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Mt Shasta Layering Gear

Original Post
Tyler Johnson · · Santa Barbara · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 122

I'm planning to climb Mt Shasta via AG this coming June and wanted to get a sanity check on gear. I have a lot of backpacking gear already, but this will be my first alpine trip.

How does this look for Mt Shasta in June? Ideally I'd like to reuse as much of this as possible for a future Mt Rainier trip, but it's not crucial.

Baselayer Top: Patagonia Capilene
Midlayer Top: Patagonia R1 Hoody
Softshell Jacket: Arc'Teryx Gamma LT
Hardshell Jacket: Marmot PreCip or Marmot KT Component (shell only)
Insulated Parka: Patagonia Fitz Roy Down Parka

Baselayer Bottom: Patagonia Capilene
Softshell Pants: prAna Stretch Zion
Hardshell Pants: Marmot PreCip

Boots: Arc'Teryx Acrux AR

Roots · · Wherever I am · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 20

I think your clothing list is good...although I am unfamiliar with Arcteryx boots.

mills101 Mills · · Kalispell, MT · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 631

Completely depends on the day. Once climbed up to 12,000 ft. on Shasta in June in a t-shirt and descended (on skis) in a micro-puff.

Tyler Johnson · · Santa Barbara · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 122

Sure. But I can always take gear off.

Right now I'm trying to take advantage of holiday sales to fill out my gear with the understanding that I have no idea what the weather will be, but June can get very cold while still being climbable.

Allen Sanderson · · On the road to perdition · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,188

Clothing is probably fine ... Given this is your first alpine trip I would not be spending that much on boots

The Scarpa Mont Blanc would a good place to start. But I just stumble on https://talkaboutitem.com/product/scarpa-phantom-tech-mountaineering-boot/1990535.html

The price seems too good but if they have your size jump on it.

John Vanek · · Gardnerville, NV · Joined May 2013 · Points: 0

The Fitzroy will likely be way overkill for June. If it’s so cold all your other layers combined can’t keep you warm while moving, it’s likely a cold storm has hit and maybe you shouldn’t be there. If you think you want / need some extra insulation you could carry something less bulky and expensive than the Fitzroy.

I’m assuming you already have a warm hat (and maybe neck gator) that will fit under your helmet. 

Mike McL · · South Lake Tahoe, CA · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 1,955

As many have said, of course it depends on the specific day, but more often than not the weather on Shasta in June is pretty pleasant.  Sun protection can be more of an issue than staying warm when climbing that time of year.  Think about a lightweight long sleeve paper-thin sun shirt as a base layer.  A hooded sun shirt or a sun hat is pretty useful for covering your neck and ears.  The sun can be absolutely brutal that time of year in the snow.  Apply sunscreen often and if you wear a T-shirt make sure you get your inner arms because of the reflected light.  Same with the bottom of your nose and chin.  

The Fitz Roy is a bit overkill for Shasta in June but it's not unreasonable to bring it.  Are you doing it in a day or spending the night?  If you're camping then the warmer puffy might make hanging around camp at night a bit more comfortable.  And the Fitz Roy will be a good option for Rainier.  

The only thing I'd strongly recommend changing is to get a different pair of pants.  The Stretch Zion pants are useful for rock climbing or hiking but are not a mountain pant.  Get a real pair of mid weight soft shell alpine pants.  Hard shell pants (especially rain pants) aren't necessary that time of year IMO if you have good soft shell pants.  

The Precip jacket is probably unnecessary with the Gamma LT (which is a pretty burly soft shell).  Unless it was forecasted to precipitate I'd leave the Precip jacket at home.  

Here's what I would usually bring for Shasta in June for a day trip (I would be on skis).  I'm usually on the move the entire time.  Breaks are brief which helps maintain warmth.

