We need a big trip. I don’t know, the alps or something. Mountain huts. Glacier crossings. Climb a peak or two. You in? (Probably verbatim. Definitely over pints.)
And so it will be. In less than 10 days I will have my feet on the trailhead in the French Alps, heading, well, somewhere. John has the details figured out. It’s pretty snowy in the Alps this summer. After a few days of trekking, we have a guide meeting us out for a few days of mountaineering, and then some beach time in the Mediterranean to recover. Pretty damn fun.
One of the most exciting aspects of this trip has been researching and selecting all the gear. Unfortunately I never found a single post online where someone shared photos of their gear for a trip like this, so I figured I should give it a shot. This gear is highly informed by this list from the High Mountain Guides (our guide on this trip). Since we’re meeting them at a hut in the middle of nowhere, they can’t do the in-person gear check before we start climbing, so we’re phoning it in with a detailed list and photos instead. Here goes, roughly head to toe.
Baseball hat for sunny warm days, Black Diamond Half Dome climbing helmet, Winter running hat (can be worn under helmet), Sunglasses, Black Diamond Headlamp, Eye covers and earplugs (great for the plane and noisy huts), Black Diamond mid-weight gloves, Black Diamond Glissade cold-weather gloves
REI Rhyolite Rain Jacket, Mountain Hardware Thermostatic Hooded Jacket, REI Sahara Tech Long-Sleeve Shirt, 2XU compression sleeveless shirt, Under Armour compression thermal shirt. (I may bring another fleece layer too, depending on how the temps look before we head out.)
Black Diamond Momentum climbing harness, belay device and locking carabiner, Outdoor Research Gaiters, Petzl Vasak Forefront Crampons, Salewa MS Raven Combi GTX M Mountaineering Boot, Superfeet Insoles, Petzl Summit 2 Ice Axe (66mm, I’m 6'1") and leash, Bearios Trekking Poles
REI camping towel, Cocoon CoolMax Mummy Liner (required in order to stay in the mountain huts), JOBY gorilla tripod for long-exposure night shots, Fujifilm x100T mirrorless camera, Peak Design Capture clip (for quick access on the backpack), various waterproof bags
All hastily packed up in a Patagonia Ascensionist 45L pack. Not pictured: map, compass, water bottles, snacks, skivvies, sanuk vagabond shoes for the huts, camera batteries and charger. All packed up this comes to around 18#.
Because you can’t bring an ice axe on a plane as a carry-on, I’m going to toss all this stuff in a large duffle bag and check it. We’ll stash the duffle bags and anything we don’t need on the trekking/mountaineering portion of the trip at a hotel or a locker in a train station or something.
10 more days. Cain’t wait.