to buy some basics like boots, coats, pants, etc. (the thought of wearing someone elses pants freaks me out). How the heck do know what I really need to start and what is not nessessary.


iceisnice


Dec 27, 2006, 9:42 PM
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put the list on here and we can disect it. lots of things can be done without or imporvised. the "ten essentials" is bullshit.


kyperman


Dec 27, 2006, 9:54 PM
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Ok, here is the list I have. Please break this down for me!!

Backpack...I understand what it for and what it does, but do I need to spend 500 bucks? What do you all use?

Sleeping bag, again self explanatory...just wondered what is overkill and what would be good.

Ice Axe...I am buying a Black Diamond

Crampons, going to buy some Sabertooths

Ski poles

Neck Gaiter

Glacier glasses or goggles?

Headlamp

Gloves: This is where I start to get confused? They recommend like 3 layers of gloves. And they want to sell me 300 bucks worth of gloves here. Are there cheaper ones out there that work just as well?

Upper Body:

Base layer

Insulating layers..what is meant by a soft shell?

Shell Jacket, what is meant by this.

Insulated Parka...can I use my current Colombia three in one coat for this? Or do I need a moon suit?

Lower body:

Base layer

Insulating layer

Shell Pant

Boots:

They recommend double plastic...

Gaiters.


shimanilami


Dec 27, 2006, 11:01 PM
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Re: [kyperman] Overwhelmed by choices for gear and what I really need. [In reply to]
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A bit more information might help us to respond:

When (i.e. what time of year) will you be climbing?

Do you plan on making mountaineering a habit? Or is this a one time deal?

What can you rent? What can't you rent?


altelis


Dec 27, 2006, 11:18 PM
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Backpack...I understand what it for and what it does, but do I need to spend 500 bucks? What do you all use?
***don't cheap out on a backpack!!!! you'll body will kill you---if you have to carry more than 30 lbs for more than a few hrs you will hate life----i instruct so i need to carry about 200 times what my clients bring, so you don't want my bag (a 8,000 cu inch pack)

Sleeping bag, again self explanatory...just wondered what is overkill and what would be good.
*****don't know what time of year you are going so couldn't tell you---but you should know whether you sleep hot or cold, and if you can deal with being cold and not sleeping well. i sleep VERY hot but i still hate not getting enough sleep and don't mind carrying some a little warmer and not chatter 1/2 asleep all night long

Ice Axe...I am buying a Black Diamond

Crampons, going to buy some Sabertooths

Ski poles
**** some people swear by them. me, unless i'm skiing, i say pffft----unless you are crossing a MAJOR (like alaska in spring time scale) river, and then i just carrry one cheap ass dented up non-adjustable ski pole

Neck Gaiter
****do you get cold easily? if not, don't bother, your parka should cover you neck. done mt washington when its -20 w/o wind chill and was fine without one.

Glacier glasses or goggles?
*****again, depends on time of year. summer, your fine with glacier glasses (or really just a very good pair of sunglasses that covers your whole face. if you look straight forward and see nothing but the TINIEST bit of light around the egde of your peripheral vision they are fine). but winter, if the wind picks up you'll want goggles.

Headlamp
****no branier, you're going to summit on an alpine start, no? you need to see. you can get away with cheaper here, just make sure its reliable. i like the bd lights alot. they waited longer to get in the game but pretty much removed all previous problems from other manufacturers----just don't get the ion. i have one, love it for cooking and reading, but not moving.

Gloves: This is where I start to get confused? They recommend like 3 layers of gloves. And they want to sell me 300 bucks worth of gloves here. Are there cheaper ones out there that work just as well?
*****if you are planning on just one or two shorter trips, you can get away with two layers, an insulating and a shell layer. it is nice to have a 2nd insulating for when the 1st is soaked (either in sweat or water from snow/ice/rain) when your fingers are numb and you can't tie your butterfly not, or open your nalgene you will be hating life and face serious probs like frostbite....at higher elevations you won't warm your extremeties as well...

