/ Alpine climbing hard shell - opinions please

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Brian Pollock - on 27 May 2013
I'm off to the Alps in June and trying to do some weight shaving on my gear.

I was going to bring my normal hardshell (Rab Stretch Neo) but I'm now considering just bringing my Montane Litespeed H20 as it is much lighter and packs to less than half the size.

Anyway, the question is...is a ultralight minimalist shell enough for summer alpine climbing or would it be better live with the extra weight in favour of a more robust hardshell?
GridNorth - on 27 May 2013
In reply to Brian Pollock: I like softshell garments, current one is an Arcteryx Gamma hoody. I only carry a very lightweight hardshell and have done so for many years. A Marmot Micra I think it's called and I've been tempted to leave that behind many times but it's so light that it hardly matters. Having said that I only go out when the forecast is good so walking up to a hut in pouring rain on the strength of a good forecast would be problematical so in a case like that I would probably take my Precipe jacket which is a little more robust but by no means a heavy weight.
Morgan Woods - on 27 May 2013
In reply to Brian Pollock:

You didn't say what you'd be doing. Going to the top of Mt Blanc take the hardshell, valley cragging take the other one....if not sure take both and decide there.
alasdair19 on 27 May 2013
In reply to Brian Pollock: I suspect if you end up doing any real.climbing in your light shell. It won't survive the experience. No problem if you have confidence in your decision making! For short routes take the light one
JSTaylor - on 27 May 2013
In reply to Brian Pollock:
Ultralight is the way to go. In the Alps you climb in good weather and hardshells are very much back up gear. If you are having to climb in your hardshell in the Alps then it's probably not its longevity you will be worried about!
Brian Pollock - on 27 May 2013
In reply to Brian Pollock:

I have a decent softshell I intend to wear the majority of the time and I'd only pull out the hard shell if absolutely necessary.

I'd mainly be doing mountaineering style routes with some rock and/or ice/snow climbing sections. Most likely around PD-AD.

Also probably some valley cragging, but I'd definitely take the lightweight shell for that.

So far advice seems to be generally speaking since you'd only be doing these routes in good weather, going light/fast may be favoured over planning for the absolute worst?

My only concern is the Montane Litespeed H20 is as lightweight as shells come. I don't imagine it could stand up to too much abuse but then again I'd be hoping not to need to test it.
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alasdair19 on 27 May 2013
In reply to Brian Pollock: most likely use for you will coming down.from a.hut in an afternoon storm, when it will be ideal. If your chimneying disintegrating choss when the storm a few holes in your jacket can be considered well earnt! I take it your flying and can't fit both in 20 kg.

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