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Tent wisdom for Liberty Ridge and eventually Cassin Ridge.

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Tent wisdom for Liberty Ridge and eventually Cassin Ridge.

Postby Victoriamatt » Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:49 pm

Hi all,
I'm looking for some tent suggestions and defer to your knowledge.

What I'm looking for is either a 2 or 3 man mountain text to be used on Rainier's Liberty Ridge this June or July. I'm also thinking of trying the Cassin on Delanli next summer so it would be nice to be able to use it for that as well.
I'm looking for something quite light and obviously very sturdy, especially for Denali. In the case of Denali I'd have a base camp tent as well, so something small and good for ledges would be ideal. The big problem is that I'm currently living in Northern Alberta and have zero access to tents to actually inspect them. Also being in Canada we have a lot less variety than you US summit posters do.

My biggest concerns are weight, space, ventilation, sturdiness and livability. For those of you with big mountain experience would you have traded a little more space for a weight penalty? I'm only 5'10, my partner is 6' and we are both about 150lbs so we aren't huge guys but being stuck in a tent for a week when it's nuking out would likely make even a few extra squar feet welcome. Also vestibule vs. no vestibule for when you're cooking, especailly durring a storm is something I'm wondering about. We'll be using a hanging reactor system, but even being able to dig a footwell and sit

Here are some of my top choices so far:

Hilleberg Nammatj 2
Hliiberg Jannu
Mountain Hardwear Direkt 2
Black Diamond firsrtlight *not planning on bringing this to Denali, but for $350 it would be a nice realatively cheap light option.

I'm unfamialiar with what RAB, NEMO, Easton etc. have to offer, so any info and experiences would be great. I'm planning on purchasing the tent when I'm in the US this summer before the trip. EDIT: I should mention that I've got a MH trango 2.1 currently, but it's old and heavy, hance the upgrade.

Thanks -Matt
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Re: Tent wisdom for Liberty Ridge and eventually Cassin Ridg

Postby ExcitableBoy » Sat Mar 22, 2014 5:15 pm

I think if you have a base camp tent (I have used MH Trango 2, MH Annapurna, North Face Mountain 25) in the AK Range, you can get away with a lightweight single wall tent w/out a vestibule for technical routes. On Liberty Ridge and technical AK Range routes, you really want to go light enough so you can travel fast enough to climb between storms. You do not want to wait out a storm on Lib Ridge or on any exposed route in AK.

Personally in AK, I base camped out of big tents with big vestibules and used an Integral Designs MK1 Lite (very similar to Bibler/BD I tent) on technical routes. On Lib Ridge I used a bivi sack on one trip and a Betalight on another. Of the ones you mentioned, I am familiar with a few and my choice would be MH Direkt 2 or BD Firstlight. As I mentioned, you really don't want to wait out any storms in these so be fit enough, acclimatized enough, and go light enough to climb the route between storms and be willing and able to bail should the weather turn.

Also, you are not planning on doing the Cassin on your first trip to the Ak Range, right?
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Re: Tent wisdom for Liberty Ridge and eventually Cassin Ridg

Postby WyomingSummits » Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:16 pm

Just so you know, the BD Firstlight is made of Nanoshield single wall. It is NOT waterproof....just highly water resistant. The floor is also prone to tearing due to it's light weight. Don't get me wrong, it's a heck of a tent for a tent that packs to 9"x6".....but I would only rely on it for high camps in a fast and light alpine situation where the only precip is the frozen kind.
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Re: Tent wisdom for Liberty Ridge and eventually Cassin Ridg

Postby Victoriamatt » Sat Mar 22, 2014 11:46 pm

Thanks for the info guys, that's great.

That's basically what I was thinking ExcitableBoy, but the confirmation from people who've been there and in those situations is nice. I was leaning toward the Direkt 2 anyways, but curios about livability vs a little extra weight. I'll have a Hilleberg Tarra base camp tent which I'll be using for my first trip to the AK range which I'm planning for this summer; I'll have a sled so I'm not gonna be worried about weight. So, in answer to your other question nope, definitely not gonna try the Cassin on my first trip to Alaska and may wait a while before attempting it. I still need more time in cold, remote harsh places and need to up my fitness. I Though I may have the cold down with the weather up here; it was -50 for a week straight in January and has been -30 to -40 on a regular basis for months now, plus it's windy as shit.
I was also thinking about something like a betamid for Liberty Ridge, so maybe I'll look into that a little more. Any brands you like? I notice there's a lot of boutique cuben and ultrasil models these days on top of the standard DB version.

