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Clothing list for Northwest volcanos
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Kirt Runolfson
(kirt) - MLife

Locale: Inland Northwest
Clothing list for Northwest volcanos on 05/24/2007 01:34:29 MDT Print View

I am going to be doing Adams in late June, Hood later this summer and Rainier next August. I am trying to get my clothing system updated for these climbs. I am 6'4" tall (but thin); thus, the need to wear an XL for the length on many items.

There are a couple of changes that I am think about making, but wanted to bounce the ideas off of you guys and to seek some advice on other pieces.

1) Drop the 30 oz TNF Mountain for a combo of a Houdini (coming) and a light rain shell. What would be your choices for a rain shell without going too much over $100?

2) Not sure that I have enough warmth on the bottom, but my fleece pants are 17 oz and my Gortex Pants are 2.5 lbs and I don't have them on the list! Micro Puff pants with some precip pants for rain? What is the lightest pant that you could glissade in?

3) I could drop the REI Fleece and go with a Patagonia Down Sweater Vest for 7oz.

4) I am strongly considering replacing the Poseidon boots with some La Sportiva Trango S Evo GTX boots. The heavy boots are a killer during the hike into base camp.

Oz Clothing
1 hat, Fleece Beanie 100 weight
2 hat, baseball cap
6 hat, Headsokz Polartec 200 wt Balaclava
30 top, North Face Mountain Light XL blue
7 top, Patagonia wool 2 crew
19 top, Patagonia Micro Puff Jacket XL
20 top, REI Pullover Fleece 200 wt XL black
2 gloves, liner gloves
2 gloves, REI Fleece Mitts L
3 gloves, OR Gor-Tex OverMitts L
4 pants, REI Polyester boxers
6 pants, Patagonia wool 2 bottoms
14 pants, REI Sahara Convertibles
20 pants, Columbia Nylon Outers long (glissading)
4 socks, Thorlo Lt Hiker
5 socks, Thorlo Mt. Climbing
145 oz / 9.1 lbs

82 boots, Asolo Poseidon

Nathaniel Hein
(nandj) - F

Locale: Mid South
NW volcanoes on 05/24/2007 08:17:12 MDT Print View


Definitely do the houdini with light rain shell. I haven't been able to find anything really light in terms of a shell for around $100 except on steep and cheap and getting lucky. I really like the golite phantom and the arcteryx (light??) Alpha SL jacket both at 12 ounces, if you can find it on sale. I am the same height and 180lbs. and a Medium for some reason works for me in the arcteryx. Micropuff and precip for rain on the bottom seems like a doable combo, guess it depends if you are sitting, crouching, or standing while glissading though. You may want a wider brim hat, better coverage IMO. I gave up my Sahara covertibles cause they are heavy and don't dry very well consider 100% nylon. Those are my two cents.

Robert Mohid
(mohid) - F
Glissading on 05/24/2007 09:04:47 MDT Print View

I've done some glissading in precip pants and found they damage easily. I would expect them to be destroyed after anything more that casual glissading.

I've had great success with softshell pants and boxer underwear and nothing else (for the lower body), might be worth considering.

I've done many summer trips above 10000 in the canadian rockies with a shoeller 3xdry pant with underwear only. Breathes great, dries fast, cuts wind, glissades tolerably and takes abuse. A slicker pant out of something like powershield will glissade much better and can handle the wear.

If you get a light colored pant, you will not overheat on the approach and as a general rule, you can always get away with much less insulation in your lower body if your core is warm. Rain isn't a big deal as the stuff dries so fast.

Kirt Runolfson
(kirt) - MLife

Locale: Inland Northwest
Re: Glissading on 05/25/2007 02:02:39 MDT Print View

Thanks for the information guys. I think I will look into some softshell pants. Maybe get some slighty lighter softshells that I can couple with a wool base layer for those freak storms. I am nervous about only bringing 1 layer for my bottoms. :-)

I think I will get Light Rain Jacket as well and ditch the TNF Mountain Jacket.

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Re: Glissading on 05/25/2007 07:41:06 MDT Print View

Hey Kirt,

You can definitely go lighter than the Mountain Light and the fleece for the top. Lots of choices for that. I'd take a look at an Integral Designs eVENT jacket to drop a pount while radically increasing breathability.

Thought about gaiters? For my Cascade climbs I usually use a pair of OR gaiters or at least Integral Designs eVENT shorties.

The pants thing, though, is one that I've struggled with. I've used Golite Reed pants a lot but they now have several holes, especially because of icy or firm snow. But I love the light weight! I'd be really curious to see what you come up with.