Upper Body:

Base layer

Insulating layers..what is meant by a soft shell?
****a soft shell is a treated synthetic fabric that insulates and helps to repell water and wind, but is not water or wind proof

Shell Jacket, what is meant by this.
***a complete wind and water barrier, eg gore-tex

Insulated Parka...can I use my current Colombia three in one coat for this? Or do I need a moon suit?
****again, when are you going? winter, moon suit. summer, pretty damn close to a moon suit. and no, your current colombia three in one coat won't do, mainly just because it is WAY TOO DAMN HEAVY. GO DOWN FOR THIS!!!!

Lower body:

Base layer

Insulating layer

Shell Pant

Boots:

They recommend double plastic...
****depends on what you want to do in the future. more multi day, less technical mountaineering stuff, w/o a doubt go dbl plastic. more one or at most 2 day mtneering ascents, and more technical ice climbing go with leather boots.


Gaiters
***get winter mtneering gaiters here that come up to your knee, no ankle biting gaiters or nylon crappers. your feet/legs get wet and full of snow you ain't gonna be happy.


hope this helps. again, we really need to know what time of year and what you want to do afterwards to be able to help you...


andypro


Dec 27, 2006, 11:22 PM
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The big thing to remember here is the lighter the weight your carrying, the better time you'll have. The problem with that is the lighter your gear is, the more it costs.

You can carry less gear (cheaper, but not always possible) or carry lighter gear (read $$$).

As for your specific list:

You need a backpack, but you dont need to spend $500 bucks. The lighter it is, the more it will cost, usually. Check out CiloGear. Nice packs at nice prices, and nice and light(ish).

Sleeping bag: Dependant on when your going. Winter: Theres no way around needing a big bag (especially if your asking these questions!). Dont take offense at that last part...it's just the truth. Summer, obviously a lighter bag. Again you dont have to spend 500 bucks, but the less the weight, the more the cost. The warmer the bag, the more the cost. etc. etc. etc.


Axe: If your going for the raven (which I'm assuming by the BD comment) go for the pro. it may be "only" 3 oz lighter, but it will make a difference over a long period of time. It's more money, but remember, the lighter you go, the more "fun" youll have.


Goggles or glasses? Both. You really need the sunglass effect, but wearing goggles all the time really sucks. When the weather goes downhill, though, glasses jsut wont cut it. Make sure the glasses are dark, and fully UV blocking. For the goggles, go for a clear or amber lense. You can usually wear your sunglasses under the goggles, but you dont want to need to change lenses int he dark (if even possible).


Clothes...well..this is very personally dependant, and also depends greatly on time of year. If your generally a warm person, you might be able to get away with less. You MUST layer. There will be times when you want to strip down ot next to nothing, and others when you want to be as bundled as possible. You dont need to spend a fortune, but this is usually the most expensive part of mountain/winter climbing that alot of people dont realize. Its also a palce where you really dont want to skimp. These clothes ARE YOUR LIFE. I'll leave specific recommendations to others.

Gloves: They're gonna get wet, no matter what the literature says and no matter how much you spend. It's inevitable. These are also pretty personal. I prefer mittens, others prefer gloves. My "system" is actually a liner glove, then the mittens. This allows me to pull my hand out without worrying about getting nipped, and also helps to feel more comfortable.

Like clothing, youll want to have options with your handwear. being able to layer, and change up depending on need, is a good thing.

--Andy P


kyperman


Dec 27, 2006, 11:30 PM
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I am sorry guys. I will be going in the summer. I do tend to sleep warm and I am sorry for asking so many dumb questions.

I would like to think that this will not be a one time thing, but maybe renting a lot of this stuff is a good idea until I know if it's something I really want to do again.


Partner kimgraves


Dec 27, 2006, 11:42 PM
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He, He... let me guess. You just turned 45 or 50. No worries mate, me too.

Pack. Save your 500 clams. CiloGear has V1 60L packs on sale for $100. They've gone to the top of Everest, so they must be good. V2 is coming in 4ish weeks and is $200. Or the Spectra version is only $350. Do a search for my review of the V1 60L.

Boots: If you can get a good fit in rentals, go with that. It's hard to find boots. It takes work. A lot of work. I've been looking for two years and still haven't landed a pair.

Sleeping bag: there are two schools of thought. Use a urber warm bag, or use a less warm bag and wear all your insulation to bed with you - you're carrying it anyway. Down or synthetic. If down gets wet it's useless so it requires a lot of care. Synthetic stays warm and so is idiot proof. Are you an idiot? I am.

