Dec 3, 2007 at 12:26 pm #1226088
Anyone ever put together an Aconcagua gear list? I'm doing one for a solo, Polish Direct route. Typical climbing season Dec-Feb. I'm not really expecting any other lists but feel free to comment on mine :)Dec 3, 2007 at 1:12 pm #1411097
Wow sounds like fun.
You may want to check with CascadeClimbers.com. Lots of info there and peeps who have done many things. Lots of smartasses though, but they should be able to help if no one here can.
good luck.Dec 3, 2007 at 1:33 pm #1411100
Thanks! I've seen Colin Haley's info on that site (and it's great) but never messed with the forums. Summit post has good info as well, I'm just trying to come up with a little more personal tailored gear list for myself.Dec 3, 2007 at 1:52 pm #1411104
Where can I take a peek at your gear list? Is it on your Blogger site?Dec 3, 2007 at 3:23 pm #1411115
I don't have it up yet. Hopefully soon. I was just fishing for any ideas before I put mine up.Dec 3, 2007 at 5:01 pm #1411125
Some of the guide services such as Alpine Ascents International and American Alpine Institute have gear lists on their web sites, which could act as base lists which can be modified to suit your particular desires.Dec 3, 2007 at 8:04 pm #1411171
Yep I've seen those Robert and they're good. But this is BPL :) I'm looking to put together an ideal lightweight gearlist myself as some of the gear on the guided trips page is pretty overkill. Guess i better get my butt in gear, finish my list and we can pick it apart from there instead.Dec 3, 2007 at 8:24 pm #1411174
John S.BPL Member
Check over the Denali gearlist on this site too…Dec 4, 2007 at 4:31 am #1411193
Jonathan RyanBPL Member
@jkrew81Locale: White Mtns
What kind of base weight are you shooting for? How many days will the climb take in a perfect world? Will you need technical climbing gear (i.e. ropes etc?).
Very interesting topic, I am curious to hear how you do it.Dec 4, 2007 at 7:20 am #1411204
I don't have a hard defined goal for base weight but putting it together I'm thinking 15lbs might be reasonable. My pack has to carry my food and fuel load in as I'm not planning on using the mules to get to base camp so 1 lbs packs are out. Thinking Cilogear 45L or a McHale pack right now. It seems like on the order of 15 days food in my research so far including the hike in, climb(s), hike out. More food is available at a premium price at base camp after January 1 so running out isn't a huge concern. I might be able to cut my food weight down in that regard.
I will have a small bit of gear for the glacier climb but doesn't look like I'll have a rope. Soloing usually precludes the rope if you can walk off the top and rappels are not needed. If conditions are not good for the polish direct then the false polish or even normal route will still be nice ways to spend my time there. At a minimum my ice axe (BD raven pro) and some steel crampons will be coming along so that's some significant weight. Shoes are another big challenge. I will probably end up hiking in and out using my Inov-8's and carrying (oof) some mountaineering boots along for the mountain itself. It can get cold up there and I intend to keep all my fingers and toes if I ever hope to have my wife let me go onto bigger mountains.
It think it's an interesting challenge due to the fact that you're going to be sitting around acclimatising some of the time so a little bit of comfort would be nice but then again I'm there to climb so I don't want to bring the kitchen sink and sit in base camp either. It would certainly more "stuff" than I've hauled for any other trip before. A book or two and my iPod are on the list.
I sent my "in progress" gearlist to myself here at work today but it appears not to be in my work inbox. Hopefully it will decide to show up.Dec 4, 2007 at 7:33 am #1411205
Jonathan RyanBPL Member
@jkrew81Locale: White Mtns
If you watch everything 15 lbs seems very reasonable. A Mchale Subpop or Windsak might do the trick as well as many of the larger options from Cilo. Another good option to look at is the Wild Things Andinista. These packs should be easily able to handle the weight you will be carrying but also have great compression systems as your load gets smaller and lighter.
