Personal Climbing Gears
- Alpine Climbing Harness: A good climbing harness should be light and simple in design, easy to put on and take off with gloves on, and with positively foolproof locking features.
- Crampons: Crampons must fit boots perfectly; steel crampons with anti-balling and the ability to toe point positively and safely into ice. The lighter the better – extra weight on your feet is much more strenuous than anywhere else on your body.
- Ice-axe: Ice-axe should be versatile and light. A general-purpose technical ice axe (T rated) but not too aggressive.
- Ascender: Ascender or Jamar, a mechanical device used for ascending on a rope; must be suitable to be used with gloves or mittens. Practice using it with thick gloves on again and again.
- Multi-LED Head Lamp: Multi-LED Head Lamp and spare batteries are essential; we do not recommend single bulb lights due to lower reliability
- Carabiners: Minimum 2 locking carabiners, 1 large and 1 small and 4 regulars.
- Rappel device: Figure 8, ACT or similar; be familiar with Munter Hitch as it may save your life if you lose your rappel device (which happens a lot)
- Trekking poles: Very handy for the approach; adjustable types are the best (preferably with a simple outside locking mechanism)
- Slings: One 3m(10ft) and three 2m(6ft)
- Prusik loops: Never hurts to carry a few (e.g. 0.6m and 1.2m), they come in handy in many situations
- Masks, hoses, and regulators: Good quality for your safety.
- Altimeter: ABC watch or more advanced GPS watches will do the trick. Watch for battery life
- Climbing helmet: The climbing helmet is essential safety gear for crossing areas under rocks and ice cliffs; light weight is essential.
For undergarments, we recommend Merino wool – or one of the new mixtures between Merino and synthetics (Icebreaker and Odlo are two highly recommended brands). Quality, as well as comfort, are essential in extreme conditions so don’t look for cheap options. Merino wool is popular because of its softness and breathability while providing excellent insulation. It can absorb water very well and takes moisture away from the body which keeps you dry and warm. It has natural antibacterial properties, so it stays usable for much longer.
- 1-2 (medium insulation) short-sleeve Merino shirts (e.g. Icebreaker Merino 150 or lightweight 200, Odlo Revolution medium)
- 2 long-sleeve Merino shirts (e.g. Icebreaker Merino 150 and/or 200 or Odlo Revolution, one medium and one thick)
- One fleece pullover, medium weight.
- One fleece jacket.
- One hardshell waterproof Gore-Tex jacket with a large hood to accommodate the climbing helmet. The Arc’teryx SV range is expensive but offers excellent wind and water protection.
- Lightweight down jacket for chilly days in base camp or warm layer when stopping for short breaks.
- One very warm expedition grade goose-down (duvet) jacket with hood or a down suit if you prefer, for high altitude use (e.g. Northface, Rab, etc.)
Note: Your clothing should be kept dry using waterproof stuff sacks (preferably made of Cordura) or alternatively bin-liners or large plastic bags although they are less rugged
- One pair of lightweight liner gloves. These will be worn when tying knots etc.
- Mitten: Gore-Tex Over-mitts (that block the wind) matched with the very warm down mitts, spare mitts might also be useful (For instance, Mountain Equipment Redline)
- Warm wool or synthetic hat that covers your ears
- Balaclava or face mask
- Scarf or neck sleeve
- a Bandana or headscarf is useful for dusty conditions
- Ball cap or brimmed sun cap
- Glacier Sunglass with side shields (2x)
- One pair of ski goggles (optional with light and dark lens) for windy conditions
- Merino underwear briefs (Icebreaker, Odlo, etc.)
- One pair of walking shorts (optional)
- One pair of walking trousers for trekking and around camp
- Two pair thermal Merino bottoms (Icebreaker 150 or 200 or Odlo Revolution)
- One pair of very thick thermal Merino bottoms (Icebreaker 200, Odlo Revolution Thick)
- One pair of polar fleece trousers or similar mid-layer trousers
- One pair of Gore-Tex (over)trousers or bibs. Waterproof/breathable with full side zips
- One pair of Goose-down trousers or bibs. You may prefer a down suit (Northface, Rab, etc.)
