This is a gear list for routes with crevassed glacier crossings, with snow and/or ice. Route examples from our own Way Ups include the Balfrin Traverse, Sustenhorn and Oberaarhorn.
If you’re headed for a dry route, such as the Wiwannihorn, you can leave all the glacier gear behind and take a smaller pack more suitable for your gear quantity. Also, add in any other gear as needed, such as a helmet.
It’s important to understand that this photo has a couple of gear options. The following items are dependent on weather and conditions:
- The right pack is one of the most critical items. We highly recommend Black Diamond’s Distance Packs, both the 8 & 15 liter model depending on the size of your adventure. Read our BD Distance Pack review.
- Warm Layer: Patagonia Nano Air Hybrid Hoody or Patagonia Nano Air Hybrid Vest - it’s not likely you’ll need both, take whichever suits the temps you’ll be in. The Nano Air Hybrid systems are incredibly warm and breathable. Read our Patagonia Nano Air review.
- Wind/Rain Protection: Black Diamond Fine Line Stretch Rain Shell or Black Diamond Distance Wind Shell - if the forecast is dry, go lighter with a windshell.
- Kahtoola KTS crampons or Kahtoola MICRO Spikes - This is a touch decision as you often don’t know just how aggressive you need your traction to be. Hopefully you’ve used both and know how far you can go with each system, otherwise, err on the safe side and go with the crampons. Read our Kahtoola review.
Learn more about the mountain skills needed for these more technical Way Ups on ALPSinsight's Education pages:
Interested in Way Up Runs but not sure where to start?
Here's a collection of easier Way Ups that don't require extra equipment or special skills. They stay on trails, but are huge vertical days up in the alpine.
- Black Diamond Distance 15 liter pack
- Petzl Ride Ice Axe
- Petzl 30 meter RAD Rope
- Black Diamond Couloir Harness
- Black Diamond Ultralight Ice Screw 16cm
- Petzl Micro Traxion
- Petzl Tibloc
- Two Locking Carabiners + 4 Non-Locking Carabiners
- Two 120cm runners
- Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Poles
- Black Diamond Spot Lite 160 Headlamp
- Black Diamond Stance Mitts
- Black Diamond LightWeight WoolTech Gloves
- Julbo Sunglasses
- Sun Hat
- Wallet : Swiss Francs (lots …it’s Switzerland), emergency info & REGA card
- Phone with Switzerland Mobility maps downloaded to app with the route’s track
- 500ml Soft Flask
- Katadyn BeFree Water Filter (our review)
- Camera - we use the Sony RX100 MVII
- Small Swiss Army Knife
- Elastic bandage - for compression or rolled ankle
- Sun cream & Lip balm
- Trail Butter
- Mulaff Bar - gourmet energy bars
- Hydration powder - We choose Osmo Nutrition’s and take a ziploc full.
- Kahtoola KTS crampons or
- Kahtoola MICRO Spikes
- Patagonia Nano Air hybrid hoody or
- Patagonia Nano Air hybrid vest
- Patagonia Capilene Cool Lightweight Long-Sleeved Shirt
- Black Diamond Levitation Tights
- Black Diamond Fine Line Stretch Rain Shell or
- Black Diamond Distance Wind Shell
- Patagonia Capilene Air Hoody
- A partner to whom you will be connected to by that rope. Convenient for glacier crossings and good company.
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Accessing this terrain requires specific gear for safety and efficient movement.