Apr 30, 2007 at 9:41 pm #1223041
I just thumbed through the different threads on the Mountaineering & Alpinism board and didn't find anything related to packs.
I'm trying to cut my base weight and the item I can cut the most weight would be my pack. I'm currently use a '99 Gregory Reality. Weight 5lb. 5oz. and 4,650c.i.
My outings will be summer and fall trips to the Sierra high country, climbing 14ers. This summer we have permits for Mt. Tyndal, Mt. Williamson, and Mt. Russell.
I used a Granite Gear Vapor Trail last summer on a 3 day, 2 night trip to Mt. Langley. Temps were pretty cool so gear was pretty bulky, but not necessarily heavy. The pack was too small. I had to off load too much stuff to my mate.
I'm considering the Osprey Aether 70 for a point of comparison. What lightweight packs are others using for alpine travel with small amounts of climbing gear (short rope, ax, light crampons)?Apr 30, 2007 at 10:18 pm #1387745
Check out cilogear.com. Great, super-versatile packs designed for climbing.Apr 30, 2007 at 10:22 pm #1387747
Brian, glad to hear someone else is considering this topic. My problem seems to be similar to yours, volume, and weight. My micropuff pants for example, are as big as my sleeping bag. I choose some of the lightest gear in the world which meets my performance requirements; namely survival at -20C and safe mountaineering; still, volume is a limitation.
I just bought the Granite Gear Nimbus Meridian as my alpine pack; 65L, about 1600grams(3.5 lbs). It can strip down to about 1200 grams for summiting by removing the waist belt and lid.
It is not a perfect alpine pack, but I can fit most everything for a 3 day trip inside, with an axe, one trekking pole, one snow anchor, snow shovel, crampons, helmet, and tent poles on the outside.
Good points of the pack are the panel loading, comfortable suspension, 6 compression straps, huge lid, adjustable frame, upgradable straps, and perfect lid straps for my helmet.
Bad points mainly come with the light weight, in durability. I wish they had reversed opposing buckle pairs male/female, so the straps could be more versitile.. for example, currently two opposing side buckles can not join across the front of the pack because they are both male or both female.
As soon as time permits I am going to upgrade the standard shoulder straps with wide ones, as my 3-day winter mountaineering load is 20+kg. (list at my profile)
Please post a mountaineering packing list and your new pack choice?
I am interested in cilogear packs, but he does not show the suspension for any of the packs. When buying over the internet, large detailed and well-lit pictures of all angles of the suspension would help judge their geometry, fit, and comfort. I can only guess the straps are the weak point of the pack?May 1, 2007 at 8:36 am #1387779
Are you planing to do done-in-a-day type trips, perhaps leaving from a hut or basecamp, or are you planning to do "unsupported" multiday climbs ?
Normally you can make due with a load hauling bag+summit bag.
The trade off between the speed to make it back to camp versus the penalty of lugging bivy gear is an important one.
Do you have logistical restrictions that affect the climbing style available to you?May 1, 2007 at 8:55 am #1387783
Steve, I quickly checked out CiloGear. Nice looking stuff but like Brett I wish they had more photos. I am going to do some more research on their stuff.
We seem to be in the same boat on several issues (e.g. lightweight climbing gear, LW alpine packs), with you being a few steps ahead of me.
My basic list of gear includes:
– Marmot Arroyo 35deg. bag (~1lb)
– Ridge Rest
– MH Kiva (6lbs. but we sleep 4 in there. 2lbs./person is not bad for a bomber tent)
– Pretty light Primus stove with small windscreen and piezo lighter
– Evernew .9l ti pot (painted black on the outside)
– Montrail CTC
– Patagucci Rain Shadow jacket
– Sierra Designs Peak Bagger rain pants
– MH down jacket
– Pear Izumi thermal tights
– Fingerless surplus wool gloves
– TNF windstopper fleece gloves
– Smartwool balaclava
– REI Sahara zip-off pants
– Smartwool LW short sleeve top
– Ice Breaker LW long sleeve top
– CAMP USA Tourax Ice Axe 50 cm (17oz., new from Steep & Cheap $63)
– BD Alpine Bod harness
– Considering either the Metolius or Beal rope you mentioned on another thread
– other climbing gear still in the works
– Crampons: Given the really dry winter I'm hoping to get away with a set of Climb High instep crampons. If reports come back of lots of ice I will look at some of the LW flexible crampons that work well with approach shoes.May 1, 2007 at 9:28 am #1387788
Don't forget a perrenial favorite of Alpinists—the Wild Things Andinista, I've used one for years. I confess that I'm also investigating the Cilogear Worksacks.
