/ Best alpine pack?

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ROSP on 08 Jan 2017 - host-92-14-136-17.as43234.net
So, what's everyone's favourite pack for Alpine climbing?

Interested to hear your opinions!
1
zimpara - on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to Ross Spours:
Haglofs Roc Speed 40! Gorgeous thing!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jnUbq6wzZg

960g and not fussy on how you pack it.
Removable lid (Single buckle closure) top of pack is quite low so you can look up ^^ wearing a helmet, good straps and minimal waist belt.
Ticks all my boxes well.

Bought it over a Patagonia Ascentionist 35 (No hydration slot for hose to pop out) and a Marmot Eiger 42. 400g heavier but nicely made. (Might as well get a deuter guide 35+ then)
*Not been used for alpine yet!
Post edited at 18:26
9
teh_mark on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to Ross Spours:

I'll be following this thread intently. I'm about to buy a new pack and for me it's currently between the Ascensionist 35L and Alpha FL 30L.
Climbthatpitch - on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to zimpara:

Hello

Just as a suggestion in your videos think about certain parts and speak about that. You spent more time chucking the pack around which I got fed up with. I'd rather see someone speak about one part then move on to the next. Also try to put the camera back a bit as it all seams a bit hectic

As a general question to the ukc hive mind is it good to have a hydration hose on alpine climbs. I would of thought if the temperature drops the water will freeze. I am asking as I plan on getting to the alps this season and I do like a hydration pack but don't want to waste my time carrying one if it will be useless

Cheers
Lee
Dr.S at work - on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to zimpara:

> Haglofs Roc Speed 40! Gorgeous thing!


> Ticks all my boxes well.

is it not uncomfortable though?
http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?n=656135&v=1#x8470646
zimpara - on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to leeboy1985:

If it is cold they will freeze yes! but you aren't gonna take two packs and if you want to use a bladder in say Aiguille rouge on one day, then you need a slot obviously.

Thanks for the criticism
zimpara - on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to Dr.S at work:

Depends how much you put in it. Any daysack with more than 12kg is pretty grim
7
Climbthatpitch - on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to zimpara:

Fair point I suppose I wasn't thinking overall and about lower peaks. I was thinking more towards being higher. I'll just take the water bottle saves taking extra then

Cheers
Lee
fairweatherclimber - on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to teh_mark:

Like the look of the FL30l but I just bought a North Face Shadow 30+10. Seems really well made and thought out, and cheaper than the Arc offering..
teh_mark on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to leeboy1985:

> As a general question to the ukc hive mind is it good to have a hydration hose on alpine climbs. I would of thought if the temperature drops the water will freeze. I am asking as I plan on getting to the alps this season and I do like a hydration pack but don't want to waste my time carrying one if it will be useless

There seem to be two schools of thought:
Yes - because you can hydrate without stopping and faffing with a water bottle
No - because if it leaks into your pack it will - at best - completely ruin your day

I've used one thus far without any issues, but a couple of months after coming back from Chamonix I did have a Platypus empty itself into my bag in the Lakes because the hose separated from the connector at the bladder end. Everyone I spoke to or who commented on mine (including a group of guides) unanimously declared them a terrible idea for that very reason. I'm very tempted to disappear mine in favour of a 1L Nalgene next time.

With regards to freezing, I wouldn't think you'd have a problem in summer. Regardless, you won't have a problem at all if you blow the water in the tube back into the bladder after you've finished drinking.

teh_mark on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to Ross Spours:

(It's also really not beyond the wit of man to modify an Ascensionist to be bladder-compatible, if that's an issue for you)
richlan - on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to Ross Spours:

Lowe Alpine alpine attack is worth a look, I like mine.
More-On - on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to zimpara:

You've obviously never had a pack that fits ;-)

Seriously though it has taken about 35 years, but in Blue Ice warthogs I've found packs that fit me like a glove and can carry a lot of weight. Granted they can't carry the volume the 100l pack that inspired my user name can, but that's not an issue for climbing.
Pipecleaner - on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to Ross Spours:

I love my ascentionist 35. Super light (empty), can swallow a decent amount of gear, nice and clean outer and I get on well with the closure and spindrift collar. It won't last forever but it really is a good bag.
MG - on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to Ross Spours:

Crux do some very nice alpine packs. Ihave an ak47-x. Light, indestructible ... and pricey. Definitely worth the money though.
Climbthatpitch - on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to teh_mark:

Thanks for the reply

I think sticking with the Nalgene will be my best option then. I just know how bad I am at drinking when the water is in my pack. I will just have to make sure I discipline myself to drink more

Cheers
Lee
teh_mark on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to leeboy1985:

Along similar lines, another thought put to me was to not take too much water. 1L should be plenty on the route because your can rehydrate in the evening back in the valley or at the hut. If you half your 2L bladder, you cut 1kg from your pack.

I have to say I was skeptical to begin with, but it really did work for me. I never found myself overly thirsty or dehydrated even after a long day in the blazing sun, and it does make a difference to your pack weight.
zimpara - on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to teh_mark:

And you have also just taught UKC the secret to not popping bladders.
Have them only ever half full and it is impossible .
jonnie3430 - on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to Ross Spours:

Depends on the climbing, I've used a alpkit goudron 25 for overnight bivvy and solo a peak the next day, it's superlight, super simple and super easy to fix if something goes wrong. For long multipitch routes where you return to the bags, I'd still use it, but get the second to carry it and leave the other at the base.

My other pack is an osprey mutant 38, which wore out on the back panel, but osprey sent me some material to patch it up and it's going fine (apart from breaking a few of the buckles). I've taken it on week long trips in the Andes and day ski touring. It loads up well and also works fine when nearly empty. Straps are long enough at the side for a tent on one and rollmat on the other.
Dr.S at work - on 08 Jan 2017
In reply to Ross Spours:

In reality, there are loads of very suitable bags. do read this though on fit and features:
http://coldthistle.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/fitting-and-detailing-on-climbing-packs.html
Robert Durran - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Ross Spours:
A 5 litre bumbag. If you are carrying more than 5 litres you are carrying way too much. Fast n'lite is the only way forward. Plenty of people on here have climbed every north face in the Alps with a 5 litre bag. Just lay out all your kit on the ground, then discard everything you would only need if you were so unfit and incompetent and unlucky with the conditions, weather and all the other shit that can happen in the Alps that the route might take more than a couple of hours. What is left will easily fit a 5 litre bumbag. Carry any more and you will be so slow that you will get caught out by the next storm and die anyway.
Post edited at 00:16
1
teh_mark on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

If some people choose to go really light and really fast, does it really impact on your decision to carry more? Why don't we all just leave each other to climb in a way we're personally comfortable with?
zimpara - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

Basically, He wants to drag his overweight 5d MK3 up routes and take selfies. Can he fit his camera in 5 litre bum bag???
1
Pete Houghton - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to leeboy1985:

Stick with bottles, I tried bladders for a time and decided them to be much more faff than than they are worth. If you can, fill your bottle with hot liquid instead of cold at the start of the day, and then not only are the first few gobfuls easier to drink in the chilly morning, you can replace the lost volume with snow (if available) to top up.

Also, shove a short length of plastic tubing (from one of those exploded bladders) into an easy-access pocket, and suck any running water from rocks or melting ice.
Dr.S at work - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

5l? That's bloody dangerous talk - people will be so slow carrying that much they will certainly be killed by rockfall.
Everything should fit in the pockets of ones aquascutum.
Climbthatpitch - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Pete Houghton:

Thanks for the advice.

I had heard about the straw but the hot liquid and snow I would never have thought of
Robert Durran - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Dr.S at work:
> Everything should fit in the pockets of ones aquascutum.

No well informed followers of modern alpine fashion carries any sort of shell clothing these days. With reliable forecasts and the fitness to climb absurdly fast, nobody need ever get caught in even a light shower. You will only ever need a shell if you make the mistake of carrying one.

