6000m-6500m peaks climbing gear discussion
Mostly we try to climb in near perfect conditions, and we plan our climbs at the best times of the year. It is cool during early starts and later in the day the wind might pick up and it is possible that bad weather can move in. Normally, by this stage we are heading down.
Above: summit of a very satisfying 6000m scramble
6000m-6500m mountaineering gear
Many people spend a lot on gear that isn't entirely necessary, so consider carefully what you need and remember that if conditions are horrible, it is unlikely that we will be climbing. Conditions may worsen during the day but if that is the case, we will be on our way down.
However, if you are a real climber and don't mind climbing in rougher conditions, should that be the case, then bring good gear and we won't waste an opportunity.
What to expect
When it is sunny with no wind 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 softshell or similar).
This assumes you have all the trekking gear like warm hat etc, on the trekking equipment list.
+ wraparound high quality sunglasses (or with side pieces). Ski goggles are unnecessary.
+ balaclava or second buff; one or the other
+ liner gloves (ie thin gloves)
+ WARM windstopper/primaloft gloves
+ windproof pants (cheap in Kathmandu)/windproof softshell pants/climbing bibs
+ snow gaiters
+ Plastic boots/insulated leather boots - see below
+ trekking pole
We rent sets out, alternatively all of the below items are readily available in the Kathmandu gear shops.
+ ice axe, non-technical is generally better
+ light harness (Black Diamond's Couloir is perfect)
+ 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 most trekking peaks it is rare for climbers to use a helmet, but that is your decision.
If you have insulated mountaineering boots or the old-style plastic boots, bring them. If you don't and you are not a climber, consider carefully whether you need to get them or not - you will only be using them for a day (or three on Mera)... See the individual trek page for our recommendations for that particular trip.
For India 6000-6500m peaks, GOOD leather boots are adequate.
For Mera Peak in Nepal, warm boots are necessary, so with an insulated removable inner (the old style plastic boots or double boots).
Gear for rent
We rent out ice axes, crampons, harnesses and all you need with them.
Insulated moutaineering boots/plastic boots are available for rent in Kathmandu (and at Khare, the base of Mera Peak).
In Kathmandu you can cheaply buy side-zip windproof pants (not stylish, but they do the job), fleece gloves and windproof mittens.
In India very little gear is available, and is of cheap, inferior quality.
Who carries what for the climb
You carry a day pack with your personal gear including down jacket, crampons, harness etc, so your pack can end up quite full. If anyone is struggling and the guides and/or sherpas have space, they can lighten your load.
Mera high camp - looks cold? Yes; be prepared with the right gear!