- Aug 5, 2005 at 3:41 pm #1216530
Does anybody know of a lightweight gear list for Rainier? I’ve done it before, 3 x in plastics, with the whole 50 pound pack thing, but was wondering if people had alternatives. Not in a rush- could probably stay up there for 3 or 4 days to acclimate and wait for good weather. I’m thinking of late August, some route other than the RMI/DC route. ThanksAug 5, 2005 at 5:27 pm #1339973
David: how many people are you going with / what routes are you considering / where do you plan to base camp?Aug 8, 2005 at 7:13 pm #1340079
I’m going with two friends, via Emmon’s glacier. Thinking of taking one night at 6 or 7 thousand feet, and another at Camp Shurman, next day up and final night at Camp Shurman again before going down. Thanks for any suggestions or links anybody might have.Aug 8, 2005 at 7:34 pm #1340080
David, Emmons makes for a nice acclimatization route –
night 1 at Glacier Basin
night 2 at Schurman
For August on rainier, my clothing:
smartwool lightweight zip-t
marmot driclime wind shirt
or zealot jacket
cloudveil rodeo/prospector pants
marmot precip side zip pants
2pr smartwool light hiking socks
trango s boots
id event gaiters
or windstopper gloves – 2 pr
outdoor research basic mitt shells
my shelter for that route in aug is (solo) an id event unishelter or (partner) is an id event mk1lite tent. sleeping bag is a 20 deg arc alpinist for a 2 nite climb, maybe synth for 3 or more nights, like a north face fission.
stove is a simmerlite. plenty of dripping water on warm days at glacier basin (creek) and schurman (glacier drip). pot is an antigravity gear 2L cookpot.
that pretty much hits the high points.Aug 9, 2005 at 6:24 am #1340101
What is your backpack ?, Crampons, Ice Axe, Harness, Walking poles ?
Also do you have (or know someone) some experience with the Camp 390 aluminum crampons in real life experience (snow but also some ice and some rocks)
ThanksAug 9, 2005 at 9:07 am #1340104
>> What is your backpack ?, Crampons, Ice Axe, Harness, Walking poles ?
seems to me I forgot some extremely useful items on my list :)
for summer, July-August, nontechnical routes on rainier:
pack: McHale Subpop for a summer non-technical climb, about 2.5 lbs
crampons: Grivel air tech racing light for emmons, kahtoolas for DC route
harness: cassin eolo (not a fun harness to hang from if you fall into a crevasse)
axe: ushba altai
For late season, I’ll switch to a steel crampon (stubai tirol).Aug 9, 2005 at 5:15 pm #1340120
Thanks. It appears that the Ushba axe is out of production. Any good alternatives? I have a fairly lightweight axe but nothing as light as the titanium one. Thanks again. DavidAug 9, 2005 at 6:49 pm #1340121
As far as I know the Ushba Altai Titanium Ice axe is still available. It is listed on the Pro Mountain Sports website:
for $239 in 60, 65, 70, and 75 cm lengths. Weight listed in the 65 cm size is 13.6 oz on the Ushba website.
RichAug 10, 2005 at 6:50 am #1340129
I have a Stanley Outdoor Helios all titanium ice axe. The guy can built it custom, at whatever lenght and with different pick and other options. Mine is 70cm and 371gr and you could get it lighter depending on the option. It is also much cheaper than a Ushba because it is not welded (and it is probably stronger). It looks more home made, but its stenght is proven to me. I have polished the square edges of the pick so it woul be more comfortable in hands. I have been carrying it everywhere and using it hard for 5 years and it is still in perfect condition. (used it once as a tente stake in rocks in Peru). The titanium pick is strong enough for real hard ice use. I also have a Black Diamond Raven pro that I like, but it cannot really be used on ice, and altough I am confident about it, it does look a little fragile. Also, the Raven end pick could wear fast if used for walking in rocks. One very good point is the rounded shape of the head that makes it very comfortable to your hand. I bought the Raven as a spare for a large expedition, but did not really used it.
go look at http://www.sopgear.com, The guy is coll and I had a good service at the time.Aug 10, 2005 at 10:25 am #1340137
Jason SmithBPL Member
Richard, was all excited, as I had difficulty obtaining an Ushiba alti a year ago and had to settle on one slightly shorter that the normal lenght Ice Axe I use. I called the Pro Mountain Website. They said the Ushiba Alti was discontinued a year ago, and they no longer have them for sale. Last time I checked into obtaining one I was told the owner sold out to another company and they stopped production of the axe, or something similar.Aug 10, 2005 at 12:47 pm #1340148
Sorry about that, I just looked on the Pro Mountain Sports website, and they indicated that it was available.
