Alpine Gear List
Below is the equipment list for the Alpine Discipline. This list is a recommendation only and is not intended to be prescriptive.
- Boots — A reasonably stiff leather boot is the best choice for climbing most peaks in the Rockies. For extensive short roping on steep, loose terrain and snow most guides prefer this type of boot. Boots must be crampon compatible.
- Technical Approach Shoes — For rock climbs of low difficulty, where snow will not be encountered, you may prefer to climb in this type of shoe. A relatively smooth sole, sticky rubber, closer fit and smearing flexibility may make rock climbing easier.
- Rock Shoes — For granite crack climbing and friction slabs.
- Gaiters — An ankle gaiter is often sufficient but in spring conditions a full gaiter will be necessary.
- Long Underwear Bottoms and Tops
- Climbing Pants — Light to medium weight synthetic pants, preferably with a hard and durable finish.
- Rain Pants — Look for something very light and compact. Rain is less of an issue in the Sierra or Rockies than the Cascades.
- Fleece Jacket — 100 weight Polartec is a good weight for this garment.
- Down Sweater/Jacket — Useful for the higher peaks and for bivouacs. Again, lightweight. An 8000 meter parka will be too much.
- Rain Parka with Hood — Gore-Tex or other water resistant and breathable material recommended. Invest in something very light and compact.
- Wind Shirt — (optional) Many climbers like to wear a light wind shirt.
- Gloves — Leather treated with a waterproof wax work best for rope handling and durability. Look in the hardware store for flexible ones with a 100 gram thinsulate lining.
- Shelled and Insulated Gloves — Light enough to wear while working with gear.
- Warm Hat
- Sun Hat
- Ice Axe — Lightweight and not too long is key. Leashes are generally not used on these.
- Ice Tools — Bring two tools, leashless are fine. A hammer is key for placing pitons.
- Crampons — Horizontal front points seem to be the preference these days for mixed and all alpine.
- Harness — Belay loop is necessary.
- Climbing Helmet
- Rope — One 60 meter single rope is sufficient for the climbs. Most guides prefer their ropes to be light, 9.3mm to 10mm for example.
- Haul/Rap Line — 6mm to 8mm with length same as lead line. An optional shorter length (30 meters) of single rope can be used for some climbs and practice sessions.
- 3 Ice Screws
- 1 Snow Picket
- Medium Sized Rack — For cracks up to 3”. Include 4–6 pitons, knife blade to baby angle. Cams from #2 Camalot down to purple TCU (for example) can be helpful and a single set of nuts. About 10–12 runners, mostly shoulder length. Quick-draws are less versatile.
- 3 or 4 locking carabiners designed for use with the Munter hitch.
- 2–3 double shoulder length runners.
- Cordelettes — Bring 2 or 3. Cordelettes are 5–6 meters of 6mm or 7mm pure nylon cord. Tech cords are not as helpful for rescue work and hitches.
- Extra rappel webbing and some aluminum or small steel rings.
- Plaquette Device — ATC Guide and Reverso are the most popular.
- Expedition Tent — You may wish to have your own tent if you are car camping.
- Bivy Sack & Emergency Shelter — Should accommodate 2 to 4 people (7’x7’ guide’s tarp that converts into a 2—person bivy sack can be ideal – Integral Designs makes one of the favorites). The Black Diamond Betamid Light is also an excellent choice or a very lightweight single wall tent.
- Sleeping Bag — Temps are usually in the 20s to teens at night. A 20–30 degree bag is usually sufficient. You may be climbing with all of your bivy gear so light is right.
- Sleeping Pad
- Stove — Participants often pair up on stoves.
- Cook Pots & Eating Utensils
- Water Bottles
- Water Purification — Tablets or iodine drops are simplest.
- Pack — A pack with a capacity of about 3000 to 4000 cubic inches should be adequate for the planned overnights.
- Head Lamp — With extra bulb and batteries.
- Pocket Knife/Tool
- Cell Phone — If you own or have access to one. Helpful for emergency communication.
- Compass — Should be equipped with a sighting mirror and adjustable declination.
- Altimeter — Indispensable navigation tool.
- Guidebooks and Maps — Please contact the course director for guidebook information and appropriate maps. You will have access to guidebooks during the course and photocopies can be made. Don’t buy the books if you are not going to be climbing there later.
- Waterproof Map Case — Large zip-lock bags will work
- Guide’s Notebook — About 4.5”x 7” with waterproof pages recommended. “Rite in the Rain” is preferred.
- Repair Kit — Stove repair kit, crampon adjustment tools, etc.
- Restop 2
- Medical Kit — Professional standard and small.
- Sun Glasses — 100% UV Protection
- Lip Protection
- Personal Toiletries