/ The winter gear weight saving thread
Saloman mountain experts - 1 ton per boot <about a kilo each anyway>
Dueter guide 35 sack - 1690g
G14 cramps - 1200g
DMM Flys - 1300g
DMM Renegade harness - 480g
La Sportiva trango extremes - 850g, 1700 pair <300g saved>
Mammut Trion Element sack - 1310g <380g saved>
G20 cramps - 800g <400g saved>
BD vipers - 1400g <slightly heavier but I had trigrests on the flys so about the same>
DMM Super couloir harness - 385g <95g saved!>
Thats a hell of a lot of money for just over a kilo saving and I already use dyneema slings, Serenity rope and helium QDs so apart from having a really big poo before leaving the car I can't see where to save any more weight. Please tell me I'm not the only one who worries about weight?! Any extreme weight saving stories to share? Sawn off toothbrushes and labels cut from clothing stores especially welcome.
The lightest kit in the world is that which you leave in the car.
Sort out your rack.
Now remove half of it and put it back in the car.
Split the rack between you and your mate.
Now put another half of the rack back in the car.
Grab the small half of what's left and put in your sack, let your mate carry the big stuff!
Maybe try Alpkit Goudron 25 or 30? <700g saved> and £70
Diet off a couple of kg - much cheaper.
Arc teryx 275 harness -275 grams/ petzl hirundos about the same.
Must spend more.
I think poles are the next thing to look at but apart from sandwich fillings I can't really do without anything that I normally carry, I'm pretty stripped down as it is these days. The biggest lesson I've learned over the last couple of years is to get out of the 'just in case' mentality. No more 'just in case' water/food/clothes. If I need the 'just in case' food then really I've f*cked up in the planning or not made the decision to retreat early enough. Its funny how brit climbers only seem to learn these lessons after a trip to the alps!
The cheapest and most fun way to save weight is to climb as a group of 3. If you get your technique sorted it is almost as quick as climbing in a pair and much more sociable on the belays. You have the added advantage of having a well rested leader for each pitch.
Between 3 of you, you can carry a monster rack and still be travelling light.
> If I need the 'just in case' food then really I've f*cked up in the planning or not made the decision to retreat early enough.
But if you've got the "just in case" stuff, you might not need to retreat (or it might even save your life). Everyone f*cks up occasionally - best not to be f*cked as well.
They fit fine mate, I've not actually changed these for weight saving but more for performance. I've always found the G14s clumpy and I climb ins monos but didn't like the way the 14s have the mono offset, the 20s are the mk2 versions and rather than have 10 points each as the name implies they actually have 12 each. 4 rears, 4 fronts, 2 on the mono rail, one mono point with a stubby stablising point under the mono. 12 points each so really they should be called the G24s. I've not climbed in them yet but a mate has had them for 2 seasons and he swears they are like climbing in rock shoes <I think I understood what he meant by that!>
> But if you've got the "just in case" stuff, you might not need to retreat (or it might even save your life). Everyone f*cks up occasionally - best not to be f*cked as well.
I hear you, its a very fine line isn't it. I guess each partnership knows what they can get away with and what they'd rather not.
3legs - I've climbed as a 3 a few times and to be honest I didn't find it that great (in winter that is) The extra wait on belays made for some slow and cold days out. Route choice is dictated by the ability of the 'weakest' climber too.
Ha ha. Love that.
Shave all unnecessary body hair.
(you may use your discretion to decide what is necessary)
I had curry and chips in fort william from that rank chinese at the far end of the high street once. I was crimping all the next day and we ain't talking finger tips here
You should have tried their famous signature dish, 'Seagull in the Basket' :-)
> 3legs - I've climbed as a 3 a few times and to be honest I didn't find it that great (in winter that is) The extra wait on belays made for some slow and cold days out. Route choice is dictated by the ability of the 'weakest' climber too.
