Gear – Alpine

For purchasing gear we recommend a number of online retailers:  V12 Outdoor and Joe Brown for rock climbing, and  Joe Brown  or Facewest for mountaineering gear.

For equipment hire & gear in the Alps – boots, crampons, ice axes etc we recommend Jean-Mi and colleagues at Sportech in Argentiere. In Chamonix, the best place to hire is Coquoz Sports on the or Snell Sport on the main street.

Clothing & personal gear for Alpine climbing

The key is to pack stuff that is light and versatile. Lots of thin layers are better than one or two thick heavy ones. Also light colours are best – if you wear black you will boil in the sun. On the mountain you want long sleeves.

Shell Jacket with hood. This can be quite light – eg Paclite but a good hood that goes over a helmet is essential.
Shell Pants with long/full length side zips. Again – light is better than big winter salopettes (they’ll be in the bag most of the time).
Fleeces (mostly thin and light)
Warm Jacket – something light and warm that stays in the bag mostly. Eg light down/primaloft jacket or down vest
Mountain Trousers. Softshell is good (eg Mountain Equipment G2), alternatively light quick dry trousers that you can add or subtract thermals
Shorts for hut walks/valley.
Long sleeve thermal (not black if possible!)
T-shirts for the valley

Wash stuff and Towel for the valley. For huts you just take a toothbrush.
Silk sheet sleeping bag liner for huts (needs to be silk – very light)
Headtorch – Light LED type is fine (eg Petzl Tikka)

Head: Balaclava and Warm hat and Sun hat, Neckerchief/Headband.
Eyes : Sunglasses and Ski goggles (for spare & bad weather)
Gaiters (short ones are fine in summer)
1 pair thin gloves (leather if poss) and 1 pair thick finger gloves

Sandals/tevas for the valley. There are hut shoes provided in the huts.
Trainers for hut walks / crag approaches. Light enough to be carried.

Rucksack should be around 40 Litres – if you need bigger you have too much stuff! Best design is slim single compartment with compression straps and a pocket in the lid. Remember you have to climb with it on!
Stiff mountaineering boots. B2 or B3. Not too heavy and clompy if possible. Good examples are La Sportiva Evo, Scarpa Jorasses, things like that. Well broken in and comfortable, roomy fit. Sometimes you need to carry boots – say if you wear trainers to walk to the hut, or climb in rock boots on an Alpine climb, so light boots are best for this.
Rock boots – for valley rock climbing on poor weather days, or maybe rock climbing up in the high mountains in good weather.

Trekking poles (collapsible / optional)
Platypus type thing* /Water bottle
*drinking bladders are good for hut walks but tend to freeze / leak/ get punctured easily so don’t rely on it as your only way of carrying water!

Climbing GearI can provide this stuff, but bring your own if you have it.
Harness (rock / mountain – ie one you can get on and off over crampons & boots)
3 Screwgate Krabs, 2 Long slings,1 Belay Plate,3 Prusik loops ,1 Ice screw.
Ice axe (55cm ish for general mountaineering and/or 2 technical tools if you’re planning to ice climb)
Crampons (general purpose with front points – not to heavy)

Other Useful Stuff

Tea bags, Suncream, Lipsalve/ Blistese
Wipes, Bog roll, Ziplock bags, Duct tape
Alarm clock, Altimeter, Binos

Personal first aid kit (compede etc)
Camera,MP3 player, Mobile phone
Batteries/chargers for all the above

Passport & money
Insurance details
Travel details
Phone numbers
EHIC & foreign cash
Vehicle docs