New England Winter Climbing New Hampshire
Gear List

New England Winter Climbing Gear List

This equipment list is meant to help you compile your personal gear for a mountaineering expedition. Most items are required. Please consider each item carefully and be sure you understand the function of each piece of equipment before you substitute or delete items. Keep in mind that this list has been carefully compiled by George Dunn, the expedition organizer. Don't cut corners on the quality of your gear.

Required Equipment for One and 2-day Programs:
[  ]Boots: Rigid lug-sole climbing boots. You boot must have a welt that accepts a clip-on crampon. Modern insulated leather or synthetic climbing boots are much lighter and more precise for ice climbing than plastic double boots. However, plastic double boots are warmer and are recommended for those who are sensitive to the cold, especially on Mt. Washington.
[  ]Socks: Two changes of medium weight wool or wool/synthetic blend
[  ]Gaiters: short boot top gaiters are more flexible, but traditional knee high gaiters will work fine
[  ]Long underwear: Synthetic or wool tops and bottoms
[  ]Soft Shell Pants: Any of the many climbing pants made from stretchy, dense weave, durable synthetic fabric (like the Outdoor Research Exos or Cirque pant).
[  ]Shell Pants: Breathable/waterproof with full to ¾ length zips to go on over boots
[  ]Shirt: Expedition weight synthetic long underwear top
[  ]Soft Shell Jacket
[  ]Shell Jacket: Breathable/waterproof jacket with hood. Lightweight and slim in fit is best for ice climbing.
[  ]Warm Parka: Down or synthetic filled, but does not need to be expedition weight. A "belay jacket" or hooded, insulated parka that goes over all other layers is what you are looking for. We do a lot of standing around belaying and watching when ice climbing, and an insulated layer is essential for rest breaks on the climb of Mt. Washington.
[  ]Hat: Wool or fleece with a Buff, neck gaiter or a balaclava. Pick a hat that fits well under your helmet.
[  ]Gloves: Bring minimum 2 pair, at least one good insulated glove with Gore-Tex outer fabric. Something with a good grip. Several pair of glove liners are helpful for changing between climbs. You may need to trade off your gloves each day, leaving one pair back at the hotel to dry completely. A good all around glove is the Outdoor Research Extravert. Simple, dexterous, warm.
[  ]Mittens: insulated mitts with a water resistant shell and a good grip. These are backups only, or for those with extra cold hands. Most ice climbers prefer to use gloves if at all possible.
[  ]Helmet: A good fitting UIAA approved climbing helmet.
[  ]Climbing Harness: Adjustable leg loops, a belay loop and gear loops are all helpful.
[  ]Carabiners: 2 locking pear shaped carabiners, minimum. Bring a couple of non-lockers if you have them
[  ]Ice Axe, 70cm
[  ]Crampons adjusted to fit your boots and reasonably sharp
[  ]Sun Glasses: Good shatter resistant, wraparound sunglasses that provide eye protection and minimize fogging.
[  ]Suncream and Lipbalm rated to 30 minimum
[  ]Water Bottle: One quart, wide mouth plastic bottle with insulating cover. A thermos is an excellent option.
[  ]Pack: Good sized daypack to carry spare clothes, food and tools for the day.
[  ]First Aid Kit: Each individual should carry a small kit to meet their personal needs. Recommendations include: Aspirin or Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Band-Aids, Steri-Strips, 1 or 2 4X4 gauze pads, athletic tape, moleskin and any necessary personal prescription drugs.
[  ]Disposable hand warmers, for those with cold-sensitive fingers

[  ]Camera with extra batteries or Smart Phone with battery backup
Ice Climbers add:
[  ] Ice Tools: Two 45 to 50 cm. technical ice tools.
  • Recommended manufacturers include Petzl, Black Diamond and Grivel
  • If you just buy one tool, get a hammer head, not an adze. Many ice climbers have hammer heads on both of their tools. No adze with which to bonk yourself in the forehead.
  • Leashless tools are the standard, and for good reason. Best adapted for mixed and steeper climbing, leashless tools open up a whole new set of options for the modern ice climber.
  • Stumped on what to buy? It is probably best to rent tools and technical crampons your first time out. IMG has them available for rent in North Conway. Try them out first before you commit to purchasing your own.
[  ]Crampons: vertical front point crampons, hand filed sharp. Recommended brands include Petzl, Black Diamond and Grivel.
[  ]Belay Device: Black Diamond ATC XP or ATC Guide or any of the comparable devices.

