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Aconcagua & Jetboil Zip: Yes or No?

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Aconcagua & Jetboil Zip: Yes or No?

Postby herdbull » Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:24 pm

Yes, some of you may have seen this same question on another website. Just looking for more input.

So would you take a Jetboil Zip as your only personal stove up Aconcagua?

I've heard mixed things about canister stoves, high altitude & cold temps. I currently have a MSR Simmerlite but a local store has a pretty good sale on the Zip right now.

Functionality is the main objective of the stove over size and weight. I know you'd have to bring a few more canisters along than white gas bottles and the stove unit is a bit bigger but mules will be providing a good chunk of the heavy hauling. The main reason of the Zip would be more user friendly inside a tent or vestibule.

Any thoughts?
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Re: Aconcagua & Jetboil Zip: Yes or No?

Postby Buz Groshong » Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:37 pm

Although I've had no personal experience with this, in theory it might do OK. You would have to keep the fuel warm; butane won't vaporize below 32F (that's partly why they mix propane with it). Also bear in mind that as the fuel vaporizes it cools the remaining liquid in the cartridge. It is undoubtedly safer for use inside a tent and the simplicity of a gas stove is nice.
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Re: Aconcagua & Jetboil Zip: Yes or No?

Postby Damien Gildea » Fri Mar 29, 2013 6:53 pm

I've used MSR, Primus white-gas stoves as well as Jetboil on Aconcagua. The MSR are good for melting larger quantities of snow for water, but the Jetboil is quicker to boil a small amount needed or a meal or hot drink. If you're in a pair or three you could justify taking both.

You could get by with just a Jetboil, depends on your food choices and climbing tactics too, BUT know that the piezo igniter will almost certainly fail above 5000m, so take matches and a mechanical, non-piezo cigarette lighter.
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Re: Aconcagua & Jetboil Zip: Yes or No?

Postby sharperblue » Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:27 pm

No. Why? b/c there is even some question of reliability at all in such a serious place. Period. An MSR & pan set-up is just not that heavy. Extra karma: you're not chucking endless empty canisters into the landfill
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Re: Aconcagua & Jetboil Zip: Yes or No?

Postby Damien Gildea » Sat Mar 30, 2013 7:59 am

sharperblue wrote:No. Why? b/c there is even some question of reliability at all in such a serious place. Period. An MSR & pan set-up is just not that heavy. Extra karma: you're not chucking endless empty canisters into the landfill


- the white gas in Mendoza is generally good, but there have been problems with dirt/water, so this can cause problems. Not so will sealed canisters.
- fuel stoves are not without 'reliability' issues given the moving/small/fiddly parts and sometimes spotty performance at altitude
- given the weather/wind situation on Aconcagua there is a chance that cooking inside the tent may be unavoidable, and in such cases Jetboils are safer than fuel stoves
- the white gas is sold in plastic bottles which will also end up in an Argentine landfill. If 'karma' actually existed it would be cancelled out in this case...
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Re: Aconcagua & Jetboil Zip: Yes or No?

Postby Deltaoperator17 » Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:57 am

Damien Gildea wrote:
sharperblue wrote:No. Why? b/c there is even some question of reliability at all in such a serious place. Period. An MSR & pan set-up is just not that heavy. Extra karma: you're not chucking endless empty canisters into the landfill


- the white gas in Mendoza is generally good, but there have been problems with dirt/water, so this can cause problems. Not so will sealed canisters.
- fuel stoves are not without 'reliability' issues given the moving/small/fiddly parts and sometimes spotty performance at altitude
- given the weather/wind situation on Aconcagua there is a chance that cooking inside the tent may be unavoidable, and in such cases Jetboils are safer than fuel stoves
- the white gas is sold in plastic bottles which will also end up in an Argentine landfill. If 'karma' actually existed it would be cancelled out in this case...


Canisters may be a pain but safety and efficiency out weight the extra space to haul them up and back. Aconcagua (Argentina) is one of few big mountains that has the ISO-Butane canisters (according to my research).

Cooking inside tents with canister is MUCH safter than liquid! Just put handwarmers under the well of the canister to keep it warm.
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Re: Aconcagua & Jetboil Zip: Yes or No?

Postby chickentikka » Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:32 pm

Just climbed Aconcagua.

I brought a primus omnifuel and a cheap MSR stove as a back up. I only used the white gas.

I was surprised but the majority of solo climbers I saw were using canister stoves much like the one you are talking about. For the most part they seemed to work quite well.

