Its risks often match the heightened thrill of every form of climbing. For mountain climbing, it’s no different. However, thousands of mountaineers have enjoyed the joy of this audacious form of climbing without experiencing injuries.
One primary reason for the accident-free mountain climbing several mountaineers have enjoyed is the effective use of these mountain climbing equipment list. These equipment designed to protect climbers from the harsh weather and rigorous terrains of mountains have always proven life-saving.
Mountain Climbing Equipment List/Gears
Aside from seeing mountaineers safe, the use of mountain climbing equipment list makes ascension very easy. Most mountaineers understand this, and as a result, they never go on mountaineering without this equipment.
However, due to the vast array of equipment mountain climbing requires, some of this mountain climbing equipment list may be left out. Such mistakes can be hazardous, as mountaineers may not be effectively ready to combat the harsh mountain conditions.
In light of this, Climbing Apex presents the complete mountain climbing equipment list below.
1. Mountain climbing boots
No mountain climbing gear is more critical to conquering mountains’ intimidating heights than the mountain climbing boots. These boots are often designed to bear the weight of heavy loads and have a firm grip on rock and snow.
Newbies to mountain climbing boot often confuse these boots for hiking boots. Mountain climbing boots are thick, stiff, and tall and designed to fit crampons. The mountain climbing boot’s thickness is one of its essential qualities as it keeps climbers’ feet warm, thus protecting them from frostbite.
Quality mountain climbing boots are made from leather, kevlar, or plastic.
It is attached to the mountain climbing boots, crampons aid ascension of slippery surfaces. A gear used in ice climbing, it’s not uncommon for cramping to find its place among mountain climbing equipment as individual mountains are filled with ice and glaciers.
Mountaineers often choose crampons based on the terrains of the mountain to be ascended. Flexible crampons are an excellent choice for technical landscapes, while rigid is often used in ice climbing and maybe the preferred choice for mountains with snow caps.
However, climbers who prioritize knee movement may have to settle for flexible crampons. Attachment is also a factor considered when choosing crampons. Step-in attachment is most comfortable and gives the most precision but may not fit specific boots.
Straps attachments fit almost any boot but are known to loosen and are not reliable. Hybrid extension combines the precision of step-in attachments and the rear tension lever’s effectiveness and is ideal for lightweight boots.
They are a practical choice for alpine routes.
3. Ice Axe
It comes as no surprise that Ice Axe makes the mountain climbing equipment list. Essential gear for ice breakage, ice axe, is of two types;
- The Alpine Ice Axe with its Mr. All rounder moniker fits all routes but is often used in alpine conditions. They come with a hammer and an adze and have a distinctive inclined angle and spike.
- The steep ice axe has a thoroughly bent angle and a bent grip. Both work well in any condition, but picking the right ice axe for mountain climbing often depends on the axe’s length and the terrain’s nature to be ascended.
For terrains with vertical surfaces, axe with more inclined shafts, an alpine ice axe is ideal. Climbers’ position plays a crucial role in significant ice breakage.
The risk of head injuries ranks as one of the significant dangers in mountain climbing. With loose rocks falling from feet above, climbers have to protect their heads.
Helmets with strong shells rive to be the best protection from head injuries. Helmets are often uncomfortable, as it brings added weight. But a climber’s safety is undoubtedly worth the inconvenience of wearing a helmet.
For climbers ascending mountains with ropes, a harness is a must-have. The comfort of using a harness beats the ancient practice of tying the climbing rope around a climber’s body.
Climbers can choose from the various types of harness.
- Seat harness worn below the abdomen and around the thigh region is the most common harness used. While it’s ideal for mountain climbing, if a climber’s goal is to stay upright, the seat harness may not be perfect.
- The chest harness is often the preferred choice when a climber is concerned about staying upright.
- The full-body harness is the best as it incorporates the seat and chest harness design. The rope is attached to the chest region, but unlike the chest harness, climbers who wear this harness are less likely to sustain injuries during falls.
