Comprehensive Gear Lexicon

All About Gear

This lexicon offers a simple, item-by-item description of the purpose and use of each piece of gear generally needed for a variety of mountaineering objectives. Click into The Gear to find each reference, organized by category in an easy-to-navigate online format.


Click to download the Gear Lexicon in PDF format.

Further Comments to Guide You

Mountain climbing is an intensely equipment-dependent activity. Due to the extreme nature of the environments mountaineering takes us to, we depend on our equipment not just for comfort and performance, but ultimately for safety and survival. Having good equipment in the mountains is a crucial foundation for increasing your chance of having a successful climb.

This lexicon represents decades of in-field knowledge and expertise by a multitude of guides, instructors, and climbers. We have found that by being well-equipped on climbs and expeditions we are able to succeed in conditions that force other teams to turn back. Alpine Ascents constantly strives to stay on the leading edge of clothing & equipment technology, and this lexicon is updated regularly so as to offer the best information available.

Getting outfitted for mountaineering can be a daunting task. We are proud to offer a curated selection of some of our favorite equipment picks in our Gear Shop, and continue to offer more than four-dozen comprehensive Gear Packing Lists to any climber desiring further resources.

Our staff work year-round with our equipment partners to provide the best possible gear selection for our shop and for our guided trips. Our expert gear staff is happy to help anyone with the outfitting process – whether it’s choosing the right gear, advising on fit, or deciding whether to rent or buy. Feel free to contact us via email or phone with any questions.

Note that while we suggest specific representative products for each item, we do not intend to promote any one brand. Alpine Ascents acknowledges that many excellent equipment brands exist! We hope that this tool will be of help, and that you choose to share it with others.

The trip was excellent! In addition to the excellent pre-trip communications from Alpine Ascents and the superb leadership of Brian Houle, the in-country logistical support and guides were terrific.

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Alpine Ascents International is an authorized mountain guide service of Denali National Park and Preserve and Mount Rainier National Park.
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