Guide’s Kit: The Sun Hoody

Sun Hoody Actionshot

Periodically, we will talk about a piece of gear that we wouldn’t go without! These are pieces of gear we feel are invaluable after years of experience living, learning, and working in the alpine environment.

Glaciers in the summertime can be a brutal place. For every 1000 feet of altitude gained, UV radiation increases by 4%, because the thinner atmosphere filters less UV radiation. What’s more- the surface of the snow can reflect up to 80% of the UV radiation hitting it, creating an intense solar oven. Any seasoned mountaineer can attest to the extreme power of the sun at altitude, and most can also attest to the severity of sunburns possible in a mere 30-minutes of exposure!

Often, temperatures on a sunny glacier can fluctuate wildly- with fickle winds, a chilly breeze can become a stagnant, still solar oven in a matter of seconds. The best way to avoid sunburn is to cover your skin as much as possible- an uncomfortable prospect at best when one considers the heat and perspiration that will quickly build up with tight fitting baselayers in these conditions.

Enter the Sun Hoody!

Loose-fitting, super thin and breathable baselayer fabric is spun into a hoodie for the perfect glacier garment. These stretchy, breezy hoodies are ideal for keeping sun at bay while providing good wicking and breathability. Co-opted from sports fishermen (who spend hours at a time in direct sunlight on the water), mountain guides have been using these for years, often to the dismay of other climbers wishing for a more comfortable solution to the powerful UV-rays of the sun.

A built-in hood is a crucial aspect to this piece, offering shade on-demand over a sun hat, and complements a buff to provide complete sun protection for the face and neck while remaining light and breathable.

There are a couple of great options for sun hoodies on the market – guide favorites include the Outdoor Research Echo Sun Hoody, Patagonia Tropic Comfort Hoody, and Black Diamond Women’s Alpenglow Hoody. All offer UPF 50+ protection, loose-fitting hoods, and excellent wicking properties.

As always, you can read more about every item in your mountaineering kit on our Gear Lexicon!

 

ALPINE ASCENTS BLOG

  • Guide Skills: What’s in the Kit?

    By Trevor Husted As part of our Guide Development Series, this next post focuses on the essential items to include in your first aid kit if you are guiding an alpine climb. Have you taken an opportunity to look into your med kit lately? Perhaps question why something is even in there or maybe restock […]

  • 2022 Kilimanjaro Webinar

    Are you planning on climbing to the roof of Africa this summer?  If so, check out the 2022 Kilimanjaro webinar that we hosted on May 25th.  Our Kilimanjaro Program Director, Eric Murphy, outlined our COVID-19 protocols, the Tanzanian VISA process, and gave a detailed overview of the trip and what to expect.  We wrapped up […]

  • How To: Become a Guide

    By Kate Keith-Simms You’ve been dreaming of the outdoor office: lunch breaks taken overlooking snow capped peaks, “emails” coming in from the inReach, and a daily to-do list that includes navigating through a maze of crevasses and introducing others to the wonders of the alpine environment. But sometimes this dream can seem daunting. If you’re […]

Partners & Accreditations

Alpine Ascents International is an authorized mountain guide service of Denali National Park and Preserve and Mount Rainier National Park.
© Copyright 2022 All Rights Reserved. Alpine Ascents International