A complete clothing and equipment list specific to your trip will be emailed to you in your PreClimb information upon reservation. The Guide Hut offers our Northwest climbing customers rental equipment for your convenience.

The weather in the North Cascades is highly variable. With this in mind, we developed our gear list for the safety and comfort of our climbers. When choosing equipment for mountain travel you should look for gear that meets two simple criteria: Lightweight and Functional. This list accounts for variability between seasons, route conditions, weather and elevation.

Click on our blog post for a list of gear recommendations for specific outdoor brands.

Head and Face

  • Warm Hat: Wool/synthetic. Must cover the ears.
  • Buff or Balaclava
  • Sun Hat or Baseball Cap
  • Glacier Glasses: Essential eye protection at altitude. Wrap around style or side shields. A category 4 lens is required.
  • Sunscreen: SPF 30+
  • Lip Balm: SPF 30+
  • Climbing LED Headlamp: Bring one extra set of batteries.

Upper Body

  • Baselayer Tops: One synthetic long-sleeve shirt. Hoods for sun protection are strongly recommended.
  • Mid-layer Top: A synthetic or fleece top.
  • Softshell Jacket: This breathable but wind-and-weather resistant jacket. Hoods are highly recommended.
  • Hardshell Jacket: A fully waterproof shell. GORE-TEX© or equivalent. Hoods are required.
  • Insulated Jacket: Medium weight down. 700+ fill or higher required.

Note: Proper hardshell rain gear is required on all trips.

Handwear

  • Lightweight Softshell Gloves: One pair. Leather palms offer durability and grip.
  • Heavyweight Gloves: Insulated glove or mitten with GORE-TEX© or waterproof outer.

Lower Body

  • Baselayer Bottom: One pair. Synthetic, no cotton.
  • Softshell Pants: One pair. Synthetic, stretchy, non-insulated.
  • Hardshell Pants: One pair of GORE-TEX© pants. Full-length side zips are required; you may need to take off your hardshell pants without removing your boots.
  • Gaiters: Full-sized waterproof gaiters that must fit snugly over your mountaineering boots.

Footwear

  • Mountaineering Boots: Full shank crampon compatible double plastic, leather, synthetic, or hybrid boot depending on climb and season.

Note: Please read our Mountaineering Boots and Crampons guide for recommendations.

● Double plastic mountaineering boots or Heavy weight synthetic/ hybrid mountaineering boots are required for Mount Rainier, early season climbs on Mount Baker, and in the North Cascades.

● Single-weight synthetic/ leather mountaineering boots are adequate for mid and late summer climbs on Mount Baker and in the North Cascades when conditions are expected to be dry.

● NO backpacking or trekking boots are allowed above high camp on any trip. Climbing boots must be full shank and crampon compatible.

  • Approach Shoes (Optional): Light hiking boots or sturdy trail running shoes for late-season approaches to high camp after trails are free of snow. Must be sturdy enough to support your ankles while carrying a 45-60 lb. pack.
  • Mediumweight Socks: Two pair of wool or synthetic socks.
  • Heavyweight Socks: One pair of wool or synthetic socks for sleeping in and for summit day.

Sleeping

  • Sleeping Bag: A warm bag rated 0ᵒ to 20ᵒ depending on season.
  • Sleeping Pad: A full-length closed-cell foam and/or inflatable pad. Foam AND inflatable pads are recommended for camping on snow during early-season climbs.

Packing and Backpack

  • Backpack: One 65-75 liter pack for personal and group gear. Should have an effective waist belt, fit properly and provide good support while carrying 45-60 lbs.
  • Liner Bags: 1 large plastic contractor bag.

Note: An adequate size backpack is required. You are responsible to carry all your personal gear and food, as well as a portion of group gear (tents, ropes, stoves, fuel, etc.). We do not recommend an additional pack for summit day.

Climbing Gear

  • Ice axe: 55-75 cm mountaineering axe.
  • Crampons: 12-point steel with anti-balling plates.
  • Climbing Helmet: Lightweight
  • Alpine Harness: Lightweight alpine harness with adjustable leg loops.
  • Trekking Poles: Adjustable and collapsible with snow baskets.
  • Locking Carabiners: (2) Large pear-shaped, screw gate locking carabiners.
  • Non-Locking Carabiners: (1) Wire gate non-locking carabiners.

Mountaineering Courses

These items are recommended for our Mount Baker Glacier Mountaineering, Mount Rainier Expedition Training courses.

  • Non-Locking Carabiners: (4) Wire gate non-locking carabiners.
  • Belay device: Tube style belay device.
  • Rescue Pulley
  • Prussik Cord: 6 mm, 30 feet
  • Nylon Slings: (2) 60 cm nylon slings

Note: We do suggest these items for training.

Hydration

  • Water Bottles: Two, 1L wide-mouth plastic bottles. NALGENE©

Personal Health and First Aid

  • Small personal first-aid kit and medications
  • Plastic bowl, insulated mug, and spoon
  • Toilet paper, blue bag or wag bag
  • Earplugs