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Gear List

Mount Vinson Gear List

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.
  • 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

Reserve Rental | Rental Price
Description
Click to Buy/View Item

Waist Leash

To be used with your ice axe, a commercial waist leash is designed to keep your ice axe attached to you even in the event that you drop it while climbing or taking a break. Note that only waist leases will work- no wrist leashes!

Ice Axe

$44.00

A general mountaineering ice axe. Size according to height; under 5'2'' use a 50 cm axe, 5'3'' to 5'5'' use a 55 cm axe, 5'6'' to 5'9'' use a 60 cm axe, 5'10'' to 6'0'' use a 65 cm axe, above 6'0'' use a 70 cm axe. If you already have and prefer to use a waist leash, you are welcome to bring it to your gear check.

Accessory Cord or Pre-Cut Prussiks

40 feet of 6mm accessory cord to be used for prussiking and other climbing rigging. Bring pre-tied prussiks if you already have them, or bring one continuous length to be cut.

Crampons

$62.00

General mountaineering crampons. We recommend modern steel 12-point crampons with anti-balling plates. We do not recommend 10-point, aluminum, or single-piece rigid crampons. The traction offered by a 12-point crampon is superior to that of a 10-point; steel crampons stand up to the rigors of potential time spent walking on rock in crampons; one-piece crampons often break or do not fit modern boots well.

Carabiners

Please bring (2) large auto-locking carabiners for use with your harness, and (6) non-locking carabiners (wiregate or standard are both OK).

Alpine Climbing Harness

$50.00

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 and waist. We strongly recommend newer models with a belay loop and which do not require "doubling back" your waist belt- older models can be very cumbersome. Old Black Diamond Alpine Bod type harnesses are not recommended.

Trekking Poles

$55.00

Collapsible skiing/trekking poles with snow baskets. Three-section varieties are preferred.

Ascender

$40.00

One right or left-handed ascender (pick your dominant hand to choose which style ascender). This item must be in good condition.

Footwear

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Description
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Wool or Synthetic Socks

Three pairs of medium to heavy hiking socks. These must fit over your liner socks if you plan to wear liner socks.

Gaiters

$50.00

Full-sized waterproof gaiters that must fit snugly over your mountaineering boots. Short trekking gaiters do not offer sufficient protection.

High-Altitude Double Boot

A double boot with either a hard plastic or soft synthetic outer designed for use with a high-altitude liner. Not necessary if using a high-altitude all-in-one boot system.

Insulated Overboots

Below the knee length neoprene overboot. Should fit tightly over your boots and work well with your crampons. Necessary when using a high-altitude double-boot system. Not necessary for use with a high-altitude all-in-one boot system.

High-Altitude All-in-One Boot

Used instead of the high-altitude double-boot, this all-in-one integrated boot system is warm enough for use without overboots, and eliminates the need for gaiters.

Booties

Synthetic or down camp booties for comfortable wear around camp.

Technical Clothing

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Description
Click to Buy/View Item

Short Underwear

Two to three pairs based on personal preference. Synthetic or wool fabrics only; bring a comfortable athletic style for any top and bottom underwear.

Baselayer Bottom

Non-cotton baselayer bottoms that should fit snugly without constriction.

Heavy Baselayer Bottoms

Heavy, expedition-weight baselayer bottoms designed to be used while climbing in very cold conditions. Fabrics such as Polartec Power Stretch, Capilene 4, and Polartec Power Dry will work well.

Baselayer Top

One to two long-sleeved baselayer tops. Baselayers must be constructed of a non-cotton material such as merino wool or polyester. Note that many guides prefer light-colored, hooded baselayers for sun protection.

Midlayer Top

A midweight, form-fitting, lightweight fleece layer for use over baselayers. Hoods are optional but recommended.

Softshell Pants

$60.00

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.

Softshell Jacket

$60.00

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.