If both 2nds climb together, the "extra wait" is a matter of a couple of mins and saves a lot of extra weight! As for weakest climber, play to your strengths; the ice man gets the ice pitches, the mixed master the rock and billy big balls the run out. Each to his own but I find it works really well, the camaraderie pushes you on. I have had some of my very best days climbing in a party of 3.
don't get me wrong I've really enjoyed as a 3 on rock and still do, always someone free to brew up and take pictures but in winter the thought of someone slightly above me <2 seconds climbing together> coming off and knocking me off too along with the added bonus of crampon points...
If you climb as a three it's more enjoyable with two ropes. Safer as well,although this does create more weight.
Just have to man up and get fit then!
> New kit
> La Sportiva trango extremes - 850g, 1700 pair <300g saved>
Rab has excellent Xenon belay jacket for 320g. Fleece layers are much lighter than wool. Gaiters are not needed at all. The lightest cooking system available is a Primus Titanium kettle with Optimus Crux foldable. Both the cooker and the gas canister will fit inside the kettle - thus overall bulk of 1L (ie. smaller pack). Remember that 10m of extra rope is 500g more.
Money saving is relative. Old climbing gear retails quite good value. If sell it instead of storing it the cost is less.
If you put all your gear on Excel you'll quickly notice the lightest gear is in the car. The less you have - the smaller pack you need and the smaller is the pack size.
I love my Deuter Guide, but it isn't the lightest. I'm sure you're aware you can stripe off a few bits; remove the aluminium stays and the sit mat from the back, the waist belt padding or just the whole thing, ice axe loops if you don't use them.
If you're into customising stuff then you could really go to town with a Stanley knife; remove the ski holders, daisy chain bit on the front, various straps, and the thing is basically double lined with fabric so you could cut the inner out. I couldn't bring myself to do all that though, I think I'd have a 'what have I done?!' moment. Check out the Coldthistle blog, that guy is always going on about weight and I think he has some good articles on stripped down bags.
I took it that Blanchie meant Scotland by winter, so
wouldn't fare too well, too much stumbling around on rocks coming out the snow for alu crampons.
Some people survive without, but there are plenty of approaches in the UK where ankle deep mud makes gaiters quite nice to have!
You mention having a really big poo BEFORE leaving the car... Please don't offer anyone a lift on the way home.
Quick draws are heavy so can you use a dyneema sling with a single carabiner to tie off most of your gear and clip the rope far all except the most desperate placements. You may be able to get away with a single half rope instead of the serenity if you are not falling too often (http://willgadd.com/single-and-half-rope-impact-forces-data/ is interesting) and use a shorter rope on those routes where you move together or there are no massive pitches. Trimming your rack, replacing old nuts with superlights and leaving anything you might describe as "just in case" in the car with your poo should win you another grade too.
A last resort is frostbite - lighter feet and smaller boots (quite painful though)
The other thing that has barely been discussed is clothing. Weigh your clothes and you'd be amazed at what you find: don't believe a word the manufacturers say! I've two microfleeces of near identical warmth, and one of them is 50% heavier than the other just because of the fit and the zip; my new belay jacket (Arc'teryx Atom SL) is shedloads warmer than my old one, has a proper hood, and weighs 100 g less!
I like to pack light so I can choose to climb badly and slowly, rather than feeling it is enforced on me by my bag weight.
You'd be better off spending your time and money on getting fitter / stronger. Period.
But...the one thing that stands out to me in all your light weight gear is your pack. My 35 ltr pack is 600g.
If you dislike the taste and cost of energy bars, a packet of ginger biscuits is 300g, has 1350 calories and is really good for constant snacking...
Custard creams and chocolate chip cookies are 1500 calories for 300g and all cost less than 50p!
Even though the Deuter has been replaced it'll never get retired, I just love it too much and it is perhaps the best sack I've ever had. Its bomb proof, I once dropped it fully packed from half way up Jammed boulder gully buttress on the Mot, took 30 mins to go down and get it and there wasn't a mark on it. It is just too heavy on its own and I can't really remove anything as I use the gear loops on the belt all the time. It'll be my multi-pitch rock sack from here on in. The mammut trion element is a compramise, its lighter but still has solid build quality <hope it does anyway> I was in Zermatt last year and had a look at the sacks in shops there, Mammut and Deuter are really big over there and there was some superb looking no fuss sacks but we just dont see them here. They were feather weights but they were thin, really thin and flimsy. Not really for 3 or 4 hard seasons in Scotland or the Lakes more for a cable car ride and a snow plod.
