Category: Logistics

Planning for your Seven Summits Quest

Carstensz Pyramid Gear List

To climb Carstensz Pyramid right now the only option is trekking. Six days up to base camp from Sugapa Village to the Carstensz Pyramid summit at nearly 4900 meters. Then four days to return to the village. There could be a few days of weather to contend with at base camp. You’ll need enough gear to last the two weeks. You’ll also need to be as light as possible, as the porters will only carry 17 kg. That’s about 37 lb.

17 Kilograms per Porter for the Carstensz Pyramid trek
17 Kilograms per Porter for the Carstensz Pyramid trek

Carstensz Pyramid Gear List

Climbing Gear
Alpine climbing harness, adjustable leg loops, fit over all clothing.
Double lanyard (Via Ferrata).
4 Locking carabiners.
Figure 8 Belay-Rappel Device.
1 mechanical ascender with handle.
Climbing helmet, fit with hat on
Trekking boots.
1 Pr rappel gloves.
Adjustable trekking poles.

Upper Body
Long sleeve base layer, light colored, sun and mosquito protection.
T-shirt for lower elevations (optional).
Soft Shell or fleece jacket.
Down/synthetic puffy jacket light-to-medium weight.
Hard shell jacket with hood Waterproof and breathable.
1 Pair liner gloves.
1 Pair medium weight gloves.
Warm hat Wool or synthetic.
Sun hat or baseball cap.
Glacier glasses 100% UV protection with side shields and a hard-sided storage case.
Extra pair of sunglasses.

Sleeping Gear
Sleeping bag Rated to at least 10-20º F. Line the stuff sack w/plastic bag.
Sleeping pad Full length closed cell foam.
Thermarest (bring repair kit).

Day pack 1800-3000 cubic inch for approach hike and summit day (a full pack is not required as we use porters).
1 Large duffel bag.
1 Small duffel bag for leaving clean clothes etc at Timika.
Locks for duffel bags.
Backpack Cover – waterproof.
Stuff sacks & plastic bags– waterproof.

Lower Body
1-2 Pair light-medium weight base layer.
1-2 pair lightweight short underwear.
1 Pair soft shell trousers.
1 Pair nylon shorts quick-drying type.
Lightweight pants for hiking.
Shell trousers Waterproof/breathable with full side zips.

Carstensz Pyramid Trekking Boots Scarpa Charmoz GTX
Carstensz Pyramid Trekking Boots Scarpa Charmoz GTX

Trekking Boots.
Wellingtons (these must be knee-high and fitted with trekking boot insoles; you will spend much more time walking in Wellingtons than trekking boots).
Sandals or light hiking/trail shoes for use at camp.
2 Pair of liner socks.
2 Pair wool/synthetic socks Medium weight.

purificup water purifier for Carstensz Pyramid gear
Purificup for clean water on Carstensz Pyramid

Miscellaneous Equipment
Personal first aid kit Basics: blister kit, Band-Aids, first-aid tape, ibuprofen, personal medications, etc.

Lip balm At least SPF 20, 2 sticks.
Sunscreen At least SPF 40.
Insect repellant Small bottle.
Headlamp plus one set spare batteries.
2-3 Water bottles 1 liter wide-mouth Nalgene.
Pee bottle.
Pocket knife mid-size.
Water purification Silver ion, Chlorine or Iodine tablets.
Hand sanitizer.
Toiletry kit Be sure to include toilet paper stored in a plastic bag.
Camp towel.
Bandanas (one, optional).
Neck gaiter (optional).
Snacks and/or munchies Bring your favorite “trail foods” or desserts, pack in Ziplocs. Preferably to include extra protein.
Camera Optional; large SLR types are not recommended.
Paperback books.
Walkman etc + 2 sets earphones.
Solar charger.
Small stainless thermos (optional).
Umbrella (optional but recommended).

Carstensz Pyramid Solar Power Battery Pack
Solar Power via Goal Zero for Carstensz Pyramid Climb

Carstensz Pyramid Gear List From Carstensz-Expedition
Guide 10 Solar Powered Battery Pack from Goal Zero
Purificup Water Purification System.