You are irresponsibly encouraging a suicidally slow style of alpinism.
Post edited at 07:30
Rob Exile Ward on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

Crikey. I've been living on borrowed time for 40+ years then.
Pete Houghton - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to leeboy1985:
> hot liquid and snow

It's saved me the carried weight of around a pint of water loads of times, it definitely makes the difference on long days. And even if you don't refill with snow and save it for later in the day, hot water in a single skin bottle doesn't stay hot very long, obviously, but even tepid water is easier to drink at freezing altitude than cold water with chunks of slush starting to form. If space allows in your rucksack, keep the bottle with your spare gloves and down jacket (or fleece, or extra thermal layer, whatever) in a stuff sack just big enough for everything to fit snug in, whilst still being able to breathe. Toasty gloves a few hours into the day? Yes please!

Other hydration tips... make plans to actually stop every now and then, so you can drink and take on fuel. Make a verbal decision with your partner that at the top of the next hummock, or the next anchor, or the next available spot out of the wind, you'll stop for a couple of minutes and have a bite to eat, hydrate, do all those bits of micro faff that add up over time. Seems obvious, I know, but I find that doing this means that I often drink more and finish with an empty bottle, instead of just taking my pet kilogram of blackcurrant squash for a long walk all day.

edit
To add to the original question, my Deuter Guide 35+ is starting to fall apart after six or seven years of constant abuse, and I'll probably just replace it straight off. Smashing bag, straps in all the right places, not too complicated. A little heavy, maybe, but I think that translates into durability.
Post edited at 08:05
HeMa on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Ross Spours:

Blue Ice Warthog 26 for daytrips (at least climbing without bivy gear).

'Ryx Alpha is the one I'm lusting after though...
LJC - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to HeMa:

The best day sack? The smallest one I can get away with. I did an approach-overnight-route two day trip this year and managed everything in a 28l arcteryx cizero and was super impressed with how that managed the weight and bulk. So much so, I bought the fl30 for this winter as it is basically the same pack but way burlier. Previously I used a BD speed 30, but have found that a really basic pack (e.g. No lid, webbing belt strap) works better for me.

Hat Dude on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Ross Spours:

A lot of these stripped down lightweight alpine sacs seem to weigh approx 50g less than similar sized Aiguille Alpine bags which will last for years.




HeMa on 09 Jan 2017
Hat Dude on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to HeMa:

A lot - not all
HeMa on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Hat Dude:

That be true...

That said, why compare over complicated and engineered (Osprey & Lowe) stuff to robust ones (Aiguille & Blue Ice)... when you simple have the benchmark product ('Ryx Alpha FLs).
Mark Haward - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Ross Spours:

Unfortunately no one pack does it all as 'alpine climbing' covers such a wide range of possible routes / conditions and preferences. I have an old Macpac rucksack which was perfect for the New Zealand Alps - tough as old boots, can be dragged through steep rain forest, floated across rivers, scraped against sharp rocks, swallow gear for multi day approaches and routes, even survive being attacked by Keas but rather over the top for the European alps. Originally I used to have one rucksack to do everything so it was a major compromise a lot of the time. Nothing wrong with that though, I'm lucky enough to be able to afford to compromise less now.
In my opinion many rucksacks supposedly designed for alpine climbing are over featured, too heavy and in some cases not robust enough to last one pitch of a Chamonix chimney. Now I have managed to collect three different rucksack types which reduce the compromise somewhat:
1) A 25 litre very lightweight pack for when I am not carrying much. This can be alpine rock routes including carrying the pack whilst climbing or fast / light day routes or routes from a hut. This is the sack I use the most often. Personally I currently have a Patagonia Ascensionist but there are plenty of great packs out there.
Features I look for here are very light, very simple, can take a full rack ( if needed ) and rope as long as I'm not going too far with the load, takes two axes. Simple small waist belt, stays stable and out of the way when I'm climbing. Pack can hold my boots, crampons, belay jacket food and water during the climb ( assuming a rock route in rock shoes ).
2) A 35-40 litre pack for routes which may require more technical gear or an overnight bivvy. This is a tougher pack, more comfortable with loads especially if there is a long walk in / out. I currently have an old Berghaus Arete ( I cut away some of the unnecessary features ) that is nearing the end of its life. Looking forward to getting a better replacement.
Features I look for here are toughness, compact load carrier but reasonably light, ideally a floating lid, simple waist belt, somewhere I can access water whilst on the move , ability to take axes.
3) A 45-50 litre pack for multiday epics that is an excellent load carrier but ideally strippable into a lighter sack for climbing. I currently use an old school Pod Black Ice but after many years of service it needs replacing.
Features I look for would include being a tough and excellent load carrier, including able to carry skis, that ideally can be stripped right down. A floating and removable lid, removable back support, larger waist belt removable with a thin basic one to take its place.