As Toby guessed my gear has got to be robust and capable not just lightweight. As we all are I'm on a budget and gear has to last 3 or 4 years of hard service without complaining. I can get lighter stuff but will it last?
Food and water get considered too, As hinted at above I'm quite happy setting off from torlundy with just a .75 sigg bottle. I'll try and drink it all by the time I reach the Alt A Mul and fill up again there, fill again at the CIC and again at the red burn. If somewhere where there is no water we'll sometimes take a jetboil or pocket rocket & titan pan and melt snow for some hot brews and cup-a-soup. This may seem backwards when talking about weight but a litre of water weighs a kilo so over 2 blokes a jetboil and hot drinks and soup for the day is lighter on the walk in than carrying water. Food wise I'm not really one for sarnies, a pork pie, sausage roll, pepperamis, a lump of cheese, nuts, oat bars do it for me. Quite easy to pack and eat and all very fatty.
Of course fitness is the key but even when you are the peak of hill fitness it is still nicer to have a fairly light pack on.
We all know that feeling bro
I still recommend the Alpkit goudron to you, at £25 for the 500g, 25 litre bag you are not investing as much as for a bells and whistles super light bag. Mine went to the Alps with me, has a few scrapes, nothing that seam sealant or black nasty couldn't sort and is now ready for winter. I attached a bit of tat to the top straps that lets me carry axes and a rope on the outside, but you can do what you like to the waist belt (gear loops with drip tub?) though I cut mine off. Great little bags, gorgeously light and they encourage you to bring the right amount of kit as well.
Lose a bit of body weight by watching your diet? Half a stone is 3kg.
Not that I'm saying you are fat like.
> As Toby guessed my gear has got to be robust and capable not just lightweight. As we all are I'm on a budget and gear has to last 3 or 4 years of hard service without complaining. I can get lighter stuff but will it last?
Are you kidding? 3 or 4 years. I've had my sack for over twenty years and it's still going strong. 40Lts and 800g.
I recommend a 500ml bottle in a belay jacket inside pocket. When you are not wearing the jacket, wrap it up for insulation, when wearing it you heat it up and have it on hand for drinking...
Another weight saving option is to carry a little more.
Take a small very light rucksac with you (I got one from decathlon for a fiver, packs down smaller than an apple and weighs much less).
Leave big bag and spare stuff at the hut, bottom of corrie, wherever, carry small bag containing bait, drink, spare jumper. Climb light and free of encumberence. Return to big bag at end of day. Eat from big butty box and drink from big flask having enjoyed multiple routes.
It even works for a party of 3!
Crux AK47 pack - just over a kilo, less if stripped. Not as robust as heavier sacks but light is right!
Sturdy plastic bag rather than a crampon bag (my crampon bag is about 150g so I hardly use it)
Only take a waterproof top if it looks like you might need it. Get a fairly lightweight one for when you do need it but not the super lightweight stuff that offers little protection.
Take only one camera for the team (or none at all!)
Ropes - Beal ice lines or similar. I wouldn't fancy the fall factor & reduced abseil length of having a single but if you don't mind then that would be a big saving.
Laminated section of map rather than whole map (easier to use as well but consider having a copy each as easier to lose as well!)
After each day out, consider what you haven't used - if the same stuff keeps coming up, bin it!
I give you the Rab Demand pull-on or Momentum jacket - full weight fabric and full protection but light as f*ck... (I have both - they both rock - alas the deman has just been withdrawn - there is a montane alternative though)
Icelines have low fall factor because they are beal, not because they are doubles. Singles and a single strand of a double loaded in the same way produce pretty much the same impact, and thinness does not correlate to low impact either. But congrats for being the first victim of my UIAA/CE test misrepresentation booby trap...
