How every alpine glove eventually ends up.
One of the topics that came up in the requests was more glove info. Most of us are on a constant search for a better glove. That might be a warmer, more durable, more water proof or easier to dry glove. It depends on your need at that moment for that particular adventure. If anything it is worth noting that few of us climb in the same gloves. And there are a gazillion manufactures out there. I am about as anal on my glove choices as I am on my boots so..as always buyer and reader beware ;-)
Here are some examples of the glove styles I use constantly.
full leather gloves
glove liners, both wool and synthetic
wool gloves or mittens
all synthetic gloves
leather and synthetic combination gloves
Dave in his prefered BDs.
The brand names that I prefer at the moment are Outdoor Research and Mountain Hardware. My partner's (all of them) most commonly used glove is one form or another from Back Diamonds. And I have used BD gloves myself.
The flip side to Matt's pair of BD gloves above.
And all better now ;-)
It wouldn't have been my first choice but still good enough to get Matt up the Ginat last week in less than stellar weather.
The brand name gloves I have used a lot in the past are:
Here is how I divide up my glove choices and there is some over lap generally. But easy to get some cash wrapped up in gloves.
leather/rap or bush whack (think 10' high slide alders or Devil's club)
tech climbing gloves
alpine climbing gloves
cold weather gloves
My first go to glove is the BD Polartec liners either Midweight or the Heavyweight. And I generally loose them before I wear them out. And I wear them out by melting them on a stove. Awesome glove. Works for approaches, XC skiing, spring DH skiing, as a lwt tech glove or a warm weather alpine glove or nasty bush wacking. Many designs like them but these are the best I have used.
Leather? I use them in the alpine on bush wacks and on nasty steep raps with 7mm twins My favorites are a pair of thin steer hide I buy at Lowe's. But they have to fit perfectly and they aren't cheap. They generally last 4 or 5 years with consistent use with a chainsaw and around the yard. I'm also partial to the Metolious full finger belay glove. Although i never use them for belaying. I like a glove you know isn't going to come apart in use. This is the glove I use for the free rap off the Midi's bridge in cold winter temps. It is awesome and cheap. Mine are now 10 years old and just getting broken in. Nice glove!
I use my gloves for all sorts of stuff but the only skiing specific gloves I use are made by these guys:
I generally have pretty warm hands and seldom suffer through the scream'in barfies even in pretty cold weather. So a lwt XC glove often gets used for DH skiing. I like Model ”S” 0103-00 for what it is worth.
These make a decent thin dry tooling glove as well.
Thomas Smiley photos: www.smileysmtphoto.com
ALPINE CLIMBING GLOVES
Alpine climbing for me generally means winter. In spring, summer and fall any combination of gloves on this list can and generally do get used. But winter I have some old favorites. Mtn Harware and OutDry are my favorites along with a couple of pair of the OR gloves. You can read more on the Mtn Hardware Hydra and the OR Vert in earlier blogs.
I have found the OurDry to keep my hands dry even when the entire outer shell and insulation is soaking wet and frozen stiff. Not the best situation but then my buddy's are often in some version of the Black Diamond Gortex or BDry and have wet hands and frozen gloves. Some difference but not a lot. OutDry seems more durable as it is harder to punch a hole in the water proof liner..."I think". But nothing scientific here just anecdotal evidence.
The one thing I have convinced myself of is that thin gloves like the Hydra work very well in some pretty cold conditions. When it gets colder I used to be convinced a removable liner was mandatory. Not any more. Truth is when it gets really cold and I need a warmer glove, I really need more insulation. Liner may or may not be useful depending on how good the glove is and how easy it is to use. If it is that cold drying the glove out hasn't been a problem as the inner of the glove doesn't get very wet.
I used the Mtn Hardware Typhon this winter as my back up, warmer glover to the Hydra. Dave was using the Mtn Hardware Jalapeno when he got cold or wet enough. I thought the Jalapeno easier to use and just as warm as my wool lined Typhon. Typhon's liner comes out, the Jalapeno's doesn't.
From Mtn Hardware I now use the Minus One, the Hydra, the Torsion and the Typhon depending on temps, use and need.. I'll likely start using the Jalapeno next winter.
I like a thinner glove with leashless tools so I don't have to remove my gloves for any reason. But get cold enough and the thicker gloves require me to pull the gloves off more than I want. Removeable liners that stay on when you pull the shells work well there. Big gloves, the Typhon and Jalapeno for example, are like good double boots, a pain in the ass to climb in...but without them you (me anyway) wouldn't still be climbing.
One of the things I found interesting this winter is the gloves I can generally climb with in Canada just weren't warm enough in the Alps this winter. That was a surprise. Thankfully I took some warmer gloves along but I wasn't happy climbing in them generally. It took so getting use to the thicker and stiffer gloves on technical ground and with my (tight) Nomic or Ergo handles. I used the Quarks with a more open grip some specifically for that reason. While I didn't have cold hands on that trip it was PP planning all around on my part.
Look around and try what you think will work for you. When you find some that do, be smart and buy 2 pair. Gloves are like climbing footware you'll want the RIGHT pair for every occasion
Pray you don't end up with this glove collection! And these are just the good ones ;-)