Carstensz Itinerary

Carstensz Pyramid is the highest point of the continent of Oceania. Oceania is the continent used to get Carstensz into the Seven Summits for the Messner list. For the Bass list you would use Kosciousko on Australia. This is a much simpler alternative in almost every way.

Carstensz highest point of Oceania, image by Ch1902 Wikipedia
Orthographic map of the Australasian part of Oceania: Australia, New Guinea, Island Melanesia, and New Zealand, but excluding the Maluccas – by Ch1902 on Wikipedia

Carstensz Itinerary

Day 1, 20 Apr : Welcome dinner in Bali
Day 2, 21 Apr : 00.30am check out. 02.15am fly to Timika.
07.00am arrival in Timika. gear check etc.
Day 3, 22 Apr : Charter flight – Timika to Sugapa-Bilogai airstrip.
Porters arrangement then travel by motorcycle to Muara River.
trek to Suanggama (last village).
Day 4, 23 Apr : Trekking from Suanggama to Camp I.
Day 5, 24 Apr : Trekking from Camp I to Camp II (Enda Tsiga).
Day 6, 25 Apr : Trekking from Camp II to Camp III (Ebay).
Day 7, 26 Apr : Trekking from Camp III to Camp IV (Nasidome).
Day 8, 27 Apr : Trekking to Carstensz Base Camp.
Day 9, 28 Apr : Carstensz Climb.
Day 10, 29 Apr : Basecamp – Nasidome.
Day 11, 30 Apr : Nasidome – Enda Tsiga passing Ebay – the shortest trek.
Day 12, 1 May : Enda Tsiga – Suanggama if possible, continue to Sugapa).
Day 13, 2 May : (early morn, Suanggama-Sugapa) then fly out to NABIRE Day.
Day 14, 3 May : fly to Bali.
Day 15-17 , 4-6 May : Preserve days for bad weather, flight delay, etc.

If there is good weather and a strong team we could fly to Bali on Day 13, May 2. Otherwise worst case, on Day 17, May 6. Speaking of weather, today I can get a forecast to April 25 via Mountain-Forecast.

Carstensz Weather – Trailhead Sugapa 2000 meters

Carstensz Trailhead Weather
Carstensz weather for the trailhead near Sugapa Airport

Carstensz Weather – Base Camp 4200 meters

Carstensz Base Camp Weather
Carstensz Base Camp – weather at 4200 meters

Carstensz Weather – Summit 4900 meters

Carstensz Summit Weather
Carstensz Summit -Weather at 4900 meters

Trekking to the base of Carstensz Pyramid is a very rugged adventure. Lots of mud, insects, rain, humidity. It’s a big challenge. I’m hoping that my training pays off and that I can endure the Carstensz Seven Summits Challenge.

Orizaba Mountain Clothing for Upper Body

When Todd and I climbed Orizaba on May 5 2013 it was a pretty warm day with very good conditions. The mountain clothing we were able to wear that day probably won’t reflect average conditions.

Mountain Clothing for Orizaba highest mountain in Mexico
Todd and I on the Summit of Orizaba at 18,500′ highest mountain in Mexico

Previously I discussed the mountain clothing I wore on my lower body during our summit attempt. This time I will focus on my upper body. It was very warm, and we were only planning to do an acclimatization hike. We didn’t have a lot of warmer clothing that we would normally take. Usually you start a summit attempt at 1:00 AM when it’s much colder. This of course meant we had lighter packs.

upper body mountain clothing base layers
Layers put on at the beginning of our hike

Upper Body Mountain Clothing

I began with a Nike tech short sleeve shirt from a half marathon I ran in American Fork Utah. Over this I wore a Patagonia R1 Hoodie. The way it fits is almost like a medium weight base layer but the waffle pattern lets it breathe very well. I started out with a Buff around my neck in case it gets cold or windy. I wore a new Patagonia Cap 4 beanie. Very light waffle polyester for excellent moisture control. I can wear the hood from the R1 if I get cold. The gloves pictured are First Ascent fleece gloves. I wear them for almost everything I do.

