This list is only a guide. While you are required to bring everything on this list, there are numerous options, brands, and versions of each piece of equipment, unless otherwise noted. Using our Current Suggested Brand List we encourage you to shop around, do research, use your experience and the listed features to find the best gear for you.
Ice Axe w/Leash. General mountaineering tool. Sizing is important: under 5’7” use a 60cm tool; 5’7”- 6’1” use a 65cm tool; over 6’1” use a 70cm tool. (Too short is preferable to too long). Make sure you have a leash that is designed for use on a glacier axe. Please no technical leashes.
Crampons. With “step in” bindings and flat rather than “cookie cutter” frame rails anti balling plates OK. Keep in mind that ice specific crampons are for technical ice climbing and are not recommended for glacier travel. Anti-balling plates (optional).
Alpine climbing harness. Harness should fit over all clothing, have gear loops, adjustable leg loops and be reasonably comfortable to hang in. Make sure you can get into the harness without having to step through any part of it.
Carabiners (3) Locking; (3) Regular. 2 Twist lock & 1 small screw gate locker; 3 standard ovals recommended.
Climbing helmet. Alpine climbing helmet with sizing adjustments. Check to make sure helmet fits securely while wearing warm hat and balaclava.
Ascender (1). One right or one left.
Prussiks. Or bring 40 feet of flexible 6mm accessory cord to make into prussiks.
Adjustable 3 Section Ski or Trekking poles. Optional but highly recommended. Helpful for non-snow covered ascents and descents if you have knee problems.
Light hiking boots or trekking shoes. For day hikes and trek to Base Camp. The trail to Base Camp is rocky and rough. Shoes that are light weight, high comfort, plenty of room in the toe bed, with good support are important.
Tennis shoes or low top shoes. For international travel and town days. Optional.
Camp Boots. Optional. Insulated boot for Base Camp.
Double Plastic Climbing Boots w/ altitude liners. Good quality plastic shells with inner boots. Avoid tight fit with heavy socks.
Fully Insulated Overboots. Not needed with Millet Everest or Olympus Mons Boots.
Gaiters. Please make sure your gaiters fit around the boot without being to tight around your leg. Gaiters should have cordura on the inside of the leg. No lightweight hiking gaiters. Not needed with One Sports or Olympus Mons.
Trekking Socks. 3 pair.
Wool or Synthetic Socks. 4 pair heavyweight wool or synthetic socks (wool is warmer) to be worn over the liner socks. When layering socks, check fit over feet and inside boots. Remember to keep one fresh, dry pair of socks available at all times. It is best to bring new socks as they lose their cushioning over time. Socks with padded shins are especially nice with plastic boots.
Liner Socks. 4 pair of smooth thin wool, nylon or Capilene to be worn next to the skin. This reduces the incidence of blisters and hot-spots and makes the outer sock last longer before needing to be changed. They should fit well with your heavyweight socks.
Vapor barrier socks. Optional. Helps reduce moisture buildup in your boots, also keeps your feet a little warmer.
Lightweight Long Underwear. 2-3 pair tops & bottoms, Capilene, other synthetic or wool. No Cotton. Lightweight is preferable as it is more versatile (worn single in warmer conditions and double layer for colder conditions.) Zip-T-neck tops allow more ventilation options. One set of white for intense sunny days on the glacier and one pair of dark for faster drying gives the most versatility.
Heavyweight Long Underwear. 1 pair. Expedition weight Capilene. (Alternative: a one-piece suit)
Lightweight Nylon Pants. 1 -2 pairs.
Short Sleeve Synthetic Shirt. 1-2 pairs.
Synthetic/Soft Shell Jacket. A full-zip version is easier to put on and has better ventilation than a pullover.
Insulated Synthetic Pants. Full separating side zippers (This is very important for ventilation. Full side zips also allow pants to be taken off without having to remove boots).
Down Pants. To fit over insulation layers. Outer shell must be windproof.
Expedition Down Parka. Fully Baffled, Expedition Weight, must have good hood.
Insulated Synthetic Jacket. Optional. Allows you to leave your down parka up higher on the mountain as we establish higher camps.
Hard Shell jacket w/ hood. We recommend a waterproof breathable shell material with full front zipper, underarm zips, and no insulation. This outer layer protects against wind and rain.
Hard Shell Pants. Waterproof, breathable. Full length side zippers preferred because it allows easy removal of pants, 7/8th zippers allowed but is more difficult to remove pants, no short lower leg zippers allowed.
Lightweight Synthetic gloves. 1 pair. Should fit comfortably inside mitts or gloves. Lighter capilene preferred.
Heavyweight Synthetic/Soft Shell gloves. 1 pair. Windstopper is helpful
Expedition Shell Gloves w/ insulated removable liners. 1 pair. For use lower on the mountain when expedition mitt is not needed.
Expedition Shell Mitts. 1 pair. Should be big enough so that synthetic gloves fit inside pile liners.
