View Full Version : Gear Advice

10-08-2008, 10:34 AM
I climbed Mount Washington last year and its definitely time to retire my old pants. I have been looking around for new ones for a while now but can not find a sound solution. Are soft shell pants definitely out of the picture? I was looking at Patagonias Alpine Guide Pants http://www.moosejaw.com/moosejaw/shop/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10208&catalogId=10000001&partNumber=10047895&cmCat= and they seem to be a decent pant but I am not sure if they will hold up to the rigors of mountaineering/ ice climbing. As far as the hard shell pants go, I was looking at the REI Taku pant http://www.rei.com/product/738393 . I plan on having a couple ascents of Mount Washington this winter and spring if the weather wills it. Any advice on pants would be great, budget is kind of tight. Thanks


Bill O
10-08-2008, 11:47 AM
If you get softshell I still think you need a hard shell pant.

You can spend the majority of the time in the softshells. Hiking, climbing, skiing, whatever but you will still need the hard shell when the weather turns bad or if you need to sit in the snow.

I have those Patagonia pants. They are great.

10-09-2008, 12:39 PM
could i kill two birds with one stone and just get the hardshell pants and wear layers under them?

10-09-2008, 04:19 PM
I recommend that you experiment with different layering scenarios and eventually you will find what works for you.

I climb during the winter in Wild Things Mountain Guide pants and I always have my hard shell Gore-Tex pants in my pack should the need arise.

My recommendation is unfortunately not as specific as you want it to be.

10-09-2008, 06:29 PM
So is it unnecessary to mountaineer in hard shell pants unless the weather calls for it?

kaseri- any advice is greatly appreciated. thank you

10-09-2008, 09:41 PM
The only time my hard shells come out of my pack is when I am above tree line and the wind is picking up. Other than that my hard shells just sit in my pack. I would say that 80% of the time I wear my soft shells during the winter. It really depends on how your body feels. Some get cold easy and others cant seem to stop sweating no matter how little they wear.

The best piece of advice I can give you is to make sure they have full side zips. Full side zips make it very easy to put the pants on while wearing crampons or snowshoes. It doesn't seem like a big deal now but believe me full side zips will make your life very easy.

10-10-2008, 08:30 AM
I concur with Kaseri - the hardshell is only for extreme wind or precipitation or as an extra layer in extreme cold. Despite all the hype - most softshell fabrics breathe much better than hardshells. So unless you need high wind or heavy rain protection, you'll climb more comfortably in softshell.

Bill O
10-10-2008, 09:26 AM
You can get away with fleece pants and no softshell. But if you are looking to buy new gear just get softshells.

Full side zips are essential on the hard shell.

10-10-2008, 09:59 AM
any recommendations on good full side zip hardshells?

10-10-2008, 03:15 PM
Mine are the mountain hardwear aiguille - they are a few years old - probably have been replaced by a newer different named model by now. The thing I like about them is the zippers go all the way across your backside, so that if you leave a pair of the zipper pulls opposite your rear, you can drop the back and relieve yourself without undoing your gaiters. Very handy if you are doing overnight winter camping/climbing. You can't really appreciate this feature until you need it. I was on a five day trip on Mount Rainier a few days back and it snowed and the wind blew for 4 days straight. That feature was a Godsend. This model is a 2.5 layer goretex, so they are fairly light, but offer plenty of protection when layered over either a fleece pant or softshell.