The guy pictured above might be the exception to that general rule. But Mark still climbed more than he wrote or ever talked. So may be all the "real" guys just talk about it less but obsess obout it behind the door of their own gear closet.
As I was about to finish this blog piece I got a hearty laugh. Thank God I am not selling anything as this is actually the ultimate ad for what Dane thinks is the cool shit :) Take the choices with a grain of salt here. Simply my/our choices for the moment. Things continue to change.....and I am swayed by things like cost as well as function just like everyone else. But from all the choices available to me (and the choices are truly unlimited) this is what we are using for this trip.
Everything else being equal (and it never really is) and I have the chance, I look at the numbers first. How much does it weigh?
If you look at the shell test we are about to do (which is the reason I came up with blog entry) there are shells there that weigh from 5.6oz to 22.9oz. You can bet which one I will start off in when I need a shell. But if you kick out the highs and lows there the better shells for what I had intended to test will run between 13oz. and 19 oz. Which makes much more sense "everything else being equal".
I've had cold injuries this time of the year on Rainier's North' side. The option of dbl boots or the Batura is open to all of us. Doug and Lee will be in Baturas because they are easier to walk in and lighter than the best off the shelf doubles. I am tempted myself to take Baturas. Warmer than my Ultras but heavier as well.
Easier to climb in though than my Spantiks by volume and easier to walk in. The walk in is easy which we'll do in runners. That means I'll pack my boots from the car to 10K. When I weigh my Baturas and my Spantiks (customised with Baruntse inner boots) the difference is less than 2.5 oz per boot...or 5oz for the pair. So the marginal addition of extra weight is worth the warmth and dry boots with a planed 2 days above 10K.
Nod at the moment goes to my Spantiks this time. I'll sleep better for the decision...but cuss the final 1000' of elevation gain on the walk up to Liberty Cap and over to Columbia Crest I suspect.
Crampons? I have a few choices but with heavy boots and a easier route, a combo of the stainless Sabertooth front and a aluminum Neve heel seems appropriate for this climb. 10oz less a pair than the standard Saber so they are light. Because of the time of year for snow conditions (read cold and dry hopefully) and my questions about the durability/reliability of the stainless Sabertooth I have stripped the bots so I can more easily inspect the crampon for cracks. The other crampons being used are Doug's Petzl Dartwins and Lee's Grivels G22s.
I'm also taking along a lwt axe to supplement my Nomics (one CT hammer, new serrated pommel, ICE picks and no pick weights) on the easier snow climbing so even with out crampons I figure I could cut steps if a crampon failed. Doug has the New Quarks with CT accessories of course. Lee is using older Nomics, no hammers or pick weights. And we all have trekking poles.
At the moment with three of us in a stripepd Nemo Tenshi Tent a Feathered Friends Vireo seems like a good idea.
Two of us taking them. Lee is playing it smart and is taking a 2# Swallow. With Cascades Designs newest, high tech and super light prototype NeoAir XTherm mattresses and the tight quarters of the Nemo Tenshi we should be warm enough.
With all my gear hopefully stuffed into an admittedly small, 25L Blue Ice Wart Hog pack.
Gloves between the three of us seem to be an equal split between Mountain Hardware and Outdoor Research with the odd pair from Arc'teryx thrown in. I'll get more specific on gloves later as it will consume an entire blog post. But Lee wants to take only one pair of gloves. I'll likely take three of differing weights. No sure what Doug will do. But those choices should be of interest with all the new models we have available from the three companies mentioned.
Doug and Lee will be in NWAlpine pants and Salopettes. I will either use NWAlpine Salopettes or the new Patagonia North Wall pant..depending on the temps forecast between 10 and 14K and what I think will be required under them for longs.
Speaking of longs I am excited to try some of the newest technology (again a Polartec concept) in Cabela's E.C.W.C.S. It is a Thermal Zone® Polartec® Power Dry® and might be much better than simply dbl layering my longs as I have done in the past to gain warmth in really cold conditions. Guess we'll find out soon enough with all three of us using the Thermal Zone technology. I had heard a rumor that Mr. Twight was involved in the early design work on these.
The NWAlpine hoodies are a given for all of us as a base or mid layer. We have RAB Infinity Endurance 800 fill down jackets coming for a insulation layer.
I am hoping we can use the RAB high quality down garments under/over these test shells and have the newest technology there WOW us with the performance.
Nastia climbing high on our current objective. (photo courtesy of N. B.)