Clothing systems are complicated and ever changing. The state of the art at the moment is to wear softshells and personally they work for me (As Twight says, "if it's raining, I'm going down"). Personally, my rule is NO, NADA, Fa Get about it, natural materials in climbing situations. No, cotton, wool. down for me. If its wet (it's *always wet because you perspire) I have no worries because nothing I'm carrying will absorb water. It's dry (and therefore warm) by definition.

Read:

Secrets of Warmth
Extreem Alpinism

for all the skinny. Then read the sources they point to and the sources they point too. It takes several hundred hours to get up to speed on all this, then 5 hours a week after, and there is always something you don't know. A friend will tell you "oh that's been out for two years. Duh!."

For the latest and greatest thinking on these issues, go to the Patagonia site and watch Steve House's video.

Oh, and in your spare time get in shape or take the blue pill (or is it the red).


Welcome!

Best, Kim


(This post was edited by kimgraves on Dec 29, 2006, 1:43 AM)


builttospill


Dec 28, 2006, 10:44 AM
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just one quick comment....I personally like ski poles a lot, especially on slogs....I move quicker with them. But I buy mine for $3 a pair at the local thrift shop (I'm in SLC so there are plenty of skis for sale). I beat the hell out of them and can't afford expensive ones. There's no difference in weight really either, so it's worth it to save your money.


crackers


Dec 29, 2006, 5:31 PM
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cilogear packs will be here in 15 days or so.

They're getting boxed up next week, so...I'll have the new website up by the middle of next week and I will be doing pre-orders then. Check out blog.cilogear.biz for updates on that...

Sly


ihategrigris


Dec 29, 2006, 6:27 PM
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I will be shopping at:

Walmart - Coleman stuff, car camping stuff, snacks.
MEC - Pretty much all my outdoor gear comes from here. Will continue to do so in the foreseeable future.
BD - They have the best stuff! I'm deffinatly picking up more camalots as well as a bunch of aid stuff from them.
Misty Mountain - Just got a harness from them, and I'm very happy with it!


builttospill


Dec 29, 2006, 11:22 PM
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ice axe: you can find them cheap on eBay. It's hard to break an ice axe.....mine has been abused and it still functions fine. Why spend a ton of money? I'm not sure how much mine weighs though.

neck gaiter: never needed one and I doubt you will in the summer on rainier.

headlamp: should be about $40 new. I've had the BD Spot and the PEtzl Tikka and like both. I don't like the separate battery packs that go on your hip or whatever, and the BD Spot is tiny and still bright enough to slog in the dark. I've soloed WI3 ice at night with it and was just fine.

Gloves: Can't imagine spending THAT much for gloves. Liner gloves are liner gloves....I get mine for $7. This is personal preference though. When I go ice climbing I take 4 pairs of gloves. On a trip like Rainier I would probably take 3.....two sets of liners and a big heavy mitten. You're not going to be doing anytihng other than holding your ice axe or ski poles, so dexterity doesn't matter.

Insulated Parka: I'd imagine you'll be fine with the columbia shell.....I still use mine for winter climbs in utah. I removed the fleece though, so that it's easier to add and remove base layers if I'm too warm.....sometimes I end up with a t-shirt and then my shell if it's just snowing lightly and I'm hot. But that should be fine as far as I'm concerned.

I also don't own a softshell and have never felt the need to own one.

Gaiters are pretty standard, you'll spend $30-50 for them new. I like OR Crocs, others have other preferences, I don't see a lot of difference.

Boots: It would be hard swallowing spending $300 or more for double plastic boots if you never used them again. Double plastics are certainly the safer choice and that is probably why they recommend them. But I doubt they're necessary. No one I know who has climbed rainier in the summer has used them. The question you should ask yourself is this: what do you see yourself doing in the future? If you continue climbing, do you want to summit a lot of big mountains like rainier around the world (think mexico volcanoes, peruvian andes, denali and the himalayas)? Or do you want to climb ice, climb semi-technical winter routes in colorado/california/wherever, and get on summer alpine routes in the cascades? If your answer is the first, might as well get the double plastics now. If the second, I'd go with an insulated leather boot.

