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Alpine Climbing Pants


Original Post
Nate K · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 225

Im looking for a new pair of pants for ice and alpine climbing. Softshells get wet too easily and hardshells end up getting soaked with sweat. Softshell/hardshell combination and stretch membrane "softshells" are what im looking for. Preferably with a bib, or high waist design. Gotta be able to poop with them on and not have to take off my jacket which rules out all the old BD bib styles. So far ive narrowed it down to two choices.

NW alpine neoshell salopette- $415

Patagonia Galvanized Pant- $300

Does anybody know of any other pants that might fit this description? or maybe have an old pair of Patagonia knifeblade pants theyd wanna sell?

jdejace · · New England · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 10

It's a pretty limited market. Jottnar makes a Neoshell climbing bib but not sure about its pooping parameters.

I have the NW alpine, pricey but they don't suck. I postholed through that last 3ft dump all day on 12/30 (no gaiters) and I was dry.

Nate K · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 225

Thanks Dave. I guess to be more specific im looking for pants for winter climbing on ice and mixed terrain and big routes in cold conditions. Pro-shell isnt really what im looking for although i have heard great thiings about those arcteryx bibs. Im looking for something a little more breathable, durable and stretchy.

I guess what i should have asked is if anybody knows of other companies beside patagonia and NW-alpine making a 3 layer laminated stretch softshell bib pant or softshell with hardshell knees and thighs.

Nate K · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 225

jdejace thanks thats what i was looking for. I might just have to pull the trigger on the expensive NW alpine bibs. They sound pretty sweet and everybody who has them seems to love them

jdejace · · New England · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 10

I think you'll like them. Nothing is perfect in all conditions but these are a good balance for ice climbing in cold weather. Post up your thoughts if you do get them.

RockinOut · · NY, NY · Joined May 2010 · Points: 100

Check out the Arcteryx Lithic Comps. Took me a season of figuring out what exactly fit the bill for Ice climbing, Backcountry skiing and for the days out on the lift. They are lighter than others I have tried but have held up perfectly so far.

Chris C. · · Seattle, WA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 266

Have you looked at the Mountain Hardware Ozonic pants? I just picked them up myself and they are pretty spiffy. Those and a fleece base could be spot on. They are cheap too.

Linnaeus · · NZ · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 0

Patagonia has made others in the past, including the Northwall and Knifeblade pant. These were Polartec PowerShield Pro. You still see them kicking around sometimes (I just sold a set of Northwalls).

Edit: I see you mentioned the Knifeblades. Sorry to point it out again. Also, they are not a bib, but the Arc'Teryx Alpha Comp is a hardshell/softshell combo that I've seen reviewed favorably.

grubbers · · Mass. · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 0

Don't know if they have a high enough waist for you, but the Rab Calibre pant is a fantastic winter climbing pant. Got a bit of a shower placing a screw the other day, but the pants kept me dry. Very pleased with the breathability as well.

Nate K · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 225

Thanks for the responses everyone. The Lithics are a bit too baggy and the ozonics are a bit too thin and not really cut for climbing, i feel like ill shred them with my crampons.

Linnaeus, the old powershield pro pants sound awesome. The rab callibre pants are actually powershield pro too and a slightly better cut for climbing than the knifeblade's. Not a bib but a strong contender

Just found out that Books Range is offering Neoshell Salopettes called the armor suit

Caz Drach · · Sugarhouse, UT · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 310

Sherpa Nilgiri pant FTW

jdejace · · New England · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 10
Nate K wrote:Just found out that Books Range is offering Neoshell Salopettes called the armor suit
http://www.brooks-range.com/Armor-Suit-p/6010.htm

It looks interesting. The cut seems very similar to the NWalpine. With the AAC discount you can save a few $$ over NW alpine as well but not much. The description is not very precise but they use Neoshell in the "lower legs" and PowerShield (not Pro) elsewhere. I'm not sure where the Neoshell starts and ends on this thing. Their Armor Pants are made entirely of Neoshell.

brooks-range.com/product-p/…

D-Roc wrote:Sherpa Nilgiri pant FTW
https://www.sherpaadventuregear.com/collections/mens-bottoms/products/mens-nilgiri-pant

The price is definitely right. Wonder what the deal is with Himaltec fabric.
AlpineIce · · Upstate, NY · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 255

I just got done using the Jottnar Vanir bibs on a 32 mile, round trip ski approach and alpine climb to Mt. Katahdin in Maine. The NeoShell performed flawlessly in violent winds and they breathed like soft shells on the 16 mile approach in, & 16 mile trek out.

This fit is dialed in and they come with two sets of removable gators - One set for ski boots & one set for ice/mountaineering boots. They are reasonably light and the kick patches are bomber. I never caught the pants on my BladeRunners even once.

Definitely no poop option with these bibs, but they are one hell of a pair of climbing pants. Highly recommend!

doligo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2008 · Points: 277

OR Iceline may fit the bill except for the drop-seat part. They're combination hardshell/softshell, have high waist, loops for a bib, burly fabric and only retail for $245.

AlpineIce · · Upstate, NY · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 255
Dave Schultz wrote:If you needed these to get to chimney pond you may have other problems. 12 miles or road skinning and 4 miles of summer-trail skinning do not qualify as good proving grounds. Not discounting your trip (what did you climb?), just being honest about your ";32 miles";. I would do that approach in skimo tights (and have, neclimbs.com/SMF_2/index.ph… ...)
Well, I guess I'm not the supreme mountain athlete like you are, Dave. I was trying to save weight as I was pulling a sled and didn't want to have to wear or bring multiple climbing pants. I'm not one for tights.

The 12 miles to Roaring Brook and 4 miles to Chimney Pond were actually great "proving grounds" for my purposes. My hopes were for the NeoShell to breath like Polartec's marketing hype claimed they would. Sorry you so blatantly disagree. For anyone who cares, the NeoShell pants were fantastic and did everything I needed them to do.

Also, I'm not an expert skier like you, Dave, so my gear choice suited me very well. I was trying to give the OP positive feedback on a great piece of gear. Unfortunately, we all can't be alpine superstars like you.
Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 483
doligo wrote:OR Iceline may fit the bill except for the drop-seat part. They're combination hardshell/softshell, have high waist, loops for a bib, burly fabric and only retail for $245.
Do you own a pair? Any feedback from real world use?
doligo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2008 · Points: 277

My husband does. He used it all winter guiding ice almost on a daily basis and ski touring. They still look good after heavy use. I'm kicking myself for not picking up a pair when they were on sale a week or two ago. The women's version has a nice waist cuff so your harness stays on top.

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 483

How water resistant are they? Will he stay dry on a pitch when the waterfall is just pouring? Do they dry quickly?

doligo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2008 · Points: 277

^^He says it keeps him fairly dry. It's actually 100% hardshell, the jacket from the same line has softshell panels in it.

alpinejason · · Minneapolis · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 175

These Iceline pants are some of my favorite climbing pants that I've used. I don't climb many days that are wet (it was -10F on Sunday morning and not much warmer on Saturday) so can comment on the weatherproof-ness. I wish they were warmer on their own and I end up wearing a pretty heavy insulation/base layer combination.

My biggest grip is the belt. It's impossible to operate one-handed and frustrating enough to operate two-handed. I'm going to modify it (or replace it) soon.

Pockets are a little weird.

Fairly slim, athletic fit that actually fits me is really well. I don't have the picture perfect skinny climber physique so I usually end up with pants, especially ice climbing pants, that are baggier than I would like.

Cheers.
Jason

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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