Equipment List for Red Rocks Climbing

Official Papers

Camping Gear


Climbing Gear




Optional Field Gear

Camping Gear

Western Mountaineering Badger SDL : 15 deg Long

This bag was the Backpacker recommended bag at the time I did my first trip. It's a down bag with a dry loft shell to keep it somewhat dry.

Illiniza Notes: This bag is great for mountaineering. Paired with clothing and a hat, you can be comfy at 0 and maybe even a little under.

Mt Rainier Notes: The first time I was on a glacier, and I was warm and cozy pretty much all night. The times I did get cooler were becuase I took off my socks!

North Face VE 25 : Expedition 4 Season Tent

The VE 25 is a 3 man expedition level tent that weighs about 12 pounds. It has two vestibules and can be bought with a tarp footprint that matches it's dimensions. It's one of the most used tents in the climbing and alpine market. I've heard only good things about it. This is the classic mountaineering tent. It has been around for about 25 years and will probably be around another 25.

Iliniza Notes: This tent at one point had 4 people in it...semi comfortably!

Cascade Designs Thermarest Ridgerest

I'm a sissy when it comes to my sleep. I need my confort, and since this blow up matress is only about a pound more than a foam roll and packs down much smaller, I figured this was a good choice.


Dana Design Terraplane X : Expedition Pack

This is the Gold standard of packs. It received the Editors Choice GOLD award from Backpaker Magazine in 1999 and all I saw on the net were raves about it’s quality, comfort and design. When I spoke to Rahman at Tent and Trails, he highly recommended it.

Why I bought it: This is the first pack I bought, for my first trip to Red Rocks, Nevada. Even though I didn't really need a pack right then, I knew I was going to sooner or later, so I bought this in anticipation of an upcoming trek.

Good for: This pack is perfect for a climb where you've got to carry 50 to 60 pounds of gear.

Not for: 1 to 3 day hikes. At about 8 pounds, it packs a wallop if all you are doing is carrying a fleece, food and water. This is an expedition pack. Like all packs, it is not very waterproof, so if you are going to be in the pouring rain, line it with garbage bags or get a pack cover.

Dana Design Notes: Dana Design has since been sold to K2 and marketed under Marmot. You can still get these packs under the Marmot brand, but I would argue they are not the same packs! Dana Gleason has since started new company, Mystery Ranch selling the same style backpacks to guides and military personnel. In fact, he has a contract with the navy seals to provide them with their packs. Check them out. The Mystery Ranch version of the Terraplane is the

Oyacache Notes: This pack is bomb proof. I brought a pack fly for the rainforest downpours. Didn't need it. It fits everything with a million pockets and easy access to everything. Love this pack.

Mt Rainier Notes: This was my main pack for Rainier and Adams. Still love this pack, even though its about 3 poinds heavier than the newest packs.

Gregory Chaos : Mid Sized Pack

This is the first midsized pack I bought. I picked it up at Tent and Trails. It was a recomendation of one of the guys there.

Why I bought it: I needed a daypack that I could use for 2-3 day hikes or for carrying climbing gear (ropes, protection, shoes, helmet, etc.) or other heavy itmes on one day treks.

Good for: Lugging heavy stuff like climbing equipment that you don't need to get to until you get to your destination.

Not for: Expeditionhikes or hikes where you need to constantly access your pack. It is a toploader so if you wwant to carry snacks, first aid or anything you need to get to in a hurry, put it in the top pocket.

Gregory Notes: Gregory makes really good packs. Their Denali Pro is supposed ot be a beautiful pack. I have not tried it, but I have only heard good things about it.

Iliniza Notes: This pack is great in terms of its comfort level. It has a very sturdy frame stay and the padding is cush on your waist and shoulders. A little bit heavy, but definately a quality pack. I used it as my summit pack.

Kilmanjaro Notes: After using this pack for the summit, I have decided that I need a lighter weight pack. There was really no need to have a pack this sturdy to carry water, camera, food and fleece.