Hardshell Jacket

$100.00

A non-insulated, fully waterproof shell jacket with a hood. We recommend durable three-layer fabric. Goretex Pro Shell or a similar eVent fabric will offer the most durability and long-term weather protection. This layer must fit comfortably over your baselayer, midlayer, softshell, and potentially a lightweight insulated layer. Helmet-compatible hoods are required.

Lightweight Insulated Jacket

We recommend a lightweight insulated jacket to serve either as a layering piece or as stand-alone insulation when appropriate. This may be filled with down or synthetic insulation.

Expedition Down Parka

$250.00

An 8000-meter rated, expedition ready parka. This parka must be in excellent condition, fully baffled, and should be recently cleaned with Nikwax Down Wash to ensure maximum loft. We recommend calling to discuss your parka choice, as this item is key to success on any expedition.

No One-Piece Suits

Please note that one-piece down suits are NOT appropriate for this trip. Do not bring a down suit; instead, bring an expedition parka and insulated synthetic pants. Down suits will not be allowed on this trip.

Insulated Synthetic Pants

$60.00

A synthetic insulated pant with full-length separating side zips. Ski pants are typically not appropriate for this layer.

Handwear

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Description
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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

$40.00

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.

Insulated Shell Gloves

One pair of warm shell gloves with insulated removable liners. Excellent for use when conditions are too cold for softshell gloves, but too warm for expedition mittens. We recommend models with a durable leather palm.

Expedition Mittens

$63.00

Expedition-rated mittens with an insulated removable liner. Please be sure this mitten is the warmest model available by any manufacturer.

Headwear

Reserve Rental | Rental Price
Description
Click to Buy/View Item

Buff

A must-have for all outdoor activities, the UV Buff is a versatile replacement for the bandana and serves a multitude of purposes.

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.

Balaclava System

Two full balaclavas, one heavyweight and one lightweight, that will comfortably layer together. These items are not replaced by a Buff.

Wool/Synthetic Ski Hat

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

Facemask

Neoprene models are recommended; be sure your facemask is sized well to your face. Balaclavas with built-in facemasks will also work well.

Glacier Glasses

$45.00

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.

Ski Goggles

$50.00

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.

Nose Guard

Nose guards are optional, but can be useful for those with extra-sensitive noses in lieu of constant sunscreen application.

Personal Equipment

Reserve Rental | Rental Price
Description
Click to Buy/View Item

Expedition Climbing Pack

$85.00

A 75-105 liter climbing pack designed with climber-specific features and an internal frame. The volume you choose depends on experience level packing and gear quality. If opting for a pack smaller than 100 liters, practice packing to be sure you can efficiently use a smaller sized pack.

-40 Down Sleeping Bag

$250.00

This sleeping bag should be appropriately rated to -40 degrees. Down bags are a must- synthetic bags are overly bulky and heavy when rated below 0-degrees.

Inflatable Sleeping Pad

$47.00

A full-length, modern inflatable sleeping pad is recommended. Older-style three-quarter length pads have been superseded by ultralight full-length pads. We recommend bringing a valve repair/body patch kit.

Foam Pad

$30.00

This pad should be either 3/4 or body length. Cut pieces of closed cell foam or industrially-crafted pads are both acceptable.

Water Bottles

Two to three one-litre capacity bottles. Bottles should be wide mouth made of co-polyester (BPA free plastic). No water bag or bladder systems (they freeze or are hard to fill) and no metal bottles (they have a tendency to freeze).

Mug

One insulated outdoor-style mug with a removable lid. Your mug should retain heat well and be spill resistant. Models with 12-20 oz capacity generally work best.

Knife

Medium-sized. Keep it simple and light.

Pee Bottle (1-1.5 Liter)

One wide-mouth, clearly marked collapsible container or wide-mouthed bottle for use overnight.

Spoon

One durable hard plastic or anodized metal spoon. Longer spoon stems can be helpful for eating while wearing gloves.

Water Bottle Parkas

Bring two fully insulated water bottles parkas with zippered openings. Neoprene 'cozy' style constructions do not provide enough insulation and are not recommended.