The downside of the full-body harness is that it’s expensive and tends to flip more than the chest and seat harness.
6. Climbing ropes
In mountain climbing, static and dynamic ropes are often used. The dynamic rope has elasticity and absorbs tension during falls. They are usually thick and have various kinds.
Climbers seeking to use dynamic ropes have to make use of a rope of this nature, twice the route’s length. Staying ropes do not have elasticity and thus do not extend.
They are not ideal for climbing, but for rappelling, transporting equipment, and during rescue missions.
Often used with a harness and the climbing rope, these locking device helps interlock the harness and the climbing rope. It comes in different shapes and with other gates.
The oval and pear-shaped carabiner do not have much strength as the D and offset D shaped carabiner.
Wire gates carabiner possess much strength than bent gates. Due to the design of straight and bent gates carabiners, they are used with a locking device.
8. Belay Device
This equipment proves to be very useful in the event of falls, as they arrest the climbing rope. There exist different belay devices, but the auto-belay device is ideal when climbing solo.
The other forms of belay devices, such as the tubular and self-locking belay devices, requires a belayer, often a fellow climber, to arrest the rope when climbers fall.
9. Ice Screws
Used in routes with ice and glaciers, ice screws held in firmly setting the belay device or anchor into the ice. They are the basis of the anchor foundation. The length of ice screws is often between 10 cm to 23cm, but length does not determine the holding power.
The length of the ice screws is crucial for depth. They should be well buried into the glaciers to boost their holding power.
10. Ski glasses/Sunglasses
Climbers have to use any of these based on the weather conditions of the mountains to be ascended. Ski glasses would be ideal for climbing Mountain K2, while sunglasses are best for mountain Kilimanjaro.
Aside from protecting snow or tiny rocks, a ski glass/sunglass would help climbers sight during periods with excessive brightness.
Anchors used for mountain climbing can either be bolts, nuts, cams, or pitons. Bolts and pitons are fixed anchors.
Bolts are between 10 mm, 12 mm, and 14 mm. They usually have bolt hangers for attaching carabiners.
Pitons look like sharp wedges with openings where the carabiners are clipped. They are losing their appeal in recent times as a result of the damage they do to rocks.
Cams come with springs loaded with semi-circled metal pieces that contract and expand when pressure is placed on the lever. Climbers can make use of any of these anchor devices during mountain climbing. The number of these anchor devices to be brought along is at the climber’s discretion.
With several gears required for mountain climbing, climbers will indeed need a means of storing these gears. Backpacks are the most used storage option as they are mobile and large enough to contain these gears.
However, climbers have to exercise caution when filling backpacks. Weight is always an issue, so climbers should do well to choose backpacks that have slots for crampons, ropes, ice axe, and other significant gears.
13. Climbing clothing
The choice of climbing clothing largely depends on the weather condition of the mountain to be ascended. Climbers seeking to climb mountain K2 will adorn heat retentive clothing with waterproof materials, while climbers seeking to ascend Mount Kilimanjaro would decorate loose clothing to give room for airflow.
Mountain jackets and waterproof trousers are the preferred clothing choice for mountain climbing. Gloves are also worn for terrains with humid or chilling conditions. The thickness of the gloves varies on the conditions of the mountains.
14. First Aid Kit/GPS device/Phones
Due to the risk of climbers sustaining injuries during mountain climbing, a first aid kit with necessities to relieve pain, stop bleedings, clean and bandage wounds should be carried.
If climbers needed to be rescued, a GPS device would be useful in locating climbers, and a phone would help call for help.
Other equipment to be carried for a mountain climbing expedition depends on how long climbers intend to stay. This equipment includes;
- Sleeping Bags
- Gas stove
- Gas Fuel
- Food and water
- Face cover scarf
For low-risk mountaineering, a quality mountain climbing equipment list is vital, in order for you to move freely when climbing. See Mountaineering For Beginners: The Ultimate Guide
Please let us know your thoughts on our mountain climbing equipment list and gears in the comments section below.