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Carstenz Pyramid Equipment List

Climbing to altitude in a tropical Rain Forest inherently requires specialized equipment. The following list should be followed closely in order for you to succeed on Carstenz. Optional items are noted as such, but the rest of the list should be regarded as required equipment. Recommended items reflect the opinions of our guides, but they may not necessarily fit you.

  • FOOTWEAR
    Hiking Boots: A lightweight Gore Tex boot that will keep your feet dry for hiking in to base camp. Try on a variety of boots as they all fit differently and get the one that fits well. GAITERS: Full height, such as Black Diamond GTX Frontpoint Gaiter or Outdoor Research 'Crocodiles.' A short gaiter can also work well for Carstenz. The idea is to keep your feet dry, and rocks out of your shoes.
    Approach Shoes: These are basically a hiking shoe with sticky rubber soles that are made for moderate climbing. We will be climbing the route in these, they should be comfortable, but fit snugly enough that they still climb well. These should fit with a warm sock and Gore Tex sock.
    Gore Tex Socks: It can be very wet and we will be traveling in the rain. Anything to help keep your feet dry.

  • CLOTHING
    SHELL JACKET & PANTS: They should be large enough to go over your pile clothing layers. It can rain a lot so this should be high quality gear in good condition. Guides Pick: Patagonia Grade VI
    Jacket and Pants
    RAIN JACKET: This is in addition to the Gore Tex Jacket. As mentioned it can rain and Gore Tex, or any breathable type shell will eventually get wet. A more water proof jacket for extended rain. Yes this is a second shell jacket. Guides' Pick: Patagonia Rain Shadow Jacket, This has been a proven winner in the rainy world.
    FLEECE or PRIMALOFT JACKET: A warm layer that can stand getting a bit wet. Guides' Pick: Patagonia MicroPuff Jacket.
    VEST: Fleece or Puffy vest adds warmth. Guides' Pick: Patagonia Puff Vest
    EXPEDITION WEIGHT FLEECE: Tops(2) and Bottoms(1) made from 100 weight or Powerstretch fleece. A zip t-neck is good for ventilating. Guides' Pick: Patagonia R1 Flash Top, and R1 Pants.
    STRETCH WOVEN PANTS: A Shoeller type material climbing pant. These will be the everyday pants for the climb, and will do Ok in the wet weather. Guides' Pick: Black Diamond BDV Pants or Patagonia Guide Pants
    BASE LAYER: Synthetic Top and Bottoms such as Light or Mid-Weight Capilene from Patagonia. Two top, and two bottom layers will be plenty.
    T-SHIRT**: Synthetic T–shirt for warmer days.
    REGULAR UNDERWEAR: One or two changes. Look for synthetics such as Patagonia Capilene.
    SOCKS: 4 sets of wool or synthetic medium/heavy weight socks. Make certain your sock s fit with your boots! (Gore Tex Socks, See Footwear)
    GLOVES: A glove made of Schoeller fabric with a leather palm is great for climbing and rappelling.
    INSULATED GLOVES: Warm, insulated gloves, water proof if possible. Black Diamond Guide Gloves have removable liners for ease of drying.
    WARM HAT: A fleece hat that can fit under your helmet comfortably is ideal.
    SUN HAT: Baseball type or wide brimmed sun hat for sunny days. You can combine a baseball hat with a bandana for good sun protection
    Good Sunglasses: Quality Sunglasses with some side protection is fine for Carstenz. Super dark glacier glasses are not necessary.

  • PACKS
    Climbing Pack: A day pack for extra clothing and gear for the climb.
    Pack Cover: A rain cover for your pack. A wise choice when climbing in the Rain Forest.
    Expediton Pack: A large pack ( 5000-7000 cu. Inch ) pack for moving from Zebra Wall up to Basecamp with all of your gear. The move only takes about 2 hours, but you will be happy to have a pack to accommodate your kit. ( note: Line your pack and your stuff sacks with plastic bags, compacter bags work great )
    LARGE ZIPPERED DUFFEL: A lockable bag for packing and flying gear in. A waterproof zippered duffel like the Patagonia Stellar Black Hole Bag works great.

  • SLEEPING GEAR
    SLEEPING BAG: Synthetic Rated to 15 F. Don't bring a down bag, if it gets wet it will be no good.
    COMPRESSION STUFF SACK: Granite Gear or Lowe Alpine. Essential for sleeping bags. Line your stuff sacks with plastic bags to guarantee your important gear stays dry.
    SLEEPING PADS: You need two pads, with one being a closed cell pad such as a Ridge Rest or a Karrimat. Therm-a-Rest inflatable pads are the warmest and most comfortable. Guides' Pick: Therm-a-rest Pro-Lite 4 Regular length paired with a Ridge Rest

  • TECHNICAL CLIMBING EQUIPMENT
    HARNESS: A comfortable climbing harness with accessible gear loops. Guides's Choice: Black Diamond Blizzard.
    CLIMBING HELMET: We will be wearing these on the climb. You need to be able to adjust your helmet to fit a warm hat underneath if necessary. Your headlamp will need to fit on your helmet for summit day.
    ASCENDERS (Rigged for Climbing): A pair of Ascenders for the free hanging fixed line. These each need to be rigged with daisy chains and one should have a foot loop. Make sure that these are rigged and you have practiced before the trip.
    BELAY/RAPPEL DEVICE: A figure 8 works well with Large diameter stiff fixed lines. Be familiar with the use and limitations of your climbing gear.
    CARABINERS: Bring four locking carabiners and six regular carabiners. Mark them with colored tape for identification. Guides' Pick: Black Diamond Neutrinos are very lightweight.
    SHOULDER LENGTH RUNNERS: 2 of these for clipping into anchors.
    TREKKING POLES: Adjustable poles work great. The three section poles pack more easily for travel.

  • ESSENTIAL PERSONAL ITEMS
    HEAD LAMP W/ EXTRA BATTERIES: Your headlamp will be useful around camp, and it will be important to have a bright beam for our middle of the night start on summit day.
    WATER TREATMENT: Purification Tablets, or Iodine works fine.
    STUFF BAGS (for your own items)
    EXTRA ACCESSORY STRAPS ( as needed for your gear + group gear)
    Camelback hydration system (optional)
    (2) ONE QT. WIDE MOUTH WATER BOTTLES
    INSULATED CUP for hot drinks
    LIGHTER (Pick one up on arrival as you can't fly with them anymore)
    LIP CREAM (WITH SPF) SUN CREAM (3-4 OUNCES)
    TOILET PAPER
    TOILET KIT (Tooth brush & paste, floss, Handi-wipes,... keep it small)
    SWISS ARMY KNIFE
    P-BOTTLE (wide mouth collapsible Nalgene work great- they make a 96 ounce version!)
    Mosquito Reppellant
    PERSONAL MEDICAL KIT
    Blister kit, aspirin, antacids, lozenges, Ibuprofen, any prescription meds that are recommended by your physician, Common high altitude drugs, Anti-biotics are commonly carried when traveling in third world countries, Anti-Malarial meds are sometimes taken.

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These pages are the personal responsibility of Lorenzo Gariano and the members of KMi who are supporting him. The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of the Open University. The University takes no responsibility for any material on these pages.