Mountaineering packs - any ideas?

Discussion in 'Sports, Adventure Training and Events' started by Mark The Convict, Jul 31, 2012.

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  1. I'll be doing some mountaineering courses in NZ presently, and will need a suitable pack. Requirements (in no particular order) are;

    55-65 ltr capacity
    extendable lid
    compression straps
    lashing points for ice axe, ice hammer, and crampons.

    plus low weight, durability, reasonable cost etc. etc. Used or new will do, not fussed either way.

    Rather than wade through hundreds of designs from dozens of mfrs., has anyone got any (sensible) suggestions?
  2. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

    I have half a dozen different packs depending on the route/gear needed/duration.

    I guess your course gives some info on kit (feel free to PM me if you like).

    As you are buying for the longer term, some starters:
    Do you need skis?
    Will you be climbing with the pack on?
    Will you be overnighting?
    Will you be doing any technical routes/climbs?
  3. Thanks Alsacien, I've PM'ed you.
  4. Will do, TYVM.

    To answer Alsacien's questions;

    I will need skis, but not immediately, as the courses are beginner-level.
    Will be climbing with kit.
    Will be overnighting plus some hut stays.
    Will be doing tech. routes/climbs, but nothing savage.

    91 reviews! Have added the above link to Favourites bar for in-depth reading.
  5. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

    I'll look up a couple of current models for you later, but in essence:

    Get two packs :)

    One needs to be 50lts (European Alpine climbing tends towards minimal), bigger may be viable depending on the model.
    It needs to have attachments for skis - look in the ski touring category for ideas - but the waist belt needs to be substantial, and ideally have hardware attachment possibilities (more on that later).
    Avoid the ultra lightweight stuff, you will probably use it like a toboggan at some point!

    Second should be a 20lt climbing pack that folds down to nothing - then you can leave you main pack at the bottom of a technical climb, but still have space for emergency kit, clothing and food/water.
  6. Good point about the tobogganning - I've been looking at a Kifaru Ultralight and wondering how robust that silnylon body really is...not enough to cope with the likes of that, I think!
  7. I rather like MacPac stuff. Try buying when you get there - it's made in NZ so you might get it cheaper than here!
  8. MtC - don't worry; you can narrow your spec using the buttons on the left hand side.

    I'm with Alsacien on this one. 50-55l will give you enough space for the essentials and keep you honest with your packing. Stuffed into the top pocket, have one of these:
    Exped Cloudburst 25 Drypack or something like it for when you have ditched all the technical stuff at basecamp.
  9. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

    OK, something like this as main pack:
    Millet Peuterey Integrale 45+10 - Black - Telemark Pyrenees Ski and Mountain Equipment

    I have not seen it hands on, but it looks to tick the right boxes.

    And something like this for an ascent:
    Camp Campack X3-Light - Telemark Pyrenees Ski and Mountain Equipment

    Again, I have not seen it hands on, but it looks to tick the right boxes.

    I'll typically do hut to hut, or hut and back in the Alps, often with a small technical ascent on the side or ice climb where I'll leave the main pack at the base.
    Heavy packs are not the European way, and while I would not consider myself an alpinist (more than a coil of string and a bent coathanger is not true alpinist tecnique), moving quick beats comfort, and is safer IMO.

    Black Diamond Ice Clipper - Telemark Pyrenees Ski and Mountain Equipment get 2 of these.

    Not shown in the picture is rubber loop that allows you to fix it onto your waist band (make sure you get one with continuous webbing, not a gay hanky pocket). I put extra ice screws on here, balakov, pulleys etc rather than on the harness which has it hanging lower.

    Telemark Pyrenees linked above are good, as in Cham3S in Chamonix, both will give you good advice on product lines in response to emailed questions.
  10. Wow, thanks for the replies everyone. Plenty to be going on with here!