Gear List

Cascades 13 Day Mountaineering Course 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.
  • 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

Ice Axe

Ice Axe

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. Note that wrist leashes should be removed from your axe; call the Gear Department if you would like to talk further about axe leashes.

Accessory Cord or Pre-Cut Prussiks

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

Crampons

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.

Climbing Harness Plus Two Locking Carabiners

Climbing Harness Plus Two Locking Carabiners

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 are cumbersome. Bring two locking carabiners in addition to the harness, which will be used only with the harness.

Standard Carabiners

Standard Carabiners

Four non-locking, lightweight carabiners. Wiregates are recommended over standard gates.

Belay Device

Belay Device

Modern tube-style belay device. Avoid super-specialized belay devices which cannot accept a wide variety of rope diameters.

Trekking Poles

Trekking Poles

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

Footwear

Description
Click to Reserve/Buy Item

Wool or Synthetic Socks

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.

Double Boots

Double Boots

Double boots designed for mountaineering. Plastic-shelled models are sufficient, but modern non-plastic versions are more comfortable. Please note that double boots may be required during any season. If you are able to use single boots, note that only one pair of boots will be required for the climb. Note that we rent Koflach Degre Plastic Boots.

Rock Climbing Shoes

Rock Climbing Shoes

Emphasizing a comfortable, snug fit, your rock climbing shoes must be comfortable for extended periods of use across varied rock terrain. Lace-up style shoes are recommended. Avoid down-turned or high-end sport climbing specific shoes.

Leather Mountaineering Boots (Optional)

Leather Mountaineering Boots (Optional)

Strongly recommended for comfort in technical terrain during times when temperatures do not require a double boot. Must be a crampon-compatible mountaineering boot, not a hiking boot.

Gaiters

Gaiters

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

Approach Shoes

Approach Shoes

Climber-specific approach shoes are recommended, with lightweight but sturdy construction, as well as excellent traction on rock and rough terrain. These shoes will be used while on approach to climb locations. Trail running or tennis shoes can suffice.

Technical Clothing

Description
Click to Reserve/Buy Item

Short Underwear

Short Underwear

Two to three pairs. 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.

Baselayer Top

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 light-colored, hooded baselayers are strongly recommended for sun protection, and are worn by most guides.

Midlayer Top

Midlayer Top

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

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.

Synthetic Shorts

Synthetic Shorts

Comfortable, non-cotton athletic shorts can be used on warm rock climbing days and during warm approach hikes. Quick-dry, lightweight materials are recommended.

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.

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.

Rock Climbing Clothing

Rock Climbing Clothing

Cotton shorts, t-shirts, and lightweight comfortable nylon climbing pants that allow freedom of movement.

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.

Lightweight Insulated Jacket

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.

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.

Insulated Mittens

Insulated Mittens

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

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.

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.

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.

Headlamp

Headlamp

A modern outdoor LED headlamp offering 200-300 lumens of output. Freshly installed batteries plus spare batteries. Weather-resistant models are strongly preferred.

Personal Equipment

Description
Click to Reserve/Buy Item

Climbing Pack

Climbing Pack

Simple, light internal frame pack with 55-75 liters of carrying capacity. The volume chosen should reflect experience level packing and quality of gear. Practice packing your gear if choosing a smaller volume pack.

Small Pack

Small Pack

An internal frame climbing/trekking pack of approximately 32-40 liters in carrying capacity. Emphasize simple, lightweight designs.

Inflatable Sleeping Pad

Inflatable Sleeping Pad

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

Foam Pad

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

20 Degree Fahrenheit Sleeping Bag

20 Degree Fahrenheit Sleeping Bag

Whether filled with down or synthetic insulation, this bag must be rated to 20-degrees Fahrenheit and feature a collared hood for warmth. Be sure to include a compression stuff sack.

Water Bottles

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).

Spoon

Spoon

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

Mug

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.

Bowl

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.

Knife

Knife

Medium-sized. Keep it simple and light.

Pee Bottle (1-1.5 Liter)

Pee Bottle (1-1.5 Liter)

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

Lighters

Lighters

Several small, light Bic-style lighters are recommended for starting your cook stove. Matches can fail in humid climates and leave waste behind.

Pee Funnel (for Women)

Pee Funnel (for Women)

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

Cooking Pots or System

Cooking Pots or System

A cook system sufficient for backcountry cooking. Many cooking systems are functional- practice makes perfect, whether using single pots or a more involved system including items such as a frying pan. Note that some stove systems integrate directly with a pot.

Stove

Stove

A liquid fuel or cartridge-burning stove can be used. Fuel for liquid-burning stoves will be provided at no additional cost. Those wishing to use cartridge stoves will need to purchase fuel on site. Please note that we rent liquid fuel stoves only. Check out our instructional article on selecting a stove!

Fuel

Fuel

Liquid fuel is included with the rental of a stove system. Please note that canister-style fuel is not provided.

Tent

Tent

A 4-season, storm-ready tent. Double-walled tents are required. All tents must arrive with full guylines and snowstakes. The listed rental price is charged per person using the tent.

Disposable Waste Kits

Disposable Waste Kits

All solid waste must be carried out of the backcountry, so one waste kit per 1-2 days is typically sufficient. Kits are reusable at your personal discretion.

Compass

Compass

A Northern Hemisphere compass with a sighting mirror and declination adjuster. Mechanical compasses are recommended over electronic compasses for wilderness navigation.

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.

Insect Repellent

Insect Repellent

One small bottle of insect repellent.

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.

Toiletry Bag

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.

Water Purification

Water Purification

One set of chemical water treatment drops or tablets. We recommend AquaMira, but be sure to purchase the style designed for treating one liter at a time. Lightweight Steri-Pens with extra batteries can suffice. Be sure your system will be sufficient for the entire duration of your trip- some packages of tablets treat only a very small amount of water! As a general guideline, allow for four to six liters of water per day when treating water is necessary.

Campground Toiletries

Campground Toiletries

A towel, soap, and shampoo for use in campground showers on select nights of the course.

Sunscreen

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

Lipscreen

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

Small Personal First-Aid Kit

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.

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

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

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 to your start location, a large soft-sided duffel is recommended. Purchase a travel lock for peace of mind. Do not bring wheeled nor hard-sided models.

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 [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.

Simply EXCELLENT!  Wonderful guides who never lost their patience with me or anyone in our group.  Being great climbers is one thing, but being teachers who can clearly impart knowledge in a friendly and cordial manner is another.  All of our guides were both.  Would recommend the course to others in a heartbeat!  The program […]

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Partners & Accreditations

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