the real deal with fast and light gear
As for placing that gear, there is an adage for fast and light: “Place gear where you need it, not where you want it.” Placing extra gear takes time and energy. If you can cut down on some of that safely, you’ll save time in the long run. The trick is to know when to place and when to go. Know your strengths and analyze the route ahead.
Half and twin ropes go down to 7.3mm and 7.0mm, respectively. If you are climbing a route where you will need two ropes to get down, half or twin ropes can cut the weight down even more. If you don’t want to buy two new ropes, here are a few other options:
- Use one single rope and one half or twin as your tag line. This option allows both of your ropes to be safe for your partners to follow on (if you are a party of three), and it is easier to pull as you rappel.
- Many rope companies offer a 6mm tagline to help pull your lead line down after a rappel, but these can tangle easily and be difficult to pull, so choose your system wisely.
- Often with alpine climbing you won’t be doing full 60- and 70-meter pitches. Consider chopping your single cord to a versatile length that also saves weight, like 40 or 50 meters, and carry a tag line for double-rope rappel descents.
Consider the possible differences with a lightweight tent. Do you plan on doing overnights or just “in a day” ascents? If you are doing a lot of overnight trips, a lightweight tent could make a huge difference. If you are doing a lot of in-a-day ascents, maybe you can use a bivy bag or go without a shelter for that specific trip.
Maybe you can use a higher temp-rated bag and add in more clothing to make up the difference. Bags like the Phantom Alpine™ 30F/-1C Sleeping Bag or Phantom Alpine™ 15F/-9C Sleeping Bag offer great alpine options.
“I usually carry a Ghost Whisperer Jacket and now the pants too. They are so light and small that I never have an excuse to leave home without them. I must have worn a GW jacket for well over 1,000 days and absolutely love it for additional warmth when I need it. I’ve used the combination of the jacket and pants as an emergency bivy on several occasions. Although I wouldn’t recommend this, they have gotten me through the night,” Emmett says.