Much of today's gear is built bulletproof, meaning overbuilt so that it lasts a long time. This translates as heavy! You should be on a mission to purchase the very lightest gear that will serve a given purpose. Analyze every piece of equipment you bring and see if you can replace it with something that is as warm, but is a few ounces lighter, yet will do the same job. Think layers and not one single purpose layer. As a general rule, if you can't layer it, leave it behind in camp! Obviously we will need some of the warmest equipment available for this climb, but do you need a -40 degree bag when you have a 5 to 6 lb. down suit as well?
Make sure to try on, use and feel comfortable with all your gear. Knowing your equipment, how to adjust it, and what to do if something fails is very important on Everest. The Sherpas do not carry all your gear up. You will be responsible for most of your personal equipment from BC to Camp 2 and there can be a huge difference in the weight of what you choose. Weight is one of the hardest things to deal with up high. Buy your gear as if you will be carrying it all. The Sherpas will help us a lot, but to show up with bulging duffels of heavy gear and expect them to carry it is very poor style.
MOUNTAINEERING DOUBLE BOOTS: Boots fall into two categories, traditional double boots and boot systems with integrated gaiters. Try on a variety of boots as they all fit differently and get the one that fits well. Though expensive; the system boots are worth every penny!
Recommended System Boots: Scarpa "Phantom 8000", La Sportiva "Olympus Mons EVO"
Recommended Double Boots: Koflach "Arctis Expedition", Scarpa "Inverno" with High Altitude Liners. A great addition is the Intuition “Denali Liner” which is very warm and light.
All double boots need Overboots and Gaiters.
OVERBOOTS: Neoprene overboots such as 40 Below's K2 are best. O.R. and Wild Country insulated overboots work well if they fit with your crampons.
GAITERS: These should be full height, such as Black Diamond GTX Frontpoint Gaiter or O.R. "Crocodiles.” These are only necessary if you are wearing Double Boots.
BOOTIES: (Optional) Synthetic or down fill booties. These are great for camp and tent comfort and allow you extra opportunity to dry out your boots.
HIKING BOOTS OR SHOES: Comfortable, broken-in (!) footwear for day hikes and trek to base camp. The trail is rough and rocky so have supportive shoes.
BOOTS FOR BASE CAMP: Optional A good pair of comfy, warm boots for hanging out in base camp are really nice to have. Sorels or Uggs work well.
BASE LAYER: (2 or 3 sets) Synthetic or wool tops and bottoms such as light or mid-weight Capilene or Wool 1 or 2 from Patagonia.
Patagonia R1 tops and bottoms.
SCHOELLER" PANTS: These soft shell pants are becoming increasingly popular due to the broad comfort range they provide. They block most of the wind and are very breathable. Guides’ pick: Black Diamond Alpine or Patagonia Guide Pants.
FLEECE OR PRIMALOFT PANTS: Size fleece to fit under your shell jacket or size the Primaloft to fit over your shell. We are fans of the puffy, primaloft jackets because they are lighter and warmer than fleece and compress down much smaller. Guides’ pick: Patagonia Micro Puff Jacket.
SHELL JACKET & PANTS: They should be large enough to go over your pile clothing layers and the pants must have side zippers. They do not need to be the burliest Gore-Tex on the planet. Look for a lightweight, water resistant, and windproof shell. This is a very important layer so look for function and quality.
EXPEDITION DOWN PARKA (WITH HOOD) AND PANTS: Marmot, Mountain Hardwear, and The North Face all make good quality 8000m down products.
DOWN SUIT: You are spending a lot of money to go to an extreme environment. Consider replacing your down parka and pants with a down suit as additional insurance.
DOWN JACKET: To be used in base camp if you bring a down suit instead of a parka.
INSULATED PANTS: These are for wearing around base camp if you bring a down suit. Guides’ Pick: Patagonia Micro Puff Pants
T-SHIRT: 2 or 3 synthetic shirts or t-shirts for the hike in.
REGULAR UNDERWEAR: 3 or 4 changes. Look for synthetics such as Patagonia Capilene.
BASE CAMP CLOTHING: We spend a lot of time in base camp so make sure you have a pair of extra clothes. Jeans and a cotton t-shirt work fine and it’s nice to get out of synthetics for a change!
SOCKS: 8-10 sets of light, medium and heavy weight socks. You will need a variety for versatility. Make sure they fit in your boots and shoes.
GLOVES: Light or medium weight Windstopper or Schoeller fabric (2 pairs).
INSULATED GLOVES: Warm, insulated gloves are the workhorse on Everest. It's hard to stress how much you'll be wearing these, so do not skimp on this item. Guides’ Pick: Black Diamond Guide Glove.
SUMMIT MITTENS: Choose warm, non-constricting summit mittens made of Primaloft or down. Guides’ pick: Outdoor Research Alti Mitts. They aren't cheap, but are extremely warm and have tough palms.
WARM HAT: Bring one warm hat or two hats of different weights. Wool or pile is fine. Your hat must provide ear protection.
BALACLAVA: Bring two; one heavyweight and one lightweight.
FACE MASK: Neoprene or Windstopper work equally well.
