From American conservationist John Muir’s mantra, “The Mountains are calling and I must go” to Jack Kerouac’s rephrase, “In the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn—climb that goddamn mountain,” we get why alpinism, skimo, and plain-old peak-bagging are so popular. There’s something uniquely fun (and sublimely ass-kicking) about mountaineering, whether it’s climbing Oregon’s Mt. Hood in June or dropping into the Super C Couloir in Portillo, Chile in late August.
If you dream of climbing this spring and summer—whether it involves Canadian icefields, Peruvian volcanoes, Alaskan steeps, or Colorado “14ers,” (and 14ers in disguise like New Hampshire’s Mt. Washington), you’ll up your chances of success (and survival) by bringing the right gear. Each specific mission requires a different recipe, but here are some basic ingredients for a safer, more comfortable adventure through spring, summer, and beyond.
1. Back Country Access T4 Avalanche Rescue Package
Avi gear isn’t just for backcountry skiers. People who love mountains know that avalanches and crevasse falls happen year-round. If you’ve hesitated about equipping yourself with a shovel, probe, and beacon, the T4 Rescue Package is a foolproof option—offering core equipment that you can use from the backcountry and steep-deep resort skiing to alpine climbing and glacier travel. The package includes the Tracker4 avalanche transceiver, extendable B-1 EXT avalanche shovel, and quick deploying Stealth 270 avalanche probe—all state-of-the-art equipment. You can buy each piece of this treasure trove of safety gear separately, but save serious green on package pricing.[$475; backcountryaccess.com]
2. Trango Agility 9.1 Climbing Rope
The highly versatile Agility 9.1 is rated to serve as a single rope, as well as in a double or twin set up. Light, strong, and extremely durable, it also comes with an optional waterproof treatment. The best part? The middle and both ends of the rope are woven in a different, contrasting color as the rest of the rope, so you know when you’ve reached the halfway mark or if you’re nearing the end of the line. Think of the Agility 9.1 as a safety net for big mountain objectives and an ideal tagalong for local cragging.[$365; trango.com]
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