I'm also curious about the softshell idea. I've always found that softshells don't fit in with our wet sloppy snow and warm, wet winters (I'm in Washington). They're durable but heavy and don't offer full rain protection. I dunno- I think I'd still stick with hardshell pants...but I'm not sure which ones...

Good luck on your climbs! Adams has the longest glissade of all of them (by far) so your pants will be most useful there.


kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Glissading options and avoiding embarrassing pant failures on 05/25/2007 08:36:02 MDT Print View

One could take up Randonee Skiing----excellant on the strato volcanoes for much of the ascent on the standard routes and whoosh, you go down fast and be stylin---and if you're good you don't fall and your softshell pants stay dry.

Standing glissades are another fine way to descend dry in PNW conditions. Again you have a chance to look like an Alpine God.

However, if the above scenarios don't work out for you, I would look into the new generation of waterproof/breathable softshells like the Golite Paradox pants. Granted they will be heavier than Reed pants but these take the place of both the Sahara pants and a pair of hardshell pants while being considerably more durable than the thinner, lighter iterations of the latter.

Softshell is just so ##!!% comfortable over broad temp. ranges and those w/ better DWR work pretty well even in your neighborhood, Doug---at least for mtneering and skiing. NOT appropriate for sole pro in say the temperate rain forests of the Olympics.

For a lightweight W/B jacket under $100, why not the Golite Virga ? 8 oz. and $80. It has a pretty good rep.

Edited by kdesign on 05/25/2007 10:33:12 MDT.

Kathleen B

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Glissading options and avoiding embarrassing pant failures on 05/25/2007 11:36:56 MDT Print View

The classic Mt. Adams glissade, and the other volcano glissades, will merdolate any pants you use. Several of us bought slick-fabric shorts at second hand stores and wore them over our pants during those irresistable glissading moments. They were lightweight, worked great, and saved our pants. We saw several people glissading from Camp Muir with trash compactor bags (the white ones) tied on diaper-style. Worked like a charm.

Robert Mohid
(mohid) - F
Death diapers on 05/25/2007 11:44:03 MDT Print View

I like that plastic diaper idea for glissading ...

I will DEFINATELY experiment with that one.

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Thermarest glissades on 05/25/2007 12:36:59 MDT Print View

All great ideas! My favorite glissade tool ever was a Thermarest pad. Sit and FLY!!! Sure, they're heavy and I never use one anymore and my old thermarests always had lots of holes (once, Cascade Designs repaired one of mine with 14 holes...imagine that!), but those descents were the best ever.

I've also used them for cornice drop-ins and jumping!

But the best ever was a Mountaineers base camp on Mt. Baker. I'd been sledding all day on my Thermarest and then climbed the (huge) hill to view the sunset. The snow set up instantly but I decided to go for it anyway (the instructors thought/knew that I was nuts). I went head first and was instantly completely out of control! I skimmed the top of the ice, careening toward the 8-10 tents in our camp. NO CONTROL! I blew right between a couple of tents, past the cooking area, and even went part way up the hill on the other side, screaming the whole way! I got a standing ovation from my classmates and I bowed, shaking with adrenaline and fear. :-) It was SO great and I would NEVER do that again!

Ever tried a snow shovel? That's fun too! Or how about a Mountaineers backboard sled? All fantastic and totally NOT recommended options.

Anyone tried a glissage on a BPL spork?!?

Robert Mohid
(mohid) - F
spork me not on 05/25/2007 13:16:38 MDT Print View

You might need a pair of fish hook pliers to remove that spork if things go badly.

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: Clothing list for Northwest volcanos on 05/25/2007 13:17:31 MDT Print View

Softshell pants are nice as they DON'T slip so easily
if you need to self arrest. Same with a jacket.

In high winds, like you find on Rainier, a superlight shell
will beat you to death.

I saw a couple of folks on cut in half cross country skis
with the bindings moved up, skiing the sun cups like reverse
moguls on the way down from Camp Muir.

On Rainier I liked approach shoes to Muir, then plastics to
kick steps the rest of the way.

Edited by oware on 05/25/2007 13:19:50 MDT.

Kirt Runolfson
(kirt) - MLife

Locale: Inland Northwest
Re: Clothing list for Northwest volcanos on 05/30/2007 01:05:40 MDT Print View

Thanks guys! I have lots of gear to research now. :-)

Kevin, The standing Glissade does look very cool right up until you biff it. Then you look fairly silly. *grin*

Doug, I have some OR gaiters in my climbing section on my list. They weigh 11 oz. Makes the ID Shortie Gaters seem to be a good deal and at under $3 / oz savings, I might have to do that.

