Gear Zone

The Alpine Club of Canada cabins (Wheeler and Asulkan) we will be using are extremely comfortable and well equipped.  You will not need to bring your sleeping pads, mess kits, cook ware, stoves or tents on this trip since these things are all stocked at the cabin.  Heat, light and cooking in the Asulkan Hut is powered by propane.

Cell phone and 3G data service is available at the Asulkan Hut.  It’s fun to be able to say “Hi” to your families from such a lofty perch up in British Columbia’s Selkirk Mountains or upload photos to Facebook or Instagram.

Family and friends will be able to track our progress on summit day in real-time by following us on our MapShare page (global real-time satellite tracking).  We will be using a Garmin inReach SE tracking and two-way text communications device that will show our position on our MapShare map live (our position is updated every 10 minutes) as we climb the mountain (starting at about 5 am Pacific Time on Thursday morning).  We will also be posting stories and photos on our Facebook page continually during the week and live during the climb of Youngs Peak.

Participants are responsible for their own electrical needs.  The organizers have Goal Zero solar-powered recharging systems for their own electronic devices but cannot be responsible for recharging everyone else’s gadgets.  Unlike other Scout events, we have no problem with participants bringing electronics to camp.  The participant is solely responsible for all their personal affects.  We accept no responsibility for lost or damaged property.  We expect every member of the team to behave responsibility in the use of their electronic devices.  Click here (submenu under Gear Zone) for more information about solar recharging systems.

A recommended gear checklist can be found at the bottom of this page.  It is hoped that you will read your way to it rather than skip this page and rely only on the list itself.

A headlamp is mandatory for the trip (along with two sets of spare batteries).  We recommend Petzl and Black Diamond brand headlamps.  Do not buy a cheapo “toy” headlamp.  This is one of your most important tools and you need to rely on it working.  Your headlamp must be able to fit on your climbing helmet (as all good ones do).  A proper headlamp will last for years.

It is recommended that you bring a “boredom buster” (e.g., a book in paperback or electronic form perhaps) in the event that we are stuck in the cabin for an extended period of time due to weather.  There will be plenty of time for reading and quiet reflection or a raucous game of cards every afternoon and evening.

Welcome to the highest nightly card game in Canada!

Welcome to the highest nightly card game in Canada!

ear plugsPro Tip:  Bring a few sets of ear plugs whenever you are staying at an alpine cabin.  If the nightly card game is too loud or you don’t want to be awaken by the sound of someone banging around the cabin during their middle of the night bio-break or you wind up sleeping beside a someone who’s snoring sounds like a jackhammer…jam in a pair of ear plugs and you’ll sleep through it all.


Contact the Event Leader directly for any questions you might have at any time.  This camp has unique gear requirements and living in a mountain environment in an alpine cabin will be unlike any previous camping experience you’ve ever had.

For this camp you will find that “less is more”.

Gear Check 2a

Laying all your gear out a week or more in advance of a camp like this is a very good habit to develop. It lets you see at-a-glance what you have and add or subtract gear as you walk by during the days leading up to the event. Until everything is completely ready, don’t put anything into your backpack. When you look at your assembled gear, ask yourself, “Is there anything that I absolutely don’t need?” and then discard it. The gear in this photo is not complete…there are some items that are not needed and some items still to be laid out.

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.”
— Sir Rannulph Fiennes

Don’t bring heavy ski jackets or padded ski/snow pants.  They offer little real warmth or waterproofing and are much too heavy.

Bring just one outfit for the week to wear on the mountain.  Modern synthetic “tech” materials are best suited for the alpine environment.

While it is totally okay to bring shorts for wearing after-hours, you will not be permitted to climb or train wearing shorts.  Long pants are mandatory for those activities.  Taking a fall with bare legs on snow or ice can damage skin just as seriously as rock.  Sunburns on legs can also disable participants.

Bring 3-5 changes of underwear and 2-3 changes of socks (synthetic liner socks with wool or wool blend socks are usually the best combination – if your feet tend to “cook” you could wear two pairs of liner socks to avoid creating excess moisture in your boots from sweating).

Gloves:  New requirement as of 2016 – Please bring a pair of gloves with leather or durable, friction-positive, palms.  These can be as simple as a pair of inexpensive work or garden gloves.  When we rappel, the rope slides through our hands.  Having leather or durable palms protects our hands and gives us extra friction to control the sliding of the rope.  Thin liner gloves with reinforced palms will do.  Any glove with leather palms are best.

Boots:  Your boots are the foundation of your mountain experience. Bring the best and most sturdy boots available to you.  You will be strapping crampons onto your boots to walk on the glacier.  Light “approach” shoes (i.e., the “sneaker” style hiking shoes you would wear in the lowlands) will not be very comfortable with crampons strapped to them (and they offer no ankle support).

Make sure your boots are “broken in” before the camp.  The trail up to the high camp is not the place to be trying your boots for the first time.  Bring your own supply of blister treatments for the week.   Apply waterproofing treatment to your boots before camp.  You will be standing in snow for at least half the week and you don’t want your boots slowly absorbing water from the summer snowpack.

toe-nail-clippers-wallpaperPro Tip:  Trim your toe nails before coming to camp.  Your toes are going to get real up-close-and-personal with the front of your boots when you are hiking down the steeper sections of the valley trail and having long nails can cause all sorts of trouble (e.g., long nails can slice into adjacent toes).