Thanks for the heads up WyomingSummits, like I said, I'm leaning toward the Direkt 2 as it seems more storm-proof and is essentially waterproof. Also it's lighter by like 400g.
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Re: Tent wisdom for Liberty Ridge and eventually Cassin Ridg

Postby ExcitableBoy » Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:04 am

Victoriamatt wrote: So, in answer to your other question nope, definitely not gonna try the Cassin on my first trip to Alaska and may wait a while before attempting it. I still need more time in cold, remote harsh places and need to up my fitness. I Though I may have the cold down with the weather up here; it was -50 for a week straight in January and has been -30 to -40 on a regular basis for months now, plus it's windy as shit.


I found the cold in AK was not the hard part, but rather the scale of the AK Range that took some getting used to. That and the mental weight of the mountain - so many stories of climbs gone wrong messes with one's head a bit.

Victoriamatt wrote:was also thinking about something like a betamid for Liberty Ridge, so maybe I'll look into that a little more. Any brands you like? I notice there's a lot of boutique cuben and ultrasil models these days on top of the standard DB version.


I have the original nylon taffeta BD Betamid. Been using it for 13 years now. Tough, cheap, relatively light, and very durable. I've used the Betalight (silnylon version) and found it to be a full pound lighter, but not nearly as durable. Probably lots of other great designs, but I have not shopped for a shelter in years so I am out of the loop a bit.
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Re: Tent wisdom for Liberty Ridge and eventually Cassin Ridg

Postby herdbull » Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:27 pm

Might be kind of small for 2 but the price is right......

http://www.mountainproject.com/v/fs-bib ... /108622234
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Re: Tent wisdom for Liberty Ridge and eventually Cassin Ridg

Postby WyomingSummits » Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:29 pm

Oh.....and there is a Firstlight on Geartrade.com for $235.....can't beat the price if you want it for giggles.
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Re: Tent wisdom for Liberty Ridge and eventually Cassin Ridg

Postby bird » Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:09 pm

I used a first light for Liberty Ridge. Light was the way to go. It's a quick trip and you want to move fast. The Direkt looks pretty similar and will suffice. And while the small footprint may be cramped, its that much less digging you have to do to fit it.
Can't speak to Cassin...
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Re: Tent wisdom for Liberty Ridge and eventually Cassin Ridg

Postby Victoriamatt » Sat Mar 29, 2014 7:57 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions and wisdom guys, it's much appreciated.
I'm pretty set on going with Direkt 2 as it seems to be the lightest option out there right now. I'm just curious if anyone has actually used one and what the quality, ventilation and setup are like?

Cheers
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Re: Tent wisdom for Liberty Ridge and eventually Cassin Ridg

Postby ExcitableBoy » Sun Mar 30, 2014 5:43 pm

Just another thought, Stephanson's Warmlite tent is another option. Very light, very strong. Kind of a cult like product but the folks that use them (and I know a few) swear by them. http://warmlite.com/warmlite-climbers-two-person-tent
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Re: Tent wisdom for Liberty Ridge and eventually Cassin Ridg

Postby BigMitch » Tue Apr 01, 2014 1:58 am

I have a Direkt 2.

The construction is very good.

The set up is very easy. Just sit inside, put the poles into place, and you are good to go.

It has a modest vent on the top, however, this tent is not designed for good ventilation. Hard to make a bombproof hotel with good ventilation for 2 1/2 pounds.

I use this with partners who can't stomach my BD Beta Light.
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Re: Tent wisdom for Liberty Ridge and eventually Cassin Ridg

Postby Victoriamatt » Sat Apr 05, 2014 6:16 pm

Thanks again for the info guys.

Good call on the Stephenson's warmlite ExcitableBoy, I was looking in to those as well and like you say they seem to get rave reviews from their cult followers. My only concerns with them are the fact that they're not free standing and with only 3 or 4 attachment points (model dependent?) seem like they would need really solid anchors like deadmen or pickets. I just worry that on small ledges or platforms it could be tricky to find the needed anchors and get the required tension. I'd rarely be carrying more than 3 pickets between my partner and I. Maybe someone on here with more experience can shed some light on this?

Thanks for the info BigMitch, that's exactly what I was looking for since I can't actually inspect one firsthand.

Cheers guys.
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Re: Tent wisdom for Liberty Ridge and eventually Cassin Ridg

Postby ExcitableBoy » Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:21 am

For glacier climbs I use parachute style 'soft' anchors for the tent. Very light, very packable, very secure, pretty cheap. Mountain Hardwear makes some and I think REI does as well. I uyse the MH ones, $14 for a 4 pack: http://www.moosejaw.com/moosejaw/shop/p ... fgodLCQARg

Edit: For carry over routes like the Cassin and Liberty Ridge, I don't bring stakes at all. I use whatever I have: pickets, dead manned trekking poles, ice tools, stuff sacks filled with snow and buried. Between your partner and yourself you should have at least two pickets and four ice tools/axes, giving you plenty of anchor to stake out and guy the tent.
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