Top 10 Gifts for the Mountaineer in Your Life

10 Gifts for the Mountaineer in Your Life

1. MILLET Everest Summit GTX – To make sure your mountaineer returns from her next expedition with all her toes, give her these amazing boots; they kept my feet warm despite encountering -20 degree temps on Denali (and that’s without the wind!). I didn’t think it was possible, but these are somehow bomb-proof and durable, yet comfortable and lightweight. The best high altitude boot on the market. $999.95;

2. Patagonia Fitz Roy Parka – Looking for one do-it-all jacket to give the adventurer in your life? Well, look no further. This bomber downy weighs in at only 1.1 lbs., yet it’s the warmest most functional jacket around. You’ll like it because its chock full of technical details like extra warm hand pockets, a zipper constructed specifically to prevent cold air from seeping in, and added water resistance in the shoulders, hood, and arms. But, you’ll love it because you can be proud of that fact that it’s made of 100% 800-fill traceable down that only comes from geese that are treated humanely (third-party-verified, non-live-plucked, non-force-fed). $449;

3. Petzl Ascension & Pulleys – Though this may not be the sexiest gift (perhaps it’s akin to getting someone a blender for your anniversary?), safety and efficiency are key to all mountaineers. After trying a few different ones, I found this ascender to be the most comfortable, efficient and easy to use with huge gloves on. Its mega-gripping teeth worked really well even when the rope was frozen or wet and this device, unlike some others, never froze up despite frigid temps and terrible conditions. $79.95. To give all the hardware needed for a bomber and lightweight crevasse rescue system, couple this with Petzl’s Microtraxion Pulley ($99.95) and Petzl’s Oscillante Pulley ($15.95);

4. Black Diamond Couloir – This low-profile harness was comfortable enough to wear all day even under a giant pack. The quick release leg loops made it easy to slide on and off over crampons, plus it packs down small enough to fit in a jacket pocket. $55;

5. Julbo Explorers – When it comes to glacier glasses, Julbo sets and then beats the standard. With wrap-around protection, awesome lens options and anti-fog ventilation that actually works, the Explorers kept my eyes safe from the intense high altitude UV and reflection from snow and ice. Plus, the adjustable stem ends bend in every direction so I stayed comfortable even though these were on my head 24 hours a day. $125-190;

6.North Face Inferno (available in 0, -20 or -40) –This bag stuffed with 850+ fill down employs smart technology to make sure the mountaineer you loves gets his or her Z’s even when the mercury drops below freezing. Box baffles and anti-compression pads placed at high-pressure areas bolster comfort, warmth and support while the 20D Pertex® Endurance™ shell shields you from moisture. $489.00 – $729.00.

7. MSR Dragonfly Stove – Give the gift of a full belly and coffee in a minute with this fantastic stove – one of the few out there that can crank at high heat to melt snow fast, but also actually simmers so you don’t have to spend any more time scraping burnt rice off the bottom of your pot. The Dragonfly is tough, stable, lightweight and can handle a 10” pot and a range of fuels including white gas, kerosene, unleaded auto fuel, diesel, and jet fuel. $139.95;

8. Mountain Hardwear BMG 105 OutDry – This tough but light bag comfortably and easily lugs large loads over rough terrain while keeping stuff dry no matter what nature throws at you thanks to the unique OutDry technology which bonds a waterproof-breathable membrane directly to the fabric of the main compartment. A unique compression system allows you to change pack size to meet your needs while the front panel made of beefy material resists abrasion and tearing – a big possibility when wearing crampons and wielding ice axes. $360;

9. Outdoor Research Alti-Mitts – I have the coldest hands on the planet, but these 2-layered summit mittens still managed to keep my hands warm during brutal storms at 14000 feet and above. The removable inner liner – which you can actually pull in and out of the bigger mitt without a fight – has a cozy fleece liner and a ton of insulation, but it’s not too bulky so you can still take photos or tie a knot. By combining this awesome inner with an outer mitt that is extremely durable and warm thanks to water-repellent leather palms and beefy stitching, OR created the ideal mitt. Worth every cent! $199

10. Hilleberg Nammatj 3GT – Make any mountaineer’s holiday with this incredibly strong, roomy, double wall shelter that sleeps 3 easily, weighs less than 8 lbs. and has an enormous vestibule for cooking and hanging – a critical feature so you don’t start climbing the walls on expeditions with tons of tent time. Plus, this uber-shelter withstands strong winds, pitches easily, is spacious enough to sit up in comfortably and vents well. Also comes in a 2-person version. $865;

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