Gear List

Mont Blanc Gear List

Alpine Ascents

Overview

  • Each item on the list below is required unless specified to be optional.
  • If seasonal fluctuations impact the requirement for an item on your list, it will be specified.
  • All other items are required regardless of the forecast to ensure your well-being, as weather and conditions can change quickly in the mountains.
  • Item images represent one product suggestion for that item.
  • Item images may or may not reflect the model of item available for rent.

RENTAL RESERVATION INSTRUCTIONS

  • Items with a price & check box may be rented.
  • Check the box of any item you desire to rent.
  • Complete the personal detail section at the bottom of the page, and click submit.
  • If you are a non-Alpine Ascents climber seeking rental equipment, please inquire via email.

FURTHER RESOURCES

  • If you wish to learn more about any piece of gear, the online Gear Lexicon is available 24/7.
  • A printable/downloadable PDF version of the Gear Lexicon may also be accessed here.
  • For in-depth articles, pro-tips, and advice on select subjects, check out our blog.
  • Our experienced staff are happy to speak with you via phone, or via email.
  • The Alpine Ascents Gear Store offers a wide range of products to suit your needs. All registered climbers are welcome to utilize the discount code contained in your confirmation materials.
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Climbing Equipment

Description
Click to Reserve/Buy Item
Hybrid Ice Axe

Hybrid Ice Axe

A hybrid mountaineering ice axe of 50-59 cm is required. Too short is preferable to too long, and models larger than 59 cm will catch on ropes and rocks. Ideal models include the Petzl Sum-Tec, Petzl Summit Evo, and Black Diamond Venom. Traditionally these axes come with a welded fixed adze, but some models. like the Petzl Sum-Tec, come with either a swappable adze or hammer. The adze allows digging/chopping in the snow, while the hammer allows use of hammering pickets into firm snow conditions. A hybrid axe with an adze is required. No straight-shafted non-hybrid axes will be allowed. Check out our write-up to learn more about different ice axes.

Crampons

Crampons

General mountaineering crampons. We recommend modern steel 12-point crampons with anti-balling plates. Please do not bring 10-point, aluminum, or single-piece rigid crampons. If you have questions about the suitability of your crampons for your trip, call or email the Gear Department. Check out our write-up to learn more about how to fit your crampons.

Standard Carabiners

Standard Carabiners

Two non-locking, lightweight D-shaped wiregate carabiners. Wiregate carabiners are stronger, lighter, and easier to use than standard gate carabiners

Alpine Climbing Harness

Alpine Climbing Harness

Your harness must fit over all of your clothing, feature gear loops, adjustable leg loops and waist belt, and must be able to fully separate at the legs . We strongly recommend newer models with a belay loop and which do not require "doubling back" your waist belt - older models are cumbersome. Check out our write-up to learn more.

Locking Carabiners

Locking Carabiners

Two screw-lock carabiners, ideally with large openings for easy manipulation while wearing gloves. Must be rated for climbing.

Trekking Poles

Trekking Poles

Collapsible trekking poles. A large variety of poles can work well. Three section models are preferred. Snow baskets are not necessary, although smaller trekking baskets can be nice. Basic Black Diamond Trail Poles are sufficient, but more expensive, lighter-weight models such as the Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Poles offer a greater weight advantage.

Footwear

Description
Click to Reserve/Buy Item
Gaiters

Gaiters

Full-sized waterproof gaiters that must fit snugly over your boots. Short trekking gaiters do not offer sufficient protection. If using a boot with a built-in gaiter, separate gaiters are not necessary.

Hiking Socks

Hiking Socks

Two to three pairs of midweight to heavyweight hiking socks including the pair you are wearing on Day 1. Wool and synthetic materials only. Newer socks offer increased loft, warmth, and padding than older socks. These must fit comfortably over your liner socks if you choose to use liner socks.

Technical Mountaineering Boots

Technical Mountaineering Boots

For Mont Blanc, full shank insulated leather climbing boots are required. Plastic boots will not perform well. Recommended models include the La Sportiva Nepal Evo GTX and Scarpa Jorasses.

Technical Clothing

Description
Click to Reserve/Buy Item
Short Underwear

Short Underwear

Two to three pairs including the pair you are wearing on Day 1. Synthetic or wool fabrics only - no cotton! Bring comfortable athletic styles based on your needs and preferences (e.g., boxers, briefs, sports bras).

Baselayer Bottom

Baselayer Bottom

Non-cotton baselayer bottoms that should fit snugly without constriction. We recommend lighter weight baselayers rather than heavier fleece-type layers. Wool, wool blend, polyester, or other synthetic fabrics all work well. Be sure your baselayer pants are not constructed from cotton.

