Essential Apparel for Climbing the Earth's Highest Peaks

The world's top alpinists continue to push the boundaries of human suffering and exposure with climbs of ever more technical peaks. Gear companies like The North Face, Mountain Hardwear, and Marmot don't sell a lot of high-end, alpine gear, but they need to keep their athletes happy. Clients willing to pay guides to get them up Everest and other peaks reap the rewards. Is that you? Well then, lucky you. Here's a round-up of the latest and greatest gear for 8,000-meter vacations.F12_AbsoluteZeroSuit_front[1]Mountain Hardwear Absolute Zero Suit: It’s been years since a brand has undertaken a wholesale redesign of its 8,000-meter down suit. At the request of Ueli Steck, Mountain Hardwear took on the project. The fully welded and watertight suit is now lighter, compatible with modern Himalayan climbing equipment like air masks, and user friendly. Hood adjustments are easier to make, the 850-fill body is mapped for warmth with improvements to wick away sweat, and the rainbow seat is easier to unzip when you gotta go. Mountain Hardwear built waterbottle pockets on the inside, to reduce the chances you'll carry chunks of ice to the summit. Available August 2012, $1250,

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