The most important features in any rucksack in my opinion is that it fits you comfortably ( different makes and models suit different people ) and carries the load you intend to carry.

If I had to compromise again I would probably go with the 45-50 litre pack as I can do all the climbing I want to do with that but I certainly couldn't with a 25 litre pack. If not doing extended routes / trips / bivvies / camping then a 30-40 litre pack would suit - that size would be fine for a day or two of bivvying assuming the rest of your gear is compact and light.
So to answer your question; I don't think there is a perfect or best alpine rucksack because it will depend on the nature of the climbing, the size and weight of the gear you are carrying and the personal fit for the climber.

Climbthatpitch - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Pete Houghton:

Toasty gloves sound great . Thanks great tips.

Good blog by the way

Cheers
Lee
Pipecleaner - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:
5 litres...a cycling jersey with 2 dextrose sweets and a coin bag from the bank to use as a drink flask in the pockets...and even then 2 sweets are probably going a bit OTT. You can make things light but you can't always make yourself fast.
Now back to duct taping my sides...
jonnie3430 - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Mark Haward:

No need for the 45-50 in my humble opinion, I can do everything with a 40 (or 38).
99ster - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Ross Spours:

Arcteryx Alpha FL30 - the mutt's nuts. With the FL45 if you really need to take more stuff (bivvy kit for example).
alasdair19 on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Ross Spours:

I have a pod black ice which is big and for special occasions only as they've gone bust.

The new arcteryx fl seems good I wouldn't go too small through I'm quite big. Their earlier cierzo has done very well.

Been quite envious of a friends blue ice recently.
Hydration systems don't work for me. Remember Keep it Simple Stupid... Oh and if you can try them on its handy and good for climbing shops some cool pacja just won't fit properly...
smithaldo - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Ross Spours: rather than taking the advice of others, some of whom even admit to having never used their favourite alpine pack on an alpine route, next time you are climbing, visit a good specialist gear shop and try some on and go for one that fits you and has the features you need.

Mutant, ascencionist, fl45, guide, crux Ak .. unless you are some sort of ultra alpine specialist pushing the boundaries, They are all much of a muchness really.

I use an old crux a50 pack without the lid so it's essentially just an empty sack, and because the small size back fits me perfectly I use it for every type of climbing I do, ski in and out days, ski touring, Scottish winter, ice cragging etc.

I would therefore say that is the best alpine pack, but it might not fit you, so would be pretty horrible to use.

Mark Haward - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to jonnie3430:

I obviously need to eat less!
Day route and overnight bivvy or possibly two is fine with a 35-40 litre sack for me too. However, with an appropriate forecast I often have a mega meal, walk up to bivvy site and do three days of routes from one area before descending at the end of the third day. That's when I'll often use the larger sack. But obviously that is a choice rather than a necessity.
I'll try harder!
1
Robert Durran - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to Mark Haward:
> That's when I'll often use the larger sack. But obviously that is a choice rather than a necessity.

Pod black ice. Does everything.
Post edited at 11:50
GridNorth - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to Ross Spours:
There is no "best" alpine pack. What suites one person does not suite another. Personally I prefer a smaller pack with helmet, rope, crampons and ice tools attached to the outside so that when I'm climbing there is a minimal amount of weight pulling on my shoulders. I have always found 35 litres perfectly adequate. I dislike bladders for a number of reasons 1) they are more likely to leak 2) If you do not pack very carefully the pipes can get squeezed by the contents (I admit this could be a price for having a smaller pack) 3) You cannot easily tell how much you have left 4) you have no excuse for stopping

Comfort should be the main criteria for choosing any pack.

One trick worth knowing is to carry a small flexible hose so that you can get at small trickles of water.

Al
Post edited at 12:00

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