We are taking the Mazama glacier route up in the middle of June. I am guessing that all of the crevasses will be filled in but on second thought, probably no glissading. I am still going to try to pick up some softshell pants and a rain jacket between now and then though.

Edited by kirt on 05/31/2007 00:13:02 MDT.

Jared Williams
(Jared) - F
Re: Clothing list for Northwest volcanos on 10/31/2007 18:36:15 MDT Print View

I assume those are the "REI Microfleece Mitts"? [] Can you estimate what weight of fleece those are made of?

Is "OR Gore-Tex OverMitts" a specific model or any one of the OR GTX shells? Does that include a liner or do you wear the shell right over the fleece mitts?

Kirt Runolfson
(kirt) - MLife

Locale: Inland Northwest
Fleece Mitts on 12/03/2007 01:22:57 MST Print View

Jared, mine were a 200 weight fleece mitt that I have lost much of the loft in. I have since picked up Manzella Cascade Convertible Fleece Mittens that quite thick. They weigh in at 4.8 oz, but they are water proof and wind proof and have kept me warm while playing in a couple of serious winter storms without any assistance. I think combined with my OR Gortex Overmitt they will do the trick for Mountaineering and more remote Winter fun. I am still searching for the perfect glove system, but so far this is one of the warmer, lighter, less expensive options that I have used. When I was looking, REI didn't have anything close to a 300 weight fleece mitt. I picked mine up at a local sporting goods shop, but this is a link to what they are.

The specific model OR Overmitt that I have isn't made any more. Nothing fancy, just big enough to go over a fairly lofty mitten system. I used to use some of REI's baselayer weight liners too, but they wet out so easy when out of their protective layers and then it is hard to keep your fingers warm. So far I prefer the warmth and flexibility of convertible fleece mitts.

Edited by kirt on 12/03/2007 01:30:11 MST.

Paul Tree
(Paul_Tree) - F

Locale: Wowwww
glove-mitts on 12/06/2007 01:42:21 MST Print View,55734_Glacier-Gloves-Windproof-Glomitt-Fleece-Gloves-for-Men-and-Women.html

Paul Tree
(Paul_Tree) - F

Locale: Wowwww
more convertible mitts on 12/07/2007 23:24:13 MST Print View


Matt Allen
(zeroforhire) - MLife
NW climbing on 04/16/2008 20:14:03 MDT Print View

Honestly, this may sound strange... but for summer climbing I wear synthetic shorts over my long johns for my bottom layer... My OR crocodile gators come up so high, that only my knees are not covered by two layers... This keeps me cool, especially when I am on the move.

After many ruined pairs of lightweight/expensive pants, I finally decided that it was worth the weight to carry some thick gore tex xcr pants for glissading. I only bring them if I know I will be glissading, or on rainier... where that wind can just eat you alive.

If it is a little cooler, I normally wear the REI mistral softshell pants, with just boxers underneath. Those pants are made of schoeller... so it breathes and takes all the abuse you can throw at it.

As far as a shell is concerned... the best combo I have found is wearing a marmot driclime most of the time, and then throwing on my houdini if the wind picks up. The driclime has a little bit of dwr, and the houdini even more. Unless it was really nasty/wet snow coming down... that would do just great. That combo weighs as much as most shells, and breathes WAY better. That is my 2 cents.

As far as glissading, I like to use my shovel as a board... saves my pants, and you sure can fly...

Huzefa Siamwala
Re: Thermarest glissades on 10/05/2008 06:30:07 MDT Print View

Some awesome ideas there Doug, sounds fun!!

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Thermarest glissades on 10/05/2008 16:24:15 MDT Print View

We used to use a rubber/canvas Lilo airmat with plastic sheeting under it on Mt Feathertop. OK while the sun was up, but as soon as it dropped and the snow froze ... oh boy!

I remember one guy who didn't remove the plastic sheeting soon enough. He went airborne through the tops of some snow gums. Survived OK, fortunately.

Another option is cheap PU-proofed nylon overtrousers. They slide very well! and seem to survive. And they keep you dry too. We use Peter Storm ones.

Huzefa Siamwala
Re: Re: Thermarest glissades on 10/05/2008 20:49:06 MDT Print View

Anyone tried ridgerest? I have doubts that UL fabric used in inflatable pads would survive the friction. May be spray some silicone at the bottom of ridgerest? :D

Also, I am thinking that pants made of PU coated Dyneema fabric (now available at would be a tough, lightweight option to complement the ridgerest.

What do you think Roger?