Upgrade: Ice Climbing
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Cassin X-All Mountain Ice Ax
Cassin’s X-All Mountain is a one-tool quiver with a low-profile pick that bites like a rabid raccoon and—this is smart—a handle that swaps out for mellower glacier climbs.
Outdoor Research Warrant Gloves
Outdoor Research’s waterproof, PrimaLoft-insulated Warrant gloves can handle the abuse of belaying (the leather palms are reinforced) without sacrificing sensitivity (the bulk of the insulation is on the back).
Black Diamond Momentum DS Harness
Adjusters on each hip of Black Diamond’s Momentum DS harness keep your gear loops centered for easy access—which means less fumbling in cold weather.
Grivel G22 Crampons
Grivel’s G22 crampons are broader at the top than the bottom to prevent them from ripping through soft ice. They pair perfectly with Mammut’s Nordwand TL boots.
Mammut Nordwand TL Boots
Grivel’s G22 crampons pair perfectly with Mammut’s shockingly light (at just 2.1 pounds) Nordwand TL boots. The Nordwand’s non-gusseted padded tongues nixed pressure points, and power straps locked us in when we tested them in Alaska and Vermont. Plus, the integrated gaiters’ gripper material kept our pants from sliding up when postholing.
Petzl Meteor III+ Helmet
Protect your noodle with Petzl’s highly adjustable Meteor III+ helmet. It’s so light and well ventilated, you’ll use it for summer climbing as well.
Mountain Hardwear Drystein Jacket
Mountain Hardwear’s waterproof, ultralight (1.3 pounds) Drystein jacket, one of the most breathable we’ve ever tested, is so light and well ventilated, you’ll use it for summer climbing as well.
Patagonia Super Alpine Bibs
Patagonia’s Gore-Tex Pro Shell Super Alpine bibs were impressive; full side zips make for easy on and off, while the built-in gaiter clips keep them tight around your boots.
Black Diamond’s Speed 40 Pack
Haul all of your gear with Black Diamond’s Speed 40 pack—the spring-loaded shoulder straps move with you, saving you energy on the approach.