Long Sleeve Sun Shirt

Long Sleeve Sun Shirt

One long-sleeved base layer top. This item must be constructed of a non-cotton material such as merino wool or polyester. Note that light-colored, hooded sun shirts are strongly recommended for sun protection, and are worn by guides throughout most climbs.

Softshell Pants

Softshell Pants

Stretchy, comfortable, non-insulated softshell pants that should fit comfortably with or without your baselayer bottoms. Please note that "zip-off"-style trekking pants are too light to be considered softshell pants.

Hardshell Pants

Hardshell Pants

Non-insulated, fully waterproof shell pants that must fit comfortably over your baselayer bottoms and softshell pants. Full-length separating size zippers are generally required; occasionally, 7/8th zippers (extending from the cuff of the pant to the upper hip) can suffice but are strongly advised against. Check out our write-up to learn more.

Softshell Jacket

Softshell Jacket

This breathable but wind-and-weather resistant jacket is a key part of a mountaineering layering system. We recommend a hooded model. This layer must fit well over your midlayer top and baselayer top. Check out our write-up to learn more.

Midlayer Top

Midlayer Top

A midweight, form-fitting, lightweight fleece layer for use over baselayers. Hoods are optional but recommended. Grid fleeces generally provide the best warmth-to-weight ratio. Note that very light puffy jackets can also suffice as a midlayer.

Hardshell Jacket

Hardshell Jacket

A non-insulated, fully waterproof shell jacket with a hood. Must fit comfortably over your baselayer, midlayer, and softshell. Helmet-compatible hoods are required. Check out our write-up to learn more.

Lightweight Insulated Jacket

Lightweight Insulated Jacket

Your lightweight insulated jacket serves either as a layering piece or as stand-alone insulation when appropriate. This may be filled with down or synthetic insulation. Down feathers are more packable and lighter weight, while synthetic insulation will retain warmth when wet.

Insulated Down Parka

Insulated Down Parka

This jacket or parka should be heavily insulated with high-quality down fill. We recommend an overall parka weight between 1.5 and 2.5 pounds. For warmth, a hood is required. Down sweaters or light puffy jackets will not be sufficient. Check out our write-ups here and here to learn more about down fill and down weight.

Handwear

Description
Click to Reserve/Buy Item
Lightweight Liner Gloves

Lightweight Liner Gloves

Very lightweight wool or synthetic liner gloves that offer a snug, comfortable fit. Lighter colors absorb less sunlight while still offering UV protection. Black or dark-color gloves are also acceptable.

Softshell Gloves

Softshell Gloves

Midweight, lightly insulated gloves for use when mittens are too warm and liner gloves are not warm enough. Leather-palm construction is always ideal for the sake of durability. Check out our write-up to learn more.

Insulated Mittens

Insulated Mittens

Waterproof shell mittens with insulating liners. We recommend that your liner gloves can fit inside the mitten system as well.

Leather Climbing Gloves

Leather Climbing Gloves

Used for rope handling, or for climbing when dexterity is key. Use a supple leather glove like the Black Diamond Crag Glove. Full fingers are required. Breaking in these gloves is highly recommended.

Headwear

Description
Click to Reserve/Buy Item
Climbing Helmet

Climbing Helmet

A lightweight climbing-specific helmet. This must fit comfortably over your bare head, hat, and/or balaclava, and your headlamp must be able to strap securely to the outside of the helmet. Check out our write-up to learn more about helmets.

Buff

Buff

A must-have for all outdoor activities, the UV Buff is a versatile replacement for the bandana and serves a multitude of purposes. Check out our write-up to learn more.

Sun Hat

Sun Hat

Any style of lightweight hat for shading the head will work well. Baseball caps and sombrero-style sun hats are the most common.

Wool/Synthetic Ski Hat

Wool/Synthetic Ski Hat

A non-cotton wool or synthetic hat that covers the head and ears comfortably.

Glacier Glasses

Glacier Glasses

High-quality glacier glasses offering full coverage around both eyes and across the nose. Removable side-shields are not required provided eye coverage is sufficient. For individuals that wear prescription glasses we recommend reading this blog post for tips on eyewear. For guide techniques on how to reduce glacier glasses from fogging check out this post here.

Ski Goggles

Ski Goggles

High-quality goggles for sun and wind protection at altitude. The lens should offer visible light transmission (VLT) of no more than 30%. Those with light-sensitive eyes may wish to use a darker lens. Photochromic models are ideal for use in changing conditions. See here for more.

