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The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Climbing Packs part 4

Steve House on the N. Face of Alberta, April of 2008
Custom CCW pack made to order.  photo courtesy of Vince Anderson

Screen snap shot from a video featuring Colin Haley in the Spring of 2011, Chamonix,
Patagonia prototype pack, no lid.  Same pack Colin and Mikey Shaefer used on Devil's Thumb.  And the pack Colin used in lectures for show and tell here in Seattle.

This is the last blog in a 4 part series on climbing packs.  It really isn't fair of me to emphasize the fact of just how good basic packs are with pictures of Steve House, Colin Haley, Vince Anderson and Mikey Schaefer all using similar type packs for their own climbing.  There are dozens of other pack manufactures out there and lots of extremely good alpinists using much more complicated packs.  I have nothing to gain from promoting these simple pack ideas.  And the same pack ideas were around when I started climbing, long before Twight, House or Haley began their own adventures.   

But these guys are picky about their own gear and can use or have anything they want made.  Which for me means it is likely worth paying attention from time to time to what they are using.

You need to look close in the left hand margins of this picture but Vince Anderson's pack on Alberta is there as well.

Steve with the lid on while on Alberta.

photos courtesy of Vince Anderson

But the pack style isn't just for the super stars.  Here is another set of packs I mentioned previous.  Stock CCW Ozone on the left in red ballistics cloth and a custom CCW climbing pack on the right in the Spectra grid.  Good side by side size comparison for volume. 

packs and photo courtesy of Ryan@bfmgs

More here:

And finally two more custom CCWs.  My stripped version that weights in at 22oz.    My point here is don't believe the ad hype.  When you start looking at climbing pack weights  make sure you actually weigh your choices or go to someone you can trust to give you the weights.  I have listed most of the major players in the blog at some point.  

Five, 60 meter ropes in this one and 30#

Even at 22oz my custom version is a amazingly tough in Spectra and not a tiny pack.

Nastia's  new, custom version of the Ozone with a 17" back sewn up in Spectra ripstop with compression straps, crampon patch and straps with a lid attached on the left.   It weighs in at 28oz with the lid, removable foam back pad and all.   Nastia's  custom Ozone is a much smaller pack than my 21"  backed custom CCW.  Which makes perfect sense as I am 6'1" and she is 5'4".

In the alpine, where this style of pack excels. 
Photo courtesy of OlegV

Michael Wejchert's  custom Cold Cold World Ozone loaded for late-season ice climbing.  "Inside are boots, extra layers, two water bottles, and my puffy. Under the lid are my crampons and helmet. I love how the lid stretches to accommodate a helmet or rope." 

Lid in the pack..easy. 

The tool attachment system: shock cord, essentially. Four bar-tacked tabs give some options for ice tools or a foam pad for single-push climbs and the like. Randy made sure the tabs were big enough for carabiners also. Totally removable for summertime rock climbing.

More here on Michael's custom version:


Dane said...

Hi Carolyn,
Glad you liked the series. Best to ask Randy (or Steve and Vince) on how they had those packs sewn up and what accessories. Sounded pretty basic though with only a set of crampons and axe straps with a removeable lid. Volume on Randy's custom packs can grow or get smaller depending on what size you make the back panel. I am not sure the names of the models really apply when you do that to a stripped pack. Again best to ask Randy @ CCW.

Have fun getting a new one sewn up!

I'm having another made up in bright red VX21 about the same size as Vince's myself. Which is a bit bigger (wider) than what I am using right now.

alanswalker said...

Great post again, A friend recommended a CCW pack to me and pointed me in the direction of your blog for more info on custom work, lots of great info and references as well.

Just ordered myself an onze with a longer back and removable lid and some compression straps etc. some ideas borrowed from yourself.

Cant wait to get in over here in scotland, i'll put some info and photos on UKC when i get it as there probably pretty rare in the UK.