Some people reckon, and I agree with the idea that saving weight on your feet is equivilent to 5 times the weight saving on your back in terms of energy expended to carry the load.
Looking at your new boots and crampons you have saved 700g, which equates to 3.5kg from your rucksack, or put more simply, you're ready to kick some frozen @ss!
Not convinced re single vs double impact force. Goes against conventional wisdom. Anyway, I prefer having 2 ropes for winter and trad. But not essential, depends on the route really.
Regarding conventional wisdom: in actual fall situations it's extremely rare that both double ropes are weighted at all equally - which needs to be considered.
> Only take a waterproof top if it looks like you might need it.
So all the time then? I'm struggling to think of more than one occassion when I haven't needed a waterproof on a Scottish winter route!
> I think poles are the next thing to look at but apart from sandwich fillings I can't really do without anything that I normally carry, I'm pretty stripped down as it is these days. The biggest lesson I've learned over the last couple of years is to get out of the 'just in case' mentality. No more 'just in case' water/food/clothes. If I need the 'just in case' food then really I've f*cked up in the planning or not made the decision to retreat early enough. Its funny how brit climbers only seem to learn these lessons after a trip to the alps!
Mr K learned this shortly after a rather rapid descent of Aonarch Mor thanks to a passing avalanche, and was damn glad myself and Karl had lots of food with us as he was exhausted and barely able to walk.
You'll need a lot of gas!
All densities are in kg/m^3
air = 1.29
Oxygen = 1.43
Hydrogen = 0.0899
Helium = 0.179
So you only get about 1kg of lift per m3 of helium. Put it this way, you won't be climbing any chimneys if you try to off-set your 10kg pack ;-)
That typical single and half ropes have much the same impact force is well known (though I“d have reservations about modern ultra skinny dual-rated twin/half ones). The UIAA system isn“t there so YOU can compare ropes it is so the manufacturers and certification labs labs can.
Vipers - 1400 grams/ Grivel quantum/matrix tech - 1040/1030 grams
That'll make a difference when your actually climbing.
Harness, too heavy as mentioned earlier.
Clothing needs to have a certain amount of wear resistance for Scotland, so a strong face fabric is needed, 4x hill walkers pockets and too many bells and whistles aren't. A slightly heavier version of the latest Alpine shells is probably about right, some of that new grid style Power Stretch under garments and a light weight belay jacket should do it, and ditch the merino, too heavy and doesn't dry well IMO. Maybe a light weight fleece mid and Polly pro base if you run cold or combine with the Power Stretch.
Of course. That's what Mike and I mean - half ropes should be tested with an 80 mass like singles.
> That typical single and half ropes have much the same impact force is well known (though I“d have reservations about modern ultra skinny dual-rated twin/half ones).
Until Gadd blogged the tests that he got done, I don't think it well known at all to any climbers, unless perhaps they happened to work in the industry.
They put it on the labels and swing tags, so of course customers want to, and will compare?
Agree. Especially in winter with spaced gear. I don't know if the official fall factor rating assumes equal weighting or all the weight going into one rope.
Get the new BD carbon Z poles, .!! they weigh nothing (almost) and are loads more robust than you'd expect. Not cheap tho but one of lifes luxuries. Mine have had a real battering now (winter here plus alps) and stood up well. I fitted a winter basket to them.
The other glaring thing as pointed out by others is your pack is heavy!! There are many great light packs, like the arcteryx cierzo 35 I have which is also pretty cheap. 580g
The thread I linked to was in relation to ice climbing where the routes are generally straight up and you may easily climb a couple of body lengths before placing your next piece. In such a situation the rope through your top piece of pro could easily take all the force, especially if you're close to a belay. Every foot above your gear means two feet down before the rope starts to catch you. If you're six feet above your last piece and twelve feet above the one before, your last piece is going to do all the work. Assuming your belayer is frozen in place your going to drop 12 feet before the rope comes tight. The rope through the lower piece won't come tight till you've dropped 24 feet.
