A complete clothing and equipment list specific to your trip will be sent to you in the PreClimb information upon reservation. We offer our Northwest climbing customers rental equipment for your convenience.

The weather in the North Cascades is subject to highly variable weather conditions. With this in mind; we developed our gear list for the safety and comfort of our climbers. The emphasis on equipment necessary for mountain travel follows two simple tenets, lightweight and functional. The list considers factors such as seasonality, route conditions, weather and elevation.

Click on our blog post for a list of gear recommendations for specific outdoor brands.

Head and Face

  • Warm Hat: Wool/ synthetic, one that covers the ears.
  • Buff or Balaclava
  • Sun Hat or Baseball Cap
  • Glacier Glasses: Essential eye protection at altitude. Wrap around style or side shields.
  • Sunscreen: SPF 30+
  • Lip Balm: SPF 30+
  • Climbing LED Headlamp: Bring one extra set of batteries.

Upper Body

  • Baselayer Tops: One synthetic long-sleeve shirt.
  • Mid-layer Top: This is a synthetic or fleece top.
  • Softshell Jacket: This breathable but wind-and-weather resistant jacket. Hoods are highly recommended.
  • Hardshell Jacket: GORE-TEX© or a fully waterproof shell. Hoods are highly recommended.
  • Insulated Jacket: Medium weight 700+ fill down.

Note: Proper Hardshell rain gear is required on all trips.


  • Lightweight Gloves: One pair (WINDSTOPPER© is recommended)
  • Softshell Gloves: One pair. Leather palms offer durability and grip.
  • Heavyweight Gloves: Insulated glove or mitten with GORE-TEX© or waterproof outer.

Lower Body

  • Baselayer Bottom: One pair. Synthetic, no cotton
  • Softshell Pants: One pair. Synthetic, stretchy, non-insulated.
  • Hardshell Pants: One pair of GORE-TEX© pants full-length side zips are required; you may need to take off your Hardshell pants without removing your boots.
  • Gaiters: Full-sized waterproof gaiters that must fit snugly over your mountaineering boots.


  • Mountaineering Boots: Full shank crampon compatible double plastic, leather, synthetic, or hybrid boot depending on climb and season.

Note: Please read our Mountaineering Boots and Crampons guide for recommendations.

  • Double plastic mountaineering boots or Heavy weight synthetic/ hybrid mountaineering boots are required for Mount Rainier, early season climbs on Mount Baker, and in the North Cascades.
  • Single-weight synthetic/ leather mountaineering boots are adequate for mid and late summer climbs on Mount Baker and in the North Cascades when conditions are expected to be dry.
  • NO Backpacking or trekking boots allowed on any trips, boots must be full shank and crampon compatible.
  • Mediumweight Socks: Two pair of wool or synthetic socks.
  • Heavyweight Socks: One pair of wool or synthetic socks for sleeping in and for summit day.


  • Sleeping Bag: Bring a warm bag (rated 0 to 20ᵒ depending on season).
  • Sleeping Pad: A full-length closed-cell foam pad and/ or an inflatable pad.

Packing and Backpack

  • Backpack: One 70-80L pack with good support, adequate to carry personal, and group gear. The pack should fit properly, have a good waist belt, and be able to carry gear between 45-60 lbs.
  • Liner Bags: 1 Large plastic contractor bags.

Note: An adequate size backpack is required. You are responsible to carry all your personal gear and food, as well as a portion of group gear (tents, ropes, stoves, fuel, etc.).

Climbing Gear

  • Ice axe: 55-65cm mountaineering axe.
  • Crampons: 12-point steel with anti-balling plates.
  • Climbing Helmet: Lightweight
  • Alpine Harness: Lightweight alpine harness with adjustable leg loops.
  • Trekking Poles: Adjustable and collapsible with snow baskets.
  • Locking Carabiners: (2) Large pear-shaped, screw gate locking carabiners.

Mountaineering Courses

  • Non-Locking Carabiners: (4) Wire gate non-locking carabiners.
  • Belay device: Tube style belay device.
  • Rescue Pulley
  • Prussik Cord: (6mm, 30 feet)
  • Nylon Sling: (2) 60cm nylon slings

Note: Although not required, we do suggest these items for training.


  • Water Bottle: Two, 1L wide-mouth plastic bottles. NALGENE©

Personal Health and First Aid

  • Small personal first-aid kit and medications
  • Plastic bowl, insulated mug, and spoon
  • Toilet paper, blue bag or wag bag
  • Earplugs