Lightweight soft shell ski pants.  No long underwear for day trips.  I'd bring super lightweight long underwear bottoms for an overnighter (Capilene lightweight).
Thin ski socks.
Patagonia lightweight capilene crew base layer for sun protection.  This is the thinnest base layer I've found.  
OR Sunrunner sun hat.  I can wear this under my climbing helmet.  It covers my neck and ears and has a nice brim.  White color helps reflect light.  
Patagonia Nano air light hybrid vest.  I like a light vest for layering and temperature regulation.  
Patagonia Nano air light hybrid hoody.  
Soft shell jacket if the weather looks good (Arc'teryx Psiphon FL).  I'd bring a lightweight hardshell (BD Helio) if it was forecasted to be windy.  But not both.
I always bring a lightweight puffy jacket (Rab Xenon X) for emergencies and prolonged breaks.  I don't often use it but it's nice insurance if something unexpected happens.  
Super thin skull cap
Lightweight buff for a little extra warmth and sun protection when descending (if I'm descending with goggles I can't wear the OR sun hat so the buff goes on for sun protection when skiing down).
1 pair sunglasses.  I usually bring goggles for skiing.
1 pair of uninsulated lightweight soft shell gloves (Marmot Connect Evolution).
1 pair midweight gloves (OR Ascendant).
1 pair of warmer Gore Tex gloves (BD Pursuit).  Again, these might not be used but it's nice insurance if the weather changes unexpectedly or I get injured.  I would definitely bring 1 warm pair of gloves if you're overnighting.  

Tyler Johnson · · Santa Barbara · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 122

Thanks all. I'm taking this trip through a guide company and we're expected to be three days on the mountain, including time for skills. I also expect to spend a decent amount of time in the snow for self arrest, glissading, etc.

It sounds like I need to replace the pants. I've been considering the OR Cirque (~48% off at REI right now). I also have a pair of lightweight ski pants (Marmot Refuge) but they're a hardshell and I wasn't sure hiking in them would be comfortable.

For head protection, I figured between all the jackets being hooded, a wool beanie (Marmot Androo), a sun hat (REI Sahara Cadet Cape hat), a buff, and my helmet I would have more than I knew what to do with. For gloves I'm considering the OR PL Base Sensor liner gloves and something warm like the BD Guides.

Allen - I expect you're right about the boots. In all likelihood I'll end up renting, unless I find a screaming deal on the Acrux. I'm hesitant to buy (even heavily recommended) single boots ahead of time since the guides may require double boots depending on weather.

Mike McL · · South Lake Tahoe, CA · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 1,955

Cirque pant seems like a good option.

BD Guide gloves are super warm but pretty heavy and not very dexterous.  If you aspire to higher and colder peaks in the future they'll be nice to have as the heavy/warm option.  Liner gloves are a good choice for something light weight.  

I'd consider adding a more do-it-all mid weight glove.  Something like a BD mid weight soft shell glove is inexpensive and pretty versatile (and 25% off now).  Lightly insulated soft shell.  I like mine for all sorts of activities.  They don't weigh much.  For Shasta in June I imagine you'd wear the liners and the mid weight gloves more than 90% of the time unless your hands run particularly cold or the weather is unusually cold.  

https://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en_US/ski-gloves/midweight-softshell-BD801041_cfg.html#start=53

Edited to add: Most of your time the Guide gloves will be way too warm but simple liner gloves might not be enough.  Plus it's nice to have a leather palm for handling an ice axe and equipment.   

Levi Blair · · Philadelphia · Joined Sep 2019 · Points: 0
Tyler Johnson wrote: Thanks all. I'm taking this trip through a guide company and we're expected to be three days on the mountain, including time for skills. I also expect to spend a decent amount of time in the snow for self arrest, glissading, etc.

It sounds like I need to replace the pants. I've been considering the OR Cirque (~48% off at REI right now). I also have a pair of lightweight ski pants (Marmot Refuge) but they're a hardshell and I wasn't sure hiking in them would be comfortable.

For head protection, I figured between all the jackets being hooded, a wool beanie (Marmot Androo), a sun hat (REI Sahara Cadet Cape hat), a buff, and my helmet I would have more than I knew what to do with. For gloves I'm considering the OR PL Base Sensor liner gloves and something warm like the BD Guides.

Allen - I expect you're right about the boots. In all likelihood I'll end up renting, unless I find a screaming deal on the Acrux. I'm hesitant to buy (even heavily recommended) single boots ahead of time since the guides may require double boots depending on weather.

Dude...OR Cirque pants are the best. I recently bought my second pair because of the REI sale. Great for mountaineering, ice climbing, anything alpine, skiing as well. Get em'. You won't be disappointed. I climbed Shasta in them back in May. Also, DO NOT underestimate the rock and ice fall in the AG chute up to red rocks. Can be very spicy in there. 