Crux AK57 ( I believe that Ryan Jordan had nice things to say about this pack, in the past).
Black Diamond Quantum in the 45 or 55L flavors. These can be stripped down real light for summiting.May 1, 2007 at 11:41 am #1387813
Responding to Robert but also a general statement about the style of "mountaineering" I will be doing. I quoted mountaineering because we are not doing really advanced stuff here. We will be taking the easiest way to the summit in every case, basically Class II and short sections of Class III. The rope and climbing gear will not be used for lead climbing. Also given our snow pack (or lack there of) I expect limited snow and/or this summer but will have more in future years. At this time all alpine usage will be in the Sierra.
Typical trips will include a full day hike into a basecamp, summit(s), hike out. Some trips will include one summit other will include more than one summit, which could be in one day or across several days. Trips will be limited to 3-5 days in length.
I know this will hardly constitute mountaineering to some, and maybe most, but it is a departure from strictly on trail backpacking I have done most of my life. My issue in finding a new pack is most lightweight and definitely most ultra lightweight packs are too small to hold the additional warm cloths for these higher altitude trips and limited climbing gear. Furthermore I am slightly concerned about pack material of LW and ULW packs when off trail on Sierra granite.
Hope this explanation helps.May 1, 2007 at 11:48 am #1387815
Wild Things looks nice, weight and capacity, but $360. Wow that is up there compared to the others.May 1, 2007 at 11:53 am #1387816
The Dyneema fabric reinforced ULA packs should be considered for your described style. They are very much up to Sierra granite and have used mine (the discontinued P1) on many an off-trail foray there. I consider their pack line to offer among the lightest "durable" packs on the market today. Even the Mesh pockets are surprisingly tough.
And much cheaper than the Andinista!May 1, 2007 at 6:26 pm #1387842
Ryan P. MurphyParticipant
It might be a little smaller than you're looking for but a friend of mine has been very happy with his cold cold world chaos. (www.coldcoldworldpacks.com) These packs are pretty popular for winter climbing in the northeast. Plus because the packs are made pretty much by two guys they'll do minor modifications for free. I have a valdez that they modified and they're very easy to deal with.May 1, 2007 at 6:49 pm #1387849
There is another ongoing thread on The G-Spot board about CiloGear packs. Graham has offered to post additional pictures of the pack.
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/xdpy/forum_thread/7271/index.htmlMay 2, 2007 at 1:54 am #1387875
Bryan, my trips sound a lot like yours, but I can only get away for a three day weekend at best. It might not be expeditionary, but it is mountaineering none the less.
I like the brevity of your list. I am struggling with which items I can exclude from mine; I keep coming up with 'none', yet I must reduce weight..
Can you sleep on snow with just a ridgerest for insulation? I carry a gound sheet, tent mat, evasote pad, and thin MB pad; about R3 total..
I leave in a few hours, but I am going to make a few reductions.. pull out my rack and limit myself to self-belayed roped travel instead.. remove small redundant items, reduce my water load, leave some stuff sacks at home.
That puts me at about 30lbs skin out base weight.May 2, 2007 at 10:44 am #1387912
My trips are late enough in the year I am not likely to be camping on the snow. If I do I carry the RidgeRest and Therma-A-Rest as well, but again this is rare.
There are several little items I left out of my list, like bowl, lexan spoon, headlamp, etc. but that is the basic list. When I am in larger groups and the mileage is short I take a Primus single mantel lantern. It goes a long way for moral at night.
I really wish MH would reproduce the Kiva with lighter material. They recently released a design similar to the Kiva with much lighter material but not an exact copy. The Kiva's walls go all the way to the ground and there are generous snow flaps along the bottom. Using some rocks to hold down the flaps above tree line goes a long way to warm up the tent at night, especially with 4 adults inside.May 2, 2007 at 1:23 pm #1387950
@pkingLocale: N. Nevada
Take a look at the Golite Pinnacle if you haven't already. It's lighter than many of those mentioned so far, at 710g/25oz and 4500 cubic inches, with very tough fabric, at a cost of $130.
