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Recommend a new mountaineering pack? 60L or thereabouts

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Recommend a new mountaineering pack? 60L or thereabouts

Postby stinkydog » Thu May 03, 2012 3:38 am

So I'm looking for something to fill the hole between my "overnight" packs which are around 40L (of which I have at least 3.. gotta have different packs for hunting, skiing, scrambling, etc, right?), and my expedition/Denali-sized packs.

Basically, something that will be used for 2-3 night trips, generally on a hill where there will be snow/ice as well as hiking/scrambling, and extra gear/clothes will be needed. Example being a carryover route on Rainier such as Lib Ridge, etc. Probably carrying 40-45 lbs most of the time,,,, but able to handle 50 or 55 when there's a long approach or when more food/clothes/booze are needed.

I want something that's fairly light (but not so light as to sacrifice carrying ability or comfort), and able to carry (externally), without having to go Okie style with a bunch of extra straps:
- a folded Z lite
- 2 ice tools or axes, and/or 2 poles
- crampon bag
- shovel
- wands (or a picket or 2, etc.) without falling out the bottom

I don't care about detachable lids.

I have the Cilo Worksack 60L on my short list, but what else should I be looking at? There seem to be hundreds of choices out there, and it's been at least 10 years since I bought a new pack, or even seriously looked at them. :D
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Re: Recommend a new mountaineering pack? 60L or thereabouts

Postby Dane1 » Thu May 03, 2012 3:59 am

CCW aka ColdColdWorld

Worth looking at this 4 part series on climbing packs as well.

http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2012/04 ... packs.html

Not really hundreds of GOOD choices...just a few actually.
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Re: Recommend a new mountaineering pack? 60L or thereabouts

Postby Kai » Thu May 03, 2012 6:56 am

For a 2-3 night trip, you should be able to get away with a Cilo 45liter Worksack. It's a "big" 45 liters, as Cilo seems to size their packs somewhat generously.

Seems to me that 45 pounds is about 10 to 15 pounds too heavy for a 2-3 night trip. If you're carrying 50-55 pounds, maybe you need your Denali pack.

Liberty Ridge carrying 45 pounds on your back wouldn't be very much fun.
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Re: Recommend a new mountaineering pack? 60L or thereabouts

Postby Dane1 » Thu May 03, 2012 8:42 am

Kai wrote:Liberty Ridge carrying 45 pounds on your back wouldn't be very much fun.


Give that man a cupie doll!

"John Bouchard:
"To get an idea of how important each pound is when you’re climbing hard climbs where you can’t afford to haul the pack, try doing pullups with weights around your waist. Start with 5 lbs. and keep increasing in 5 lb. increments. For me, each 5 lbs. decreases my performance by 20%!"

http://www.wildthingsgear.com/wild-thin ... right.html

If you want to actually climb difficult technical ground, limit the weight in your pack and clothing to 20% of you actual body weight. For me that is 38# total or less. 38# for boots, clothing, water, food and the technical gear! If you climb with me and you weigh 50# less we don't carry equal loads. If your total body weight is 125 pounds your entire kit from sleeping bag to boots will be smaller and lighter. That will make up for some of what you carry but not all. Your total load's weight should be 25 pounds! It is much much easier in the alpine to have a partner of similar size physically for a number of good reasons. This is just one of them. If you want to climb hard, climb smart first."
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Re: Recommend a new mountaineering pack? 60L or thereabouts

Postby ExcitableBoy » Thu May 03, 2012 4:30 pm

Dane, as usual, has it right. Liberty Ridge you should be able to get away with a 45 liter pack. That is the size I use for multiday alpine ice/mixed climbs in the Cascades. If you absolutely can't fit your Lib Ridge kit in a 50 liter pack, you are doing it wrong. If you absolutely need a 60 liter pack, look at Black Diamond and Montbell. I own packs from both manufacturers and I like them quite a lot. I've used WT Andinista and CCW Chaos and (stupidly) climbed with 50 lb loads on big alpine climbs. Chaos felt like it was cutting me in half while pulling steep moves on rock and the Andinista rolled around on my back like a turgid saugsage (I threw that in there for you Dane :D )
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Re: Recommend a new mountaineering pack? 60L or thereabouts

Postby stinkydog » Thu May 03, 2012 8:29 pm

On routes such as Lib Ridge I would expect to carry around 38 lbs. The 45lb load would be a typical ski/mountaineering trip - heavier tent, shovel and skis (and/or boots depending on approach), a bit more 'comfort' gear, a DSLR, etc. A 45L pack that extends up to 60L would probably be great for what I need. I have stuffed a couple nights' worth of extra stuff into my 25L ski pack (which extends up to around 35L) but then I find myself attaching water bottles externally, etc.

