Mountaineering gear to help you and your Scouts or Venturers to the top.
Mountaineering is an apex outdoor activity, a sport that calls upon multiple Scouting skills — hiking, navigation, climbing and weather assessment — and a pure wilderness commitment of pushing limits to reach the peak.
Every mountain is different. Some ascents require more technical gear (such as an ice ax, crampons and even a rope harness), while others can be achieved using hiking equipment. Before you embark on a mountaineering journey, seek out detailed information about the peak, the trail conditions and recommended experience levels for a safe trip. Consider working with a guide, especially if troop or crew leadership is inexperienced.
Done right, mountaineering is safe and enjoyable. Take a look at this recommended gear to help you assess what you need before heading out. Depending on the mountain, you might need a setup like this to make it to the top.
Stephen Regenold is the founder of GearJunkie.com and a former editor of the
climbing magazine Vertical Jones.
Get fit for your mountain adventures using these tips from a skilled mountaineer.
Boots: Scarpa Charmoz Pro GTX
Sure, you can rely on your tried-and-true waterproof backpacking boots, so long as you can affix crampons to the soles (if needed for your ascent). But if you’re looking to upgrade, kick steps into the snow and ice with the Charmoz Pro GTX from Scarpa. These warm, waterproof boots have a Gore-Tex lining and Vibram soles. And for the hike in, they are relatively lightweight at just over 1.5 pounds per boot. $329, scarpa.com
Crampons: Black Diamond Sabretooth
Spikes underfoot are requisite on anything snowy and steep. Black Diamond’s Sabretooth crampons are made of stainless steel and have horizontal front points for excellent purchase on the most precipitous slopes. $180, blackdiamondequipment.com
Helmet: Petzl ELIOS
Falling ice and rocks are common on big peaks. Put a helmet like the Elios from Petzl on your noggin to stay safe. It meets standard certifications with a hard shell and foam liner, but this hard hat is lightweight at only 11 ounces. $65, petzl.com
Optics: Julbo Tensing
It’s a bright, bright world at high altitude. Protect your eyes from direct sunlight and snow-reflected rays with the Tensing sunglasses from Julbo. A wrap-around design gives wide coverage to keep your eyes shielded at all angles on a peak. $55, julbousa.com
LIGHTING: Petzl TIKKA +
Darkness often accompanies a climb, be it a late descent or a predawn “alpine start.” The Tikka + from Petzl is small and bright, putting out 140 lumens with its maximum beam. The unit runs on three AAA batteries and weighs an unnoticeable 2.9 ounces on your head. $40, petzl.com
Harness: Mammut Zephir Altitude
Tie in with a streamlined mountaineering harness like the Zephir Altitude from Mammut. Low-profile and low in weight, the harness has two gear loops to rack equipment, including ice screws and carabiners. Plus, its leg loops unclip to let a climber put the harness on without removing his boots. $85, mammut.ch
Ice Ax: Black Diamond Raven
An ice ax is your primary tool while heading up large peaks. Carry a model like the Raven, which is made of a lightweight aluminum shaft with a stainless-steel head. The ax is designed for secure self-arresting. $80, blackdiamondequipment.com
Backpack: Arc’teryx Alpha FL 30
Haul your gear in a streamlined pack. The Alpha FL 30 from Arc’teryx is a simple but awesome climbing pack made with waterproof fabric and a roll-top closure. Its 30 liters of capacity are just enough space for a long day in the mountains. $199, arcteryx.com
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