Rainier Gear List

This post is part of a larger series of posts about my climb of Mt Rainier

It contains a list of the gear that I brought along and used when climbing Mt Rainier.  I have updated the post with information about what I used, and what I liked.

37 lbs of gear

I intend to keep climbing difficult mountains so Rainier provided just what I needed, another excuse to buy more gear.    I found it helpful to know what other climbers use, so I have included a full gear list here.

  • Feet
    • La Sportiva Nepal Evo Boots (Update) After breaking in these boots were quite comfortable, I didn’t get any blisters.  Probably 70% of the climbers were using this boot. My toes were ever so slightly cold near the top.  I used duct tape on my heals, and then applied body glide over the tape to reduce friction. Also contributing to the lack of blisters was the relaxed pace, and the fact that the trail is so well established most of the time your foot is near level)
    • REI Merino Wool Expedition Socks and iniji toe socks for liners (Update)  I was happy with both of these, my feet were thankfully a non issue.
    • Grivel G12 Crampons  (Update) Great Crampons that were easy to put on and performed well.  What ever crampons you select make sure you get the anti-ball plates.  The snow in the cascades has a tendency to collect and ball under the crampons as it warms up.  This is a serious safety issue.  Even with the anti ball plates you have to frequently knock the snow free with your ice axe.
  • Gloves
    • Lightweight running gloves (Update) I wore these gloves for most of the climb.  You are required to wear gloves for the entire upper mountain.  Anything heavy would have been miserable on the decent.
    • Stoic Welder Trigger Mitt (Removed the wool liner to fit over my running gloves) (Update) These worked very well. I wore them on breaks, and from above the cleaver until we descended to high break.  I  put hand warmers in them before we left camp muir and cinched them closed.  I refreshed the hand warmers at high break.   The guides did give me some flack about these gloves at the gear check.  They were concerned I would not have the required dexterity to clip into fixed lines, hold fixed lines, and grip / manipulate my ice axe.  I had no issue with dexterity.
    • Stoic Luft synthetic expedition Mitt (Update)  I put a pair of hand warmers in these as well. I never pulled these gloves out of my pack.
  • Upper Body
    • Smartwool micro weight zip tee (Update) due to the higher temps I did not use this layer. I actually wore a rail riders super light weight long sleeve.  I wore this layer the entire first day, and from muir to above the cleaver.   When selecting this layer for jul / aug climbs go really light!!
    • Patagonia R1 Hoody (One of my favorite pieces of gear) (Update) Wore it loved it!
    • Mountain hardware Syncro Softshell Jacket (Update) I wore this from high break to the summit.  It broke the wind and kept me comfortable
    • REI Kimtah Hard Shell with EVent Technology (update) used this for self arrest practice, but never used on the climb.
    • REI Atifreeze 800 fill down coat with hood.  (Update)  The guides were very picky about this particular piece of equipment.  It was worn on every break above camp miur, and worn the entire time on the summit.  I only spent about $100 on this coat which was quite a bargain when compared with competition.   Tip: pack your summit snacks in the pockets of the jacket. That way when you roll into break you only have to pull out your coat and put it on.
  • Lower Body
    • Smartwool light weight base layer (Update) due to warm temps I didn’t wear a bottom base layer.
    • First Ascent Rainier Storm Shell Pant (Update) weather never turned bad so didn’t use
    • Mountain Hardware Soft-shell Syncro Pant (Update) Very happy with these pants!  They were comfortable, warm, and held up well to the climb. These have full side zips which I found very useful for regulating temperature.  I climbed with them open, and closed as we rolled into break.
    • Outdoor Research Verglas Gortex Gaiter (Update) These performed well.  I would definitely recommend a gaiter that uses velcro to close on the front. The velcro is much faster to put on than a zipper. Additionally the easiest way to deal with the extra end of your crampon strap is to tuck it into gaiter with a small gap in the velcro
  • Climbing Gear
    • Black Diamond Aspect Harness (Update) This was a crossover rock / alpine harness.  I found it worked well and was comfortable the whole climb.  A non padded true alpine harness would be nice for the weight / space savings.    You also will want to try your harness with your pack to ensure that the gear loops and padded waist belt are not uncomfortable under the waist strap of your pack.
    • Black Diamond Half Dome Helmet
    • Black Diamond Raven Ice axe
    • Black Diamond Storm Headlamp (Update) worked very well I was able to see clearly while climbing at night. Note that the spare lithium batteries are not allowed in your checked baggage.  The guides said that if you put in a fresh set of lithiums you  really don’t need to carry spare batteries.
    • Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles (Update) I only brought one pole.  I usually only hike with one.  You are not allowed to use your pole on the upper mountain as you need your downhill hand free to manage the rope.  A second pole would have been nice for boot skiing on the low mountain, but I got by fine with one.
    • BCA Tracker DTS Avalanche Transceiver
  • Miscellaneous
    • GoLite Terrono 70L Pack
    • Golite Adrenaline 20 Degree down bag (Update) I didn’t even zip my bag In jul / aug I wouldn’t go to warm here.
    • Lumix DMC g5 micro 4/3rds camera with spare battery (Update) I was glad to bring my camera as I got some good pictures.   Be aware that on the upper mountain you have to keep your camera in a pocket or in your pack.  You are also not able to take pictures much on the upper mountain as you have to concentrate on climbing most of the time.
    • Western Mountaineering Down booties (Update) I was really glad to have these.  For mid summer climbs some light weight crocks or saddles would have also performed well. I was very happy to have a camp shoe and get out of my boots for a few hours.
    • Julbo dolgan glacier sunglasses (Update) Don’t skimp here the sun was really intense and you want a good pair of glasses. Snow-blindness is no joke!!  A couple of tips:  I used cat crap in the glasses and had zero issues with fogging up.  I also used a neck strap for the glasses and was glad I had it.  I removed them occasionally to apply sunscreen ect. It would have been very easy to lose them down the mountain without the strap.
    • Bole goggles (Update) Never used due to moderate wind
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One thought on “Rainier Gear List

  1. Great tips about putting snacks in your belay jacket and tucking the crampon strap in the velcro of your gaiters! I’m definitely going to start doing both.

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