Austin P · · Redding, CA · Joined Jun 2018 · Points: 0
Levi Blair wrote:

Dude...OR Cirque pants are the best. I recently bought my second pair because of the REI sale. Great for mountaineering, ice climbing, anything alpine, skiing as well. Get em'. You won't be disappointed. I climbed Shasta in them back in May. Also, DO NOT underestimate the rock and ice fall in the AG chute up to red rocks. Can be very spicy in there. 

+1 on the rockfall, had warm afternoon mid July this year and had some rockfall to about 100m of camp at Helen lake. Make sure you've got a helmet...and that your hardshell fits over it

Grant Kiessling · · Ben Lomond, CA · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 0

I’d switch out your Capilene baselayer for a sun hoody and call it good! If you’re going with a guide company, they’ll do a gear shake down with everyone before departing and will tell you based on current conditions what you could leave behind

Justin 9 · · Colorado Springs, CO · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0
Grant Kiessling wrote: I’d switch out your Capilene baselayer for a sun hoody and call it good! 

+1 

I wish I had a sun hoody when I was on Shasta last year. Also, the OR cirques are what I use and are plenty for the season IMO. Drop the rain jacket and go with just a soft shell. Good luck and have fun.
Adam Wilkie · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2018 · Points: 0

I tried to buy those boots because that price is too good but the site won't work unfortunately

Christian Edstrom · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2019 · Points: 0

I climbed Shasta last May 21; here's what I used, compared to your original list:

Baselayer Top: Patagonia Capilene
Midlayer Top: Patagonia R1 Hoody
Softshell Jacket: Arc'Teryx Gamma LT
Hardshell Jacket: Marmot PreCip or Marmot KT Component (shell only)
Insulated Parka: Patagonia Fitz Roy Down Parka
Baselayer Bottom: Patagonia Capilene
Softshell Pants: prAna Stretch Zion
Hardshell Pants: Marmot PreCip
Boots: Arc'Teryx Acrux AR

Baselayer Top: Smartwool 200
Midlayer Top: Patagonia R1 Hoody
Softshell Jacket: None
Active Insulation:  Maybe I brought my Nano-Air hoody, but I don't think so (at least I didn't wear it)
Hardshell Jacket: OR Interstellar
Insulated Parka: RAB Neutrino (used at night only)
Baselayer Bottom: Patagonia Capilene
Softshell Pants: Mammut Courmayeur
Hardshell Pants: None
Boots: Scarpa F1  (if I'd been walking, I'd have used my La Sportiva Nepal Cubes)

So basically one for one with my stuff, and I was comfy as could be.  

Some thoughts:

  • I agree with Mike McL on everything, I think...
  • I didn't bring a softshell because I figured that I could wear my hardshell if the winds were high enough to warrant it, without overheating.  The weather was snow and wind so R1+hardshell was indeed the order of the day.  If the weather report is good and you have a burlier softshell, you could get away with that too - I would have suffered, but an OR Ferrosi would probably be fine most days.  (Basically I agree with Mike McL here - hard or softshell, not both)
  • I didn't need my RAB Neutrino, so I doubt you'll need a Fitz Roy in June.  I would probably lean toward some active insulation like a Nano-Air hoody or Proton LT instead, as it would provide sufficient warmth and be more useful on the move.  Or a lighter puffy.   If you use an active insulation piece, that would be even more reason to ditch a softshell
  • If I were to do it again, I'd probably wear a Patagonia NALHH rather than an R1; it's even better for high output actvities in the Alpine I think.
  • I would go with OR Cirque, Marmot Scree, or Mammut Courmayeur pants - real softshell mountaineering pants.
  • I don't think you need hardshell pants.  Proper alpine pants are very water resistant, you can't really climb in hardshell pants without dying of heat exhaustion, and I can't imagine a situation at altitude where the weather is so bad I need hardshell pants, but I'm not headed down and out in a hurry.
  • Wear a helmet - rockfall and ice are real objective hazards on AG.  And I trust you have a hat and a buff.
  • Gloves - I wore Kinco 901s and had some OR PL150s with me
Have fun.  I love Shasta.  Hope to go back for another ski this year.
 
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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