- One pair of plastic boots suitable for >8000m. (For instance La Sportiva Olympus Mons, Millet or equivalent good quality plastic shells with inner boots; avoid tight fit with heavy socks)
- One pair of sturdy leather or synthetic (Gore-Tex) hiking boots with good ankle support for the walk to base camp
- One pair of cross-trainers, running shoes, and/or sandals for Kathmandu and in camp
- One pair down booties (optional but convenient)
- Two pairs of med-heavy poly or wool socks
- Two Pairs of liner socks. Polypropylene or wool
- Vapor barrier liner socks or plastic bread bags (matter of preference)
- Two pairs of lightweight trekking socks, poly or wool
- Light Merino wool or cotton socks for in town
- Travel and Sleeping Gear
- Rucksacks and Travel Bags:
- One medium rucksack (50-70 l), can be used for airplane carry as well)
- Two large (120 l) duffle kit bags for clothing and equipment, must be durable for use on pack animals
- Small padlocks for duffel kit bags
- Sleeping Gear:
- One down sleeping bag for high altitude (rated to –35 C (-30 F). In the high camp, you can sleep in your own clothing inside your sleeping bag.
- For base camp, one (additional) sleeping bag (normal rating to about-15C to-20 C (-5 F)).
- At least 3 closed cell foam mats for use in base camp in the higher camps (Thermarest offers an excellent lightweight one with decent insulation values) – inflatable mats are not recommended as they are more prone to failure and provide almost no insulation if not properly inflated.
- Personal hygiene supplies;
- Two tubes of lip sun cream, at least 1 large tube of regular sun cream (min. factor 30), and some after-sun lotion in case you do get a sunburn
- Anti-mosquito cream;
- One toothpaste/brush set;
- One hand sanitizer gel
- 1 (fast drying) synthetic towel
- Small personal first-aid kit; (Simple and Light): first-aid tape, plasters (band-aids), alcohol-free wipes for cuts, personal medications, etc. (The leaders will have more extensive first-aid kits)
- Personal prescription medications; Please let your leader know about any medical issues before the climb.
- One skin blister repair kit
- Useful Medication: (Always contact your doctor if you have any questions; use alternatives in case you have intolerances for the suggested medication)
- Anti-diarrhoea pills (Imodium) (one regular package)
- Anti-headache medication (Aspirin or Ibuprofen) (one regular package)
- One small bottle of cough and/or cold medicine.
- One course of antibiotics for a stomach infection is available locally at a chemist shop or pharmacy with no doctor's prescription.
- One course of antibiotics for chest infection is available locally at a chemist shop or pharmacy with no doctor's prescription.
- One small bottle of anti-altitude sickness medication: Diamox (Acetazolamide), available locally, for more about this medication, please contact us or your doctor
- One small bottle of water purification tablets (needs to contain silver-ions AND chlorine) or a water filter or UV sterilizer.
- Extra prescription glasses/contact lenses. Contact lens wearers, please bring glasses in case of emergency.
Note: Do not bring sleeping pills. They are respiratory depressants that are problematic at high altitudes.
Miscellaneous Practical Items:
- 1 small roll of repair tape, 1 sewing repair kit;
- 1 cigarette lighter, 1 small box of matches that light in all conditions;
- 1 compass or GPS;
- Solar charger
- 1 battery-powered alarm clock/watch;
- 1 digital camera with extra batteries;
- Nylon stuff sacks For food and gear storage;
- 3 Water bottles (1 liter) wide-mouth Nalgene (1 is a pee bottle)
- 1 plastic cup and spoon;
- 1 small folding knife;
- Binoculars (optional);
- 4 large, waterproof, disposable rubbish sacks;
- Passport, 2 extra passport photos, flight ticket, flight itinerary;
- Separate photocopies of passport and relevant visa pages, proof of insurance;
- Base camp entertainment. It is good to bring additional items which you have found to be useful in previous expeditions. For example paperback books, playing cards, mp3 player, short-wave radio, game boys, musical instruments, ear plugs, lots of batteries, etc.;
- travel clothes for base camp and in town;
- Please be sure and bring your patience and try to keep an open, relaxed, positive, and friendly attitude as traveling in this part of the world may be very different than what you are used to, but things always seem to fall into place at the last moment.
Note: This is not an exhaustive list. Please contact us for any other equipment concerns and suggestions. We are happy to discuss these in detail.