Of course, you could rent them until you know whether you like climbing, because that's a big investment that you will never use again if you hate it. It's much easier to sell a lightly used sleeping bag that you don't need than a lightly used pair of boots.


kane_schutzman


Dec 31, 2006, 6:56 PM
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I am in the same position as you really. Slowly starting to buy gear...anyways, what size pack would I be safe with on Rainier? Would anyone here comment on the Naos 55? Also, how long on average is it from base to the top? Thanks!


graniteboy


Jan 3, 2007, 12:45 AM
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About that need to spend abunch o money on a fancy headlamp: although a good long beam like what you get from some of the good petzls is handy if you're routefinding at night on technical terrain, I doubt very seriously that you'll find yourself in those shoes for a few more years....certainly not while on a guided run up raineer....and the ray-o-vac company has a LED good one that you can pick up damn near anywhere for under 15$..... they're not nearly as prestigious as a Tikka or whatever this week's "hot new" LED headlamp is, but then again, pay-o-vac has been making flashlights for 30 or 50 years longer than the petzl company has existed....In other words, the little 15$ headlamps do the trick. But don't expect to pick up any climbing groupies while wearing something so GAUCHE as a rayovac on your head.


kman


Jan 4, 2007, 1:44 AM
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In reply to:
Walmart - Coleman stuff, car camping stuff

For mountaineering??


graniteboy


Jan 4, 2007, 10:47 PM
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Nah...not much at walmart that you'd want on a climb...except that they sell the aforementioned Rayovac headlamp, which you can get just about anywhere.
As fore all the rest that crap, get your axe and crampons on ebay, go to the REI garage sales to get stuff like goretex outers, pick up a sleeping bag online at the campmor close-outs, etc... but DONT skimp on footwear. first, google "frostbitten toes" on google images, then get yourself some good boots. You might find some used ones that work fine...look around...it's not denali or vinson you're doing after all....but DON'T buy crappy boots. And make sure you fit that boot well. rmember that as you get to higher altitudes, your foot swells a bit, making it a half size larger (at 14K) or more (as you head to 20K or above).

As for gloves, you'll want some thin liners, some insulating layer gloves, and some shells. On something as low key as raineer in the summer you can get away with gloves. For colder pursuits, you'll be buying yourself some pricey mittens as well. Again, check campmor bargain bin, ebay, etc.

But the most important piece of gear you will ever own is your judgement, relative to your experience. Sometimes that piece of gear is very very expensive. but you can't actually buy it. Good luck, kid.


kyperman


Jan 5, 2007, 2:21 AM
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Thanks to all of you for your input. I am so geeked about this trip to Rainier. I am SOOO much a newbie, but everyone has to start somewhere. I have backpacked on three continents (that sounds so cool!!) But have not tackled a glaciated mountian yet. I do hope this is the start of something I really enjoy. I think I got hooked after reading "Into thin Air".

I just purchased a 40L North Face backpack and a +5 degree sleeping bag. The bag weighs 3.9 lbs (the brand name slips me right now). So I am on my way...

I hate living in Michigan, no mountains here..we have lots of lakes, but no high ground.

Again, thanks all, keep the ideas and suggestions coming, I love it!!


kixx


Jan 5, 2007, 4:45 PM
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Check out PlanetFear.com for an article on staying warm. I can't find it right now but it has been referenced before on this forum.

As a two time vet of Raineir and dozons of winter experiences on Mt. Washington I can tell you what I did wrong wtih gear.

Did not use plastic boots - my leathers were saturated on the approach to Muir and then froze every day after that. You can take the liner out of your plastics and sleep with them to dry them. Also had prblems keeping a crampon on - this is a big deal.

Used a foam sleeping pad - the underside of your sleeping bag is compressed while you lay in it on the snow so all your warmth comes from your pad, get an inflatable.

Sunglasses did not have full UV protection - the darkness of my glasses caused my pupils to dialate and let in more UV rays, causing a very dangerous and disturbing sunblindness. Switched to my goggles in time before this became very severe.

Did not protect skin from sunburn - Sun reflected from the snow on aproach to miur burned my hands arms and face terrribly. Also burned under the nose, ears, and lips. Made the next few days really uncomfortable.

