/ NEW REVIEW: Alaska: Winter Climbing Expedition Gear

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Testing the BD Firstlight Tent in Chamonix pre expedition, 3 kbJon Griffith gives his thoughts on expedition gear for Alaska: clothing to cooking kit, tents to sleeping mats. We also present some alternatives to Jon's gear choices for climbing in cold climes.

"If you're into your granite winter mixed climbing (à la Mont Blanc massif) then Alaska should be high on your list of places to go. It's the exact same granite but just way bigger. Think Chamonix on steroids and you're heading in the right direction."


HP - on 06 Mar 2012
In reply to UKC Gear:

Nice little article. Thanks very much JG. I would certainly love to go climbing in Alaska - just need to get a bit fitter and a lot gnarlier!

As a Montane faithful I was wondering what people would think about wearing one of the montane extreme smocks for something like this?

Mine's done me proud in Scotland, Wales, England, Winter alps, Peru, Bolivia, Kyrgzystan. Probably encountered temperatures down to around -20C

I remember montane did a colder weather version but I can't see it on their website. Was it called "eight"?
tjin - on 06 Mar 2012
In reply to UKC Gear:

I'm surprised about the problems with the Primus Omnifuel. I have the opposite with primus and MSR. MSR pumps seams to be a lot weaker and i have seen many with issues with the rubber pump seals and the plastic notch thingy, that holds the pumprod in place. The aluminium pump from Primus, with a leader pump seal, never seems to be a issue.
coldwill - on 07 Mar 2012
In reply to UKC Gear: Am I wrong but haven't Patagonia stopped making the M10 and Ascentionist jackets?
Sarah Stirling - on 08 Mar 2012
In reply to coldwill:

You're right, the M10 and Ascencionist aren't in Patagonia’s SS12 range. An alternative for the M10 would be the Super Pluma, their top minimalist Gore-Tex Pro Shell hard shell. And an alternative for the Ascencionist would be the Simple Guide Hoody, their lightest-weight alpine soft shell hoody (also easier to spell!). For winter 2012 Patagonia will be introducing more soft shells and hybrid jackets (eg soft shell and hard shell in the same jacket).

Cheers, Sarah
EspenK - on 08 Mar 2012
In reply to tjin: Word. Omnifuel now going on it's 10th year of abuse, never had an issue. Msr Whisperlite is nice and quiet, but I've sorta gotten used to the 747 sound of the Omni, to the point where it feels wrong when it's not there!

Great article btw, after spending some time in Alaska last year, with a view of Denali in the distance, I've been constantly dreaming of cming back one day and actually to some climbing.
Jackal on 08 Mar 2012 -
In reply to tjin: Considdering you wouldnt peg your expensive, once in a lifetime trip on one pump and taking an entire spare would fall under good idea Plus considering that leather shrinks in the cold (sub30) the tiny leather cup in the primus can be a small problem similarly the old MSR leather cups.I would rather take three MSR pumps for the weight of one primus pumps.

A bit surprised that both stoves featured is ones that use a secondry conroller valve. Firstly they use far more spares and secondly, they are a beast to prime up in the cold and when the flame is dimmed at very cold temp they have a tenancy of stopping.That is why the XGK was invented in the first place. It has a much bigger vaporiser.

Admittedly it wont make a great fondue in the snowy mountains.

Jetboils on the other hand, an Alpinist's gift.
stevef - on 08 Mar 2012
In reply to UKC Gear:
So why is the title 'Alaska Winter Climbing Gear' when it does not talk about climbing there in winter at all? (Not that anyone sane would.)
coldwill - on 11 Mar 2012
In reply to Sarah Stirling - UKC/UKH: The Super Pluma is over a third heavier than the old M10 so maybe not what you're looking to replace an M10 with and the Simple guide doesn't compare to the Ascensionist. The hood has way less coverage and the fabric isn't at all windproof. Additionally it's a totally different cut, maybe ok for summer rock if you've got short arms.

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