Climbing Gear

Black Diamond Blizzard Harness

The three main companies I looked at when researching harnesses were Petzl, Black Diamond and Trango. When choosing a harness you really have to figure out what type of climbing you’re going to use it for. I know that in the next year or two, I will be attempting to summit a 18000+ mountain peak. In that case, I will need a harness big enough to fit over clothing, so I need adjustable leg straps. That, plus the Blizzrd’s seat drops out so there’s no problem answering the unavoidable “nature’s call.”

Notes: Very confortable harness.

Iliniza Notes: I never ended up using my harness because there was no ice at the top of the mountain and it was not a technical climb, so there was no need to rope up.

Petzl Ecrin

The Petzl Ecrin is the standard by which all other helmets are measured. the straps can be adjusted with a finger via the wheels on the side of the helmet.

Good for: Those who care about function over form.

Not for: Those who care about looking like a big red headed geek. It's bad enough you have to wear a helmet. The least they can do is make them look a little cool.

Iliniza Notes: I didn't end up using the helmet, since we weren't in any serious conditions on the mountain.

Black Diamond ATC

From everyone I have spoken to, this is the belay device to own. Period. It is so good, the three wilderness stores I went to didn’t have any in stock. And rather than try to sell me on another type, they simply pointed me to another store they thought would have it in stock. I had to wait a few weeks and pick one up when a new shipment came in.

The ATC worked well for me.

El Potrero Chico Notes: On a recommendation a few years ago, I bought a Petzl Reverso (first generation). This was the first time I got a chance to play with it as I haven't been climbing in the last few years. I absolutely hated it. It was SO grippy that when I was trying to lead belay, I had to actually push the rope down through the device because it would constantly get caught. Interestingly enough, the newer generqation of reversos look much like the ATC's so apparently they have fixed that problem. But sufficed to say, I put that thing away immediately and grabbed my tried and tru ATC! :-)

5.10 Spires

These shoes were billed as a great overall shoe for beginners because they are stiff enough for a beginner’s weaker foot, which needs support. When it came down to my decision to purchase this particular shoe, It came down to that fact that they are good quality, inexpensive (as climbing shoes go anyway), and as a beginner, I am going to dog whatever shoes I buy because of poor technique. Everyone I spoke with told me that it’s a great shoe to start out with, so that’s what I went with.

Good For: Beginners who don't want to spend a lot of cash and/or haven't built up the necessary pain threshold for the more agressive shoes.

Not For: Non beginners.

El Poterero Notes: I really like these, but i think it's time to start moving up to a more agressive shoe. Had it not been for a broken toe, I would have picked up antoehr pair for this trip.

Blue Water Enduro 11mm

Since I don’t think I will be doing any Ice climbing, at least not in the first year, I didn’t need the dry finish, which adds about $25 to $45 to the cost of the rope. I had planned on purchasing the 50 meter rope, which is good enough for pretty much all beginners climbing needs. However, the only 11 mm rope they had left was the 60 meter so I took it. Of course, I could have gone with another retailer or ordered on the web, but I was there and wanted to get my shopping done in one shot.

Black Diamond Superslacker Rope Bag

This bag unzips to become a tarp to fleck your rope out onto. It’s big enough to hold 2 ropes and maybe three depending on the size and length of the ropes. A shoulder strap allows easy carrying but more than likely, you’ll want to just tie it to the top of your pack anyway.

I love this bag.

Petzl Carabiners

Petzl makes some of the best gear for rock climbing and they are well known for the quality of their carabiners. You'll need to carry at least two locking carabiners at all times and I like the fact that Petzl marks the red on the gate to show whether or not the gate is fully screwed closed.


Marmot Shell Jacket

Although I had originally planned to spend a whole lot less, I am glad I picked up this parka. It fit me well in the arms and does a good job of stopping wind.

Illiniza Notes: This jacket worked great on the climb. Period.

Kilimnajaro Notes: Really like the jacket.

Mount Washington 2009 Notes: At the top of the climb I saw that this jacket was not as good at breathing or keeping out the water as I thought it was (or used to be). Either way, this was my last time using this jacket. It's now the jacket I let friends borrow when I drag them along on some trip with me. Let's be Honest. I saw the Arc'teryx and fell in love. Gear junkies just need to buy new stuff!