Will have to take a harder look at the Cilo 45L - I like the looks of the versatility. How is it for carrying wands/pickets/poles/etc. without adding separate pockets?
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Re: Recommend a new mountaineering pack? 60L or thereabouts

Postby ExcitableBoy » Thu May 03, 2012 11:20 pm

For 'Big' alpine climbs, I use a custom made McHale SARC ~75 liters. I had it made back in '97 using 420 pack cloth, no extra zippers, and a hip belt from his small day packs. His packs are known for their large, double buckle hip belts which I felt would hinder climbing performance. I asked Dan how the small hipbelt would support weight, his characteristically prickly response "Well, better than a Wild Things Andinista or some such shit."

He is building some genuninely light, innovative packs that will support heavy loads far better than any frameless packs. Very expensive, but my 15 year old pack that has been heavily looks basically new. If you really plan on carrying 55 pound loads these packs are the way to go.
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Re: Recommend a new mountaineering pack? 60L or thereabouts

Postby Dane1 » Fri May 04, 2012 12:05 am

"I asked Dan how the small hipbelt would support weight, his characteristically prickly response "Well, better than a Wild Things Andinista or some such shit."

Which only tells me that neither of you have actually used an Andinista where it was indended and how or even more likely don't know how to pack one. Simply because you have made some really stupid public comments about the Andinista , three times now.

Image

"On routes such as Lib Ridge I would expect to carry around 38 lbs."

I have done LR a number of times, including with clients and never carried 38#.

The 38# is the TOTAL weight of everything you take with you including boots and clothing on your back. Not 38# in your pack.
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Re: Recommend a new mountaineering pack? 60L or thereabouts

Postby ExcitableBoy » Fri May 04, 2012 1:03 am

Dane1 wrote:"I asked Dan how the small hipbelt would support weight, his characteristically prickly response "Well, better than a Wild Things Andinista or some such shit."

even more likely don't know how to pack one. Simply because you have made some really stupid public comments about the Andinista , three times now.



Stupid comments? I thought 'rolled around on my back like a turgid sausage' was some pretty clever prose. :( You nailed it on the head though. The guy I borrowed the Andinista from warned me not to carry more than 35 poounds, and I WAY overloaded it, being new to mixed alpine climbing.
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Re: Recommend a new mountaineering pack? 60L or thereabouts

Postby Dane1 » Fri May 04, 2012 3:06 am

You think those WT's Andinists pictured above while on Gasherbrum and Aconcagua are carrying 35# :roll:

I've carried less shit in a smaller pack and summited Denali with it.
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Re: Recommend a new mountaineering pack? 60L or thereabouts

Postby Kai » Fri May 04, 2012 3:17 am

Dane1 wrote:
The 38# is the TOTAL weight of everything you take with you including boots and clothing on your back. Not 38# in your pack.



Is this complete "from skin out" weight, including everything you're taking: rope, rack, ice tools, water food, etc.?

My complete weight on a 2 night, 3 day (non-winter) alpine climb with a light mixed rack and 60 meter rope is right around 33 pounds personal stuff, and 18 pounds of group stuff. So, 42 pounds total with 1/2 of the group stuff.

I'd love to see a sample gear list of everything you take. I'm a pretty obsessive ounce counter and spreadsheet maker, and it would be interesting to see where you're saving weight compared with me. (Maybe a good Cold Thistle blog entry.)


As for the Andinista, I have to admit, I'm not a fan of that pack either. I couldn't carry big loads comfortably with it, and I didn't like the way it performed while climbing. I tried hard to like it (in part because Mugs was way cool rocking an Andinista on Thelay Sagar) but in the end I sold it, and have been happier with other packs.
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Re: Recommend a new mountaineering pack? 60L or thereabouts

Postby Dane1 » Fri May 04, 2012 6:01 am

"Is this complete "from skin out" weight, including everything you're taking: rope, rack, ice tools, water food, etc.?"