BUFF: This is a lightweight neck gaiter that can be used for sun protection as well as for warming the air you breathe while you are climbing. Some people find it useful to help prevent the dreaded Khumbu cough.
SUN HAT: Baseball type or wide brimmed sun hat for the intense sunshine of the lower mountain. You can combine a baseball hat with a bandana for good sun protection
GLACIER GLASSES: They must have side protection and filter 100% UVA and UVB rays.
SKI GOGGLES: You’ll use these while traveling during storms or during really cold spells. These must have doubled lenses and provide 100% UV protection. Optional- bring a second pair of goggles with clear lenses for the start of summit day. We start in the dark and it can be nice to have eye protection from the cold and wind. Goggles with built in fans work well with oxygen masks.
1. EXPEDITION PACK: (3500 - 4000 cu in or 60 to 70 lt.) Be certain that your pack fits you! Get used to your pack, train with it.
2. (2) LARGE ZIPPERED DUFFELS: Make sure they are durable and waterproof. Don't forget locks! Guides’ Pick: Patagonia Stellar Black Hole Duffel.
1. EXPEDITION SLEEPING BAG:Rated to 40 below. Even though synthetic bags are getting much better we still recommend down bags as they are lighter and more compressible. Make sure it is a quality product. Guides’ Pick: Feathered Friends Snow Goose.
2. EXPEDITION SLEEPING BAG: (Optional) Rated to 20 below. This is a second bag for base camp. This saves you from hauling your bag up and down the mountain as higher camps are established.
3. COMPRESSION STUFF SACK:These are essential for sleeping bags and recommended for your other clothes such as your parka, mitts and warmest pants. Guides’ Pick: Outdoor Research Helium Compression Sacks
4. 2 SLEEPING PADS: You need two pads. One should be a closed cell pad such as a Ridge Rest or a Karrimat. The other pad should be an inflatable style. Guides’ pick: Therm-a-rest Pro-Lite 4 with a Ridge Rest.
1. ICE AXE: (with leash) 70-80 cm length. Guides’ Pick: Black Diamond Raven Pro.
2. CRAMPONS:12 point crampons that fit your boots! Make sure they fit with your mountain boots and overboots if you are using them.
3. HARNESS: Adjustable leg loops are required. The Black Diamond Alpine Bod Harness is both lightweight and functional.
4. ASCENDERS: You will need one full-sized ascender for Mount Everest.
5. CARABINERS:Bring two large locking carabiners and eight regular carabiners. Please do not bring "bentgate" carabiners. These have certain limitations that do not make them appropriate for how we will use them. Mark them with colored tape for identification. Guides’ Pick: Black Diamond Neutrinos are very light weight.
6. PERLON CORD: 50 feet of 5 or 6 mm for Prussiks.
7. RAPPEL/BELAY DEVICE: You will need this for rappelling the fixed lines.
8. TREKKING POLES: Adjustable poles work best. Guides’ Pick: Black Diamond Expedition Poles
1. STUFF BAGS: Bring enough to keep your stuff organized.
2. (2)ONE LITER. WIDE MOUTH WATER BOTTLES: Please do not bring narrow mouthed bottles.
3. INSULATED COVER: 2, one for each one liter bottle.
4. LARGE PLASTIC BOWL: Bring one for eating out of on the upper mountain.
5. INSULATED CUP 12 or 16 ounce plastic cup for hot drinks
6. LARGE PLASTIC (LEXAN) SPOON
7. 6 SMALL LIP BALMS (WITH 30+SPF): Multiple lip balms are never a bad idea on a long trip...
8. SUN SCREEN 12+ OUNCES- Multiple small tubes work better than one or two large tubes.
9. TOILET KIT (Tooth brush & paste, floss, Handi-wipes, hand sanitizer, biodegradable soap and shampoo, contact us for specifics...)
10. SWISS ARMY KNIFE: Keep this small and lightweight.
11. PEE-BOTTLE: Make sure it is a least 1 L. Our Guides’ Pick is the collapsible, 96 ounce canteen from Nalgene.
12. HAND WARMERS: Bring 8+ sets of these disposable insurance policies.
13. PERSONAL MEDICAL KIT (Blister kit, aspirin, antacids, lozenges, Ibuprofen).PLEASE CONTACT YOUR PERSONAL PHYSICIAN FOR A LIST OF APPROPRIATE PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS.
14. CAMERA: Digital cameras are both lightweight and takes lots of pictures. Be sure to bring extra memory and at least one extra battery.
15. TOWEL, SHAMPOO AND SOAP: For showers at base camp!
16. OTHER ITEMS: Journal and pen, books, altimeter watch, foot powder, maps, spare sun glasses, personal music player with 12 volt charger.
17. SIM CARD: We’ll have a satellite phone and you are welcome to use it, but if you plan on making many calls, please purchase and bring your own SIM card to use.
Contact us for details.
There are many good options for equipment. Our Guides’ Picks reflect gear that we know to be of the highest quality and are biased toward companies that we feel are leading the industry with their environmental and social policies. We want you to be ultimately prepared for your climb. Please contact us with any and all questions or thoughts on your kit.