Orizaba Glacier Mountain Clothing Second Layers
Second layer clothing on the glacier

We stopped at the bottom of the glacier at roughly 16,400′ to decide what to do. We ate some food and drank water. We looked up at the glacier with decent conditions. We decided to just try to summit. Since we would now be on snow I put on some more layers of mountain clothing. I added a Patagonia R2 fleece (like thin monkey fleece as it’s often called). I like this because it breathes very well and is pretty warm with a wind layer. For the wind layer I used a First Ascent hooded wind jacket. I don’t think they make it anymore, but it’s pretty similar to the Marmot Trail Wind Hoody. That’s all I added or changed.

upper body mountain clothing on Orizaba in Mexico
At the top of the labyrinth with Orizaba summit above.

At about 18,000′, not too far from the summit, I became a little cool. I knew the summit was not too far away. It would be harder to stop, open my pack, and add layers while standing on a 50 degree ice slope. I stuck it out till we hit the top at 5:10 PM. Then I quickly opened my pack and pulled out my Rab Microlight Alpine Down Jacket to keep my core warm. When looking for a thin down hoody I searched for quite a while to find this excellent item of mountain clothing. I especially love the sleeve fit. Long enough for my monkey arms and form fitting enough not to be too baggy in backpack straps.

Orizaba Summit Mountain Clothing
Final layer for Orizaba Summit

With all the photography and videography going on up top my hands became cold. I have a pair of Mountain Hardwear climbing gloves with removable fleece liners. I don’t like the liners all that much but my First Ascent liners fit well in them. I slid the shells over my fleece gloves to keep the wind off as the sun set and the temperatures dropped.

Descending at sunset in the cold with mountain clothing on Orizaba
Descending Orizaba with a setting sun.

The temperatures dropped. We got lost in the labyrinth in the dark. We made our way through a maze of cliffs with failing batteries. Finally we saw headlamps from climbers at the hut preparing for their summit. We found our way to a cairn we recognized and arrived at the hut passing the first wave of climbers ascending. We knew even if we had to sit huddled behind a rock till sunrise that we’d be okay. The right mountain clothing can make all the difference.

Orizaba – The Highest Mountain in Mexico: clothing below the belt

Orizaba, at approximately 18,500′ is the highest mountain in Mexico. I went to climb it with my friend Todd Gilles in March of 2013. It was quite warm, and after only one night at base camp, in our little tent, we went on an acclimatization hike starting at about 10:30 AM. Quite late. We ended up on the summit six and a half hours later, which includes about 45 minutes being lost in the Labyrinth – a steep area of mixed rocks and snow and ice.

Orizaba Summit the highest mountain in Mexico
On the Summit of the highest mountain in Mexico – Orizaba

I have been asked what I wore to climb the highest mountain in Mexico. I decided to post a few articles about it here for simplicity. As I stated in my disclaimer, I use Amazon links so you can see pictures and read reviews from other people, so you don’t have to just take my word for it. Remember the car commercial disclaimer: Your Mileage May Vary! This is just a list of what I wore, on the day I wore them, in the weather I wore them. If it were any colder I probably would have done a few things different.

Footwear to climb the highest mountain in Mexico - Orizaba
Footwear for Climbing on Orizaba

Footwear to climb the highest mountain in Mexico

I took double boots with me for warmth while climbing the Jamapa Glacier, about 1800′ of steep ice and snow. I ended up doing it in my Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra GTX Trail Running Shoe. In these shoes I like to use the Sole Ed Viesturs Signature Edition Insole. I use some version of the Sole insole in most of my shoes, as it gives me the proper footbed for my oddly shaped feet. For socks I wore Bridgedale Trail Socks over Injnji Performance Lightweight Crew. For me these are great liner socks. I use them to help prevent blisters between my toes. I used to get them pretty bad before.

