Thursday, December 8, 2011

My Early Season trip checklist

SO! This weekend is something I am incredibly excited for. I'm heading down to the Adirondacks High Peaks with Evan, Lara, and Steph hoping to jump on some delicious early season ice climbing. Our destination is the North Face of Pitchoff Mountain (check the video at the bottom), the locale that we figure has the best chance of having climbable ice.

The weather has been a serious pain...first setting up great early season conditions, getting our hopes up...and then threatening to squash them in a fury of mild temperatures and not-frozen cloud tears. But, we're taking the chance and heading down! Hooray for adventures!

Last year in ONTARIO we were able to climb by this date (Dec. 7th)...unfortunately I think southern Ontario will have to wait at least a week...So for Evan's birthday, this is our trip.

Given that we have the possibility of encountering wet, thin ice...some gear changes had to be made. Also a big change from previous trips, we'll be staying in a hostel this no need to find a campsite!

I figured I'd toss a packing list up here for the heck of it, give y'all an idea of what I'd bring on this kind of trip. Anything in the list below that has a link will take you to info about the product. I'm not intending to advertise, but figured maybe someone out there is interested in knowing more about what I'm using.

Trip Length: 3 days
Camping: no


Ice Axes (Black Diamond Fusion)
Crampons (Black Diamond Cyborg)
Harness (Black Diamond Xenos)
Helmet (Black Diamond Half Dome)
Ice Screws (Black Diamond Turbo Express)
Nuts (full set + nut tool)
Small Hexes
Tri-cams (0.5-2)
Slings (dyneema - 60cm, 120cm)
Quickdraws (wiregate, dyneema dogbone)
Locking carabiners
Loose carabiners (at least 2 for every sling)
Cordalette (6mm ~10m)
V-thread tool (homemade)
2x 8.5mm Half-Ropes
Figure 8
Stove (Primus EtaPower MF)
Poles (Black Diamond Contour Elliptic)
Pack (Arc'teryx Cierzo 25)


Softshell Jacket (OR Alibi Jacket)
Hardshell Jacket (Berghaus Temperence II Jacket)
Insulated Jacket (Westcomb Himalaya Hoody)
Softshell Pant (OR Alibi Pant)
Hardshell Pant (Cloudveil Koven Pant)
Boots (Mammut Mamook Thermo)
Thin hat for under helmet (Helly Hansen HH Dry)
Buff (HH Warm Buff)
Thick hat (Mammut Placid beanie)

OR Stormtracker gloves (primary climbing gloves)
MEC Windbreak gloves (backup climbing gloves)
BD Punisher gloves (very cold or wet weather climbing gloves / belay gloves)
BD Mercury Mitt (Hand toasters)

2x lightweight long underwear
2x short-sleeved base (this and this)
2x long-sleeved base (1 merino 1/4-zip, 1 lightweight synthetic crew)
2x insulating top (MEC Amenity and T3 Stretch hoodie)
4x boxer briefs
6x socks (including these which i am very excited about - primaloft yarn!)

And that's it! Some stuff I have left out (e.g. binoculars, sleeping bags) because someone else is bringing them or they aren't entirely necessary...but there you go, that's the plan!

You can definitely expect a trip report when we return!

the North Face of Pitchoff Mountain:

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