/ Scottish Winter / Alpine Rucksack

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Jack.H.92 on 08 Dec 2011
Heading out to Scotland this winter and Alps over summer for the first time.

What size rucksack should I get? Read a lot of articles and found a varying range between 50 and 28L ish>.

Hoping to be doing mostly ice climbing so would have thought i'd be packing towards the lighter side.

Found a nice cheap rucksack for 30, will that be big enough?

Any help would be great,

Thanks
Jack.H.92 on 08 Dec 2011
In reply to Jack.H.92:
Should also mention I'm pretty slim, so smaller gear to pack, also dont want a giant rucksack pulling me off I imagine.
Pinkney - on 08 Dec 2011
In reply to Jack.H.92:
this 30 bag... you didnt say what size it was. but mine varies, used to use a 35l, but often struggled to get everything inside it so have moved up to a 42l. i have in the past also used a stripped down 60l and that worked well for me too- much easier to pack
Jack.H.92 on 08 Dec 2011
In reply to Jack.H.92: 30L was what i meant to write
Ron Walker - on 08 Dec 2011
In reply to Jack.H.92:

Big sack for winter in Scotland and fairly small for summer in the Alps. The climbing techniques are fairly similar but the weather quite different!
Around 40 litres is a good size for both.
almost sane - on 09 Dec 2011
In reply to Jack.H.92:
I like a sack that is a bit too big for what I need to carry.
This way I can rummage in the bag to find things.

This may seem daft if you have never been out in a Scottish hoolie. But if the wind is very strong, most things you might take out of the bag will blow away unless you are holding them. So if your first aid kit / spare gloves / lunch / shell jacket / belay jacket / hat /crampon bag / extra fleece / goggles / flask is at the bottom of your rucksack, how are you going to get to it if your bag is full to the brim? But if the bag is oversized, you can rummage around and only bring the thing out of your bag that you need just now.
almost sane - on 09 Dec 2011
In reply to Jack.H.92:
What size of bag do you need for ice climbing? That depends upon the ice climbing.

If you are doing single pitch climbs from the roadside, do you need a rucksack for climbing at all? Just carry your kit to the foot of the climb in a holdall.

If you are doing ice climbs that require a walk-in of a few hours, then you need the kit for a winter day on the hill. Here you will need a rucksack. Depending on the climb, are you better to have everyone carry a rucksack? Could you get away with carrying one sack between two, with the second carrying the bag? If you alternate leads you can avoid resentment. And you can swap the bags during the walk-in.

Or perhaps you are going to be out for several days, during which time you will attempt more than one climb. Perhaps staying in huts. Perhaps camping. In each situation, your load carrying needs will vary.

I'm not saying this to be smart, but to warn you of the slippery slope that you are standing on. Before you know it, 4 years will have passed, and you will be on UKC having discussions about the best rucksack for your upcoming trip to the Yukon or to Pabbay or to wherever, because none of the 6 different rucksacks you currently own is quite right...

(My current store is 7 rucksacks in good nick, plus a couple that I wouldn't use for anything serious but which work for carrying kit to the climbing wall or on and off ferries)
Kane - on 09 Dec 2011
In reply to Jack.H.92: For years I had a 35L pack and did everything with it. It even coped for multiday alpine winter trips with climbing/camping/skiing gear. I managed but used to have to pack really carefully when taking bivvy gear and climbing gear and as a result the bag was over packed which caused many holes. Not to worry as I became an expert at stitching it back up after every trip.

I finally bought a new pack last year - POD black ice so 50+10 ish I think I do the same stuff with it. Now however it's easier to pack, not over stuffed, I never need to carry a rope in my hands to the bivvy spot and doesn't feel any different to climb with when empty than the small sac.

So a small sack can do everything with careful thought but a larger sac makes life easier and doesn't feel any different once on your back.
999thAndy on 09 Dec 2011
In reply to Kane:
...
> So a small sack can do everything with careful thought but a larger sac makes life easier and doesn't feel any different once on your back.

Until you fill it with stuff, of course.

birdman - on 09 Dec 2011
In reply to Jack.H.92:

I have had numerous rucksacks over the past few years and for various reasons moved them on either through wear n tear or simply they didn't suit me.

I currently have a Pod Alpine 40Ltr and i can honestly say i love it! It extends to probably around 50+ litres when necesary and i could easily carry more on the outside. Even when over packed, it is still comfy. At 40 Ltrs it can easily cary stuff for alpine days and when the rope, poons harness etc are being used in anger the bag is easily made smaller using the compression straps and it's 15 secs to take the lid off and stuff it in the roll top closure. Normally i hate climbing with baggy half filled rucksacks as they flop around but this pack stayed stable on my back.

Not used it for scottish winter yet, but i'm pretty certian it will fulfill my requirements.
MJF - on 13 Dec 2011
In reply to Jack.H.92: I've been using a Arcteryx Cierzo 35 for my winter climbing last year and for my alpine climbing this summer. I think the 35 litre mark is a good size, it can be a bit tight in Scottish winter, but I can just about get everything in. Its cheap and very very light and a pleasure to climb with as it has little to no frame, the downsides to this are that is isn't the most durable pack in the world and there are certainly ones that will carry bit loads better.

I wrote some thoughts on it on my blog here: http://www.matthewforshaw.com/2011/02/arcteryx-cierzo-35-first-impressions.html
ice.solo - on 13 Dec 2011
In reply to yetimatt:

Yeah the cierzo 35 is a good pack.
I got 4 day winter trips out of it with the rope on the outside and a tent each.
Replaced the pad with something better and left the hypalon crampon thing behind. The lids a crap design tho - when full doesnt sit well. A removable lid would make it go from good to excellent.

As it goes theyve stopped making that model and the new one looks less winter oriented (compression system doesnt look great for strapping junk on the outside).

For scotland id want something bigger tho, and wouldnt hurt across the board.
MHW diretissima would be my choice. Once stripped is light enough but still featured with things youll use.
ryan_d - on 13 Dec 2011
In reply to Jack.H.92:
I've got a Pod Alpine 40 going for sale. Once stripped its incredibly light for its size and will swallow all the kit you need.

If you're interested drop me a line.

Ryan
Robert Durran - on 13 Dec 2011
In reply to 999thAndy:
> (In reply to Kane)
> Until you fill it with stuff, of course.

You have completely missed the point!


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