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Monday, April 2, 2012


Climbing Equipment

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). No rubberized grips-they are heavy and do not plunge well into the snow. Make sure that you have a leash that is designed for use on a glacier axe.

Crampons. With flat rather than “cookie cutter” frame rails. A combination heel bail/toe strap is a better system than a heel and toe bail system. Anti-balling plates are useful accessorie but not required.

Climbing Helmet. Mountaineering specific climbing helmet that is lightweight and adjustable.

20 ft 6mm acessory cord. Used for pack leash and in conjunction with your ascender.

Ascender (1). Right or Left it does not matter which one you choose.

Belay/Rappel Device. Tube style only. Auto locking devices are too heavy. 

Sewn Runners/ Webbing. Two double length sewn runners and one single. Sewn runners are less bulky but cost more. Tied tubular 9/16 webbing can substitute. Approximate lengths for slings:Single Length 5.5ft and a Double is 9.5ft long.

Alpine Climbing Harness. Harness should fit over all clothing, have gear loops, adjustable leg loops and be reasonably comfortable to hang suspended in. Make sure you can get into the harness without having to step through any part of it.

Carabiners. 2 Large Pear or D-shaped locking. 2 Non locking carabiners

Adjustable 3 section Ski/Trekking poles. Optional Snow baskets required. Helpful for balance when carrying heavy pack or for knee problems.


Light Hiking boots or Trekking shoes. High comfort, good support. You will spend many days walking in these shoes. Make sure there is ample toe room.

Double plastic climbing boots. Good quality plastic shells with inner boots Avoid tight fit with heavy socks. Comfort is key in buying plastic boots. Spend a little extra time walking around the store or take them home and wear them around your house to make sure the fit is right. A little big is always better than a little small.

Gaiters. Please make sure your gaiters fit around the plastic boot without being to tight around the boot.

Wool/Synthetic Socks. 4 pair heavyweight socks (wool is warmer) to be worn over the liner socks. When layering socks, check fit over feet and inside boots. It is very important to buy new socks regularly 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 helps the outer sock last longer before needing to be changed. They should fit well with your heavyweight socks. 

Technical Clothing

Lightweight Long Underwear. 2 pair tops & bottoms, Capilene, other synthetic or wool. No Cotton. Lightweight is preferable as it is more versatile (worn single layer in warmer conditions and double layer for colder). Zip-T-neck tops allow more ventilation options. One white top for intense sunny days on the glacier and one dark top for faster drying gives the most versatility.

Heavyweight Long Underwear top. For extra warmth.

Soft Shell Pants. These highly breathable, water repellant, 4-way stretch, durable pants are worn when conditions are not severe enough to warrant the use of Hard Shell Pants or Insulated Synthetic Pants.

Synthetic/Soft Shell jacket. A full-zip version is easier to put on and has better ventilation than a pullover.

Insulated Synthetic Pants. Lightweight, 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). 

Hard Shell jacket w/ hood. We recommend a waterproof breathable shell material with full front zipper, uderarm zips, and no insulation. This outer layer protects against wind and rain.

Hard Shell Pants. Waterproof, breatheable. 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. 

Insulated Down Parka w/ hood. Needs to fit over all insulation layers but should not be too bulky or heavy. Outer shell must be windproof and waterproof. 


Lightweight synthetic/wool hat. Both the hat and the balaclava should be able to fit under the helmet. Hat should cover ears.

Balaclava or Buff. Look for a simple lightweight model. Buff preferred since it can be used to cover face to prevent sickness.

Baseball cap or other sun hat. One with a good visor to shade the nose and eyes. Synthetic is nice as it dries quickly.

Glacier glasses (w/ side covers or wrap around). Regular sunglasses are usually not sufficient. 100% UV, IR, high quality optical lenses designed for mountain use, must have side covers, retainer, 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 - good idea to have these with “photo-gray” or equivalent light-sensitive material so they can double as emergency sunglasses. If you wear glasses we recommend prescription glacier glasses (gray or amber).

Bandana. Used to shade your neck.


Lightweight Synthetic Liner Gloves. 1 Pair. To wear alone on very sunny days for hand protection or as a layering piece with your Shell mitts.

Soft Shell Gloves. 1 Pair. This glove is usually worn alone and during times when the shell mitts would be too warm. This glove can have a light shell exterior.

Expedition Shell Gloves w/ insulated removable liners. 1 pair. Provide the a degree of warmth without sacrificing dexterity, important while ascending fixed lines. A shell mitt can substitute for Expedition Shell Glove.

Personal Equipment

q Backpack: Alpine. A comfortable Alpine climbing pack with a carrying capacity of 2,100-2,450 cu. in. (35-40 liters). Keep it simple and light, avoid unnecessary zippers, etc which add weight.
q Sleeping Bag. High quality with hood to at least -10o. If you sleep cold bring a warmer bag. Goose down preferred over synthetic for bulk & weight. If well-cared-for, a down bag will last much longer than a synthetic bag. It should be roomy enough for comfortable sleeping but snug enough for efficient heat retention.

q Compression stuff sack. Necessary to reduce volume of sleeping bag.
q Self Inflating pad. One 3/4 or full length pad. If you are over 6’ a long is recommended. Make sure to include a valve stem and patch repair kit.
q Headlamp. Bring spare bulb & batteries. No Halogen bulbs. They take more power and have a shorter life.
q Sunscreen. SPF 30 or better, 2 small tubes. Make sure that the sun screen is not older than 6 months. Sunscreen older than six months loses half of its SPF rating.
q Lipscreen. SPF 30, at least 2 sticks. Not older than 6 months.
q Water Bottles: 2.5 liters total capacity. Wide mouth bottles required. Sugg: Two 1liter bottles and one .5 liter. Water bag or bladder systems can be used on the trek.
q Hand/Foot Warmers. Optional Recommended if you easily get cold hands and feet 1-3 pairs.
q Toiletry bag. Toilet paper: Bring a small amount, it can be easy purchased in every village. Hand sanitizer: 1 large (8oz) and 1 small (2 oz.) bottles. Small bottle can be refilled from larger bottle. Toothbrush. Shower Kit (soap, shampoo, towel): Bring a quick dry travel towel for showering during the trek. Soap and shampoo can be purchased if you run out. Wet Wipes 1-2 per day. Keep kit small. Hand moisturizer.
q Pee Bottle. Optional, but very useful.
q Pee Funnel for women. Optional
q Trash Compactor bags (4). To line stuff sacks to keep gear dry. Trash Compactor bags made of a heavier plastic .
q Camera gear. Optional. We recommend a small digital cameras. Please do not bring large SLR cameras with extra lenses. Disposable cameras also work well.
q MP3 Player. Optional Flash memory only players since hard drive players do not work at high altitude (above 13,000ft). Chargers can be used at several lodges along the way.


Large duffle bag w/ travel lock. Used for transporting your gear.

Small duffle w/ travel lock. For storage of excess gear in Kathmandu.

Travel clothes. Include hiking shorts, quick drying synthetic pants and a small towel.

First Aid

Small personal first-aid kit. (Simple and Light) Aspirin (Extra Strength Excedrin works well), Antibiotic ointment, Moleskin, molefoam, waterproof first-aid tape, athletic tape, Band-Aids, personal prescriptions, etc. The guides will have extensive first-aid kits, so leave anything extra behind. Please 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. Acetazolamide (Diamox) 125 or 250mg tablets for altitude sickness. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) 200mg tablets for altitude headaches, sprains, aches, etc. Excedrin for headaches. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) 325mg tablets for stomach sensitivity.

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