Hand warmers and Toe Warmers: Bring 3 sets of each. Toe Warmers are different than hand warmers because they are formulated to work in a lower oxygen environment, like the inside of a boot, they also burn out more quickly.
Headlamp. Bring plenty of spare bulbs & batteries. Halogen bulbs are not necessary.
Glacier glasses (w/ side covers or wrap around). 100% UV, IR, high quality optical lenses designed for mountain use, must have side covers, leashes, and a nose guard is particularly helpful. No more than 8% light transmission. If you wear contact lenses we recommend packing a spare pair of glasses. If you wear glasses we recommend prescription glacier glasses (gray or amber). Talk to your eye care professional to find out where prescription glacier glasses are available.
Baseball cap/sun hat. One with a good visor to shade the nose and eyes.
Ski Goggles, 1 pair. 100% UV & IR.
Balaclava. (1) Heavyweight, (1) Lightweight. Heavyweight must fit over lightweight
Warm synthetic/wool hat.
Bandanas (2). Used to shade your neck.
Neoprene face mask. Optional
Expedition Backpack. 3,500 - 4,000 cu. in. There are many great packs.
Trekking Backpack. 2,000 - 2,500 cu. in. (Optional)
Sleeping Bag. (Expedition quality rated to at least -40°F). Goose down preferred over synthetic for bulk & weight. If well-cared-for a down bag will last much longer than a synthetic bag. Your bag needs to be long enough that your feet are not pressing out the foot box which will make you colder. It should be roomy enough for comfortable sleeping but snug enough for efficient heat retention.
Sleeping Bag. (Expedition quality rated to at least -20°F). A second bag for Base Camp. This avoids the carrying of the Expedition Bag up and down the mountain after the higher camps are established.
Self Inflating pads(2). Two 3/4 or full length pads. One for use at basecamp and one for camps higher on the mountain. If you are over 6’ a long is recommended. Make sure to include a repair kit.
Closed-Cell foam pad. Full length closed cell is recommended, used while staying at camps higher than basecamp and to be used in combination with your self inflating pad.
Cooking Gear: Cup: 16oz. plastic insulated mug with snap-on lid (retains heat well and is spill-resistant in the tent). Some prefer a non-insulated mug for warming hands.
Spoon: Good quality tough plastic (lexan).
Bowl: Plastic Tupperware type with 2-3 cup capacity and lid.
Sunscreen. SPF 40 or better, 2 small tubes. Make sure that you have new sunscreen.
Lipscreen. SPF 20 or better, at least 2 sticks. Make sure your lipscreen is new.
Water Bottles: 2 to 3 Wide mouth bottles with minimum 1 Litre capacity per bottle. No water bag or bladder systems, they freeze or are hard to fill.
Water Bottle parkas for the big bottles.
Toiletry bag. Include toilet paper, hand sanitizer and small towel (as well as tooth brush, tooth paste etc.)
Pee Bottle (1 Liter). Large mouth, clearly marked water bottle for use in tent.
Pee Funnel (for women). It is a good idea to practice, practice, practice. For use in tent.
Camp Knife or Multi Tool. Medium sized. Keep the knife simple.
Thermos. 1 Liter capacity. Needs to be strong. Stainless Steel Vacuum bottle.
Trash Compactor bags (4). To line stuff sacks to keep gear dry & one large enough to line pack. At minimum 3 mil. thick.
Camera gear. Optional. We recommend a small digital point and shoot camera above BC. Simple and light. For more information, see recommendations on the FAQ page of our website. (www.AlpineAscents.com/faq.asp)
Compression Stuff Sacks. Especially for sleeping bags and clothing.
2 Large duffle bags w/ travel locks. Used for transporting your gear.
Base Camp Items. It is good to bring additional items which you have found to be useful on previous expeditions. For example: paperback books, playing cards,MP3 flash player, short-wave radio, game boys, musical instruments, ear plugs, lots of batteries, etc.
Travel Clothes. A set of clean clothes is nice to have to change into after the trip.
Small personal first-aid kit. (Simple and Light) Aspirin, Moleskin, molefoam, waterproof first-aid tape, athletic tape, Band-Aids, personal medications, etc. The guides will have extensive first-aid kits, so leave anything extra behind. Let your guide know about any medical issues before the climb.
Drugs/Medications/Prescriptions. Climbers should bring Mupirocin (Bactroban) cream, excellent topical antibiotic for scrapes and cuts. Cirprofloxin (Cipro) 500mg tablets for traveler’s diarrhea and for urinary tract infections. Loperamide (Lomotil) or Immodium for diarrhea. Azithromycin (Z-pak) 250mg tablets for non-gastrointestinal infections. Acetazolamide (Diamox) 125 or 250mg tablets for alltitude sickness. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) 200mg tablets for altitude headaches, sprains, aches, etc. Excedrin,Acetaminophen (Tylenol) 325mg tablets for stomach sensitivity.