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KIT LIST

Introduction to Alpinism

Short sleeved thermal shirt.
Long sleeved thermal shirt.
Thick socks. Thorlo or Smartwool recommended x 4 pairs.
Warm hat x 2.
Sunglasses (Category 4 glacier glasses).Bolle, Vuarnet, Julbo and Cebe all recommended.
Warm gloves (at least 2 pairs).
Fleece Jacket. Mountain Equipment recommended.
Spare warm jacket
Waterproof/windproof outer layer (Gore Tex is very popular). Mountain Equipment recommended.
Boots (must have stiff soles for crampons). La Sportiva Nepal Extreme recommended.
Gaiters (yeti gaiters not recommended)
Ear-plugs (for huts with snorers!)
Crampons (12 point classic mountaineering) Grivel G12 and Petzl Vasak recommended.
Mountaineering Axe (50-70cm shaft depending on your height)
Helmet (Black diamond Half Dome and Petzl Ecrin rock recommended)
Harness.
Prussik Loops (for crevasse rescue)
Belay plate. Black Diamond ATC or similar recommended.
Pear shaped screw gate karabiners x 4. DMM recommended.
Sling, 1.2m length when flat. DMM recommended.
Rock Shoes. 5.10 and Red Chilli recommended. Bring rock shoes if you have them, but if you don’t they can always be rented here.
Chalk bag. Bring one if you have one.
Walking Poles. Collapsible ! Leki Makalu ultra light recommended.
Sun cream (minimum SPF 30 and UVA and UVB resistant)
Lip Salve (SPF >30)
Rucksack (Approx 40 litre capacity)
First Aid Kit (lightweight, with paracetomol and blister kit)
water bottle, 1 litre, nalgene recommended
headtorch. Petzl Tika Plus recommended.
Sleeping bag liner (for huts). Silk recommended.


Advanced Alpinism  (as above plus the following)

Lightweight Alpine Boots (for rocky ridges). Must be able to take a flexible crampon. La Sportiva Trango recommended.
Two technical axes. Approx 50cm shaft. One axe and one hammer. Petzl Quark highly recommended.
Ski touring ice axe (if on the Alpine Rock/Ski Mountaineering course)


Off Piste Skiing

Skis - All mountain or powder skis. Salomon, K2 and Volkl recommended.
Boots
Poles - Fixed length poles preferred to adjustable. Black Diamond recommended.
Rucksack (Approx 20-30 litre capacity). Ortovox freeride series recommeded.
Shovel - Metal only. Black Diamond and Voile recommended. DO NOT BRING PLASTIC !
Probe. 2.4m length minimum. Ortovox, Quechua, and Black Diamond recommended. Avoid ultra light poles that fit inside a shovel handle - they break easily.
Transceiver - Pulse Barryvox and Ortovox 3+ recommended. Only bring an analogue transceiver if you are slick when using one. All transceivers must have had their antennae checked within the past 3 years.
Warm gloves (at least 2 pairs).
warm hat
Goggles. Pale lenses for low visibility.
Sunglasses (Category 4 glacier glasses).Bolle, Vuarnet, Julbo and Cebe all recommended
1 x short and 1 x long sleeved thermal shirt
Ski jacket and trousers (mountaineering clothing works just as well)
Thick socks. Thorlo, Teko or Smartwool recommended x 4 pairs
Lip Salve (SPF >30
Sun cream (SPF >30)
Water bottle, 1 litre, nalgene recommended


SkiTouring

Skis with touring bindings - Dyanfit and Fritschi bindings recommended
Touring Boots - Garmont and Scarpa Recommended
Poles - Fixed length poles preferred to adjustable. Black Diamond recommended.
Shovel - Metal only. Black Diamond and Voile recommended. DO NOT BRING PLASTIC !
Probe. 2.4m length minimum. Ortovox, Quechua, and Black Diamond recommended. Avoid ultra light poles that fit inside a shovel handle - they break easily.
Transceiver - Pulse Barryvox and Ortovox 3+ recommended. Only bring an analogue transceiver if you are slick when using one. All transceivers must have had their antennae checked within the past 3 years.
Skins for skis. These must be fitted to your skis, and the glue must be in good condition. Coltex, Montana and Black Diamond recommended.
1 x short and 1 x long sleeved thermal shirt
Thick socks. Thorlo, Teko or Smartwool recommended x 4 pairs
Warm hat
Sun Hat
Sunglasses and Goggles (Category 4 glacier glasses).Bolle, Vuarnet, Julbo and Cebe all recommended
Warm gloves (at least 2 pairs).
Fleece/Softshell Jacket. Arc'teryx recommended.
Spare warm jacket in case of bad weather. Synthetic, large jackets work best so they can be put on over exisiting clothing. Arc'teryx recommended.
Waterproof/windproof outer layer (Gore Tex is very popular). Arc'teryx recommended
Ear-plugs (for huts with snorers!)
Crampons (lightweight ski mountaineering). Simond Caiman recommended. NB - Any crampons must fit your ski touring boots.
Ice Axe - Lightweight ski mountaineering type. Approx 45cm length.
Harness (if skiing on glacial terrain). Beal Aero II recommended.
Karabiner. Screwgate type.
Lip Salve (SPF >30)
Sun cream (SPF >30)
Rucksack (Approx 40 litre capacity). Arc'teryx and Mammut Recommeded.
Personal First Aid Kit (personal medication plus paracetomol and blister kit)
water bottle, 1 litre, nalgene recommended
headtorch. Petzl Tika Plus recommended
Sleeping bag liner (for huts). Silk recommended.
Ski Crampons - aka Couteaux or Harsheisen. These are essential, not an optional extra.


Don’t have any of the above ? Use the links below to find your nearest stockist in the UK:

Cotswold Outdoor
www.cotswoldoutdoor.com

Field and Trek 
www.fieldandtrek.com

Snow and Rock 
www.snowandrock.com

V12 Outdoor (Llanberis)
www.v12outdoor.com

Needle Sports (Keswick) 
www.needlesports.com

Peglers Outdoor Specialists (Arundel)
www.peglers.co.uk

Packing your kit for the plane journey

A few reminders if you are travelling by plane:

Security – The days of packing your heavy climbing gear in hand luggage are long gone ! Anything sharp such as ice screws, axes or crampons must be in hold luggage. Ropes should also be stowed in the hold as should karabiners.

Rucksacks – Anything with loose straps, like a rucksack, will usually have to be dropped at the “Out of Gauge” baggage area. Save time by taping up loose straps before you travel.

Weight Allowances – Many airlines have cut their baggage allowances to 20kg or less. That means you’ll have to be smart when packing. Try and get as much clothing as possible into your hand luggage.

Also think about what you can do without, and whether you can buy it/rent it in Chamonix. If planning on staying in huts and hotels you can do without a sleeping bag and a towel for example. You might choose to rent boots and crampons, thus saving several kilos.

Disposables such as camera film, suncream and shower gel can all be bought in Chamonix, so do you need to waste your baggage allowance bringing them from home ? Check your baggage allowance before travelling.

Contact email: info@stuartmacdonald.org