North Cascades of Washington

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Choosing climbing gear like ropes, harnesses and rock shoes is going to depend a lot on your use. Most of the climbing gear below is fairly universal.
Black Diamond Express Ice Screw

Black Diamond Express Ice Screw

Often regarded as one of the fastest and most easily placed ice screws around, the Black Diamond Express ice screw bites into ice for quick and easy placement. Large crank knob is easier to grab than on previous models yet still offers uninterrupted 360į motion without the use of an ice tool. Foldable, color-coded crank provides quick length identification. Stainless-steel hanger is lighter than previous models, won't rust and reduces melt-out on sunny routes. Large second clip-in point helps manage belay organization.

Black Diamond Ice Screws

MSR Coyote Snow Picket

MSR Coyote Snow Picket

Coyotes use a unique design and aircraft-grade aluminum for a lighter, stiffer picket. Heat-treated aircraft-grade aluminum is extruded into a modified T-shape for extra stiffness and holding power. Attachment points at 3" intervals along neutral axis for faster, easier clip-ins. Can be pounded in from either end or buried horzontally with a center-attached runner for a deadman anchor.

MSR Snow Pickets

I love these guys. Iíve got 2 of each size, the 24 and 36 inch. Iíve never needed any more for general mountaineering. Rarely do I bring all 4 but depending on the snow conditions/time of year having the choice in lengths to choose from is nice.
I have 2 of these. On the few trips I do which might require one, itís nice to have incase a picket canít penetrate some ice.

1" Military-Spec Tubular Webbing

Create your own runners and slings in just the lengths you need with this 1 in. military-spec tubular webbing. Tubular construction features nylon fibers that are woven into a tube, then flattened to form double-layer webbing. Meets industry-standard military specs for breaking strength and resistance to abrasion.

Always nice to have lots of runners made out of this stuff. Since you will often have to leave it up on the mountain, itís one of those items you constantly need to purchase more of every year. It also comes in handy for many other uses on the trail.

Tubular Webbing

Black Diamond ATC Belay Device

Black Diamond ATC Belay Device

Lightweight and easy to use, the Black Diamond ATC belay device will become a favorite belay/rappel accessory on your rack. Made of drop-forged aircraft-quality 7075-T6 aluminum, the ATC is light and strong. Versatile double-slot design allows you to feed single or double ropes smoothly, yet hold falls with ease. Large surface area dissipates heat quickly.

Belay/Repel Device

Nothing fancy, this belay and repel device has worked well for me. Iíve been given others by climbing companies but I stick to this one.
CMI Blue Pulley

CMI Blue Pulley

An essential for alpine climbing, this compact pulley is ideal for setting up efficient hauling and emergency rescue systems. Provides mechanical advantage for lifting heavy loads, plus extends life of the rope by reducing abrasion over static surfaces. Anodized aluminum sideplates rotate to allow easy rope insertion and removal. Smooth-running nylon sheave operates on a zinc-coated steel axle; durable and long-wearing. Strength rated to 20.0 kilonewtons. Not suitable for use in a Tyrolean traverse.

Rescue Pulley

Two of these guys are needed to set up a nice Z-pulley system for rescuing someone out of a crevasse. Lightweight and small, hopefully they wonít get much use.

Glacier Glasses

Julbo Sherpa Glacier Glasses

Julbo Sherpa Glacier Glasses

These high-tech glacier glasses give complete comfort and protection for skiing, mountaineering and other snowsports. Spectron 3+ polycarbonate lenses block 100% of UV rays and 88% of visible light creating a clear image. A flash treatment to lenses reinforces the filtering of visible light though a mirror effect. Moldable ear temples offer added security with a customized fit. Vented leather side shields block peripheral light and can be removed as needed. Comes with nylon keeper strap and plastic carrying case.

Iíve used many pairs over the years. I probably like these the most because they are more like sunglasses and fairly inexpensive. I tend to use regular sunglasses for most climbs but for trips on snow over 6 hours, I like to have the darker glacier glasses with side shields.
Black Diamond Raven Pro Mountaineering Axe

Black Diamond Raven Pro Mountaineering Axe

Created for weight-conscious mountaineers, the full-function Raven Pro is a lighter version of Black Diamond's Raven. Built with an aluminum shaft and a more compact investment-cast stainless steel head and spike, it provides all-around performance.

Ice Axe

I donít usually get too excited about gear but this Black Diamond Axe made me shout halleluiah. It was so light compared to the heaver ice axes I had been using. Never again did I wonder ďShould I bring my axe?Ē The only disadvantage to it is Iím a bit scared to pound pickets with itÖ.but those are rare days anyway.
Petzl Ascension

Petzl Ascension

The Petzl Ascension has an ergonomic design and an insulating elastomeric grip for comfort from the cold. The shape is specifically engineered to keep the Ascension parallel to the direction of the pull. For use on single ropes ranging from 8 mm. to 13 mm. in diameter.


I use to use prussic knots but these days, if I get into trouble I want out. I bought them for the fixed lines on Denali, now I only bring them on big glacier climbs.
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