There was one guy who had a gas stove that basically didn't light properly. Only about 20 percent of it lit up at the high camp. Still not a big deal. Just borrow one from someone else.

In general though, I'd advise bringing two for your piece of mind. It's really the most essential piece of gear next to your sleeping bag. I could probably climb that mountain without any one thing I brought except for my stove and my sleeping bag.
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Re: Aconcagua & Jetboil Zip: Yes or No?

Postby sharperblue » Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:27 pm

I have to admit i'm very surprised at so many recs for the jetboils that high up; i use mine all the time and love it, but there are many threads on this forum alone about its spotty reliability, esp in winter, and at much lower altitudes, even with proper warming of the canisters beforehand (problems which i've experienced myself on more than one occasion). For stuff higher up, I use an MSR XKG, and i've never had a single issue with its reliability: the thing's a tank (proper maintenance req'd)

let us know what you choose and how it goes!
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Re: Aconcagua & Jetboil Zip: Yes or No?

Postby herdbull » Tue Apr 02, 2013 12:33 am

"let us know what you choose" :lol: that's the hard part.

Part of me says just stick with a second gas stove for one fuel type, and a back up pump but the other half says a nice self contained Jetboil would be nice. I can get a brand new Zip for $60 until Weds. this week. Or maybe even a small little pocket rocket. I can probably pick up any one of the 3 for $40-$60. Pretty minimal damage considering the overall trip cost.
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Re: Aconcagua & Jetboil Zip: Yes or No?

Postby norco17 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:51 am

Pocket rocket has no wind screen you would be happier with the jet boil.
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Re: Aconcagua & Jetboil Zip: Yes or No?

Postby Norris » Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:07 am

No, I would take a remote canister stove that is capable of liquid feed, because canister stoves like Jetboil and MSR Reactor do not work well in very cold conditions. You end up trying to warm the gas canister between your hands to coax them to work. A remote canister stove uses the exact same kind of compressed gas canister as a JetBoil or other upright canister stove, but the canister attaches via a long hose and the burner has a copper preheat loop on it so that once it has run for a few seconds you are able to invert the canister and feed liquified gas to the burner. This cures sluggish performance under cold conditions and lets you get every ounce out of the canister. I would definitely take a canister stove over a kerosene / white gas stove because they are safer overall and easier to operate. Lightweight foldable foil windscreens are widely available so it is irrelevant whether the stove comes with one or not.
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Re: Aconcagua & Jetboil Zip: Yes or No?

Postby Deltaoperator17 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:08 pm

Hence the Primus Omi Fuel which can use any fuel including a canister or the liquid.
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Re: Aconcagua & Jetboil Zip: Yes or No?

Postby herdbull » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:58 am

I had made up my mind last night to just stick with another gas stove and pump that way there's some interchangeability, and I had my eye on a Whisperlite over at Mountain Project.... watched it all day while at work.... get home and the damn thing is sold - lol Should of just did instead of maybe did :(

I like the idea of a remote canister stove but in the end you're still using the canisters would could give you some grief in cold weather. The bad things that could happen with some of these other stoves far outweigh the positives they have.

Now the search begins for another back up stove.

Thanks for talking me through some more gear :)
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Re: Aconcagua & Jetboil Zip: Yes or No?

Postby Renardo » Sat May 11, 2013 6:12 am

I ran a regular Jetboil up to Camp 2 on the Polish Traverse (19,200') with no problems. Used their hanging kit to cook in the tent at that camp. Worked great - the only problem was melting snow for two people which just took too long so we used a MSR intl for that job. If you are solo or have each person carry one it should be fine. I carried a Pocket Rocket burner as a backup since it weighs very little. Keeping the canisters warm wasnt a problem in the tent.

I know the OP said he already made up his mind but I wanted to post this for people searching on the subject. I always see people saying canister stoves wont work at that altitude or in cold temps and I have always had good luck with the Jetboils.
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Re: Aconcagua & Jetboil Zip: Yes or No?

Postby jbvdb493 » Sun May 12, 2013 3:21 am

i have used jet boil and other canister type stoves in the winter in the canadian rockies and i used 2 pieces of copper strapping and a pipe tightener to keep them in place on the canister. just place the ends of the copper in the flame of the stove with both strappings crossing at a right angle at the bottom of the canister and hold them in place with the pipe tightener. the copper is not supper conductive and will heat up enough to keep your canister warm while cooking with out being a hazard for the gas canister or a risk of burning anything. you still need to keep the spares warm if you need to change them out or before starting the stove up. thats in winter on ski tours though and i have no experience at altitude with that system.
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