Equipment List: Overnight Alpine Climbs – Difficult and Advanced

Use this equipment list if you are on any overnight alpine climb listed as difficult or advanced, except for routes on Mount Hood. 

You must have all the items on this list at your climber orientation regardless of season or forecast. Please call us if you have any questions. Your guide will not let you climb if you don’t have appropriate gear. Please arrive at your meet-time dressed for the activity. There will be time for questions and adjustments.


  • Underwear – Wool or synthetic
  • Socks – Wool or synthetic. Some people like a thinner wool sock with a liners. Bring 2-3 pairs for overnight trips.
  • Long Underwear – Medium weight tops and bottoms.
  • T-shirt – Synthetic, quick-drying
  • Lightweight Fleece Shirt – For example, the Patagonia R1 Hoody
  • Windbreaker/Fleece Jacket – Ex: Mammut Ultimate Alpine Hoody
  • Hiking Pants  Ex: Courmayeur Advanced Pants
  • Waterproof/breathable Pants – Waterproof, breathable pants with a full-length side-zipper for putting on over boots when the weather gets severe. Gore-Tex is one such material used by many manufacturers.
  • Waterproof/breathable Jacket – Requires a helmet-compatible hood.
  • Insulated Parka – Required, with a helmet-compatible hood and either down or Primaloft insulation. For example, Mammut’s Rime Pro Jacket. (Micro-puff jackets are too light for potential conditions.) *This item IS available for rent
  • Lightweight Gloves – Windproof gloves, for warmer conditions. For example, the Black Diamond Arc
  • Mediumweight Gloves – Lightly insulated. For example, Black Diamond’s Kingpin glove.
  • Heavyweight Waterproof Gloves – For example, Black Diamond Guide Glove
  • Warm Hat – Wool or synthetic, and snug enough to wear under a helmet.
  • Buff, or Balaclava – Protection from wind, cold and sun.
  • Sun Hat – The more coverage the better.

Personal Gear

  • Lunch/Snacks – 1 lb per day of a variety of tasty, high energy foods
  • Water Bottles – Two 1-liter bottles required. No bladders
  • Sunglasses or Glacier Glasses – Should be high-quality, dark, large and fit snugly or have side-shields.
  • Ski Goggles – Clear or light in color, in case of blowing snow.
  • Sun Block – SPF 30 or higher
  • Lip Balm – SPF 15 or higher
  • Toilet Paper – Just in case! Blue bags will be available at most trailheads.
  • Headlamp – For alpine starts
  • Personal First Aid Kit – Moleskin, ibuprofen, aspirin, antacids, personal prescriptions, band-aids.

Technical Climbing Gear

  • Mountaineering boots – Full-shank if climbing ice, for example, La Sportiva Nepal Evo, Scarpa Phantom Guide. 3/4 shank if climbing alpine rock or doing lots of mileage on trail, for example.
  • Approach shoes optional
  • Crampons – 10 or 12-point, steel crampons. Aluminum crampons aren’t suitable for typical steep climbing in the Cascades. Examples are the Black Diamond Sabretooth and Serac.
  • Ice Axe – 50 to 65cm long. For example, Black Diamond’s Raven
  • Overnight Climbing Pack – 40-55 liters. For example, Ortovox Peak 45
  • Trekking Poles with Snow Baskets – Highly recommended for saving energy and your knees.
  • Climbing Harness – Alpine-style, for example, the Black Diamond Couloir
  • Carabiners – 1 non-locking, 1 locking
  • Climbing Helmet – For example, the Black Diamond Half Dome.
  • Belay/Rappel device – Black Diamond ATC Guide
  • Double-length sewn sling – 2 foot loop

Technical Gear for Difficult and Advanced Climbs

*Please contact the office if you are not sure which items you need. Or, bring them just in case, and ask your guide at the trailhead.

  • 2nd Ice Tool 50-55 cm tool with hammer (not adze) for example, Petzl Quark or Black Diamond Cobra. Most climbers benefit from having a second tool on difficult alpine routes. Sometimes we put this tool away and use our hands.
  • Pair of Ice Tools – 50-55 cm matching tools with hammers, for example Petzl Quarks or Black Diamond Cobras. This is recommended for the North Ridge of Mount Baker and the North Face of Hood.
  • Rock climbing shoes – some harder alpine rock climbing objectives benefit from wearing rock shoes. This is recommended for the West Ridge of Mount Washington and the North Ridge of Forbidden.

Camping Gear

  • Bowl, Spoon, & Cup
  • Sleeping Pad – For example, Therm-a-rest’s NeoAir
  • Sleeping Bag – Rated 0-30 degrees, with compression stuff sack
  • Toiletries – Toothbrush and toothpaste, floss, eyewear, etc.
  • Ear Plugs – If you don’t bring them you can’t complain!
  • 1 Gallon Ziploc bag – 2-3
  • Garbage Bags1-2 compactor bags