2014 Ice Climbing Essentials

You, clinging to an icy cliff, gripping your picks and praying for the staunch character of your crampons. Make sure the story ends happily with these ten ice climbing essentials.

Berne Broudy
(Inga Hendrickson)
ice climbing essentials composite all gear winter winter buyers guide 2014 tools

You, clinging to an icy cliff, gripping your picks and praying for the staunch character of your crampons. Make sure the story ends happily with these ten ice climbing essentials.

Berne Broudy

Mammut Alpine Rider Helmet

Mammut’s Alpine Rider helmet ($100) is dual certified for skiing and climbing: the earflap liner is insulated but swaps out with summer padding for year-round use.

mammut alpine rider helmet silver skiing skis climbing earflap liner winter winter buyers guide 2014 insulated essentials ice
(Inga Hendrickson)


Mountain Hardwear Seraction Jacket

Mountain Hardwear's Seraction jacket ($600) is a flexible, waterproof-breathable coat of armor purpose-built for ice climbing and alpinism. Stretchy fabric in key spots facilitates unrestricted movement.

mountain hardwear seraction jacket blue yellow zippers winter winter buyers guide 2014 essentials climbing ice
(Inga Hendrickson)


Mountain Hardwear Seraction Pants

Don't forget Mountain Hardwear’s Seraction pants ($375) to go with the jacket–also flexible and waterproof-breathable with strategic stretchy spots.

mountain hardwear seraction pants yellow essentials ice climbing winter 2014 winter buyers guide black belt
(Inga Hendrickson)


Outdoor Research Contact Gloves

The fast-drying Outdoor Research Contact gloves ($89) have grippy leather palms that stay sticky even when wet. Padded foam knuckles protect fingers.

outdoor research contact gloves winter ice climbing grippy leather palms padded winter buyers guide 2014 essentials
(Inga Hendrickson)


Petzl Laser Speed and Laser Speed Light Ice Screws

Petzl’s Laser Speed ($60) and Laser Speed Light ($75) ice screws bite into ice with only half a turn thanks to a new tooth design, and the plastic knobs won’t freeze fingers. The difference between the two? The Laser Speed’s tube is steel; the Laser Speed Light’s is aluminum.

petzl laser speed laser speed light ice screws ice screws petzl's essentials climbing winter buyers guide 2014
(Inga Hendrickson)


Mammut Trion Light Pack

The rolltop alpine Mammut Trion Light pack ($180) may be spartan and lean, but the aluminum butterfly frame carries a full load comfortably. The removable, expandable lid offers overstuffing room for a walk into base camp, then pares down easily for the ascent.

mammut trion light pack green lime fanny pack essentials ice climbing winter buyers guide 2014 aluminum butterfly frame winter
(Inga Hendrickson)


Cassin X-Dream Ice Tool

The pick angle on Cassin’s X-Dream ice tool ($280) can be switched in seconds, and the handle is micro-adjustable to fit thinner or thicker gloves.

cassin x-dream ice tool essentials climbing winter winter buyers guide 2014 picks pick pick angle handle
(Inga Hendrickson)


Black Diamond Xenos Harness

The waist belt on the Black Diamond Xenos harness ($130) conforms to your body and, even better, doesn’t absorb water, so it won’t freeze. Plus, it has six—not the usual four—ice-clipper slots.

black diamond xenos harness red ice-clipper ice climbing essentials winter buyers guide 2014
(Inga Hendrickson)


Scarpa Rebel Ultra GTX Boots

Scarpa’s Rebel Ultra GTX ($539) was designed with the help of über-mountaineer Ueli Steck. It’s perhaps the lightest traditional ice boot ever made—running-shoe comfortable, with a carbon-fiber insole for extra stiffness and a bit of insulation for warmth.

scarpa rebel ultra gtx boots boots orange ueli steck ice boot ice boots ice
(Inga Hendrickson)


Black Diamond Stinger Crampons

With a low-profile toe bail and shorter heel wire, Black Diamond’s Stinger crampons ($210) offer superb contact with slim modern boots. And if you climb often enough to wear out parts, you can swap in new front points ($14).

black diamond stinger crampons contact boots climb climbing essentials green winter winter buyers guide 2014
(Inga Hendrickson)

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