Gear & Equipment

The amount of gear and equipment required to be even basically comfortable is large. If you don't already have much technical outdoor gear, You will spend money to pursue this sport - maybe $1000, maybe $3000 in just your first year.

  • We go a long way to help ease the pain: we try our best to outfit each
    student with mountaineering boots, crampons, a glacier axe, and
    technical tools during the school.  This gear is provided free of charge (a refundable deposit is required)  during the school term.  Note that these are all subject to size avilability and limited quantities.
  • Other gear, if needed, is available for very reasonable rental rates from the ECP including: helmets, harnesses, tents, bivys, backpacks, sleeping bags, snowshoes, and trekking poles.

Students will NOT be expected to be fully outfitted by the time of the first class. In fact, we recommend waiting to purchase gear until you learn what works best in the mountains. However, students should be prepared enough by the time of the first outing to get through a day hike in inclement weather that October and early November can bring.

Below is an overview of gear & clothing that students will need to complete the outings prior to the post-graduation trip.  It is NOT a complete list of all required gear but it should provide prospective students a sense of what they typically will need to purchase themselves (List 1) and what they can typically expect to be borrowed from the ECP or its members (List 2) over the course of the school.  A more detailed explanation of the types of gear required will be provided during the first class.

List 1 - Gear & Clothing Typically Requiring Student Purchase

Note that NONE of the clothing items below should include ANY cotton...As you will learn in the mountaineering school - cotton kills!

Wicking/Base Layer

  • Socks, liner
  • Long underwear bottoms
  • Long underwear top
  • Liner gloves

Insulating/Middle Layer

  • Socks, 2 pairs
  • Top, fleece
  • Hat, fleece
  • Parka/Coat, down or synthetic (or heavy ski jacket)
  • Balaclava / face mask

Shell Layer

  • Hiking boots (this does NOT mean expensive mountaineering boots!)
  • Pants, waterproof/breathable
  • Jacket, waterproof/breathable
  • Gloves/mits, heavy (insulated)
  • Gaiters

Miscellaneous Gear

  • Headlamp
  • 2 water bottles with insulated holders
  • Bowl, mug, and spork
  • Compass
  • Carabiners
  • Belay/rappel device
  • Personal anchor
  • Cordelette
  • Pulley
  • Stuff sacks, miscellaneous (somewhat optional)
  • Sleeping pad, self-inflating or closed cell foam
  • Sleeping bag, 0-20 degree (can also rent)

List 2 - Group Gear, Gear that can be Rented or Borrowed

  • Stove
  • Cookware
  • 3 and 4 season tents
  • Bivy sack
  • Rope
  • Rock and ice protection
  • 2-way radios
  • Goggles
  • Backpack
  • Sleeping Bag

*The ECP Mountaineering School's instructors have many of the more expensive items that students will need (List 2) and are generous in lending their personal gear. However, we can not guarantee that each of these items will be available to every student.