What to pack for: Winter Mountaineering

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Winter Mountaineering

So you are gonna climb up a mountain in the winter? That's awesome! Please be prepared!

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There are some amazing snow/couloir climbs in Colorado (and beyond obvi) -- I highly recommend this book if you have snow climb fever. It has great beta for the classic Colorado assents and crucial info.  It will also save you from having to print stuff off from 14ers dot com.  Which brings me to...

THE LIST:

  • The Ten Essentials (see my post for these things that will save your life)
  • Printed off directions/instructions for your climb.  Cold air makes your phone die, don't rely on it.
  • Your technical gear.  This will vary depending on your climb but in Colorado (where we don't really have glacier travel necessitating ropes and such) usually this will include crampons and an ice axe. 
  • Sunglasses and/or googles. DON'T forget your eye protection or your eyes will sunburn which is verrrrry painful, just ask Brent.  After a nasty sunburn to the eyes after a winter climb up Castle Peak he invested in these sweet glacier glasses.  I'm not sure I'm cool enough but I want some. 
  • Gloves and Mittens
  • Hat
  • Neck Gaiter/buff to protect your face
  • Gaiters
  • Good winter boots that work with your crampons
  • Waterproof shell layers
  • Insulating layer- some sort of puffy preferably down
  • Base layers
  • Chapstick
  • Snacks
  • Watch if your phone might die to make sure you are making smart timing decisions
  • Avy gear if applicable
  • Extra socks if it's a big day
 What a dude with fully protected eyes. 

What a dude with fully protected eyes. 

 Up the couloir on Mount Whitney with Whitney #inception. 

Up the couloir on Mount Whitney with Whitney #inception. 

 My first solo winter 14er assent... not recommended.  Climb on climbers!

My first solo winter 14er assent... not recommended.  Climb on climbers!