If you are contemplating the idea of peak climbing in Nepal soon, then most likely you are busy preparing for an exciting opportunity and adventure that lies ahead. From travel itineraries to your things-to-do list, you think you have it all planned. As such, finding the right gears is just as important as anything else, for they will be your vital aid carrying you to the summit, and occasionally could mean the difference between life and death.
You might as well have a look at some of the essential kits required during your mountaineering quest. If you are an experienced alpinist or a mountaineer, you are most likely familiar with such gears. For others who are new to peak climbing, perhaps you would like to familiarize yourself with the kits you will be carrying along for the trip. Here you can find a list of 13 essential peak climbing equipment in Nepal.
1. Ice Axe
It is arguably one of the most vital tool in your arsenal as a mountaineer. The axe is primarily used during the ascent and descent with snow and/or ice conditions. However, it can also be used as an improvised anchor that involves steep climb, self-arresting tool in case of an unexpected downhill slip, or can be employed simply as a walking stick during uphill climb.
Crampons are mainly used for ice climbing, but it can be useful in many other situations involving snow and ice such as crossing snowfields, icefields and glaciers, and scaling ice-smeared rock. For your purposes in Nepal, crampons with semi-rigid construction with horizontal frames are a suitable choice.
A harness should be an important part of your list, and it is used for securing the climber to a rope or an anchor point. Needless to say, you will require awell-fitting sit harness to make sure avoiding discomfort in the upper thigh and groin area.
4. Tape Slings
They are designed for attaching the climber to anchors, creating equalized anchor systems, and clipping into the rope and gear to reduce drag. Ideally tape slings made from either nylon or dyneema are preferred.
5. Screwgate karabiners (2 lock, 2 unlock)
Another must-have in our packing list, this one is widely used in safety-critical systems like mountain or rock climbing. Karabiners go hand in hand with anything that involves rope-intensive ascent. Four karabiners, two locking and two unlocking, are recommended for the trip.
6. Descender/Eight figure
This equipment functions as a friction brakes, and allows steady and controlled descent on a rope. Eight figure are effective in dissipating excess heat caused by friction, and sometimes can also be deployed as a belay device.
7. Plastic mountaineering boots
Another essential in our packing list, mountaineering boots are designed to be used with crampons. The boots not only allowone to move over difficult snowy or icy terrain, but also protects the wearer’s feet from elements and avoid any kind of feet complications such aims frostbite.
This device is used by mountaineers to ascend fixed ropes. Jumar is just a type of mechanical ascender made out of metal. During the ascent, ascender can also perform the task of a braking component within a rope hauling system.
Many mountaineers opt not wearing helmet, but the importance of helmet cannot be emphasized more when it comes to scaling a peak. Seems trivial, but helmet must be an essential component of your packaging list, and would certainly keep you safe from any head injuries that could ruin your entire trip. Better safe than being sorry.
10. Snow Bar
A snow bar holds the rope in place for a secured weight support of the climber. It is a useful device employed for fall protection and holding static loads.
Needless to say, rope forms a vital piece of equipment in your mountaineering trip. Broadly speaking, climbing ropes are classified as either static or dynamic. Static rope stretch very little and are mainly designed for abseiling, and can also be used as fixed ropes for ascenders. Dynamic ropes are stretchable and are used as belaying ropes to absorb the impact of a falling climber. It is recommended you carry a few of both types.
12. Ice Hammer
Although not entirely a necessary gear for you trip, ice hammer can be used as an alternative to the adze component of an ice axe. It is especially useful in terrains involving softer snow, or sometimes it is used to strike the snow bar into hard ice.
13. Ice Screw
Ice Screw is used in tackling steep ice surfaces. It can be employed as a running belay or anchor in the ice. Not all peak in Nepal require the use of this kit, but you would still want to keep it in your arsenal, depending on the peak that you have chosen.
Where can you buy or rent peak climbing equipment in Nepal?
Now that we have listed the essential peak climbing gears in Nepal, you might be wondering where you can buy or rent them before you are headed for the mountains. Although all of these equipment are easily available to buy or rent in Kathmandu, we always encourage climbers to bring their own, if possible. Alternatively, if you are planning to get them when you arrive in Kathmandu, most trekking agencies would be happy to assist you in finding them according to your budget and need. For some of the more popular peaks in Nepal like Mera, Lobuche and Island, you can even rent these them from their respective base camps.