I would suggest that you follow Mathieu’s suggestion and contact Jim Stanley at Stanley Alpine and get a Helios Ice Axe. I have been considering getting an Axe for about a year.
I have a call in and awaiting a returned call to try to figure out length and whether to go with either the Titanium or Steel head.
That e-mail adress to see the Helios is:
RichAug 10, 2005 at 6:59 pm #1340157
I also have a call into Jim about his axe. If not I may go with the Black Diamond Raven Pro, recommended to me Jim at http://www.promountainsports.com/ in Seattle.
On another Rainier note, I note that Ryan lists the Cocoon as his primary insulation- the closest synthetic item I have to that is Wild Things Sweater, at 21.8 oz, and the less insulated but more waterproof Epic Jacket, at 20.4. On the other hand, I have a few warmer and lighter down sweaters, like an old Feathered Friends jacket (I think a Helios) at 15.8 oz, and the ultralight Montbell inner jacket at 7.5 oz. I’m wondering about these other options, since the Cocoon is temporarily out of production. I can add a WM flight vest to bring total down weight to about 13 oz, or just take the Helios. I’m thinking if the trip is short- 3 or 4 days, I can keep the down dry, especially with a waterproof parka- I have the Mountain Hardwear Swift, which is full-featured paclite and weighs 13 oz.
On the other hand, I used to always have a serious down parka that I put on over my rain jacket at rest stops when climbing, so with that strategy I guess it makes sense to go with synthetics. That since it would be an outer garment, more exposed to moisture.Aug 10, 2005 at 7:18 pm #1340158
Michael MartinBPL Member
@mikemartinLocale: North Idaho
I’ve seen the Cocoon. I was impressed and have one on order.
But, instead of waiting for one, you might consider a Patagonia Micro Puff Pullover at around 12oz. It uses thicker Polarguard Delta than the cocoon. So, although heavier, might be warmer.
Checkout http://tinyurl.com/dnd9oAug 10, 2005 at 8:08 pm #1340159
I don’t know your size, but there are some medium and XL Patagonia Micro Puff Pullovers available on eBay for $84.95. These appear to be last years garments.
It seems that Patagonia has changed (?)last years model of the Micro Puff Pullover, definitely changed the Micro Puff hooded jacket (definitely a weight increase over mine, also seems to look a bit different and a fair price increase), and it appears that they have dropped the Micro Puff Vest (or it is not available yet for the 2005/2006 model year).
RichAug 10, 2005 at 8:30 pm #1340160
Thanks. I just purchased one of the two mediums left on Ebay. Thanks very much for everybody’s help. DavidAug 10, 2005 at 8:46 pm #1340161
I think that you should be pleased with the Patagonia Micro Puff Pullover. I have all 3 pieces of last years model- Pullover, Jacket, and Vest. They are light, tend to be cut a bit large (particularly the jacket). The fabric is a bit thin and it is possible to get a run as others have noted. May be a better inner garment under a wind or hard shell if chance of abrasion or catching on branches when bushwacking.
The pullover is probably cut a bit larger than the Cocoon (that probably contributes to the difference in weight) as well heavier Polarguard Delta insulation (2.7 oz rather than 1.8 oz for the Cocoon). I know that Ryan Jordan has suggested that the insulation loft may be closer than what might be expected.
Now we just have to get our Titanium Ice Axes.
RichAug 11, 2005 at 8:37 am #1340170
I just got off the phone with Jim Stanley of Stanley Alpine. He said that, one way or another, he would set you up with a Helios Titanium Ice Axe.
RichAug 11, 2005 at 6:40 pm #1340188
This is Jim Stanley From Stanley Alpine. I have been getting a rash of calls from people on this thread, so I thought I would look into it.
I hope this is not considered spam. I thought it would be helpful to all interested.
Right now, I am having problems filling custom orders, since my milling machine is down and I have to use a friend’s shop. And I am heading out of town for a few weeks (cry for me- it’s Kansas). But I still have a few stock lengths left. I should be able to make more the 1st week of Sept, tho.
