This equipment list has been developed specifically for the conditions you will experience
in the Cascade Mountains during the summer mountaineering season. The equipment you bring
must function well in a wide
variety of conditions. Our ethos is “light is right” not “weight is
great.” While each piece of gear you bring is crucial to your success and safety, what you leave
out of your pack can benefit you in similar ways by lightening your load, allowing you to
quickly and efficiently over alpine terrain. Our aim is to have you bring only the essential gear
for your mountain adventures. We want you to be able to pack the vast majority of the items
on this gear list inside your backpack; furthermore, we would
like you to bring the smallest
backpack that still allows you to carry what is necessary.
Temperatures and weather conditions in the summer Cascades often change from minute
to minute. A common weather prediction states, « If you can’t see the mountain
s it’s raining,
and if you can see them it’s going to rain. » When the sun comes out, it’s glorious, and
occasionally quite hot. Rain can fall at any time of year, and it is possible to get snow down
below timberline before the beginning of July and after
about mid
September. Nighttime low
temperatures often drop to slightly below freezing while daytime highs range anywhere from
F to 70
F. Mountain breezes are not uncommon and should be taken into consideration
when planning your clothing system.
lease take the time to carefully prepare and understand your equipment. If possible, it
is best to use it in the field, perhaps on a backpacking trip or training hike. T
ake the time to
properly label and identify all items of personal gear. Many items th
at climbers bring are almost
identical. Your name on a garment tag or a piece of colored tape on carabiners and
miscellaneous items are easy ways to label your gear; fingernail polish is universally excellent.
If using tape or colored markers, make sure
your labeling method is durable and water
During this course we normally spend the first day carrying all our equipment up to a
base camp on Mount Baker. Here we practice snow and ice skills before the summit climb on
the last day of the cou
rse. To save weight on tents and stoves, course participants normally
pair up at the rendezvous at the start of the course. Travel clothes and various odds and ends
that you won’t need during your course can then be left in the AAI office. Using your tra
luggage or a duffel and lock for this is the norm.
When preparing your equipment for travel to the Cascades, please remember that lighters
and stove fuel are not allowed on aircraft. Stoves that have been thoroughly cleaned can be
put in your chec
ked baggage. Protect your equipment by covering your ice axe, crampons, and
trekking poles with cardboard or other protection to prevent puncturing or tearing less durable
AAI carries products in all the categories and classifications listed
below; these can be
viewed and purchased on our Equipment Services website at
Our Equipment Services staff is available to speak with you via phone or email to answer your
about equipment for your course.

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