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Winter Gear Wish List

It is that time of year again. A time when the snow is just beginning to get good and Thanksgiving is behind us. What better than to pick a few items we all would love to receive for the holidays. I am picking out my favorites for three categories. Rock Climbing, Ski Mountaineering, and Alpine Climbing. Hope you are lucky enough to get one of these and see you out and about.

Ski Mountaineering:

Marmot Flexion Softshell Pant: I love softshell pants for ski mountaineering as I am usually going at a high heart rate and my legs tend to stay warm in softshell pants even in the wind and cold.

Marmot Isotherm Jacket or Hoody: The new Isotherm jacket (or hoody) is my latest addition to the kit. The jacket breaths really well, keeps the wind out, and has insulation for those cold touring days.

Marmot Ama Dablam Jacket: I love this tried and true down coat. If fits well in my pack and has enough insulation to keep me warm during breaks. On cold days I even ski down in it.

One ski quiver: Dynafit Grand Teton, Radical ST Bindings with 110mm brakes and skins: If you can only have one set up this is the one. The new Grand Teton has dimensions of (130-106-120) in the 182 length. The ski has a slight all around rocker and is great in powder, crud, crust, or corn.

Light all around set up:  Dynafit Nanga Parabat, Speed Radical Bindings and skins: For those who are weight conscious but still like a bit of surface underfoot. The new Nanga Parabat is just over 1000 grams  and has dimensions of (116-80-104). This entire set up with bindings and skins weighs less than one of my alpine skis.

Scarpa Maestrale RS: for the one boot quiver: This boot came out last year and has changed the definition of a light touring boot (3lbs 7oz per boot in size 27) with a 120 flex. I love this boot.

Scarpa Freedom SL: for those that love the down but still like to earn their turns: The new overlap boot from Scarpa is the best beefy touring boot on the market. Weighing in at 3lbs 15 oz per boot in size 27 and a 120 flex this is the boot for those used to skiing at the area. It also comes in a size 21.5 for women with smaller feet.

Backcountry Access Float 32 pack: The Float packs from BCA are designed for backcountry skiers and use compressed air so you can fill the canister at any scuba shop. The 32 is big enough for any day outing and carries well when loaded and skiing downhill.

Colorado Mountain School AIARE Avalanche Level I or II course (Shameless plug but also a great choice): Don’t be left at the areas when your friends head to the backcountry. Get educated by the best and largest AIARE provider in the country.

Alpine Climbing:

 Marmot Mountain Down Jacket: There is nothing worse than freezing on an alpine climb or belaying your buddy on a long ice lead. The Mountain Down jacket is super warm and if you can even climb in it if needed.

Marmot Spire Pant: Constructed of 3 layer Gore-tex this simple and functional pant is great for anything. The side zips help when the Gore-tex is just not breathing enough and the zip off suspenders are great when you don’t want a belt.

La Sportiva Batura 2.0 GTX: This is the boot for those who want warmth and performance. The integrated gaiter with asymmetrical zipper works like a charm and the boot climbs really well on top of the comfort.

La Sportiva Trango S EVO GTX: The best lightweight mountaineering boot on the market. Climbs and hikes like a champion and is incredibly warm for the weight. MY favorite spring mountaineering boot. I even have friends who swear by it for Chucker hunting.

Rock Climbing:

I know it is winter, but it is always nice to look forward to sunny rock climbing trips and new gear can help you through the winter months.

Marmot Tempo Hoody: This is my favorite softshell. It breaths really well and has a great fit for climbing. The jacket stays in my harness when I am climbing and the sleeves are long enough to not come up my arms.

Marmot Quasar Hoody: Everyone needs a puffy when climbing to stay warm for the send. There is nothing worse than being cold while you are waiting your turn, or belaying. This lightweight, insulated jacket fits in your pack and keeps you warm.

Marmot Scree Pant: This do everything pant is a great softshell. I ski tour, ice climb, and rock climb in this pant. I cant say enough about this versatile pant.

La Sportiva Miura VS: My do everything high performance shoe. Edges, smears, smedges, it does it all well. It is super comfortable for the performance and I love Velcro for ease.

La Sportiva TC Pro: the best trad shoe ever made. I love this shoe for hard granite climbs, or long moderates. They are comfortable and climb extremely well. If you are having trouble on a granite slab, try these.

Wild Country set of Helium Quickdraws: The best lightweight, full size draws on the market. I love when my pack feels light, and I know the performance will not suffer.

Wild Country Helium Friends: From the company that invented the friend comes the newest and lightest version. These are great additions to anyone’s rack. Look at the new 5 and 6 friends as well for those interested in the wide fare. Check out the Wide Boyz for some inspiration!

Thanks and Happy Holidays.

Mike Alkaitis

Senior Guide at the Colorado Mountain School

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