For Scotland which is essentially trad, doubles are obviously better on the harder stuff. A single is still acceptable of course but may be harder to manage with regards to rope drag.
Anyways if you are buying new light weight gear, make sure to get your color combos down, new light weight shells are available is some great combos.
Alternatively just get leaner and meaner!
I haven't carried a waterproof on a Scottish winter route since 2006...
No it doesn't!
Unfortunately you don't understand the history of the half rope standard. If you did then you would probably find it far less problematic.
The 55kg weight was chosen because FIVE test falls with that weight was found experimentally to be directly equivalent to ONE test fall with 80kg.
The background to UIAA standard for half ropes was the perfectly sensible idea that even a half rope should be able hold at least ONE worst case fall. However, testing them in the that manner would have been a monumentally poor idea as EVERY half rope would then have had the same test result - they would all have broken on the second drop test with little opportunity for cunsumers to distinguish between ropes and little incentive for manufacturers to make small improvements. By reducing the test weight they ended up with test results that were five times more discriminatory and you therefore have a better method of comparison between ropes.
Once you understand this, the 55kg test fall makes much more sense. You can divide the number of 55kg test falls a rope holds by 5 to get a conservative estimate of the number of 80kg test falls it might hold, e.g.
- 8.1mm Beal Iceline: 1-2 falls
- 8.5mm Mammut Genesis: 3 falls
- 8.9mm Mammut Serenity: 5-6 falls
- 9.1mm Beal Joker: 6-7 falls
appreciate its a bit approximate but is it a linear relationship
5 x 55 = 1 x 80 but does 10 x 55 = 2 x 80 etc
Id not read that before so it good info, got a source / ref for it ?
> 5 x 55 = 1 x 80 but does 10 x 55 = 2 x 80 etc
It was initially just a single experimental relationship but it is a good question and I wondered exactly the same thing.
I found the figures for the Beal Joker http://bealplanet.com/sport/anglais/corde-joker.php seem to suggest the relationship is still broadly linear:
55kg - 24-26 UIAA test falls (Beal guaranty 25 falls)
80kg - 6-7 UIAA test falls (Beal guaranty 5 falls)
Yes, in that it is based on several sources including a detailed account from someone involved with the committee who established the UIAA standard. Unfortunately, the main online reference was not something I've bookmarked. If, or when, my googling finds it again, I'll post a link.
My understanding is that when the standard was created the main concern was that half ropes should not snap in a single fall rather than concern about the impact forces.
However, the recent UKC review of triple rated ropes http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=3765 usefully brings together impact force data for 3 ropes.
Although it is only based on 3 product it suggests that a low impact force in one test does strongly correlate with a low impact force in the other. However, the exact ratio of the two values seems to vary considerably with the 45% increase in weight leading to between a 31% and 37% increase in force.
There is some really useful info coming out on this thread, thanks to all contributors and keep it coming, sooo much beter than most winter climbing threads - is kinder in etc etc
Or alternatively just beef up a little bit in the gym this autumn and you won't need to worry about the few extra grams :-)
It gives ice lines an impact force in the single rope test of 6.37-7.35kN.
Mammut Phoenix would be 7.8-9kN
Edelrid Mersin would be 8.71-10.05
So if this correlation is correct you don't need to do much digging to see similar figures on double ropes. The ice lines are very very low impact ropes but then we already knew that anyway... It's what they are designed for.
Any comments on whether I'm talking a load of cobblers or not?
I'd be surprised if it held more than two 80kg falls given that every triple-rated rope holds 20+ 55kg falls but an Iceline only holds 9-10.
However, I totally agree that it would be very interesting to know whether they would sometime only hold one fall or if they are consistent in holding two or even more.
Although, to bring the debate back to the original topic, I think that when it comes to Winter climbing on a single rope, trying to go lighter than the 53g/metre of the Beal Joker (bearing in mind its lower impact force than the Serenity/Swift) would seem to me, perhaps a weight saving too far.