Headlamp

Headlamp

A modern outdoor LED headlamp offering 200-300 lumens of output. Freshly installed batteries plus spare batteries. Rental headlamps do not include spare batteries. Weather-resistant models are strongly preferred. Check out our write-ups here to learn more.

Personal Equipment

Description
Click to Reserve/Buy Item
Sleeping Bag Liner

Sleeping Bag Liner

To be used in conjunction with the blankets issued by the hut guardian on mountain. We recommend Sea to Summit brand liners, and recommend purchasing a liner before flying to Europe.

Small Climbing Pack

Small Climbing Pack

A 35-40 liter capacity climbing pack. This pack should be simple, light, and purpose-built for climbing. Do not bring a larger pack, as larger packs will impede your ability to climb technical terrain and will not be allowed on the mountain.

Water Bottles

Water Bottles

Bring two one-liter capacity hard-sided water bottles. Wide-mouth, BPA-free plastic bottles are ideal. Nalgene brand bottles are recommended. Do not bring metal bottles, and do not bring soft-sided water bottles.

Thermos

Thermos

A stainless steel vacuum-sealed thermos with an air tight lid and thermal cup lid. We strongly recommended bringing a thermos for those who prefer hot water to help with hydration on cold mountain days. One-liter sizes are preferred, and avoid narrow-mouthed thermoses which can be challenging to fill.

Hydration Reservoir (optional)

Hydration Reservoir (optional)

A hydration reservoir is optional while hiking to the lower camp(s) on the mountain. We recommend a 2L hydration bladder for maximum comfort and ease. 2 hard-sided water bottles are still required on this trip. This combination will allow you to stay hydrated while carrying some backup water in case of a reservoir puncture. We recommend the HydraPak Water Reservoirs, as this system is far more durable than a traditional Camelbak product. Note that guides may inform at the gear check that a hydration reservoir is not usable if below freezing temperatures are forecasted. Check out our write-up to learn more about hydration systems.

Trash Compactor/Contractor Bags

Trash Compactor/Contractor Bags

Three heavy plastic garbage bags for use as waterproof pack/stuff sack liners. Trash compactor or contractor bags are made from a heavier plastic and stand up well to prolonged mountain use. Alternatively, a reusable waterproof pack liner can be used provided it completely fills the inside of your pack.

Camera

Camera

Optional. Small point-and-shoot cameras (including compact SLR's) are ideal & work well at altitude. Alternatively, many opt to use a smartphone camera. Due to weight & care in the mountain environment, large dSLR cameras are discouraged.

Small personal power bank (Optional)

Small personal power bank (Optional)

Small portable battery bank for charging personal items like a cell phone. We recommend models that weight less than 7oz and have enough charge for the length of the trip. Good options Goal Zero Flip 36 which can charge a smartphone three times. We strongly recommend keeping phones in airplane mode to increase battery life in the field. If concerned about pack weight, we recommend forgoing this item.

Toiletry Bag

Toiletry Bag

Include toilet paper (stored in a plastic bag), hand sanitizer, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, wet wipes, and any personal medications or prescriptions. Choose a quantity appropriate for the length of your trip. Female climbers should bring an appropriate amount of feminine hygiene products for the duration of the trip (for international trips, these can be difficult to find last minute in-country).

Sunscreen

Sunscreen

Two to four ounces of SPF 30+ sunscreen. Varieties with zinc-oxide are more protective! Two to four ounces per week is typically sufficient, but several small tubes can offer insurance against lost or exploded tubes. Sunscreen loses SPF rating over time; we strongly recommend brand-new sunscreen.

Lipscreen

Lipscreen

Several tubes of SPF 30+ lipscreen. As with sunscreen, be sure your lipscreen is new.

Running Shoes

Running Shoes

Lightweight, comfortable running or walking shoes are recommended for off-mountain use and pre-and-post trip travel. In some situations, these may also serve as approach shoes.

Altimeter/Smart Watch (Optional)

Altimeter/Smart Watch (Optional)

Altimeter and Smart Watches are increasingly popular and a great way to track your trip in the field. Models with GPS tracking, altimeter, and activity mode options are most common in addition to having traditional watch features like an alarm clock. Smart watches can be a very helpful tool in training for your climb. For a long trip, we recommend bringing a power bank and charging cable into the field as GPS tracking requires a significant amount of a battery power. For more information on altimeters and smart watches please read our blog post.

Small Personal First-Aid Kit

Small Personal First-Aid Kit

Basic medical supplies in a compact package. We recommend over-the-counter pain relievers, Moleskin, first-aid tape, Band-Aids, and anti-septic wipes or gel.

Earplugs

Earplugs

Always recommended for getting high-quality rest. Soft foam rather than wax models are recommended as they are light and disposable.

