Out in the Cold

Sure, climbing nice warm rock in the summer is fun but tackling a snow-blasted peak or vertical ice pillar is the burly side of climbing. If you like it cold, take stock of the latest, greatest swag for ascension.



1. Scarpa Phantom Guide
Designed with input form two of the world’s best alpinists, Ueli Steck and Simon Anthamatten, this mountaineering boot offers 30 percent more shock-absorption than similar boots. Plus, the Vibram sole, developed specifically for Scarpa, works equally well for rock climbing and crampons. It won’t be in stores until late January, however. $525; scarpa.com

2. Black Diamond Sabretooth
Meet the best multi-purpose crampons around. The stainless steel Sabretooth fit everything from ski to ice boots and it’s easy to adjust. It works especially well on steep snow but can handle technical ice and mixed routes, too, making it the ideal choice for variable-condition mountaineering. $170; blackdiamondequipment.com


3. Trango Scorpion
Trango designed this nicely balanced ice tool with lots of clearance to wrap it around big chunks of ice. We also appreciated the sticky rubber handle that makes it work for a wide range of hand sizes. $156; trango.com

4. CAMP Corsa
Weighing in at an obscene 7.4 ounces, the Corsa is the ice axe to carry when you’re either not sure if you will need one or simply planning a minimalist, fast-and-light attack. You can’t climb technical ice with it, but it’s just as functional and sturdy for glacier travel and steep snow as are far heavier axes. We think it’s perfectly suited for ski mountaineering. $120; camp-usa.com

5. Black Diamond Express Ice Screws
You want an ice screw to a) hold a fall b) go in quickly. These babies score on both fronts thanks to big crank knobs, a screw design that starts easy and hangers with two clip points. $58-$59; blackdiamondequipment.com

6. PMI 9.7 Arete Half and Half
The Arete is a nice balance of light weight and strength ideal for big trips on wilderness peaks. Call us dorks but we like the half-and-half feature for when our brain is tired. $197; pmirope.com



Julbo Bivouak
Those side protectors on mountaineering sunglasses are a necessary evil so we truly appreciated the magnetic side shades on the Bivouak. Plus, they feature a pimped out lens that is polarized, photochromatic (it changes with light conditions) and is treated with an anti-fog coating. $190; julbousa.com

National Geographic Maps Colorado 14ers Explorer
Developed in conjunction with the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative (CFI, 14ers.org), this package is the best tool you can buy if you want to tackle the Centennial State’s 58 peaks over 14,000 feet high. Built for Mac, PC and handheld GPS units, it includes all the detailed Trails Illustrated maps, USGS topos and peak stats you could ever want as well as info, photos and an interactive summit journal. $50; natgeomaps.com

Ferrino High Lab Lite 35
Italian brand Ferrino is new to the U.S. but has been crafting technical mountaineering gear across the pond since 1870. This tough ultralight pack is big enough for a wilderness trip yet light enough for a day of spring ski mountaineering. ferrino.it

Nikwax Tech Wash and TX Direct
Climbing gear is expensive, so why spend money on a new jacket. We suggest taking care of and re-waterproofing your old $600 shell with these this cleaning and waterproofing treatments. nikwax.com

CAMP Armour
This lid delivers everything you want out of a climbing helmet—it’s light (12 ounces), airy (thanks to a side ventilation system), red (so you look better in pictures), oh and it protects your thick noggin at a smart price. $60; camp-usa.com

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