6000m-6666m peaks gear discussion
Having the right gear makes climbing safer and more satisfying.
Scrambling is just that, no climbing. We only need trekking gear, we are not climbing on snow and should only cross brief snow fields. No need for ice axe, crampons or harness.
Mountaineering is real climbing, alpine climbing, and does require ice axe, crampons (and suitable boots for them) and sometimes ropes and a harness set, depending on the mountain. Mountaineering with a harness and rope has insurance implications you should be aware of.
For the most part your trek clothing will work for Ladakh's summer scrambling and mountaineering as well.
What to expect
When it is sunny with no wind then a thermal top is enough, backed up by a fleece or light down jacket for rest stops and a windproof breathable jacket for when the wind picks up (Gore-Tex, Windstopper or similar). Semi-windproof trekking pants or light softshell pants are also enough but backed up by a second layer that is either insulating or completely windproof.
See what everyone is wearing here at a little over 6200m on a cool, windy day (note there was snow only on the very top):
As extra to the trekking gear for 6000m peak climbs your should have:
+ wraparound high quality sunglasses (or with side pieces). Ski goggles are unnecessary.
+ neck gaiter (buff)
+ new liner gloves (ie thin gloves)
+ windstopper/primaloft gloves
+ windproof pants
+ tough boots suitable for crampons
+ trekking pole with basket
+ snow gaiters OR pants that cinch on your boots
Ice axe and crampons
First, check our recommendations for the gear needed, only some of our 6000m peaks require crampons and ice axe, not all.
We rent sets out; basically nothing is available in Leh.
+ ice axe, non-technical is generally better
+ boots that take crampons
For many of the peaks we climb you don't need a harness set, check the trip page. If we might need, we rent harness sets. If you have your own, you need:
+ light harness (Black Diamond's Couloir is perfect)
+ jumar with correct length tape
+ belay device: ATC or figure of 8 etc
+ two locking carabiners, two non-locking ones
+ two prusik cords, one short, one long
It is always sensible to climb with a helmet, but it is one more thing to carry and only use for a few hours. For the trekking peaks it is rare for climbers to use a helmet, but that is your decision.
See the individual trek page for our recommendations for that particular trip.
For India 6000-6500m peaks good leather boots that take crampons are adequate.
Who carries what for the climb
You carry a day pack with your personal gear including down jacket, crampons, ice axe (harness) etc, so your pack can end up quite full.
Below, on the summit of Lungser Kangri 6666m in a whiteout: