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Alpine climbing pants


Original Post
Jonatan Nachum · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2018 · Points: 0

Hi,

I need to buy alpine climbing pants and the one the I found and I like is the The North Face L5 Gore-Tex pants but the problem is that it comes without shoulder straps. Is the shoulder starps crucial? Or is it individual preference?

Jake wander · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 180

My personal experience is that waist height hardshells are the way to go. If you go with something high like this, you will either have to take jackets off to put the pants on (so the pants are under the jacket layers) or take the pants partially off when you want to remove jacket layers. Waist high hardshells with full side zips are the best option. I’ve enjoyed the OR mentor pants. The bib straps are completely removable 

Jonatan Nachum · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2018 · Points: 0

So the straps are not a MUST?

jason.cre · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 10
Jonatan Nachum wrote:

So the straps are not a MUST?

By straps are you referring to suspenders?  Why would suspenders be a MUST?  Depending on the type of alpine climbing you are doing, harshells aren't even a must. 

Caleb Schwarz · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 115

The new TNF L4 softshells are pretty darn weatherproof. I've postholed and worked up a sweat in them with no issues. If you want something lighter, the mountain hardwear dragons are sick.

Curt Haire · · leavenworth, wa · Joined Jun 2011 · Points: 0

i've used the Mammut Courmayeur as my go-to alpine pant for over 15 years (i;m now on my second pair).  The schoeller extra-dry fabric is downright magic -- breathes like a racehorse, but I've rappelled through waterfalls (spring ice climbing), and somehow finished with dry legs.  they are ultralight, which means I don't overheat in summer, but are more than adequate for winter ice and alpine climbing worn over whatever weight long underwear you find appropriate.  I've been comfortable on hot summer alpine rock climbs and on sub-zero Canadian waterfall ice climbs.  sure, they're $200+ if you pay full retail (always on  sale somewhere online), but even at that price, 10-15 years of use feels pretty cost-effective.  They are so light, so comfortable, and so effective that I don't look elsewhere anymore...  one caveat - being light, they are not indestructable -- I have a lot of hand-stitching in that first pair -- but they are still usable, which means the second pair will last even longer...

oh,yeah -- if you happen to   be a fly-fisherman, they work great for wet wading, too...

Jcburgart · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 15

What exactly do you mean by "alpine climbing"? That phrase entails quite a bit of mountain activities.... ice climbing? 14ers? Winter adventures? Rock? Big wall? Ski mountaineering? Backcountry Skiing?

Your specific activity will help direct you to the right pant.

kendallt · · Tahoe · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 98

Nah, shoulder straps aren't a must. I'm assuming you're talking about bib style pants.


They can be useful when it's really windy to keep snow from getting between your top and bottom layers (and warmer) but that's more of an expedition thing IMO and even then not absolutely necessary.

greggrylls · · Salt Lake City · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 62

OR cirques 

Porter M · · Bellingham, Wa · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 15

I think softshell is the way to go (for what I do and consider alpine climbing) If the weather is bad enough to need a hardshell you likely won't be getting high in the alpine due to other concerns. I'd love a classic pair of soft shell pants (or cirque or mammut BASE jump etc.) but I've had great luck with Prana Brions rock climbing pants and varying the base layers (even for some big winter ascents in good weather) Just be careful where you sit or you'll get a wet butt in soft shells. 

Nick Andrasik · · Broomfield, CO · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 0
Porter M wrote:

I think softshell is the way to go (for what I do and consider alpine climbing) If the weather is bad enough to need a hardshell you likely won't be getting high in the alpine due to other concerns. I'd love a classic pair of soft shell pants (or cirque or mammut BASE jump etc.) but I've had great luck with Prana Brions rock climbing pants and varying the base layers (even for some big winter ascents in good weather) Just be careful where you sit or you'll get a wet butt in soft shells. 

I was experimenting this season with Prana Zion + differing base layers, I was surprised that it worked out as well as it did. I was good down to maybe 5-10F with a midweight baselayer and the Zions.


ETA: Now that I look back on this season, 10F might actually be the low boundary. There was a day down in Ouray around 5F that I was pretty damn cold.

Paddy O'Hulk · · Lexington, KY · Joined Nov 2016 · Points: 20

I'm a big fan of the Patagonia Simul Alpine Pants. 

kendallt · · Tahoe · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 98
Nick Andrasik wrote:

I was experimenting this season with Prana Zion + differing base layers

Huh, the Zion isn't even water resistant is it? Maybe they've changed, I have a few old pairs that I use for spring/fall rock climbing. I never really considered wearing them in winter.

In winter I use a pair of Mountain Hardwear Chockstone pants.

Brandon.Phillips · · Portola, CA · Joined May 2011 · Points: 55

I would be inclined to go softshell for most alpine pursuits, especially alpine rock. 

Prana Zion are awesome for about everything but alpine. I wear them on multipitch all the time, but I'd want a little more weather resistance for most alpine climbing. Though I guess I have worn them on many lower altitude routes in the Tetons. 


Nick Andrasik · · Broomfield, CO · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 0
kendallt wrote:

Huh, the Zion isn't even water resistant is it? Maybe they've changed, I have a few old pairs that I use for spring/fall rock climbing. I never really considered wearing them in winter.

In winter I use a pair of Mountain Hardwear Chockstone pants.

I haven't had issues. They're DWR coated. I spent the entire Ouray ice fest in 'em plus another 10+ days or so on various CO ice climbs this season with them.

I wouldn't want to wear them in a downpour, FWIW.

TheBirdman Friedman · · Eldorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2010 · Points: 65

Why are you wearing pants in the alpine? Fast and light/proud and free is the way to go. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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