/ Norway Ice climbing gear

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tonytc - on 03 Dec 2012
Hi,

I'm going ice climbing in Norway in February and I'm looking for clothing suggestions. I expect it will be around -15 so I'm wondering what kit you would buy for this kind of trip. So far I have mid weight Merino base layer top and bottom, lightweight softshell pants. I have Salewa Raven GTX boots but I'm thinking about getting a pair of Evo GTX or maybe some plastics?
A pair of waterproof pants is a must, but for the jacket not sure if a decent softshell is the way forward or maybe a hardshell like the Arcteryx Alpha SV.
I have an Arcteryx alpha SV insulated jacket and Atom insulated pants but they're more for the belay rathere than the climbing.
Any recommendations for gear to actually climb in would be more than welcome.

Cheers,

Tony.
mutt - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to tonytc:

whilst not wanting to be provocative - it deos sound like your list is designed mostly to cost you lots of money.

I've been to Rjukan to the last two winters and the kit I took first time round was.

borrowed 1990's goretex salopettes and gloves, event jacket, thermal underwear, north face feather jacket, winter weight fleece. All of which cost me precisely nothing. I abandoned the borrowed kit and used my own waterproofs the following year but basically the same kit.

Its definately worth investing in good gloves - skiing gloves aren't articulated sufficiently and aren't waterproof and warm.

I wouldn't spend anyhing on trousers as they get properly shredded by crampons. thermal underwear is quite warm enough under normal climbing trousers.

Waterproofing is not really necessary as its so cold nothing will melt like it does in scotland, and spindrift is non existent. Pertex offers perfectly acceptable waterproofing for norway but I guess its quite difficult to find these days. Soft shell is an acceptable alternative but is about 5 times the cost.

Most people use B3 boots these days. weight is the key reason I think.

Just being in Norway is f'ing expensive by the way so if I were you I'd save your money for food when you get there!

No doubt other people, more focused than me on looking the part, will berate me for being so cavalier with modern fabrics but in my book its all about the climbing and not about the look.
Simon_Sheff - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to mutt:
> (In reply to tonytc)
>

> I've been to Rjukan to the last two winters and the kit I took first time round was.

> borrowed 1990's goretex salopettes and gloves, event jacket, thermal underwear, north face feather jacket, winter weight fleece. All of which cost me precisely nothing. I abandoned the borrowed kit and used my own waterproofs the following year but basically the same kit.


Wish we were all so cool......

Monk - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to tonytc:
> Hi,
>
> I'm going ice climbing in Norway in February and I'm looking for clothing suggestions. I expect it will be around -15 so I'm wondering what kit you would buy for this kind of trip.

One thing to remember is that even when it is -15, you will get hot when climbing. I think that you are sorted for trousers - I use some Rab vapourise trousers, sometimes with thermal leggings, sometimes with goretex on top. Often when climbing, I will only be wearing a thermal and a softshell (Marmot DriClime). I had a Montane Epic fleece/pertex jacket for seconding (and leading when it was very cold), and a fat belay jacket for belaying. I don't remember wearing my hardshell jacket much at all - there was no chance of rain and the snow was so cold it pretty much slid off me before melting.

The only thing I bought specially for Norway was the belay jacket with a hood, and that was well worth it.
tonytc - on 03 Dec 2012
Wow, divisive subject!

I get your comment about the expensive kit - to be honest I buy all my stuff on sales and special offers. It's not free but it's nowehere as expensive as it could be! :) Unfortunately I don't kow people who I could borrow stuff from. Regarding the other materials, I know that Arcteryx is expensive but the stuff I bought has lasted amazingly well, other cheaper equipment has been crap so I buy quality and buy once. Definitely agree with the pants though, I have a shredding habit also.
That aside, any specific recommendations ie layering systems or particular items?


augustus trout - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to tonytc: Your list sounds fine to me, if however, your doing multi pitch figure out what your going to sit on and how your going to rig it. Literally froze my arse off while belaying on Fabrikfossen, should have climbed with a rucksack in hindsight and sat on it.
In reply to mutt:

> I wouldn't spend anyhing on trousers as they get properly shredded by crampons.

Not everyone has that problem you know. If they are really "shredded" as opposed to the odd one or two little holes, I think your doing something wrong. At the very least consider some snug fitting gaiters or maybe bicycle clips!

> Pertex offers perfectly acceptable waterproofing for norway

For all of Norway? At all times? Don't be silly. As ice gets steeper and less uniform you can get dripped on a lot even when it's -15. I find Goretex is actually more necessary for legs because every time you bring your feet up, the top of thigh is exposed and a large area, they seem to get wetter than shoulders/front of chest etc.

GrendeI on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to tonytc:
> Hi,
>
> I'm going ice climbing in Norway in February and I'm looking for clothing suggestions. I expect it will be around -15.

The average temperature will depend on where you go... where are you going? This will also help determine what you should consider taking. Also are you car/tent/cabin based?

> So far I have mid weight Merino base layer top and bottom, lightweight softshell pants. I have Salewa Raven GTX boots but I'm thinking about getting a pair of Evo GTX or maybe some plastics?