Optional items for select programs:
[  ]Prussik Slings: Bring two pre-tied 6mm. prussik loops if you plan to practice rescue training. Construct each prussik out 4.5 feet of 6mm Perlon accessory cord tied with a double fisherman's knot. Or just bring 10-15 feet of 6mm cord.
[  ]Sewn webbing runners. One or two 24" diameter slings are useful for rescue training and ice climbing
[  ]Extra non-locking carabiners
[  ]15-20 feet of 7mm. cord for linking anchors if you plan to practice anchor systems
[  ]Swimsuit in case a hot tub is available

Required Equipment for 3-Day Presidential Range Traverse and 4-Day Winter Mountaineering Course:
[  ]Backpack: 70-90 liter size. Leave room for food and shared group gear like fuel, tent components, etc.
[  ]-20° sleeping bag. May be down or synthetic, but down is lighter and more compressible. Be sure to bring a compression stuff sack for your bag.
[  ]Insulated full length Thermarest type inflatable pad.
[  ]½ length closed cell foam pad (core pad); some packs have a pull out foam pad, this will work. Optional
[  ]Double plastic boots (Scarpa, Koflach, Lowa, etc) or modern synthetic double boots (Sportiva Spantik/Baruntse/G2SM, Scarpa Phantom 6000)
[  ]2 pair high quality wool socks. Wear a pair and bring a spare a pair for camp/sleep/change
[  ]Liner gloves, thin
[  ]Medium-Heavy Gloves. Similar to the OR Luminary or OR Alti Glove.
[  ]Heavy Expedition Weight Mittens (like OR Alti Mitts). The same ones you'd bring to Denali.
[  ]Expedition Weight tops and bottom. Similar to the Patagonia R1 hoody, pants. Sub midweight for warm trips at guide's discretion
[  ]Light long sleeve synthetic shirt
[  ]Light puffy jacket or vest. Similar to OR Transcendent Hoody or Sweater, Patagonia Nano, Arcteryx Atom LT, BD Access Hybrid Hoody OR mid weight fleece jacket. Puffy jackets are usually preferred.
[  ]Heavy Belay Jacket. Similar to OR Perch Belay Jacket, BD Stance Belay Parka, Acrteryx Atom AR or Patagonia DAS
[  ]Puffy Pants. (Like OR Neoplume, Mountain Hardwear Chugach or Patagonia Nano.) Excellent for camp or cold starts.
[  ]Light or medium Soft Shell Jacket with hood. Wind resistant is best.
[  ]Hardshell Jacket with Hood. Needs to be windproof and waterproof. Gore Tex fabric preferred.
[  ]Hardshell bottoms or bibs. Needs to be windproof and waterproof. Gore tex fabric preferred with full length to ¾ side zippers for access.
[  ]Gaiters. Full length or ankle high
[  ]Wool or fleece hat that covers ears.
[  ]Balaclava, power stretch fleece is best. Scuba style hood is preferred.
[  ]Light weight Buff neck gaiter
[  ]High quality double lens ski goggles.
[  ]Sunglasses
[  ]12 point crampons, automatic or semi automatic. Petzl Vasak, Grivel G12, BD Sabertooth
[  ]60-70 traditional ice axe. Petzl Glacier or BD Raven
[  ]Snowshoes for mid-winter traverses.
[  ]Collapsible trekking or ski poles.
[  ]Cup or small thermos bottle
[  ]Bowl. Fold flat Fozzils are great.
[  ]Spoon. Lexan plastic. Titanium sporks don't break.
[  ]2 1-liter water bottles with real water bottle parkas. OR makes the best one. Need 2 liter capacity for the traverse.
[  ]Stuff sack for food
[  ]Headlamp with fresh batteries
[  ]Smart Phone fully charged, with battery charger if desired. Core Third makes a great one.
[  ]Sunscreen and lipbalm rated to 30spf minimum
[  ]Dermatone salve for sun screen and wind protection or other protective sun screen
[  ]Tooth brush/paste
[  ]Small pocketknife
[  ]Small first aid with Ibuprofen, band aids, blister care, etc.

Note: IMG has ice axes, crampons, hemets and climbing harnesses available for rent in North Conway. We also have ice climbing tools and technical crampons (vertical front points). Our ice tool stock currently includes Petzl Nomics and Quarks. Crampons are Petzl Sarkens.


Item:Daily Rate
One Ice Climbing Tool or 70cm Ice Axe$5
Two Ice Climbing Tools$10
Technical Crampons$5
Climbing helmet$5
Climbing harness$5

Please support the companies who support IMG:
Outdoor Research JanSport Eureka! Adventure Medical Kits CTT Destinations