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Upgrading gear


Original Post
Matisok · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 0

Chaps,
I have ice climbed the last many years. Got got my gear those many years ago just as the Simon Piranhas came out (the tools I have). Finally I found the means to start upgrading. Got my Nomics yesterday (can't wait for these babies to get to use) and now I am wondering about the rest of the gear...
I have

  • Nomics
  • Mixed bunch of screws
  • Grivel Rambo
  • Scarpa Phantom boots
  • Alpine Bod Harness
  • Rab Latok Jacket
  • Other bits an pieces

Questions to you guys:

What glove configuration do people use these days? Mitts, gloves, combination?

Pants: my Patagonia Super Alpine Pants are so old and knackered. What should I get? Shell+fleece, or new school lycra type guide pants?

Cheers
Mathias
Ryan Hamilton · · Orem · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 20

I usually keep 2-3 pair of thin gloves on me, to swap out if/when they get wet or sweaty. I have a couple pair of Outdoor Research gloves that I love, but they have discontinued them. These look good - outdoorresearch.com/en/cata…

For belaying/rappelling I have some insulated leather work gloves. $15-$20 at Ace Hardware, Home Depot selection usually sucks.

I have some shell gloves, with liners for those really cold -0F days.

Soft shell pants like the Rab Spire are good; pair with some merino long underwear. They keep you pretty dry, but give you lots of stretch and climbing comfort. I also have some hard-shell pants that I pair with insulated pants if it's really cold.

Matisok · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 0

Thanks. Appreciating your reply. More extra thin gloves seems like a good concept.

Kyle Tarry · · Portland, OR · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 162

For pants I prefer softshells. I like my OR Cirques. Those Rad Spire pants posted above look nice too, I really like Rab stuff. I also have an old (discontinued) pair of Patagonia Simple Guides, I think the closest thing they make now are the Simul Alpines?

For gloves, I have some OR SuperVerts that are good. I also have a pair of Windstopper gloves that I end up using a lot, I didn't plan on using them for climbing but they have a great blend of dexterity with just enough warmth. I almost always climb with 2-3 pairs of gloves, and cycle them inside my jacket.

For belays, raps, and more general use, it's tough to beat a pair of insulated Kincos.

Clint White aka Faulted Geologist · · Lawrence, KS · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 158

Those Rambo crampons are classic, but are a solid one piece unit. Most have recommended upgrading to newer models that flex for the non-vertical-ice part of your journey. The bend in the crampon helps not strain the legs. I have never used Rambos, just something that stuck out.

Will search for a glove thread that got some great replies.

Eric and Lucie · · Boulder, CO · Joined Oct 2004 · Points: 140
Faulted Geologist wrote:Those Rambo crampons are classic, but are a solid one piece unit. Most have recommended upgrading to newer models that flex for the non-vertical-ice part of your journey. The bend in the crampon helps not strain the legs. I have never used Rambos, just something that stuck out. Will search for a glove thread that got some great replies.
I personally think that "most" are wrong here. Depends what your priority is. If you want maximum performance climbing vertical ice, fully rigid crampons still vastly outperform the flexible ones, IMO (I've had/used several pairs of both types and have >20yrs of WI experience).
Now, if you're planning on doing more mixed climbing, flexible ones may provide better sensitivity.
Ryan Hamilton · · Orem · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 20

I've only ever climbed with crampons that are semi-flexible (BD, Cassin) and I've never noticed any performance problem with any flexing. This may be because I don't know any difference, but with a tight connection in the heel and toe bails I just don't see there being enough movement to be an issue. On the flip side, the Rambos look good and my usual climbing partner climbs about half the time in fully ridgid crampons and it doesn't seem to be an issue for him so I'm not sure it really makes a big difference one way or the other.

Also, I prefer not climbing in gaiters, but using them sure makes my pants last a lot longer. I climbed without gaiters for about half of last season and it seemed like I put a new hole in my pants every 2nd or 3rd time out.

Kyle Tarry · · Portland, OR · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 162
Faulted Geologist wrote:I have never used Rambos
Maybe consider withholding judgement on gear you don't have experience with?
Eric and Lucie · · Boulder, CO · Joined Oct 2004 · Points: 140
Ryan Hamilton wrote:I've only ever climbed with crampons that are semi-flexible (BD, Cassin) and I've never noticed any performance problem with any flexing.
I'd encourage you to try climbing with a fully rigid crampon on one foot and a flexible one on the other. I think you'll know what I'm talking about once you do (assuming you're using modern boots, not monster plastic mountaineering boots). You'll no doubt notice the flexible side feel "mushy" compared to the rigid side.

BTW, this only holds if you're climbing real (somewhat virgin) ice where you need to kick, not stepping up stairs of pre-made foot placements in Ouray... (it's interesting to watch beginning ice climbers in Ouray these days... they hardly ever kick or even swing... no need on high traffic routes... cannot imagine what'll happen when they find themselves on backcountry ice).

It's not that there's any problem or noticeable movement with flexible ones, but the energy transfer to the front point is much sharper (hence better penetration and less tendency to bounce) with rigid frames.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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