North Face Fleece Jacket

This was the first fleec jacket I bought. I still have it and still wear it. It's a great jacket; warm and well fitting. The minute I started wearing it, the soft shell fleeces started becoming reasonable priced and I got the bug to start in that dierection. But for a simple fleece, great piece of gear.

Red Rocks Notes: Good jacket. You need a fleece in the desert surpisingly!

Marmot Rainier Fleece Pants

These pants are warm and comfortable, but with the reinforced knees and butt so your scrambling, dragging and scraping don’t wear them down in half a season. Nice fit, even for a spider leg guy like me and I didn’t even have to go out of my way to find the XXL because the XL fit me just fine.

Red Rocks Notes: As much as I liked these pants, I also didn't like them. I hate the waist band. They seem much less annoying in the store than in the heat of battle. Plus, they're not very stylish. Hate the ankles. These were relegated to mid layer insulation.

Mountain Hardwear Fleece Hat

This hat is a little thin, but the fact that it completely covers the ears and ties off to stay tight against them makes it really warm. It's a great hat to have along on any trip. Plus you look funny which is always special!

Iliniza Notes: I brought this hat merely as a backup. The worst thing you can do is lose your only hat in the wild. I always bring an extra just in case.

Kilimanjaro Notes: Again, this was my backup hat. I definately pulled it out at night to sleep in.

EMS Glove Liners
A nice set of liners are a great thing to have. light enough to wear during the cool night but just engouh to keep your fingers warm.



Wet Ones Travel

It really doesn't matter which moleskin you choose. Personally, I like the thin moleskin, especially since I start applying it as soon as i feel even a hotsot. I never wait until i develop a blister so i rarely ever develop one. But i use moleskin almost every day of a hiking trip and remove it at night to air out the hot spot.

Grand Canyon Notes: Since water will be so sparse on this trip, I'll bring a pack of these for my outback shower!

El Potrero Notes: Anytime you are in Mexico, bring wet ones. They rarely have toilet paper in any of the bathrooms, so having these hand is nice.

Packtowel Camp Towel

Bottom line, this is not ever an optional item. I have to have at least one on my trips. It's really water absorbant but rings out like a shammy and packs away dry right after you've used it on your whole body!

El Potrero Notes: Bring a camp towl because they don't have them readily available at the Posada.

Grand Canyon Notes: I'll bring my small towel just so I can wash my face, or if I want to go down to the river.

Nalgene Water Bottle

These bottles are indestructible and supposedly, they don’t promote bacteria growth or hold odor. In every picture I see of someone camping or on a mountain, I see them holding a Nalgene bottle. I’m not even sure they have any competition they’re so well entrenched. And what makes them even better is most water filtration systems are built specifically to fit Nalgene bottles!

I always wrap some clear and some gray duct tape around my bottles. First, it helps to tell whos they are and it also is an easy way to keep duct tape which is the most important item you can take on a mountain! It fixes everything from blisters to leaky tents. I always bring 3 liter bottles for summit day. I also sometimes bring an extra to pee in if im too lazy to get out of the tent! just be careful. Aim smart.

Nesters Cookware

Nesting Stainless Steel Cookwear.

Good for: The non gear junkie and the guy who is not trying to shave every ounce from their pack.

Not for: The guy who cuts the handle off of his toothbrush to save weight.

Iliniza Norte: So far, this set has worked well for me. On this trip, we used it every day on the mountain. Since my job in our cook group was to provide the pot/pan.

OR stuff sacks

I am a very organized person, or at least I try to be! So a couple of extra stuff sacks to straighten out my gear is always a necessity for me. I picked up the non-waterproof ones for the mountain and rock climbing. But once I start paddling, I'll move up to the hydro seal.

Black Diamond Gemini

This is the obne peice of camping equipment I have come to feel is essential. Once out in the pitch dark, I could not live without it. If you have any hopes of reading, writing or doing anything with both hands in your campsite or tent, you should get one of these things. With an LED lamp as well as a Halogen spotlight, the Gemini is the way to go. It’s relatively inexpensive and works well. I went to the local climbing gym (Desert Rock Sports) and snapped one up.


Gatorade Packs

Gatorade is thirst aid... Oh .. Sorry. That song is catchy.

Action speaks louder than words, but not as often!
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