lower body wear for the highest mountain in Mexico
Lower body wear for climbing Orizaba March 2013

Lower Body clothing to climb the highest mountain in Mexico

I like the way that the Men’s Under Armour Boxerjock fit and feel. They also resist odors well – something to seriously consider on a long expedition. Though our climb of the highest mountain in Mexico was fairly short. Over these I wore a thin base layer bottom made by The North Face. This was a generic bottom I got on clearance at The Sports Authority and I can’t find anything like it online. It’s fairly similar to Capilene 1 from Patagonia, but actually fits people with leg muscles. Over these I wore a MontBell Nomad Pant. I love these softshell pants. They’re my go-to pant for ice climbing and glacier hiking, including the highest mountain in Mexico. We had great weather.

That wraps up this short “lower body clothing” article. I’ll be back soon with the upper body, then the hardware, articles. I had a great time climbing Orizaba, third highest mountain in North America, highest volcano in North America, and the highest mountain in Mexico. I hope you get a chance to go and enjoy the culture and people. I hope you get to see the sunrise, or as we did, sunset, on this beautiful peak.

the Labyrinth on Orizaba, the highest mountain in Mexico
Me below the Labyrinth. Truly amazing scenery. On summit day.

Aconcagua Logistics Flights and Visa

The key to Aconcagua logistics is planning before you go. Flying to Mendoza Argentina is relatively painless. I went before in March of 2010 during the earthquake in Chile that closed the Santiago airport. LAN (the airline) was really accommodating to get me back to the states. If you book with American, you’ll most likely end up on LAN anyway at least from Santiago to Mendoza. Some people fly in to Buenos Aires with the intention of switching to a local flight to Mendoza. Be aware that there are two airports with a 90 minute bus ride between them. One is primarily International and the other local. Plan accordingly.

Aconcagua Logistics select airport carefully
Buenos Aires Oceanside Airport View

Another important consideration for Aconcagua logistics is planning for your Visa. From the United States there is no particular requirement except the Reciprocity Fee. In Santiago Chile, if you will be leaving the terminal you will have to pay the Chilean Reciprocity Fee. This fee represents what a citizen of Chile would pay for entry to the USA. You shouldn’t have to leave the terminal though. Most of the flights I’ve looked at on LAN have reasonable layovers in Santiago. The International Terminal had quite a few shops, though I haven’t been there since the earthquake.

Aconcagua Logistics airport information Santiago Chile
Santiago Chile Airport

Aconcagua Logistics Reciprocity Fee

In Argentina you have to pay their Reciprocity Fee. In years past they would often only collect this if you were to fly in to Buenos Aires. Now they require you to pay online previous to your trip at the Provincia Pagos website. You are required to create an account and pay online. When you get to Mendoza then you are to trade in your online printout for an official copy.

Aconcagua Logistics Argentina Reciprocity Fee
Log in for Argentina Reciprocity Fee

I just now got my flights for November 24 – December 8 and haven’t had a chance to complete my Aconcagua logistics by applying for my Argentina Reciprocity Fee online yet. I will post an updated article when I have.

Apply for a Russian Visa – August 2012

Things have changed a bit in the last couple years. You sent in your App and Document Package via Fedex to a Russian Consulate with a Certified Check or Money Order, waited some period of time, then it appeared on your desk via a return Fedex envelope. Last year, possibly with the intent of the thousands of tourists that Socchi 2014 would be bringing in, they announced a new streamlined fast track to the process.

Moscow Airport at sunset
Sunset over SVO (Moscow Airport)

Here is some info about the current streamlined process, via an official Consulate Website indicating that for the new streamlined process, they will no longer accept applications for visas. I have selected Seattle because I have relatives there who can assist in my application process, but the other Consulate offices are the same.

Russian Consulate does not accept applications
No longer apply for a Russian Visa at the Consulate

The site for ILS is pretty informative and straight-forward. For a news item of possible future importance:

Effective 07/20/2012 Invisa Logistic Services will be accepting documents by mail.

