The ice climbing clothing list is a system of clothes that the MMG Guides use themselves. The winter days in the northeast can at times be extremely cold and windy. It is extremely important that you are properly clothed and equipped to undertake ice climbing in this environment. Below is a list of recommended clothing items and garment examples that can help you stay warm and dry for a day ice of climbing during the winter months in New England.
If you are missing any of the items listed below, please ask as we may be able to provide them for you.
Regarding Technical Equipment:
Mooney Mountain Guides provides Koflach Mountaineering Boots, Black Diamond Sabertooth and Petzl Lynx crampons along with Petzl Quarks, Quasars, Nomics ice tools and Mammut harnesses and helmets.
What you wear against your skin. Lightweight capilene, merino wool, or merino polyester mix garments are used as base layers as they provide fast and efficient moisture transport. These lightweight synthetic and natural products wick moisture away from your body, keeping you warm and dry.
A comfortable layer is worn over your base layer. Very lightweight, highly functional, quarter zip long sleeve Polartec power stretch or fleece type layers are optimal choices for this mid layer used for all climbing activities throughout the year.
Soft Shell Jacket:
Technical fleece jacket with a very good insulation-weight ratio made from Polar Thermal Pro. Soft shells have great durability which helps prevent the material form aging. The ideal second or third layer for cold days in alpine mountains.
Storm (Hard) Shell:
Durable, waterproof, windproof 3 layer Gortex jacket with a hood for use in high alpine terrain. This bomber storm shell jacket must fit over base, mid and soft shell jacket layers. Storm shell jacket should feature a hood and pit zippers. (Mammut Norwand Jacket)
Soft Shell Pant: Durable, all around pant made with Polartec Power Shield stretch type fabric to wick moisture on climbs. Cuffs of these pants should fit over mountain boots.
Storm (Hard) Shell Pant:
Technical GORE TEX 3 layer pants for high comfort on high alpine pursuits, offering reliable weather protection, high breathability, durability and a low weight ratio. A focus should be extra robustness and high cut crampon protection.
Down or hybrid fill jackets for cold weather alpine activities. A loose fitting jacket to be worn over all layers and used on longer climbs or around base area of single pitch climbs.
Gloves: Ice climbing gloves should be lightweight and very durable. At the same time deliver a good grip and touch sensation for ice axe and equipment management of ice screws and carabiners. It is a fine line but in general people size gloves too small which cause the hands to get cold.
Expedition Mittens: We recommend you carry a pair of mittens to stay extra warm at the base and belay areas.
Ice Climbing Boots: We provide Koflach plastic ice climbing boots for your climb. These are warm, durable, comfortable and fit a feet of all shapes and sizes.
Socks: Midweight wool/synthetic blends are warm enough for most days. Smartwool has a variety of types to choose from.
Gaiters will keep snow out of boots and protect your pants from crampon tears. Try them on over mountaineering boots to be sure they fit. Generally up your usual size by 1. Most soft shell pants have a gaiter built into the cuff which works quite well on climbs that do not require approaches in deep snow.
Sunglasses, small first aid kit, hand/toe warmers, headlamp, camera, sunscreen and a small thermos.