Comfortable stiff boots are a must and they must fit well with your crampons. Plastics are not necessary.

> A pair of waterproof pants is a must, but for the jacket not sure if a decent soft-shell is the way forward or maybe a hardshell like the Arcteryx Alpha SV.

I always climb ice in hardshell trousers and a soft shell jacket, purely cause it's rarely wet here unless you climb really early or late in the season, but I find having waterproof trousers better for sitting around on ice and legs always seem to get wetter when it's dripping (Also very useful when you stomp through the ice and discover there is still a waterfall in full flow underneath it). Still yet to put a hole in them!

> I have an Arcteryx alpha SV insulated jacket and Atom insulated pants but they're more for the belay rather than the climbing.

I assume you mean Atom SV. Ideal for belaying if so, don't bother with the trousers, unless you're cragging but I imagine they would be a shit to take on and off all the time.

> Any recommendations for gear to actually climb in would be more than welcome.

I climb in, wool socks, merino base-layers, waterproof trousers, insulated mid-layer, soft-shell jacket. I have a down jacket for belays, thin hat to wear under helmet, soft-shell gloves for when I'm hacking a pair of traditional wool mitts that I swap into at the belay and waterproof over gloves for when it gets cold or my gloves start to get wet. I always keep the mitts and over gloves inside my jacket to keep them warm.

I always carry an extra pair of insulated mitts, neck warmer and thin merino glove liners in my pack along with some seriously sugary hot chocolate. Oh and yesterdays pizza and cookies help too!

And always... always, ALWAYS carry a head torch here!

andic - on 03 Dec 2012
In reply to tonytc:

I wore swimming trunks, merino tights and patagonia guide pants, no waterproofs (carried) on bottom and on top a base layer merino tee, softie shirt and a rab latok water proof, I was hot whilst climbing fine whilst belaying.

I had a down coat but it was surplus to requirements, you could carry one if you feel the cold i suppose

and get one of these, (im not kidding)
http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Coastal-Active-Balm-15-Ounce/dp/B003Z0NJ0U/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1...
Jamie Wakeham - on 04 Dec 2012
In reply to tonytc: I was in Sedestal last January. I tend to run fairly cold, so my kit might have been a little warm for some... but I was using a couple of layers of thermal leggings, thermal top and micro-fleece, light fleece jacket, and a fairly heavy goretex jacket and salopettes. I'm perfectly happy wearing good goretex trousers; it just helps encourage me not to kick my legs ;-)

And we certainly did find having waterproof tops and trousers useful. Spindrift melts, as does all the crap that's rained down on you when you're belaying.

Found my Scarpa Freneys *much* too cold and was very glad I'd taken my old Vegas, though most of the people I was with were happy enough in heavier single boots.

Top tip, though (my mates all thought I was crazy till they tried it): a big thermos filled with dilute stock, made up from an oxo-cube/marigold/similar. Utter lifesaver when you get really cold towards the end of the day.
In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

> Found my Scarpa Freneys *much* too cold and was very glad I'd taken my old Vegas, though most of the people I was with were happy enough in heavier single boots.

I've always taken my old Vegas up to Lyngen with me for ice trips but never actually worn them. I suppose ambient temperatures are probably colder down here in Finland on average, and foot warmth is less affected by wind/moisture (a big issue climbing next to open fjords in Lyngen) than your body, but you can still get cold easily up there. Nevertheless I've happily done all my Arctic ice in Nepal Extremes BUT with the addition of a full foot gaiter http://www.terra-nova.co.uk/clothing-accessories/all-gaiters/terragaiter-end-of-line/ I know Yetis are terribly unfashionable these days and we should all be skipping along merrily in our dainty little boots with just a wee bit a of elastic holding the bottoms of our trousers down under said boots, but for post-holing through sometime damp bottomless snow, and keeping the leather and laces of leather single boots dry - I think they're excellent. I suppose full foot gaiters aren't very cheap (although the Terragaiters are at the mo' if they are you size!) but if you can find some second hand or on clearance, you might find they add a reasonable amount of warmth to your Freneys. A dab of seam grip keeps the toe cap in place for a week of climbing but makes taking them off at the end easy enough.

<edited because I still can't get the difference between affected and effected straight in my head. Argghhh! It's the right way now isn't it?>
Jamie Wakeham - on 04 Dec 2012
In reply to TobyA: interesting. How do you find the crampons over the gaiter? I suppose what I'm asking is what would feel better (in terms of weight and precision) - Vegas, or Freneys plus these gaiters?

What I do *love* about Vegas in cold conditions is that the inners make really nice driving shoes! Get to car - step out of outers and into the driving seat - tell mate to throw the outers in the boot - off you go :-)

<Yep, you're fine. One affects (vb) an effect (n) upon something>
In reply to Jamie Wakeham:
> (In reply to TobyA) interesting. How do you find the crampons over the gaiter?

Fine. No probs, occasionally you have to pull the front bit up a few mms to get the bail in the right place, but really no problems.

> <Yep, you're fine. One affects (vb) an effect (n) upon something>

It's all the secondary meanings that confuse me, "he affected an air of bewilderment over is basic grammar confusion" etc.! :)


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