/ Winter Climbing kit essentials

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ManxClimber - on 20 Mar 2013
Have done a couple of days mountianeering but am looking at moving to glencoe in december to start winter climbing,

May have already been asked but what kit in needed? i.e clothing,hardwear & bits and peices like this?

Im looking at getting a list together with what kit i need so i can tick it of throughtout the summer as i buy it,

any advice would be great,
Thanks for reading
Ben Sharp - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to YoungManxClimber: What kit do you have already, what sort of objectives do you have for the winter and how much do you have to spend?

Much of the info on gear is aimed towards what you would ideally have, in reality you can get by with much less. If you summer climb and hill walk you'll have most of the stuff already.

Spend your money on well fitting B3 boots and make the rest up with what you can.

Plenty (too much?) info on crampon and axe choice if you search back through the forums. There is no consensus!

There was an article on here (december time?) about winterising your rack as well if you're wondering about hardware. A normal rock rack will have everything you need, long extenders and hexes if you don't have any and then winter specific stuff depending on what you're doing.

Clothing wise you may well have most things anyway (base layer, fleeces, hardshell, trousers are definitely essential), some sort of belay jacket will be welcome if you don't have one already.

The general advice is usually buy loads of gloves, imo one well chosen pair of climbing gloves will see you a season, add a pair of belay mitts plus a cheap pair of fleecies for the walk in and you'll be sorted.
The Ex-Engineer - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to YoungManxClimber:
> Im looking at getting a list together with what kit i need so i can tick it of throughtout the summer as i buy it,

That's a superb idea. I did something similar and picked various bits of Winter kit cheap last Summer.

You'll want most or all of the following list (the later 6 items depending more on personal preference):

- Standard outdoor wear e.g. walking trousers, thermals/base layers, mid layers, fleeces, good quality walking socks
- Waterproof jacket and trousers or salopettes
- Insulated (belay) jacket
- Balaclava or warm hat & neck gaiter/buff
- Gloves and mitts - several pair to wear climbing plus spare plus mitts
- Mountaineering boots (probably B3)
- Gaiters
- Day rucksack 40-50 litres
- Rucksack liner(s) (single large plastic bag or dry bag or multiple smaller dry bags)
- Drinks bottle(s), flask & lunch bag/box
- Personal first aid kit & blister kit
- Head torch & spare batteries or 2nd torch
- Survival bag (foil/plastic) or bivvy bag or emergency shelter
- Compass & whistle
- Maps (laminated or in Ortlieb mapcase)
- Guidebooks (photocopied & laminated or carried in guidebook holder)
- Snow goggles
- Crampons (with anti-balling plate)
- Ice Axe & Hammer
- Helmet
- Harness (c/w ice screw racking)
- Belay device & HMS
- Prussiks, spare tat, knife
- Climbing rack (krabs, slings, extenders, nuts, hexes, cams, pitons, warthog/bulldog, ice screws & threadhook)
- 'Dry treated' climbing rope(s)
- Walking poles
- Snow shovel
- Avalanche transiever
- Avalanche probe
- Altimeter watch


PS I've got some brand new Extremities Winter Gauntlet GTX gloves, size medium, for sale currently - for photos see
ice.solo - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to YoungManxClimber:

Nomics. Then you can drytool all summer to be ready for the cold.
neil the weak - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to The Ex-Engineer: Holy Mother of God. You must have thighs like actual pistons. I tend to go pretty (dodgliy?) light - but from your list, I carry no more than.

Clothes to wear while walking in (whatever you choose, I don't use waterproofs anymore really), winter boots on my feet. Wear my headtorch as a necklace so i always have it on me even if the sack gets left behind for some reason. Compass permanently in jacket pocket along with tasty sweeties. Sometimes poles depending on the approach. On my back goes.

- Day rucksack, mine is a POD 16L for most days right now or a Blue Ice 40 if more capacity needed. Into this.
- Extra layer of insulation to put on before climbing.
- Belay jacket
- Gloves, one good pair.
- Drinks bottle and maybe some food.
- Head torch
- Survival bag (foil)
- Compass
- Map
- Crampons (with anti-balling plate)
- Ice Tools
- Helmet
- Harness
- 5mm tat
- The rack (contents vary wildly depending on day)
- A rope.
- Mobile Phone.

jas wood - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to YoungManxClimber: Very different depending on weather route choice but usually on an average day.
Montane extreme smock - open as possible on the walk in !
Soft shell pants
Good boots
In 40l bag:
Water/juice 1 litre at least
malt loaf or pork pie
Some chocolate or sweets
Bothy bag
Compass and map sometimes GPS
ice tools
half the rack / partner has other half
One half rope / partner has other half
Headtorch and spare batteries

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