It includes what you have on your body and what you actually carry in the pack while climbing. Not while hiking. The rope is not in the pack while climbing is a good example and only at the end of the pitch are you carrying all its weight.

Your group stuff and a 60m rope will likely be a lot of what I don't take, use or carry on a summer alpine climb. I might use a 7.8 30m rope instead, a 1# bag and may be a tarp. If I take a bag at all. Or a 60 7.8 and use it as a single and a dbl depending on terain. Short ropes require smaller racks and allow easier simu climbing.

You can always take less. Just depends on how well you suffer. I am willing to suffer a lot short term and climb fast to carry almost nothing. Taking almost nothing might make even a 20m c2c adventure doable.

What I take is definded by the technical difficulty of the climb. And of course we are talking about the climbing here...not the back packing getting to and from the climb. The back packing part and what you need for that is where I think people get confused.

As you said already:
"Seems to me that 45 pounds is about 10 to 15 pounds too heavy for a 2-3 night trip"
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Re: Recommend a new mountaineering pack? 60L or thereabouts

Postby AlexeyD » Fri May 04, 2012 9:44 pm

stinkydog wrote:So I'm looking for something to fill the hole between my "overnight" packs which are around 40L (of which I have at least 3.. gotta have different packs for hunting, skiing, scrambling, etc, right?), and my expedition/Denali-sized packs.

Basically, something that will be used for 2-3 night trips, generally on a hill where there will be snow/ice as well as hiking/scrambling, and extra gear/clothes will be needed. Example being a carryover route on Rainier such as Lib Ridge, etc. Probably carrying 40-45 lbs most of the time,,,, but able to handle 50 or 55 when there's a long approach or when more food/clothes/booze are needed.

I want something that's fairly light (but not so light as to sacrifice carrying ability or comfort), and able to carry (externally), without having to go Okie style with a bunch of extra straps:
- a folded Z lite
- 2 ice tools or axes, and/or 2 poles
- crampon bag
- shovel
- wands (or a picket or 2, etc.) without falling out the bottom

I don't care about detachable lids.

I have the Cilo Worksack 60L on my short list, but what else should I be looking at? There seem to be hundreds of choices out there, and it's been at least 10 years since I bought a new pack, or even seriously looked at them. :D


I recently replaced my very old Russian-made multiday pack with the Deuter ACT Lite 65+10. Haven't really had the occasion to use it outside yet, but based on reviews and specs I would definitely recommend looking into it for your purposes. The pack weighs in at just under 4 pounds but still has the suspension of a multi-day pack, with 3 aluminum stays, and a VERY comfortable fit, at least for me. In terms of features it is very similar to the Osprey Aether (large exterior mesh pocket, 2 side stretch pockets, 2 ice axe loops, top and bottom access, etc.), but somewhat lighter and, at least in my opinion, a much better-designed suspension. It also has a very easily adjustable suspension, which is good if, for example, you want to lend the pack to someone. Finally, at under $200 full price it's a very good value...wow, I am probably sounding like a Deuter advertisement right now. Anyway, just a suggestion, of course you should try it and many others on before committing...
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Re: Recommend a new mountaineering pack? 60L or thereabouts

Postby stinkydog » Sat May 05, 2012 8:17 am

Thanks AlexeyD for returning this thread to a discussion about packs, and not about how much weight somebody should be carrying.

Guys, there are too many variables involved to be making absolute statements such as "you should be carrying 32 lbs instead of 38, etc.".

Some of you may be the size of an Olympic gymnast and have the appetite of Kate Moss in her "skinny days", but speaking for myself, I am just short of 2m in height and 95kg in weight. All other factors being equal, I tend to carry more mass than my partners with the same basic gear list - my clothing weighs a bit more, I eat more food, my boots are a lot bigger, my skis are longer, and I also tend to drink more water (probably at least a 1L Nalgene more on average, which is around 1kg of extra weight.). And I like to bring "regular" food (like fresh fruit and smoked salmon) to eat on an approach. i could also add WAG bags or blue bags to the occasion, but let's not go there...

So, kindly save the detailed weight discussions for the other thread, and give some more recommendations for packs which are 60L thereabouts in size. Thanks.
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