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...

Here is a great idea and photo of what I bring on a typical alpine adventure (courtesy of petzl.com)
 

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)

Here is a link to a great page from Petzl on some of the basics for making your outing as safe as possible when in the mountains

  • Harness * w/ 2 locking 'biners and a belaying device.

  • 2 prussik loops and 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 generally 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.

  • 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, GPS.

  • 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 or brimmed hat for the sun.

  • Glacier glasses or good quality sun glasses with a Cat 4 rating.

  • Sun block and lip cream.

  • Insulated water bottle (1Liter).

  • Small headlamp w/ a new battery.

  • Lightweight harness w/ locking carabiner.

  • 2 prussik loops with a long sling.

  • Lightweight ice axe a 50cm model is fine.

  • Lightweight boot crampons - generally speaking a good steel model is preffered over aluminum.

  • Small toilet kit w/ tooth brush, pain killer, personal stuff.

  • Skis with AT bindings and skins that perfectly fit these skis.

  • AT ski boots or at the very least a really good, comfortable ski boot with a walk mode.

  • Ski crampons specific to your binding (yes you DO need them).

  • Ski poles - telescopic or not.

  • Avalanche transceiver, shovel and probe.

  • Medium sized pack 30 –40l (2000-2500 c.i.).

 

Group Gear
(I typically supply all of this equipment)

  • Rope 30m of 9 mm rope is usually enough for most off piste glaciated skiing (sometimes we will take 2 sections of 30m on longer ski tours).

  • Crevasse rescue equipment (a lightweight pulley, ascender, 2 ice screws, slings, cordelette).

  • First aid kit.

  • Repair kit.

  • Altimeter, maps, compass, GPS.

 

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...