There are prices and rules for applying via mail, but if you call their office, the canned answering machine message says no applications by mail will be accepted. It’s probable that they did not update the voicemail message. Sadly, rush processing visas cannot be done by mail, but it’s probably the best option for most people outside the metro areas of the Consulates if you have no issues with the potential 30 days processing time.

When you make your reservations for your trip, whether through a guide company (in the US or Europe or Russia) or if you’re trying to go on the cheap or self-supported, through a regional hotel, you will get an “Invitation and Voucher” for your Russian visit. They will be in Russian, and probably unintelligible to you, but your tour operator or guide should provide a cheat sheet for you with instructions on how to fill out your visa application.

Invitation and Voucher
Stamped Invitation and Voucher – bad scan

You will need to fill out the application completely as per the instructions from your logistics provider in Russia. If you are really really clever you might be able to figure out a way to do all of this on your own without a tour operator. You will need an invitation and voucher from a registered hotel or tour operator. You will need to get transportation from MRV airport to Cheget or Azau, where there is lodging available. You will need to get up the mountain to the huts. If you expect to use any of the hut facilities, including what passes for an outhouse, you will need to make arrangements with the hut manager, including price.

Azau Hotel Party Den
“Clubbing” in Azau

Odds are that possibly one person at the hotel will speak some English, as will as any guides affiliated with your logistics company, but certainly no one on the hut staff will. So yes, if you speak Russian, and are clever, you can do this all on your own. If not, various local operators have a “lite” package that provides these basic services, and you can pay as you go.

Pilgrim Tours and Top Sport Travel are two of the most visible on the net. Dig around and contact them with your needs. Be aware that with the time difference, it might be a day or two to receive a reply, depending on when you send it and when they get it. Keep an eye on your spam filters as well – since it will be from Russia, it might just go straight to your trash.

You will have to wire them money, and that process depends a great deal on your bank policies. If you can do it online, note that your bank might temporarily close access to your account and lock it, in case you were hacked from Russia. I would do the transfer during the day and be right there by your phone to call support and verify you intended this transaction. If you’re using a US guide company this won’t be an issue – they take care of a lot of this for you as part of their overall expedition cost.

For your visa application, you will need your US passport with at least six months to the expiration date, a passport photo, a completed application (see below notes), your invitation and voucher, a cover letter (if mailing application: from a template on ILS), and a Cashier’s Check for the proper amount (from their price list). Check for the closest ILS processing office to you and verify that it is in fact the correct one. There is a little bit of documentation that applies to the various offices for which state can or should apply to which center, most of which really only applies if you are a Russian National or dual citizen. If you are going in person, make an appointment. If you’re mailing it in, follow the instructions.

Baksan Local
Beautiful Baksan Local

If all goes well you will get your passport back with a visa inserted onto an empty page. Good luck with your plans to climb Elbrus, tallest mountain in Europe, and one of the Seven Summits.

Following up on the Russian Visa Application process:

I’ve since completed all of this process successfully now, and have a few comments. The current system is actually just a bit simpler than the old system, in spite of the few additional complications in the timing of the mail-in app process. You must fill out the application online, which limits some of the types and lengths of answers you would give, which also limits the amount of thinking that goes with processing the app. Sadly this also limits somewhat vague answers, such as just listing a year for an answer, that now requires a day/month/year answer.

At the end of the online app process there is a place for additional notes, which might be important, such as in my case, where I will not actually be staying in Moscow, but there is no place in the current form to say “Moscow (Transit)” which is what I did last time I did not stay in Moscow. I listed that in the notes.

You then print up the form from the online, glue your passport photo to it, sign and date it, and hand it in. There is a bar-code on it, that I have been told is because they actually process from your online, and the paper form is a formality so they have your photo and signature.