I have never done any cold weather climbing at altitude so this might sound crazy to those who have more experience, but are plastic boots really required in terms of warmth. I can understand that in technical terrain the support that they provide is required but if the route does not require this are they needed? You may want to talk with Joel at 40 below to see what he might be able to throw together. Seems like with the proper footwear layering system (or "Receipt" as he likes to call it) and a pair of steel Kahtoola's you could handle some seriously cold weather in more comfort and not have to pack in the mountaineering boots for the approach.Dec 4, 2007 at 7:49 am #1411207
Double plastics aren't necessary for sure. I'd be bring single insulated boots. I think the biggest issue on my intended route is the steeper ice sections where I'd want the mountaineering boot stiffness. Plus I'd rather have boots that I knew were warm enough and not have to mess with overboots, etc. Cost comes into play a little here. You can get boots for every circumstance but between biking and hiking I already am starting to feel like Imelda.
Guide services go overboard with their requests of people in terms of safety and lots of gear or overbuilt gear. They'd rather you suffer in plastics than lose toes which is certainly fair of them considering how many people of all different experience levels they see. I think it's the same way I wouldn't recommend a poncho tarp or bivy as an only shelter to most people. It takes some experience to maintain that safety margin.Dec 4, 2007 at 3:25 pm #1411252
Ryan FaulknerBPL Member
Interesting Trip Chris, I am excited to see the outcome, I have been interested in climbing some big mountains in the future.. and have done some messing around with gear for mountaineering.
You might be interested in this testimonial from RBH designs:
"I have just returned from Argentina where I set a new USA speed record ascent of Aconcagua. One of the reasons I was able to accomplish this was that I dropped the usual plastic mountaineering boots, and put on my hiking boots with two layers of your VaprThrm™ socks. Everything worked well as planned!”
–A possible footwear combo.. mabey some La sportiva ultralight mountaineering boots sized up to fit double RBH designs socks. (posibly bring other wool running socks for aproach, or combo with single VBL sock for diferent temps) This could be a very versatile footwear system.
–Mabey check out the outdoor designs perma gaiter on prolitegear.com.. i dont know the weight, but they are eVENT.
–Im sure you could make the RBH designs VBL clothing work for you… your clothing system could be light as a baselayer… VBL.. and synthetic or Down parka and pants.
–even if you dont go with RBH's other gear, definatly consider the gloves, the hybrid liners may be ideal for Aconcaguas conditions with a wool or powerstretch glove liner.
–the cilogear packs lok good, Golite also makes a few internal frame packs at higher weights… and if you havent seen, look at the wildthings spectra Andinista pack
–sleeping bags from Valandre, montbell, western mountaineering..
–tents, the best and the lightest from integral designs and mountain hardwear.
— Axe: not an expert of course, but prolite has the grivel Air tech racing Ice axe.. under 15oz made from STEEL, with T-rated head, and ultralight B-rated shaft.
— You may need steel crampons for Aconcagua.. IF kathoolas are not adequate.. grivel makes some great crampons.. Aluminum.. Stubai ultralight universal crampons, or grivel Air tech light crampons.Dec 4, 2007 at 3:38 pm #1411254
Interesting stuff. I'm playing with clothing as the single area I don't have a set plan on yet. The hike into base camp makes that even more interesting if you make hauling all your own stuff (no mules) a priority.
Only other issue is that speed attempt is on the normal route correct? I'll be attempting a route with glacier travel, hopefully 45-55deg ice if I'm lucky and conditions are good. That makes hauling mountaineering boots but not double plastics worthwhile.
Sleeping bag is set. 32oz and maybe a bit less and good to 0 deg. Room to layer as well. Tent is my BD firstlight. Pad is probably a ProLite4 short to keep overall volume small.
A spectra McHale is high on my list but I do not own such a pack yet so I want to dial in the gear so I can see where my total volume lies first. I wish to get a great pack like that for future big mountaineering trips. Alpine style/messner's fair means is my road map.Dec 4, 2007 at 7:29 pm #1411276
This is NOT the place for commercials.
Please do not repeat.
Roger CaffinDec 4, 2007 at 7:55 pm #1411280
Ah no dice unfortunately. I'll need at least 46's, likely bigger.Dec 10, 2007 at 6:15 am #1411990
CiloGear Dyneema 45L packs were used this year to climb Cerro Torre, Farol East, K6, and a number of other objectives. There are currently four in Antartica (http://www.expenews.org/expediciones.php?expe=ant2007 for updates on their expedition). There will be at least one on Aconcagua this season.
