Category: Gear

Not on the Gear List, But in our Backpacks

Off-List Must-Haves Gear lists are honed utilitarian tools for packing for a trip. Our gear lists represent years of carefully considering only and exactly what is needed for a given climb. You might wonder: are there things worth bringing into the mountains not on our gear lists? Absolutely! Loaded Smartphone (the Electronic Multi-Tool) A smartphone […]

Wash Down Gear When It Gets Dirty

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Cleaning Down Gear: What’s The Real Deal? Today’s down can be chemically treated so it is hydrophobic, and is available in super-powered 900 or 1000+ fill-power. These fancy, lightweight, and expensive items naturally give us pause at the laundry room door. We automatically know not to treat our down gear like a cotton t-shirt. So what’s […]

The Pee Bottle and Pee Funnel

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The Flats, Ingraham Glacier, Mount Rainier – 10:00 p.m. It’s the night before your summit push, and you’re lying in your tent wide awake. Your tentmate is fast asleep next to you. Adrenaline and nervous energy made it difficult for you both to settle down after dinner, especially since the Pacific Northwest sun was still […]

Mountaineering vs. Backpacking: Small but substantial gear differences

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Mountaineering vs. Backpacking: Small but substantial gear differences Sometimes the differences are obvious, and sometimes they are more subtle. And sometimes they only make a small difference, will others can make or break a summit attempt. Many mountaineers start their outdoor lives as hikers and backpackers, and this article is going to go through seven […]

Climbing Harnesses 101

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What’s the difference between a rock climbing harness and a mountaineering harness? Why might one be better than the other? Below we’re going to dig into the primary differences, and why for anything but technical rock climbing, you should choose a mountaineering harness for your next objective. There are three primary differences between your average […]

Medications & Prescriptions for Mountain Climbing

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The following article is adapted from a letter written by guide John Van Nostrand to climbers heading to Aconcagua, and is based on John’s many years of experience not only in guiding, but also in healthcare in and out of the hospital setting. While we hope his advice serves you well, please seek medical advice […]

Mountain Weather Forecasting

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Mountain Weather When heading into the mountains, there are many factors which will affect your trip – training, logistics, planning, skills, and more. While we can prepare in advance to control many of these factors, we cannot predict nor change the weather! What’s more, mountain weather is a fickle beast and can constantly surprise even […]

Down Fill-Weight vs. Down Fill-Power: Why the Latter Doesn’t Matter

Puffy

How exactly can you shop for a down jacket…and be confident it’s going to be warm enough? Here, we break down one aspect of down jacket selection. Alternatively, check out the insulation we offer for men and women, and email us with your questions. How much down is in this jacket? The key question to […]

Boots for Mount Rainier: Singles or Doubles?

Easily the most common question we are asked is, “What kind of boots will I wear on my Rainier climb?” Here, we break down how we decide. Two Boot Types We use two main types of boots in Washington’s Cascades Range, which includes Mount Rainier and Mount Baker among other peaks: double boots and single […]

Hardshells: Waterproof Pants & Jackets

Why do we use full-zip hardshell pants for alpine climbing? What exactly are hardshells, anyway? What features are important in hardshell jackets or pants? Why is it important not to bring half or quarter-zip hardshell pants into the high mountains? Here we answer some common questions with a few anecdotes and a few unavoidable facts. […]

ALPINE ASCENTS BLOG

  • Is My Training Working?

    Is my training working? Whether explicitly spoken or implied, this is the question many climbers ask of themselves, their friends, and perhaps their guides. At Alpine Ascents, we hear this question weekly. While the best answer to this question requires a comprehensive understanding of you and your objective, there are simpler ways to get a […]

  • Not on the Gear List, But in our Backpacks

    Off-List Must-Haves Gear lists are honed utilitarian tools for packing for a trip. Our gear lists represent years of carefully considering only and exactly what is needed for a given climb. You might wonder: are there things worth bringing into the mountains not on our gear lists? Absolutely! Loaded Smartphone (the Electronic Multi-Tool) A smartphone […]

  • downdowndown

    Wash Down Gear When It Gets Dirty

    Cleaning Down Gear: What’s The Real Deal? Today’s down can be chemically treated so it is hydrophobic, and is available in super-powered 900 or 1000+ fill-power. These fancy, lightweight, and expensive items naturally give us pause at the laundry room door. We automatically know not to treat our down gear like a cotton t-shirt. So what’s […]

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