David, the other customer decided she did not want the 60cm, so yours will be in the mail Friday morning- THANKS. I am selling her an Air Tech Racing instead.
And I really hate to say this, but I have raized the prices. I truly appologize, but the prices have been the same since I started the company in ’98. Everyone else’s prices have rizen each year and the price of Ti has gone WAY up for me. I will honor the old prices for everyone that contacted me previously tho!
Enjoy Ranier and please send photos from the summit!Aug 15, 2005 at 4:58 pm #1340395
Thanks Jim for being very helpful to me and other climbers. I have a question for the group. Any thoughts about the Arc’Teryx Gamma MX pants? I’ve been using them on climbs for several years, and though I have a cloudveil prospector pant and long underwear, which would probably be more versatile in some ways, the Gamma pants seem to cover a wide temperature range, and be snow resistant and warm when wet. They don’t like crampons- I’ve had to repair mine after a single misplaced front-point, but other than that they are very tough. Does anybody have any thoughts on these two pants options, and also on rain-pants vs. bibs? Thanks,
DavidAug 18, 2005 at 9:02 pm #1340544
Wondering if the Stanley Alpine Helios Titanium Ice Axe has arrived from Jim Stanley. If it has I was wondering about your impressions.
Though I am only 5′ 6″ tall Jim has suggested that I get 65″ Helios for a general purpose ice axe rather than the 60″ that you got and which is also what Jim uses.
I will be ordering mine after Jim gets back to the office in Colorado in early September. Any input would be much appreciated.
RichAug 18, 2005 at 9:58 pm #1340547
Hi Rich. I’m 5’7 or so and I can see how the 60cm axe that I just got today will be fine for Rainier. For self-belay you have it in front of you on higher ground, as you do when you’re traversing. Having said that, I can see that it might make it easier to get purchase having 65cm to work with. My older (heavy) axe is 65 cm, and it worked fine except for its weight.Aug 19, 2005 at 12:47 am #1340550
Thanks for getting back to me and letting me know your impressions of the length for me.
Now I have questions regarding the Helios Axe itself. Does it feel comfortable, light, well balanced, appear to be strong, and is it well finished?
Thanks very much.
RichAug 19, 2005 at 9:37 am #1340563
Yes, excellent. A bit lighter than my old Kong alpinista, and it’s a true ice axe, with the clear ability to be used as a tool or smash ice on those very occasions when that is called for, say getting over a hard-packed step section. For self arrest of course it’s fine. Well balanced and very well constructed. A big improvement over both my old fashioned C-M axe, and my Kong.Aug 19, 2005 at 9:45 am #1340564
Thanks again for the input. Buying something sight unseen and a tool that I have never used (never used an ice axe, and don’t anticipate Mountain Climbing with the result of 2 broken wrists in a biking accident with a car) can be a bit chancey.
But there are those times hiking in eastern and western US mountains where an ice axe would be a very useful tool. Therefore I will go ahead and place my order with Jim for the axe in early September.
People on this site have been most helpful in guiding me along giving good advice for getting great products.
RichAug 29, 2005 at 7:15 pm #1341087
Check out the gear list section of this forum for a report of what I ended up doing.
My main differences with Ryan- I chose to use plastics because I’ve never used my leathers on a 2 or 3 night trip, and I’m just not comfortable enough yet to try this. Also, even though I purchased a Patagonia micro puff pullover, looking at the incoming weather I decided to take my WT insulated Epic Parka. I had a friend, a fellow ranger, die in the White Mountains last year when temperatures went from 12 degrees to minus 45 within eight hours, this not counting wind chill. In my conversations with his friends and with the NH Fish and Game officers investigating his death it seems that he didn’t have an “Oh Sh–!” parka when mountain weather turns truly evil as can happen in the Whites. There’s definitely a psychological comfort knowing that you’ve got that ace in the hole when all hell breaks loose, although it didn’t when I was on Rainier. The list is still a “work in progress” in part because I’d like to come back to it to describe the ultralite crevasse rescue solution my climbing partner, a Sirdhar/Sherpa from Nepal, and I used, which is a bit different from the AMGA approved system but much lighter. Also I’ve got jet lag so I’m going to need some sleep before completing the list. Thanks everybody for your suggestions and to Jim Stanley for lending me his personal axe.
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