I still occasionally use my circa 1990 Lightweight Andinista, 790g/28oz w/o the pad. Unfortunately they don't offer it anymore, but it was ahead of its time and has lasted very well with only a bit of duct tape.May 2, 2007 at 1:33 pm #1387954
Only if it fits you— Golite offers it only to fit a torso length of up to 21 1/2 " so 6' plussers, like myself, can find the admirable Golite packs not to fit(me–22 1/2 torso). If it does fit—this is a good choice, actually, and the price is right. Good materials set.
This should be emphasized—make sure that whatever pack you get fits you. Don't fall in love w/ a piece of gear that ultimately will not work for you.May 2, 2007 at 2:25 pm #1387960
@djohnsonLocale: Washington State
I've used a Golite Gust for years (precursor to the Pinnacle) and have loved it for the types of climbing you mentioned. I'm 6'1" and use a medium. My 6'4" buddy uses a large and finds that it fits him quite well.
I'm currently testing a Pinnacle. Wonderful pack. It has all of the simplicity of the Gust but with a larger outside pocket, a hydration sleeve, side water bottle pockets (easy to cut off if they fill with snow when glissading), and it compacts a whole bunch for quick summit attempts. I love this pack.
Best of luck in your search!
DougMay 2, 2007 at 2:38 pm #1387961
A Med.! Interesting, Doug. The Gust even in large was too short and was verry uncomfortable (a svelte 6'2" 22 1/2 torso, here) and the same went for the Jam when loaded to over 20 #–the waist belt was a bellyband. Do you guys even have a torso? ;-P
Now the ULA packs, on the other hand…May 2, 2007 at 6:38 pm #1387983
@djohnsonLocale: Washington State
I guess I'm long in the legs- 19.5 inch torso- and I have a 33 waist.
My buddy with the large probably has a torso like yours…
Anyway, sizing is sometimes a preference thing, as seen by our different opinions…May 3, 2007 at 6:04 am #1388015
carlos fernandez rivasParticipant
@pitagorinLocale: Galicia -Spain
I use to carry a sub 5 backpacking pack and i spent the last years trying to reduce my mountaineering pack at the same way
Unfortunately as all we know, winter equipment is still bulky and heavy…..
ropes (7.8mm), axe (titanium), ice bolts (titanium and aluminum) crampons (xlc 390), harness (sub 300 grms) , some biners (sub 30 grms) helmet (250 grms), winter clothing, water, gas….too much weight anyway :-(
I tried light packs but in my honest opinion I think that is better idea to invest the money and some weight more in packs with a good hip belt to carry the weight in a comfortable way
(and believe me I´m VERY concerned about loose as much weight as possible in all my gear)
I use one golite jam 2 and i had the previous jam, and i think that are fantastic packs but with moderate loads I think that these packs are quite uncomfortable with alpine loads I modified mine with a light plastic sheet inside the pad pocket, to create a semi rigid frame and transfer the load to my hips, with only 60 grams more i felt that now i carry heavier loads in a more comfortable and effective way but I suppose that the pinnacle had the same limitations
I own a crux ak57 too, is a Very good (and very expensive) pack but i only miss a better hip belt (which is fundamental for me)
My favorite pack is one berghaus cyclops lite…. is quite light (1500 grms) and more comfortable because has better hip belt and wider shoulder strapsMay 3, 2007 at 9:57 am #1388036
Ok, so you need to bring all your gear on the approach.
I've been using an arcteryx kamshin 62 (discontinued) to get to base camp and switched to a serratus genie for the actual "summit day". Bringing only water, some food and enough clothes in the pack to let me be immobile and stay tolerably warm. The rest stays in the tent.
Tech gear would be carried on my harness or slung around my shoulder and the axe in hand. All the dense heavy gear is out of the pack, so i don't need a framesheet or backpanel. I stuff the puffies uncompressed into the pack to help it carry better. I put my water in the bladder sleeve on the serratus wich is next to my back and the lack of padding lets my body heat keep the water from freezing. The other stuff, like headlamp, first-aid, etc, are in my pockets at all times, never in my pack.
This is just my preference, you may wish the bring full bivy gear at all times …
A lot of good suggestions on packs, as kevin said, the durability of the material is key.
I see you're bringing an a-bod harness and a rope for class 2-3 terrain, but didn't specify any protection to bring along.
I'm wondering what kind of scenario you expect a rope would be required? Do you think it might be possible to dump the a-bod and just bring enough sling to make a harness instead?