Goal Zero Solar
Goal Zero Solar Power at the Barrels Huts on Elbrus

I had the assistance of a family member who was in Utah on family business who was able to take it into the office and submit it for rush processing. They picked up the completed submission earlier today and will be expressing it to me in the next few days, hopefully so that I get it before September 1 when I must be at the airport to leave.

As a brief aside, if I were not able to get assistance from a family member, I would have had to use up one of my free flights from Southwest, and would probably have done some hiking on Rainier while waiting for my app to finish processing.

P.S. this is all only applicable if you are a US Citizen applying for a tourist visa – just in case that’s not you refer to the ILS website for information pertaining to you, but the general principles still apply.

Elbrus FAQ – Elevations

While preparing for Elbrus, I made a quick Cheat Card to haul with me. I printed it up and laminated it, much like time splits for a marathon, except marker on the forearm won’t work under layers. Here is what I have, in case you’re interested in planning your own trip to Elbrus from the South

Here are some current Elevation Markers for Elbrus in Meters and Feet

Location: Meters Feet Difference Ft
Cheget 2079 6,820.87
Azau (Tram Station) 2359 7,739.50 918.64
Stari Krugozor (Tram Xfer) 2937 9,635.83 1,896.33
Mir (Tram Top) 3469 11,381.23 1,745.41
Barrels 3703 12,148.95 767.72
Diesel Hut 4062 13,326.77 1,177.82
Pastukhov Rocks 4720 15,485.56 2,158.79
Saddle 5350 17,552.49 2,066.93
West Peak 5642 18,510.50 958.01
East Peak* 5621 18,441.60 889.11

* East Peak Difference is based on hiking from the Saddle

And for those who might be interested, here are some stats left over from the Elbrus Race 2010 for what equates to a Top Ten Finish in that year.

Race Vert Ft Miles Avg grade Top 10 Minutes vert/min MPH
Qualifier 3570 2.5 27.05% 01:19:22 79.4 45.0 1.9
Classic 6334 4.6 26.08% 03:45:15 225.3 28.1 1.2
Extreme 10660 7.6 26.56% 05:29:34 329.6 32.3 1.4
Elbrus Race 2010 Qualifier
Lined up ready to leave for the Elbrus Race 2010 Qualifier (I’m #24 rear upper right)

Qualifier is from the Barrels Huts to Pastukhov Rocks (P-Rocks is what I call them). Classic is from the Barrels Huts to the West Summit. Extreme is from the Azau Lift Station to the West Summit.

Stuffing a Backpack – Solo Overnight on Snow

I was going on an overnight on Mount Timpanogos and had originally planned on following snow to the top (read the story at the link on this blog). I think hiking and camping solo is an excellent way to work out kinks in your gear and camping skills.

You can learn a lot about how to pack your bag on an expedition by packing your pack a lot, and watching others with some experience do it. Here’s how I packed for my Timp overnight. I laid out all the things I thought I’d need. I’m going light and want to cover a lot of ground quickly. I checked the weather, and estimated I’d be camping at about 9,000′ where the forecast was for an overnight low of about 20 degrees F.

My Gear List:

I opted for a 30 degree ultralight down bag by Stoic. It has a half-zipper for weight saving, and it works okay for me. I also have an ultralight Montbell thin inflatable half-size pad. I’ll be using my backpack under my legs for insulation. I’ve also wrapped my lower legs in my puffy if it got colder, like on Liberty Ridge on Rainier, where I took a 15 degree bag and this same pad.

I have a Thermarest Sitpad (small inflatable seat) which I use for my knees and butt while cooking or building my tent, and for under my head as a pillow at night. Because I plan on hiking in Spring snow, I might get a bit wetter than the backpack will protect from, I am taking a silicone-nylon stuff sack for my sleeping bag, which is down and while it has a Pertex shell, it shouldn’t get wet if I can help it.

