August and September are primetime for tagging summits in the Centennial State’s high country. Here’s the gear you will want for the trip up.
The North Face
This hat may have been designed for ultra running but it proves just as useful hiking in the high country. Don’t think it’s just another hipster lid, this trucker features Flash Dry fabric and mesh that wicks away sweat, and a headband that keeps the drip out of your eyes.
$21 | thenorthface.com
Terrex Fast GTX Surround
Good mountain boots need to be light, comfy and keep out the elements. Weighing in at just one pound and shored up with Gore-tex’s Surround system, which repels the wet and breathes out the bottom of the sole, this springy kick scores big on all three fronts. Plus, the Continental sole grips to rocks on tricky scrambling moves.
$225 | adidasoutdoor.com
The stripped-down, 14-ounce Scrambler might look more like a haul bag than a backpack but its down-to-business attitude makes it an asset on trips to mountaintops. The roll-top closure and an OutDry membrane built into the sturdy nylon pack fabric make it waterproof—which is nice for paddling or foul weather commuting, too, and a godsend when you’re on exposed terrain.
$110 | mountainhardwear.com
Burly, multi-season trekking poles make sense backpacking, but they’re overkill for peakbagging. Tipping the scales at just six ounces and simple to break down and adjust, these babies are useful on surprise snowfields and extended descents. Bonus: interchangable basket designs. They’re affordable, too. (Italian brand Fizan, which is not normally available in the U.S. collaborated with Massdrop to create these poles.)
$60 | https://www.massdrop.com/buy/massdrop-fizan-compact?mode=guest_open
Nothing is worse than getting caught in a high country downpour. Since it happens, pack this four-ounce, barely noticeable shell in your summit pack. It blocks the elements as well as a burlier jacket, thanks to a Gore-tex Active two-layer material that actually shakes dry.
$300 | mammut.ch
There can be a huge temperature difference from town to the top of a fourteener, so a good insulating layer should be mandatory when you head up high. Since the Atom weighs just 12.7 ounces and packs down to softball size, we take it every time we head to the hills. If nothing else, it’s a perfect slip-on when you stop for lunch in a stiff breeze above treeline.
$259 | arcteryx.com
Ruffwear Approach Pack
We love taking our tough, eager pup up in the high country, but it’s important to make sure your canine pal has her needs met up there, too. With a customizable fit harness to keep it snug when your pooch is hopping from rock to rock, and plenty of room for food, water and poop bags, this pack ensures all-day comfort for you both.
$80 | ruffwear.com