Light Polartech gloves with waterproof (breathable) mittens is a great combo. The polartech dries in the bag overnoght so there is no need for a second pair.

I like a thick wool shirt and long underwear over my poly base layer. It stays warm when wet, dries fast (if over poly) and doesn't stink after day 4 or 5. They are expesive from Ice Breakers or Patagonia, cheaper from Duofold. Worth the investment since they last so well - I wear them working on the house, ski and snow shoeing, rock climbing, cold weather golfing, and anything else in the fall and winter.


svilnit


Jan 5, 2007, 5:00 PM
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I must say I'm shocked and impressed. A newbie asks for help and gets it, no flames no war. That's great. I know NOTHING about mountaineering and I found the responses interesting. Thanks everybody! If this were the old days there would be trophies all around Wink


kyperman


Jan 5, 2007, 5:18 PM
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I sense that everyone here senses what a cool guy I am and could not help but to help me!! I am very greatful and will take all this guidance to heart.


Partner kimgraves


Jan 5, 2007, 7:20 PM
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Re: [kixx] Overwhelmed by choices for gear and what I really need. [In reply to]
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kixx wrote:
Check out PlanetFear.com for an article on staying warm. I can't find it right now but it has been referenced before on this forum.

I like a thick wool shirt and long underwear over my poly base layer. It stays warm when wet, dries fast (if over poly) and doesn't stink after day 4 or 5.

Here's the link to the PlanetFear.com article about staying warm. Also check out Andy's website.

Let me just say that IT'S NOT ABOUT equipment. Gear is only tools in a toolbox. But you have to learn and develop the skills to use the tools for them to be of any use at all.

What's more, the more skills you learn the more you'll personalize your own tool box. For example, I wouldn't be caught dead in the wool shirt that kixx recommends. But that's not to say that it doesn't work for him. It just doesn't work for me. But then again it seems kixx has more experience then me so maybe you should listen to him.

So how do you acquire those skills? The skills of wilderness travel in winter and staying warm don't have to be learned on the slopes of Rainer. Even in the land of flat you can learn those skills. Just do some winter camping/backpacking. Even an overnight will teach you a lot. And six overnights spread out over a season will teach you a whole lot more. Be advised that it takes time to acquire these skills and you might find that you don't like it. Summer backpacking is A LOT more pleasant than sleeping out in the cold. But winter has it's own beauty if you have enough skills to be able to see it and not just be cold.

Oh - a 40L pack isn't big enough for Rainier unless you're VERY experienced and doing it in a push. Or, at least it's not big enough for me. Did you check out the 60L sale from CiloGear?

Best, Kim


(This post was edited by kimgraves on Jan 5, 2007, 7:33 PM)


graniteboy


Jan 5, 2007, 8:34 PM
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In Absolute agreement about the difference between owning tools and knowing how to use them/having experience.

And yeah, unless you know what the hell you're doing, you'll probably want a slightly bigger pack than 40L, but much of that depends on how compressible your sleeping bag and bivy sak are. I can get 5 very minimalist days out of a 40L pack, but I don't think most folks would want to suffer that much or would have the background necessary to play the game that way. Go for something in the 3200 cubic inch range. Like the wild things andinista, or the closest thing to that you can afford. If you're looking to stay in this alpinism game, that pack can't be beat. End of subject.


kane_schutzman


Jan 5, 2007, 8:44 PM
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Re: [graniteboy] Overwhelmed by choices for gear and what I really need. [In reply to]
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I was thinking the 40L Pack would be way too small. I checked on silo gear packs awhile back when the sell was going on, but they were out....Thanks for posting that!!


kane_schutzman


Jan 5, 2007, 8:45 PM
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Re: [kane_schutzman] Overwhelmed by choices for gear and what I really need. [In reply to]
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Now that I think about it, for you the 40 might work since you will always be with 2 others, just organize..and maybe share things to save space


shimanilami


Jan 5, 2007, 8:52 PM
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Re: [kyperman] Overwhelmed by choices for gear and what I really need. [In reply to]
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kyperman wrote:
I sense that everyone here senses what a cool guy I am ....

Let's not go overboard here.

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