Rainier Gear List- late August

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    David Targan
    BPL Member


    Locale: New England

    Since I didn’t write everything down, I’m doing this as I unload my pack and go through my laundry. I’ll probably do some editing. This was about as light as I felt comfortable doing, since I wasn’t sure how long I would be on the mountain, and wanted to play it a bit safe.

    BD First Light
    Nunatak 20 degree Alpinist
    Full length foam pad, ¼ inch thickness

    Old (and not lightweight) Coleman Peak 1 liquid gas stove
    1.5 liter pot
    insulated cup
    titanium spork

    I should have taken the advice to get a ground sheet, since I punctured a small hole in the floor while placing large rocks in the tent to prevent it from blowing away while we were doing our summit attempt.

    Footwear: Was very tempted to go with leathers, but ultimately decided to take the conservative (and very weighty) approach of using Koflach Degre plastics, with three thick and three thin (liner) socks

    Head: HB helmet. I have a lighter weight helmet, the Kong Scarab, which I use for biking, but given the fact that the melt was sending projectiles across the Interglacier, decided on a bit more protection.

    Cloudveil ultrathin balaclava, ultrathin beanie (not their Schoeller one) and regular wool watch cap.

    Mammut “Saturn” wind resistant gloves
    Mammut fleece windstopper mitts
    Climb-high water resistant mitt shells

    Upper body:
    Smartwool versalite zip T
    Western Mountaineering flight vest
    Wild Things Epic synthetic jacket (somewhat lighter than their belay jacket)
    Integral Designs EVent jacket- sized XL even though I’m a medium

    Lower body
    Cloudveil prospector pants
    Arcteryx Gamma MX pants (placed over Cloudveil pants on cold nights)
    Mountain Hardwear Epic full zip pants

    Pack: Wild Things Andinista

    Digital camera- water resistant Olymus Epic Stylus (5mb)
    Small first aid kit- can provide further detail if needed- I’m a park ranger and wilderness EMT.
    Cali 512MB MP3 player, ear phones

    Princeton Tech EOS headlamp
    3 Lithium AAAs, with extra set
    WX lightweight dry bag, with valve to compress it down in size, for all items needing protection from water

    Iodine tablet (should have had filter! Glacier water, especially up high, has huge amounts of silt in it.)

    I’ll go into more detail, including climbing gear, as soon as my jet lag settles down.

    paul johnson


    Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest

    thanks. good post. since i know nothing about climbing (seen Rainier; never climbed), i can’t wait to read your follow-on post(s) and the climbing gear, and (hopefully) how all of the gear preformed, as well as a trip report.

    David Targan
    BPL Member


    Locale: New England

    Follow-up on Climbing gear: I used a titanium mountaineering axe made by Jim Stanley, the Helios, which was his personal axe that he lent me. It doesn’t have a spike and I don’t think it’s necessary unless you’re dealing with really hard ice, but I’m still thinking of going with that option if he can make one for me. The axe was smaller than the one I usually use, but since you always self-belay by placing your axe in the snow above you the shortness was not a problem. I’ll post the dimensions and weight as soon as I get to it. It was lightweight but still usable as an axe, and as a climbing tool if you needed to get yourself out of a crevasse, although fortunately that didn’t happen. It’s solid.

    I had a Black Diamond Alpine Bod harness, the one without the soft padding on it, weighing approx 13 oz.

    My climbing partner is a friend who moved here from Nepal, where he had been the lead Sherpa (Sirdhar) for Adventure Consultants on Everest. His name is Ang Dorjee Sherpa, and with ten summits of Everest you couldn’t have a better partner. He and I talked quite a bit about the lightweight philosophy, finally making last minute decisions in the parking lot at White River Campground.

    His strategy is to not use a full length 9 or 10mm rope, but rather a length closer to 40 feet. The advantage is obvious- huge savings in weight. You tie two knots at each end of the rope. In each case you tie one knot at the very end, say a figure 8. Then you tie a second knot four feet or so away from the end. You do this on both ends, so you have four loops altogether. You clip in with a locker to your harness to the inner knot. You place the extra four feet over your shoulder and clip it back in to a second locker on the front of your harness.

    Let’s take the case of me falling into a crevasse, since it’s Sherpa tradition to simply pull hard on the rope and tug someone out of a crevasse in the Himalayas, so I was in good shape. Had my friend fallen in, I would self arrest. Once I had anchored myself by digging my feet (or knees) in to the snow, I reach around to my pack, take out a picket, and clip it into the knot at the end of the rope. I slowly move backwards until the picket is weighted, all the while communicating with my partner to find out the extent of the problem. He can now climb out on the anchored rope by prussiking up if he’s not close to the crevasse wall or by using his hand, axe and crampons if he’s close to it. If he’s having a problem I can lower myself down (most likely setting up a second anchor with my axe) or lower extra clothing down to him on the rope. The rope is short enough that he can’t be that far below the lip, and long enough that only one of is likely to go in, and if we’re good at routefinding neither of us should punch through in the first place. So, additional gear- each of us has one picket and one ice screw, prussiks, 2 lockers, and two extra biners. That’s it. Now I can’t officially recommend that you try this at home! I don’t think this would not pass muster with any accrediting agency outside of Nepal, but for two people moving fast (because we’re light) it’s a heck of a lot simpler than the standard system, and a lot lighter.

    kevin davidson


    Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson

    awesome-I like it. I wouldn’t use this everywhere and certainly not with just anyone for a partner but
    this merits serious consideration. Good gear list Jerimoth.

    David Olsen


    Locale: Steptoe Butte

    On the busy routes you can do what the rangers
    sometimes do there and tag along next to a party
    of similar speed and have the extra manpower and
    gear for belaying across snow bridges etc.

    Early season can have deep snow on crevass lips
    that can make it very hard to pull someone out
    if they are injured. Glacier ice is easy but then you
    see the crevass anyway and can more likely avoid
    falling in (barring a fall from above or a snow
    bridge failure).

    One thing I don’t understand is how you descend
    the rope to help your partner if he is dangling from the end?

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