Hand Sanitizer

Hand Sanitizer

Many alcohol-based hand cleaners will work well. Bring a small amount appropriate to the trip duration.

Food

Food

Other than the welcome dinner on Day 2, you are responsible for your own meals in Chamonix. Breakfasts are included at the hotel.

All breakfasts and dinners in the mountains are included in the trip cost. You will supply your own lunch and snack food during the trip. You will also be responsible for bottled water and other drinks for purchase at huts.

Most food items can be purchased in Chamonix, but please bring the following hard to find items with you:

  • 5-7 Energy bars
  • 3-5 Energy gels
  • 2-4 Shot Bloks

Follow the link here for further recommendations.

Traveling

Description
Click to Reserve/Buy Item
Travel Clothes

Travel Clothes

Clean 'town' clothing is recommend for use traveling as well as pre-and-post trip. We recommend bringing a comfortable variety of clothing for peace of mind, including some t-shirts.

Large Duffel Bag

Large Duffel Bag

For traveling both to your start location and for in-country travel, a large travel duffel is recommended. Purchase a travel lock for peace of mind. Wheeled models are very convenient and are recommended.

Rental Agreement Terms and Conditions

I promise to return all equipment rented from Alpine Ascents International, Inc. in good condition at the end of my climb/course. I agree and authorize Alpine Ascents International, Inc. to charge my credit card on file for repairs and/or replacements of damaged, lost or stolen gear. And I agree not to hold Alpine Ascents International, Inc. responsible for any injuries incurred through the use of its rental equipment.

Rental Information

Reserving: Please submit one reservation per person per departure. We recommend submitting reservations at least one month in advance to ensure adequate time for processing. Incomplete reservations may cause delay or failure to reserve requested items. Cancellations must be made three weeks in advance of your departure.

Washington Rentals: All rental equipment for trips taking place in Washington will be picked up during your gear check at our Seattle headquarters. For trips with an off-site gear check please contact the Gear Department to pick up your rentals in Seattle. At that time, payment will be taken for all rented items. No security deposit will be charged for Washington rentals; however, Alpine Ascents reserves the right to assess fees for the replacement or repair of any damaged items.

Alaska Rentals: Due to the unique nature of Alpine Ascents' Alaska program, some items requested may be picked up in Talkeetna at your gear check rather than shipped directly to you. However, not all rental items are available for pickup in Talkeetna. Payment for Alaska rentals will be charged to the on-file credit card after your gear check, including a $50 security deposit per item. Alpine Ascents reserves the right to withhold all or part of your security deposit for the replacement or repair of damaged items. All equipment, whether shipped to you or picked up in Alaska, may be de-issued at the Alpine Ascents Alaska facility at the end of your trip.

International Rentals: All rental equipment for trips taking place internationally will be shipped to you approximately two weeks prior to your trip departure date. A USA address must be provided for rental shipments. Rental equipment may not be shipped internationally. At the time of shipment, charges will be assessed to the credit card on file, including shipping charges, rental fees, and applicable security deposits. Please immediately contact the Gear Department with any questions.

Confirmation: Allow 48-72 hours for rental confirmation via email. If you have any questions or have not heard back from us within three (3) working days, please email [email protected] or call (206) 378-1927 and ask for the Gear Department.

Payment: The credit card on file will be used to process rental payment. For climbs in Washington, payment will be taken at your gear check and no security deposit will be required. For climbs taking place outside of Washington, charges are processed at the time of shipment (approximately two weeks prior to departure date) and will include a $50 security deposit per item plus shipping. Shipping cost is based on size and weight and can only be determined at the time of shipment.

Security Deposit: Fees are fully refundable upon a timely return (one week from the end of trip). Fees may be assessed for repair or replacement of damaged item(s). Please allow up to two weeks for your refunded to be credited. Please note that for items not returned within one week after a trip end date Alpine Ascents reserves the right to withhold all or part of your security deposit.

Shipment: Rental items for climbs taking place outside of Washington are scheduled to ship two weeks prior to your trip departure. Once received, please verify that all items are correct and fit appropriately. Please note that sizing information provided is used to determine the sizes of items shipped. You are responsible for rentals once items are shipped and until items are received back at Alpine Ascents. We encourage you to insure your shipment.

Jonathon did a fantastic job of managing a challenging trip. The region had a long period of adverse climbing conditions. Because our team was comprised of two groups (half joining 1 week for Mont Blanc + half extending a second week for Matterhorn), Jonathon ensured flexibility in the attack plan to accommodate both those there with only a small window of opportunity to summit vs those there with more days and who could wait

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