There are specific items that the student must have in order to participate in the technical climbing aspects of the field trips. These are in addition to the normal equipment for Colorado mountain travel that you learned about in Wilderness Trekking or Backpacking School (i.e. 10 essentials, wind and waterproof parka and pants, sturdy boots (no approach shoes or nylon/leather hikers), gaiters, backpack (at least 3,200 cu. in. or 52 liters), synthetic or wool clothing and gloves, headlamp, first aid kit, etc.). Students are encouraged to wait until meeting with instructors at First Lecture before making any significant purchases.
1) Twenty-one (21) feet of 5 or 6mm nylon kernmantle accessory cord. Get the flexible kind (i.e. no Spectra, Gemini, Vectran or similar cord or cordelette cord). This will be used for knot-tying practice and will later be made into prusik slings. This should be cut into lengths of 5, 7, and 9 feet. Many stores will cut this for you. Approx. cost: $6
2) Twenty-six (26) feet of 1-inch tubular nylon webbing (not Spectra, Dyneema‚ or similar). This will be used for knot-tying practice and will later be made into webbing slings (two short and one long). This should be cut into the lengths of 8 feet (2 pieces) and 10 feet. Many stores will cut this for you. Approx. cost: $6
3) Climbing harness. Available at climbing and mountaineering stores. Some commercial harnesses available include those produced by Arcteryx, Black Diamond, Metolius, REI, Singing Rock, Trango and Wild Country. The harness leg loops must be adjustable. Consult your instructor for opinions before you buy. Be sure you understand completely how to put it on and how to tie into it before you leave the store. Comfort is important, many stores will let you hang from the harness in the store to test for comfort. Approx. cost: $30 – $80
4) Leather gloves. Best buy is work gloves with rough-out leather palms. They will be used for belaying and rappelling. Many climbing stores now sell commercial belay/rappel gloves, but these are more expensive. Attach loops so they can be clipped to your harness with a carabiner. Approx. cost: $10 – $30
5) Non-locking Carabiners. Two (2) Oval, “D” or symmetric D carabiners (straight gates only) are required. Keylock style (e.g. Petzl Spirit or Black Diamond Positron) is recommended but not required. These will be needed for assembling rappel systems and for attaching to belay anchors. Approx. cost: $25-40 Note: Although only 2 are required, you will probably want more than 4 non-locking carabiners in order to attach things like slings, gloves, etc. to your harness. 6-8 is probably a reasonable number to purchase with these other needs in mind.
6) Locking Carabiners. Six (2) locking carabiners. Screw-gate and key-lock style strongly recommended (e.g. Black Diamond Positron). At least two (2) locking carabiners MUST be of the large, pear-shape or H.M.S. type (e.g. Petzl William, H.M.S., Mammut HMS, Omega, Jake or similar).
7) Belay/Rappel Device. Plate or tube type (e.g. Black Diamond ATC, Trango Jaws or B-52, Petzl Reverso, etc.). No Gri-Gri or Figure 8. Approx. cost: $17 – $20
8) Helmet*. There are a number of good climbing helmets available for purchase. No bicycle or construction helmets are allowed. Approx. cost: $60 – $80
9) Ice Axe. Required for Basic Snow Practice, the High Peak Climb, Hard Snow Practice, and any other snow climbing done in the School. Wooden handle ice axes are not acceptable. Consult your instructors for length recommendation. Approx. cost: $70 – $100
10) Crampons*. Required for Hard Snow Practice. Many quality crampons are available between $100 and $130. Step-in bindings are fastest and lightest, but require boots with toe and heel grooves. New-matic type bindings (front cage, rear bail) fit many types of boots but still require a pronounced heel welt or shelf on the boot. Bottom line is, take your boots when purchasing or fitting crampons.
* May be borrowed from the school with a deposit; deposit is returned when gear is returned
The items below will be needed for the overnight High Peak Climb
Tent (may be rented locally and shared) $140+
Sleeping Bag and pad (may be rented locally) $150+
Camp Stove, with cooking utensils (may be rented locally and shared) $ 60+