I’ve been using the ‘All Season’ Sealskinz Gloves for five months now as my primary set of technical mountaineering gloves and have been very impressed. Although not marketed as a mountaineering glove, I find they meet my needs well over a wide range of conditions and activities.
Over the past 18 months the New Zealand Alpine Team along with Macpac have been developing the ultimate alpine climbing pack. Light, robust and full of features specifically aimed at those who like to hike, climb or travel light and fast in an alpine environment. The pack comes in two sizes and two material options. Its been great to hear the feed back from other climbers around the world when they have seen the new packs. While loading the new Alpine Series Pursuit onto our glacie
I dislike living in tents as a rule. Whenever I do trips, I’ll avoid taking a tent at all costs if I can stay in a hut. The condensation, the lack of space, the extra organisation required to make the most of the minimal space, not to mention the weight all deter me from tenting; especially if there’s a hut nearby. Therefore prior to Alaska, the two things I was dreading the most was melting water for every drink or meal, and living in a tent for over a month.
I have been using the Rab 2 person bothy bag for 6 months now. This is the first bothy bag I have ever owned so do not have any good reference when comparing it to how other similar bags work. I can say however how I have found its performance in a variety of alpine situations and how it compares with a standard bivvy bag.
To be honest I was wondering just how long the lightweight material of the Macpac Summit Anorak would last as I thrashed it in Patagonia. I can confirm that I was suitably impressed with the durability and breathability of the 3 layer Event fabric, having forced it against granite rough enough to remove the skin from numerous places on my body. Even after a month of constant use and multiple pitches of chimney climbing the 3 layer Event fabric has held up well.
Mammut does not have a long history of alpine boot making. As such I was nervous about forking over the 450 euros necessary to purchase a pair of the Nordwand TL. What Mammut did have though was plenty of spare cash, and as such purchased Raichle another boot maker with a great reputation for high quality alpine footwear. Raichle had been making alpine boots for over 100 years. With this purchase Mammut almost overnight became a serious player in the alpine footwear market. The Mammut Nordwand Tl, claims to be the lightest, warmest boot in its class.
I always try to be light in the mountains, not least because I hate carrying a heavy pack, and I’m always keen to shave off a few grams. One really good way I’ve found to do this is to make sure you’re making use of the advances in Carabiner design, and that the ‘biners you chose are the best for your situation. I’ve been nerding out over the lightest ‘biners and draws since I started climbing, and thought I’d share my thoughts about some of the designs out there. It’s very possible to shave as much as half a kilo from your rack, even before you start slimming it down, just by making sure you chose the very best ‘biners for the job
Winter climbing is hard work. In general you are weighted down by extra clothing, heavy boots, deep snow and cold temperatures. In general the tendency is to carry to much. Everyone likes having a safety net around them too some degree. Climbing is a progression. Little by little you unlock parts of the puzzle and progress to the next stage. Clothing and climbing equipment seem to move at about the same speed.
I have been using the Petzl Nomic in both its original form and the new current model with its serrated blade under the griprest for the past three years. This axe has accompanied me on everything from classic snow faces in the Southern Alps to hard alpine ice and mixed in the Alps and Rockies. It has also been a solid performer on many new routes in the Balfour, Darrens, Alps and Remarkables. If I was going to own only one set of tools then the Petzl Nomic is the axe I would choose. It has one or two faults however overall I have not found a better performer.
Here is my idea of the perfect light alpine meal. This meal fits very well into one regular sized Jet Boil or 1L pot. I have found it very filling even after a very long day in the mountains. It is light, cheap and covers most of your dietary requirements. I find this meal as filling as two regular dehydrated meals.
Take one pack of your favourite instant noodles. 50g of dried potato flakes, 2 scoops of Raiseys Protein Soup and 25g of chopped nuts, 15-25g of grated parmesan cheese.