All of the items listed below are required and It is extremely important to the success and safety of your course that you bring them all. Weather conditions can vary dramatically and you must be prepared!

The items noted with a * can be provided at no cost by IAG/CAG as noted and are subject to availability. You must notify us no later than 7 days before your trip of any gear you require from us.

On the left are the items you will need and on the right are some examples and recommendations from our guides. The recommended items represent some of the best gear and clothing in each category that we use ourselves, but you may find other items that will also be appropriate.

Any questions give us a call at: 877-686-2546

Technical Gear

Snowshoes *

Get a pair designed for steeper backcountry terrain with side traction rails

Our recommendations:
MSR EVO Ascent

Crampons *

General mountaineering 10-12 point crampons with either straps. Rigid ice climbing crampons are not recommended for the mountaineering section of the course. We will have ice climbing crampons available to try out for the day of ice climbing

Ice Axe *

The length depends roughly on your height and intended use. For general mountaineering, the axe should hang a few inches above the ground when held comfortably in your hand. Ex. A 5'10" person would have a 70cm axe

Our recommendations:
Black Diamond Raven Axe

Harness *

Look for a lightweight alpine climbing harness.

Our recommendations:
Black Diamond Couloir Harness

Helmet *

A climbing specific helmet is required, a bike helmet will not do. There are some very comfortable lightweight helmets on the market now.

3 Locking Carabiners *

Pear shaped

2 Non Locking Carabiners *

Our recommendations:
Black Diamond Oz Carabiner

Two 6 mm Perlon accessory cord cut in 60 inch lengths for prussiks

One 60cm nylon or spectra sewn runner *
One 120cm nylon or spectra sewn runner *

Adjustable Ski Poles *

Must have the larger snow baskets... no small trekking baskets.

Avalanche Transceiver *

A simple digital transceiver

Backcountry Shovel *

Lightweight and collapsable designed for avalanche rescue

Our recommendations:
Black Diamond Lynx Shovel

Other Gear


You need a highly insulated stiff mountaineering boot. Either a leather or double plastic boot. Regular hiking boots wont do.

Backpack *

An internal frame backpack 60-75 liters in size. Ice axe loops on the outside are a good feature

Sleeping Bag *

Rated -5 deg to +10 deg is ideal. Down or synthetic, but down is much lighter and a better performer. 850 fill down performs much better than 650 fill.

Sleeping Pad *

A full length pad is essential for winter camping. Either closed cell or inflatable

Headlamp *

Our recommendations:
Black Diamond Spot

2 One Liter Wide Mouth Water Bottles *

Our recommendations:
Tritan Water Bottle

Insulated Mug *

Our recommendations:
Sea to Summit Delta Insul-Mug

Spoon or Spork *

Our recommendations:
Sea to Summit Delta Spork

Lightweight Bowl *

Our recommendations:
Sea to Summit XL Bowl

Full Wrap Sunglasses or Glacier Glasses

They must be dark lens full wrap or glacier glasses with side shields. Visible light transmission should be around 6%. By comparison, driving sunglasses have around 20% visible light transmission which is not appropriate.

Our recommendations:
Julbo Explorer


For clothing, we emphasize a layering system in which we put on and take off layers of clothing depending on the outside temperature and the level of activity.

Outer Waterproof Shell Jacket (hard shell) with Hood

A waterproof & breathable shell jacket with no additional insulation sewn in. Lightweight is better.

Outer Waterproof Shell Pant

Must be waterproof & breathable with side zippers.

Climbing Pant (soft shell)

A lighter weight non-waterproof pant that breathes much better than waterproof pants. This is what you will probably be wearing most of the time

Midweight Long Underwear Baselayer

Synthetic or Wool.

Midweight Long Underwear Baselayer Top

Synthetic or wool

Insulating Layer - Lightweight

Fleece or wool

Insulated Parka

Down or synthetic fill puffy parka, preferably with a hood. Down is lighter.

Warm Hat

Wool or synthetic

Sun Hat or Ball Cap

2 Pairs Socks

Mid weight to heavy weight wool or synthetic socks. If you normally use liners then bring them also

Insulated Glove - Mid Weight to Heavy Weight

Water resistant & wind proof and highly insulated

Lightweight Glove

These do not have to be water resistant. Fleece or soft shell is fine

Calf to Knee Length Gaiters

Our recommendations:
Outdoor Research Crocodiles

Other Important Items


30 SPF or higher

Lip Balm

15 SPF or higher

Toilet Paper

A small amount

Baby Wipes


For burning toilet paper

A Couple Small Ziploc bags

Small Personal Kit

Personal medications, Toothbrush, Small amount of toothpaste, blister kit, etc. (the guide will have a full first aid kit)


Pocket sized is best

Foam Ear Plugs

For wind and tent mate noise


For practice

Stuff Sacks

For organization

Lunch Food & Snacks

On this trip we will provide breakfast and dinner, but you must bring your own lunch food and snacks for all the days. Bring a blend of protein and carbohydrates. Examples: bagels, cheese, jerky, meats, nuts, dried fruit, chocolate etc. Processed energy bars are also good, but best to limit them and eat whole foods as well. Cheeses and dried meats will keep many days in the backcountry. But mostly you want to bring food you like and will eat while working hard.

For all your gear needs we recommend Moosejaw. They have a huge selection of all the gear you'll need and offer fast free shipping.


We reserve the right to refuse services to any client deemed inadequately prepared at the meeting point.