However, based on your stated shoe size, you might consider the volume of the 60L. Damien is using a 45L down in Antarctica right now (he's 6'7", 205 or so), but that's with a "base camp" load. Unsupported, it seems that guys our size (I'm 6'5", 195) need to have a larger pack just to fit our larger stuff. Comparing Maxime Turgeon's or Kelly Cordes' clothing to mine, and it becomes apparently clear that my clothes are just *much* larger. Of course, as Kelly points out, I can carry a larger load than he can with the same effort.
You might want to bring some accessory cord so you can rap off of it if everything goes to hell. Not that the polish glacier should require it, but…Dec 10, 2007 at 7:21 am #1411997
Thanks Graham. I've got the basics of the list done so if I can find some time today to format it (it's in Excel) I'll finally get it up here. I have big feet, size 46 cycling shoes in summer, but the rest of me is pretty skinny. I'm 5'11"/155lbs. If I can get my best guess at a list and acquire anything I don't have at least then I can nail down the volume requirements for the pack a bit better.Dec 10, 2007 at 7:43 am #1411999
John S.BPL Member
primopdf takes two seconds to make any file into a pdf file. It's a free pc application.Dec 10, 2007 at 4:27 pm #1412068
Chris, you didnt mention south america!
One thing to keep in mind is that sometimes the route on the polish gets pretty steep to get on the route and I've heard that it sometimes requires two tools. If you want to go really light you might consider acclimitizing on other nearby mountains then just booking it up there. Might want to reconsider the single boot idea. Several of my friends have guided on sloggy and always use doubles.
The thing with lightweight style on "expedition" mountains is that you could screw yourself and not be prepared or miserable for the duration it takes, however there are lots of other people so the bartering and mooch factor is high.
That being said, I saw someone on Denali's west butt that was using a enlarged go-lite pack jammed huge full of gear in like a 2lb pack…
If you need any bike touring tips down there hit me up.Dec 17, 2007 at 9:59 am #1412818
Please do not list commercial adverts.
Roger CaffinDec 20, 2007 at 12:58 pm #1413257
I used the nifty PrimoPDF and have my Winter CO/NM gear list up.
It's more weight than I thought, but it sure seems easier to leave something behind in the winter than summer.Dec 20, 2007 at 1:04 pm #1413263
These were actually what I had in mind :) I'm hoping to try them on locally before I bite the bullet.Dec 20, 2007 at 7:11 pm #1413322
Good luck on your climb. Do you plan on using VBLs, (RBH or other brands?) and / or overboots or supergaiters?Dec 22, 2007 at 10:00 pm #1413525
A climb in the 2006-2007 season: “I think it was around 0 deg F at camp2, which wasn't too bad when not windy. I brought an Alaskan sleeping bag, which was overkill, and I didn't zip it up the whole trip. As for sleeping, it just depended on the individual. I felt pretty good and acclimatized well, so sleeping was pretty normal.
Another key was the food. Mark and I brought way more food than everyone else (like 20lbs more than the other pairs), but this seemed to pay off. We ate a lot and stayed pretty strong, not losing much weight at all.
The only downfall to this strategy was the significant blue-bag cargo we had to haul back to base camp
Most of the glacier was snow (of various conditions and quality), and so the going was pretty straightforward. We simul-climbed, placing pickets and moving pretty well. The route steepens as you progress, and the crux was the 2nd rock band. This featured the only ice on the route, and was pretty fun to climb. After this, the only obstacle is the last, steep (>50deg) snowdome to reach the summit plateau. This seemed to go on forever, but finally we topped out. Visibility was poor, so I pulled out my gps……….
I recommend the Polish Glacier direct for those with experience on moderate snow & ice looking to push themselves on a bigger mountain. Gear Notes: ice axe + ice tool, 60m 1/2 rope, pickets, couple ice screws, strong tent, mules. Approach Notes:
Vacas Valley – Relinchos Valley – Plaza Argentina – Ameghino Col – Polish Glacier
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