Glacier Trekking

For multi day treks like the Haute Route and the circuit of Lyskamm, here’s a set of kit. Light and comfortable is the key.

 

  • Ice Axe: Between 55 and 70cm in length depending on your height (available for hire)
  • Trekking poles can be very useful, but are NOT a substitute for an ice axe
  • Crampons inc. Anti Balling Plates (available for hire)
  • Boots & Gaiters – A B1 (i.e. flexible) boot. Although boots can be hired, I would avoid this if possible and have your own boots to keep blisters to a minimum.For more info on boot ratings, click here
  • Warm Hat
  • Gloves and Spares
  • Headtorch with fully charged battery. A Petzl Zipka or similar LED torch will cover most eventualities.
  • Water Bottle: 1 litre minimum, many people prefer to carry 1.5 or even 2 litres. Hydration systems such as the Camelbak often freeze on cold mornings, when a thermos flask may be more welcome. Please avoid use of the Platypus system, which is prone to catastrophic leakage
  • Sunglasses (protection level 3 for high altitude)
  • Suncream & Lip salve
  • Sunhat
  • Harness (available for hire)
  • Glacier Travel kit. For more info, click here
  • Sleeping bag liner – cotton or silk
  • Rucksack: between 30 and 45 litres capacity. (available for hire)
  • Waterproof Top
  • Waterproof Bottoms: a full side zip is useful to be able to get them on and off over crampons and or boots
  • A layered clothing system comprising base layer, mid layer and fleece. Temperatures can range from sweltering on hut walks down to -10 with a stiff breeze, so whatever you choose it needs to be versatile. If it’s a hot season, then shorts may be good for hut walks, or alternatively a pair of trousers with zip off legs.
  • Good quality socks and a couple of spare pairs as we could potentially be in huts for a few days.
  • Snack food – fruit or crunchy bars are better than chocolate as a rule. Biscuits to take with afternoon tea are good too (see below).
  • Brew Kit – it’s cheaper to buy hot water in huts and then add your own tea bags, coffee, hot chocolate etc., than buy ready made drinks.