The sling material can always double as leaver rap cord.May 3, 2007 at 5:57 pm #1388091
See link for discussion on climbing gear questions:
I am working with a former REI co-worker who is now instructing for REI to teach a one day skills class with my group to cover the basics. I agree the a-bod may not be needed as cordage may be adequate, still working through some of these issues.May 3, 2007 at 6:53 pm #1388103
Ok, if you're only concerned with downclimbing in 2/3 terrain a body belay/snow seat from the top should be sufficient unless you're on slab, if there is such at thing at class 3.
If you're with a buddy that's confortable in fifth class stuff, he can downclimb by himself and you need no pro.
If not, class 2/3 should provide enough features to sling. I would consider glisading on snow if possible.
For traverses around obstacles … if you can't go over it, it's not class 3. If you must go around and there is no risk of dynamic falls, then perhaps a body belay before the traverse will provide enough mental confort to go forward with confidence.
If the terrain doesn't provide a secure stance from which to do a body belay, and the path ahead or below makes you nervous enough to want a rope, then you've wandered into class 4 terrain.
Slips and slides should be worst case so you shouldn't need anythng designed to take a leader fall. Ideally being short roped would be ideal, but this requires skill to perform safely.May 7, 2007 at 8:18 am #1388387
Brian, you wrote:
I quickly checked out CiloGear. Nice looking stuff but like Brett I wish they had more photos. I am going to do some more research on their stuff.
What pictures would you like to see?
How about Maxime Turgeon's –Grivel North America Ambassador– recent pictures from Chamonix? cilogear blog entry 76
He used a 40L there, and is taking a 45L with him to the Himalaya this season. A bunch of the GNA guys are using the packs these days because they feel the packs are the best blend of weight, durability and function for mountaineering and alpinism.
If you want pictures, just ask, I'll take them and post them today. I'm going to a trade show tomorrow morning and probably won't be able to get pictures up after this afternoon until next Monday.
Kevin, with all due respect, no 210d Cordura base fabric, whether a VX21 laminate or a Dyneema ripstop will not survive alpine climbing, especially if used on the bottom of the pack. It's just not appropriate for the bottom of a pack that's going to touch limestone or granite or any other sharp rocky outcropping. In the prototype Dyneema pack we made for Kelly Cordes that he used on his link up on Cerro Torre in january — you can see it at Kelly Climbing — the bottom was totally trashed after two pitches of being hauled. It was the same VX21 material used in other, much heavier and less versatile, alpine packs.May 7, 2007 at 8:36 am #1388389
Brett wrote: "I am interested in cilogear packs, but he does not show the suspension for any of the packs. When buying over the internet, large detailed and well-lit pictures of all angles of the suspension would help judge their geometry, fit, and comfort. I can only guess the straps are the weak point of the pack?"
Most reviewers and owners have stated that the suspension is the best they've ever come across in a climbing pack.
Alpinist Mountain Standard reviewer Dave Morton has summited Everest twice as a working guide with his pack, and was instrumental in having Alpine Ascents International ask us to submit packs to their Guides Choice program, an invitation only review program that AAI does. Greg Barnes, director of the bolt replacing non-profit American Safe Climbing Association, has been using his pack for two years non stop. I could list literally hundreds of climbers who have been using the packs and recommending them to their friends.
I can't take the greatest pictures, and living in NYC, I can't afford the $$$ to have great pictures taken. A friend who is a professional studio photographer is taking pictures of them, so if you have a specific request, I will make sure that there is a picture taken of that view.
I don't mean to sound snarky, and I'll try to take some snapshots of the suspension today and post them on the blog. If you want any other pictures, just let me know.
Thanks for your interest and suggestions as to what you want to see. I have to thank you for telling me what I need to improve on the website to make it better and easier for my potential customers to make a decision.May 7, 2007 at 9:17 am #1388395
In terms of your gear list, I would suggest the following:
wear a pair of softshell pants if the weather forecast is good, or a pair of waterproof breathable pants if the forecast isn't perfect. Rain pants are a halfway measure, and I don't think they're especially appropriate for mountaineering.
I'd suggest just bringing the fleece gloves and a pair of insulated mittens. I do own and use a pair of fleece fingerless gloves from patagucci, but knit wool gloves will wet in a hurry and take forever to dry off. While I am a fan of wool blends in many places, my hands are not one of them. When you stop, are hanging out, or whatever, a pair of insulated gloves will make the world a better place.
What are the zip off pants for? bring a pair of baggies or something if you need shorts…
I would recommend bring the alpine bod. From my perspective, if you're cutting rap webbing, you are WAY in over your head and will be screwed if you're trying a body belay rappel…If you think you might need it, take it.
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