You must bring one light outfit we call “lounge wear” for after-hours comfort.  This can be a light-weight pair of shorts, t-shirt and you must bring a pair of sandals or flip-flops (or other light-weight footwear).  After spending the day on the mountain in our climbing clothes, it’s nice to be able to put something more comfortable on to wear around the cabin (while your sweaty day clothes are hung to dry on the front porch).

Having flip-flops (or similar) in the cabin is mandatory.  You will not be permitted to wear your boots and we do not want barefoot participants getting splinters from the rough wood floors.

When you are sure you have everything you need for the week, then it's time to pack!

When you are sure you have everything you need for the week, then it’s time to pack!

Ice axes, crampons, seat harnesses, helmets and two locking carabiners are required by all attendees.

Ice axes, crampons and helmets can be rented (by us or by you) from MEC.  Please let us know which items you want us to rent for you.  The rental cost for this gear is not included in the registration fee and will be billed to you separately. Please advise us which gear you have and which gear you need us to rent for you.  We need to know early because we have to reserve our rental gear from MEC months in advance.

Climbing gear made of nylon or other cloth (e.g., seat harnesses and ropes) is not something that should be loaned or borrowed.  You need to know the history of the item so that you know that it is reliable.  Accordingly, seat harnesses are considered personal gear and are not, generally, available for loan or rent.  There are some recommendations for seat harnesses in the section below (our most recommended seat harness is the Petzl Corax – available in two sizes).

We don’t recommend borrowing gear from outside parties.  The benefit of using gear supplied by us (or your own gear) is consistency of gear type and quality.  Borrowing gear can cause problems.  A well-intended friend might loan you a pair of rigid ice climbing crampons, for example.  These are unsuited for glacier travel since snow can accumulate under them as you walk causing a tripping hazard.  Older ice axes (10 or more years old) weigh a considerable amount more than modern ice axes.  Once you’re carrying that old ship’s anchor around a glacier all day you’ll wish you had just rented a modern ultra-lightweight ice axe for the week (at a very minimal cost).

DSCN0384 trek pole cropBackpacks:  Make sure that the hip belt of your pack fits your waist.  80% of the weight of your pack should be carried on your hips and a good-fitting hip belt is necessary for this to be possible.  Waterproof the contents of your pack.  Rogers Pass can have short rain storms during the day and it’s nice to keep your stuff dry on the hike up to the high camp.  A rain cover for your pack is one option.  Packing your stuff in water tight bags inside your pack is another option.

Adjustable trekking poles (or old ski poles) are highly recommended for the trail up to the cabin at the beginning of the week and back down off the mountain at the end of the week.   Trekking poles help you with your balance, give you a bit of an upper body workout and take some of the strain off your knees on descents.

This Gear Zone will be updated from time-to-time as this website grows and evolves.

Check back again before the camp to make sure you have the latest information.

Climbing Gear Suggestions:


5027-143_WHT00_view1_720x720 35 percentGood ($59):        Petzl Elios Helmet   (Available in two sizes)




Seat Harness:

5035-277_BL000_view1_720x720Glacier Only ($50):              Black Diamond Couloir

Basic ($49):                          Edelrid Jay

Recommended ($59):          Petzl Corax (shown)
Note: This harness is highly recommended.
Size 2 fits generously for heavier people.
The dual waist buckles make it easy to put it on and
keep the belay loop centered.  It’s cloth gear loops work
well under backpack waist belts.


BD Contact SS

Good ($139):        Black Diamond Contact Stainless Steel





 Ice Axe:

BD Raven Pro

Good ($99):        Black Diamond Raven Pro

under 5’7” – use 60 cm
5’7”- 6’2” – use 65 cm
over 6’2” – use 70 cm



5016-306_TEL00_view1_720x720Good ($13):         Petzl HERA Attache Screw Lock Carabiner

• These colourful locking biners are perfect for belay/rappel/munter hitch use and $1 from the sale
of each goes to support ovarian cancer research!

1st Mountaineers use HERAbiners!

• For more information about HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation, see bottom of page.

Gear Checklist for MCamp participants:                                                                                                                   [Updated: December 6, 2016]

Mountaineering Camp ~ Gear Checklist               


Mountaineer Scout Keir asks, “So, what mountain do we get to climb next?”

Climbers Against Cancer

HERA Women's Cancer Foundation flag on the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation flag on the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. August 2, 2013.

Ovarian cancer is a very serious but widely under-recognized threat to women’s health.

To help battle this threat, the HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation employs creative, authentic approaches. Established in 2002, HERA empowers women to take control of their health. It does this through educational materials and awareness programs like HERA Partners in Action. Also, unique fundraising events, such as HERA Climb4Life, provide logoscientists with the HERA OSB1 scientific grant program, which funds research on reliable early-detection tests and better treatments. HERA awards community ovarian cancer groups with grants that support awareness and outreach programs for women battling this disease.

For more information on becoming a part of the ovarian cancer solution, visit


“It’s good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
– Ursula K. Le Guin
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