I have a Montbell hooded puffy jacket (really like it), a Patagonia fleece, and Mountain Hardwear Super Hero zip hoodie that I wear as a medium baselayer. My tent is a one person single wall three season Sierra Designs Baku. They don’t make it anymore, but it’s a decent tent for the weight and easy to set up. It will stand without staking, but it’s almost always better to, if you can. I have a couple different pair of gloves (to allow for wetness and coldness), headlamp, ice tools, GoalZero Guide10 and Luna, freeze dried food, a disposable microwave container with a couple packs of oatmeal and hot chocolate, my Jetboil, cameras, and Kitty (long story).


Packing the Backpack:

First of all, start with an empty backpack. Since my sleeping pad folds up so small, I put it into the hydration sleeve, against my back, which also protects it from puncturing somewhat. Then stick the tent poles and stakes in the bottom corners near your back. In general, try to keep the more dense items near your back, working up to the heavier items up top. I kept them in their little silicone nylon stuff bags, since they’re almost weightless, and keep sharp items from poking things they shouldn’t.

Stick the silicone nylon stuff sack in, open, and feed the sleeping bag into it. I had folded the sleeping bag into itself like like those collapsible kitchen measuring cups, just to make it feed in faster. Some people prefer pushing it in hand over hand until it’s all in the sack. Then I folded the sack down and pressed till it was wadded up in the bottom.

Next put the Jetboil in sideways against the back panel, and wad the tent in filling any empty spaces till level. Put the freezedried meal in pointing into an empty space, and wedge it in. The idea is to fill any empty space up. Put your water bottles in now, in the center, facing up. Some people prefer them on the outside edges, but I think if you have to do any vertical work at all, it can swing and put you off balance. Since I did have to ascend about 20′ of Class 4 cliff, I was happy not to have my pack flailing about.

I put my windbreaker in along the side, filling up around the water bottles, then my container of oatmeal in facing the outside. I wiggled it all round to fill up space and make it ride more stable. I anticipated needing my base and fleece layers before my puffy, so I put my puffy jacket in next wadding it up around the water bottles and pushing it down to fill space. Then the fleece and base layers. Before I push everything in tight, I put my ice axe and ice tool on the outside of the pack in the sleeves provided.

Snacks, Electronics and Crampons:

Finally, I put my snacks in a gallon ziplock bag and put that on top, and cinched the strap closed. I put my gloves, hats and electronics (including the SteriPEN Adventurer Opti Handheld UV Water Purifier) in the top pocket, and closed it. All done and ready to go. In my pants pockets I kept a hammer gel packet, a shot block packet, and my camera. In the waist belt pocket I put my cellphone and music player. I wasn’t sure if I’d have reception (I did when I stood in one spot near the tent), so I keep it off while hiking to save battery from hunting for a tower, and turn it on when I want to check.

I had a GoalZero battery pack for charging my electronics, which in this case was my Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS Receiver With Heart Rate Monitor. I like to use it to see how long and how fast and how far I’ve been hiking, as well as my altitude, since I had goals for each of those. The battery is good for about 10 hours, and if I had gone for the summit on day two, I would have needed to have it full that morning, so I did set it to charge overnight.

Anyway, just my take on packing for a solo overnight when you will climb and camp on snow. The only thing missing from this is the clothes I wore, and my crampons, which I stuck on top under the top flap just before loading into the car. Pays not to have pointy things on top too long imho.

Striking Camp – packing up to go home

Did a training overnighter on Timpanogos (a Utah County mountain 11,749′ tall near Provo, UT). Slept on a flat area below an series of avalanche runouts from the cliffs below Pika Cirque. For kicks I did this timelapse video as I took the tent down. Enjoy …

I took down the Sierra Designs Baku single-wall one-person tent. I had a short inflatable pad, with an inflatable sitpad for my head, and my backpack for my feet. I had buried the tent stakes in a t-slot fashion, and stomped them in. I had to use my ice axe to dig them out, but no big deal really, just be careful not to cut anything.

It’s fun to see the process in only 4 seconds – pretty amazing, really. It’s good training for any climbing, including the Seven Summits, to go out on your own and camp in the snow, relying on your own skills. Builds confidence so you know if everything goes to heck on your expedition, you at least know how to do it on your own.