One of the major reasons people cite for using double ropes is that they lower impact force and it is true in certain circumstances, so it's understandable that in a situation in which impact force is really critical people misread the uiaa results and jump to the conclusion that its safer to use doubles.
The reality of winter climbing is that you rarely have pieces on ice or in marginal situations placed in parallel and so falling on a single strand of double rope suddenly becomes much more likely. What I'm trying in my cack handed way to show is that in some cases, when you unlikely to need to retreat, using a light single rope is actually a great choice, rather than falling back to the default doubles, especially in the mistaken belief that you will be safer. In reality the opposite seems to be true as singles are generally more edge resistant, have similar impact results when loaded in the format described above, are less bulky and lighter overall, cause less of a clusterf*ck meaning when you are tired and a bit strung out, you are more able to manage the ropes, and have significantly more friction so are more able to hold a fall...
I thought we used doubles because we're British and that's what we do?
I must say I do like the redundancy built in with doubles (retreat, if one gets cut you've got another) however I'm a bit concerned by the "2 strikes and you're out!" performance of the Ice Lines.....
> I thought we used doubles because we're British and that's what we do?
I suppose there is that. Of course we could just use them like the french. As twins. And increase our impact forces massively for no good reason...
<like> when are we going to get like system!? :-)
> Or alternatively just beef up a little bit in the gym this autumn and you won't need to worry about the few extra grams :-)
NO!!! Muscle is heavy. Putting on surplus in the gym will make you slower and more tired. Cardio and some focussed strength/endurance work is what you need; a good bit of running. Check out the top winter climbers of any generation and they're all built like whippets.
Although, Stallone in 'Cliffhanger' was pretty awesome.....
> <like> when are we going to get like system!? :-)
We have been here before, and we decided we didn't like the idea.!!!
That's 2 very big strikes and you're out - we're talking about fall factors significantly greater than 1:1 here. If I took one of those in a winter climbing situation, I wouldn't be too worried about not being able to take another one on the same ropes - because I would probably be lucky to walk again, never mind go winter climbing...
Weighs about a kilo (and they don't even describe it as lightweight) bulletproof quality, everything triple stitched, hand-made in the UK and 37L should be more than enough capacity -
Or go for it's big brother (47+10) at less than 1200gms, but you really shouldn't need to
Worth a read if you like that sort of thing. About half way down some guy explains the rope testing thing quite well on that page (post 168 I think). The whole thread contains good info especially with regards to clipping doubles together like a single.
Another sack option: Lowe Alpine 'Alpine Attack 35:45' just over 1kg as standard but pares down to 850g without lid and back panel. Generous sizing so kit fits on the way out as well as the way in. Ripstop dyneema and still no flaws after two years regular use inc. alpine summers and scottish winters.
Did you buy the Super couloir harness to save weight? I can't see myself spending 40 odd quid to save 95g!
Na, had it anyway as a simple light option but used it for alps and winter in the past and I quite like it so staying with it. 40 quid to save 95 as you say is going a bit far, I got bogies that weigh more than 95g!
I guess the other argument is it should make your other harness last longer. I generally retire my harnesses because they look worn out.
I've always been a fan of WC harnesess', they just feel 'right' until however I got the new vison a couple of years back, just couldn't get on with it. Took the plunge and went DMM and got me a Renegade and the SuperC and very happy with both. Makes me feel real old school when doubling back the belt on the SuperC
Don;t carry a fleece as a midl layer or just in case layer. Walk in with a base layer and windproof / shell then stick this super lite beast on:
The North Face water resistant primaloft pull on zip T top, slides under a shell for extra warmth of cold days, superb for a multi pitch just in case layer, brilliant for backing up a light sleeping bag on bivies and mountain marathons.
Wind proof and rain resistant the pull over works on its own and is cool enough to worn around town or in the bar.
Small nick sealed on cuff and slight dark smudge on back, both shown on photos, does not affect performance or really noticeable.
see my other posts for super tough winter gloves.
LOL very good sir! :-)
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