Pee Funnel (for Women)

Optional. Practice is critical for the use of this item.

Bowl

One two-cup capacity packable bowl. Models with a lid (like a Tupperware) work well, as do lidless bowls and flatter "deep plate" models. Collapsible models can suffice, but must be handled very carefully to avoid unintended collapsing.

Trash Compactor Bags

Three bags for use as waterproof pack/stuff sack liners. Compactor bags are made from a heavy plastic and stand up well to prolonged mountain use.

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 Duffel

This item can double as carry-on luggage for your flight, and is used to store any items you do not plan to take into the mountains. Think light and simple, with 40-50 liters of total capacity. Bring a travel lock for peace of mind.

Toiletry Bag

Include toilet paper (stored in a plastic bag), hand sanitizer, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and wet wipes. Choose a quantity appropriate for the length of your trip, and call the Gear Department with any questions about these items.

Sunscreen

One to two ounces of SPF 30+ sunscreen. Varieties with zinc-oxide are more protective! One ounce is typically sufficient per week, 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

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

Expedition Duffel Bag

$50.00

An approximately 150-liter expedition-ready duffel bag used to transport all gear.

Small Personal First-Aid Kit

Basic medical supplies in a compact package. We recommend basic painkillers, Moleskin, first-aid tape, Band-Aids, and anti-septic wipes or gel.

Medications & Prescriptions

Bring any personal prescriptions, plus Pepto Bismol, Cipro (500mg tablets), Z-Paks (250mg tablets), Diamox (125mg tablets, approx. 2 per day at altitude), and a variety of standard painkillers like Excedrin Extra Strength, Ibuprofen, etc.

Hand Sanitizer

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

Hand and Toe Warmers

Bring three sets of each. Please note that toe warmers are different than hand warmers. They are formulated to work in a lower oxygen environment, like the inside of a boot, they also burn out more quickly.

Food

Please review the food and water information available in your Climber Information Packet. A close reading of this information is important towards a smooth trip. We recommend taking plenty of time consider this information. Please contact the Gear Department with any food-related questions.

Traveling

Reserve Rental | Rental Price
Description
Click to Buy/View Item

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.

Climber Information

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 at your gear check. 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 gear@alpineascents.com 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.

Certainly an epic journey that I (and I imagine nearly every other climber) will remember the rest of their life. There is no doubt that AAI ran a well organized, ‘user friendly’ program and has established a great reputation in Antarctica as well as among climbers in general. They seem to own this trip.

Disembarking on the ice from our Illuyshin 76 private jet. Mount Vinson, Antarctica. Photo: Monika Witkowska
Moving to Base Camp from our Twin Otter landing strip. Mount Vinson, Antarctica. Photo: Monika Witkowska
Mount Vinson, Antarctica. Photo: Monika Witkowska
Mount Vinson, Antarctica. Photo: Monika Witkowska
Mount Vinson, Antarctica. Photo: Monika Witkowska
Mount Vinson, Antarctica. Photo: Monika Witkowska
Mount Vinson, Antarctica. Photo: Monika Witkowska
Mount Vinson, Antarctica. Photo: Monika Witkowska
Neighboring Mount Shinn from High Camp. Mount Vinson, Antarctica. Photo: Monika Witkowska
High Camp. Mount Vinson, Antarctica. Photo: Monika Witkowska
Summit Ridge. Mount Vinson, Antarctica. Photo: Monika Witkowska
Vinson Summit. Lakpa Rita Sherpa becomes the first Sherpa to summit Mount Vinson, and the Seven Summits. Photo: Andy Tyson
Plenty of daylight. Mount Vinson, Antarctica. Photo: Monika Witkowska
Mount Vinson, Antarctica. Photo: Monika Witkowska
Climbing towards summit ridge. Mount Vinson, Antarctica. Photo: Monika Witkowska
Ralaxing at Union Glacier Camp. Mount Vinson, Antarctica. Photo: Monika Witkowska
Mount Vinson, Antarctica. Photo: Monika Witkowska

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