Below are general equipment lists for summer climbing and winter skiing programs. Detailed equipment lists can be found on a separate link for each program.

As any competent mountaineer will tell you : LIGHT IS RIGHT
Being light means being able to move quickly, therefore with a greater safety margin - and with more pleasure. Select your clothing and gear with this in mind. Buy items that offer a double function – such as a windproof vest. By simply taking two extra everything and overloading your pack, you are going to slow yourself down - and that doesn't make you a safer or better climber...

Personal Clothing

  • Gore-Tex (or similar breathable shell clothing) Jacket and pants or bib
  • Gaiters
  • Lightweight climbing pants for days on the rock.
  • Lightweight thermal top (polypro or capilene).
  • Lightweight fleece shirt.
  • Fleece jacket.
  • Windshirt or vest.
  • Warm ski gloves w/ leather palms if possible and a shell over-mitt.
  • Spare pair of lightweight spring gloves or wool liners.
  • Warm hat or balaclava.
  • Baseball cap (for the sun).
  • Non cotton socks.
  • Glacier glasses or good quality sun glasses that filter 100% of UV rays.

 

Personal gear (items with * can be rented in Chamonix)

  • Harness * w/ 2 locking 'biners and a belaying device. 
  • 2 prussik loops.
  • 1 long sling.
  • ice axe * also referred to as a walking axe (be sure not to buy one that is too long !). Anything over 55cm is too long 
  • Crampons * w/ anti- balling plates. 
  • Mountaineering boots *. Leather is the preferred choice. Make certain your crampons work on them !
  • Rock shoes *. 
  • A small rucksack 30l (2000c.i.) is plenty big enough. 
  • Headlamp w/ a new battery. 
  • Telescopic poles help distribute the weight of your pack better and take a load off you legs and back.
  • Small compact camera (avoid bringing along an expensive 35mm).
  • Personal first aid kit (second skin, aspirin, toilet articles).
  • Sun block and lip cream.
  • Water bottle 1 liter minimum with insulated cover (metal bottles are best - plastic holds bad after tastes and also mildew !).

Group Gear
(I supply all of this equipment)

  • rope(s) 50m is standard length for rappels.
  • crevasse rescue equipment (a lightweight pulley, ascender, 2 ice screws).
  • first aid kit.
  • repair kit.
  • altimeter, maps, compass.
  • radio (optional).

Other stuff
You really don’t need anything else than what is found on these lists. The huts provide decent meals and snacks can be bought there as well. They also provide blankets, so need need to take a sleeping bag. Hut “slippers”, generally Crocs or similar are also available, leave the sneakers at home.

Training for the mountains
Have a look here...

Winter Climbing Courses
Same equipment as above and also :

  • 2 technical ice tools 
  • Technical crampons 
  • A lightweight down jacket for the belay. 1 per rope team is fine.
  • Face mask.
  • Goggles.
  • Lightweight thermal bottoms.
  • Shells for your gloves.
  • A thermos for hot liquids to keep you warm when climbing.

 

Off-Piste Skiing Courses

  • Your ski clothing (socks, hats, extra gloves, goggles w/ extra lenses).
  • Your personal ski gear (boots, skis - tuned and waxed, poles).
  • A small day pack 20l (1000 c.i.) for lunches and water.
  • Harness with opening leg loops and a locking pear shaped HMS carabiner.
  • Avalanche transceiver, shovel and probe. 

 

Ski Mountaineering Courses
If one uses huts and is able to obtain precise, certain weather conditions, it is possible to do a week long ski trip such as the Haute Route with a light pack. One can do the Haute Route with a pack weighing no more than 15lbs. Those carrying a rope will weigh a bit more but a pack should never weigh more than 20lbs.

  • Gore Tex (or similar breathable shell clothing) Jacket and bib or pants.
  • Lightweight thermal underwear (polypro or capilene).
  • Lightweight fleece sweater or winshirt.
  • Fleece jacket or down vest.
  • Ski gloves w/ leather palms if possible (gloves not mittens are best - you can't get a grip on anything with mittens) w/ a shell.
  • Spare pair of lightweight spring gloves.
  • 3 pairs of non cotton socks such as SmartWool.
  • Ski hat.
  • Goggles.
  • Baseball cap (for the sun).
  • Glacier glasses.
  • Sun block and lip cream.
  • Insulated water bottle (1Liter).
  • Small headlamp w/ a new battery.
  • Harness w/ locking carabiner.
  • 2 prussik loops.
  • 1 long sling.
  • Lightweight ice axe a 50cm model is fine. 
  • Lightweight crampons 
  • Small pocket camera (optional).
  • Small toilet kit w/ tooth brush, aspirin, personal stuff.
  • Skis w/ randonnée bindings.
  • Randonnée skiing boots.
  • Climbing skins (stay away from the plastic snake skins).
  • Ski crampons (yes you DO need them).
  • Ski poles (normal ones are the best).
  • Avalanche transceiver.
  • Medium sized pack 30 –40l (2000-2500 c.i.).

 

Group Gear
(I supply all of this equipment)

  • Ropes 50m of 9 mm rope is fine (split it into 2 sections of 25m - easier and lighter for everyone).
  • Crevasse rescue equipment (a lightweight pulley, ascender, 2 ice screws).
  • First aid kit.
  • Repair kit.
  • Altimeter, maps, compass.
  • 1 shovel and probe for every 2-3 skiers.

 

Other stuff
You really don’t need anything else than what is found on these lists. The huts provide decent meals and snacks can be bought there as well. They also provide blankets, so need need to take a sleeping bag. Hut “slippers”, generally Crocs or similar are also available, leave the sneakers at home.

Training for the mountains
Have a look here...