Gloves Fit For Nepal
This Month's Gear Guru Question:by Backcountry Bob
I'm going to Nepal this fall to climb Ama Dablam and am looking for a very warm pair of gloves for technical climbing up high. Previously, I bought a pair of Black Diamond Ice gloves, but they are not very warm when it gets below 10F. I want something that has good flexibility for handling ropes and equipment, but must be warm too. I'm expecting temperatures in the -20F range. What do you recommend?
A. At temperatures of -20F your options for warmth AND dexterity are pretty limited. This is quite the quandary for technical ice climbing at altitude. I have used the Black Diamond Guide glove for years and it is warmer than the Ice Glove, with decent dexterity; unfortunately the newer version doesn't seem as warm as ones in years past. For high altitude climbing you really need mittens - there is no way around it. Try to find a large overmitt that can fit over a tighter fitting glove - this way you can move quickly for short spurts then layer over for warmth at belays and such. I use the Marmot Expedition Mitt which is incredibly warm, with a cross trainer glove like the Marmot XT Glove underneath for Alaskan climbing. I use the "idiot straps" to keep them attached to my wrist and handle all gear when possible with the underglove - this keeps gear loss at a minimum and actually increases speed in the long run. For super cold temps at altitude you need to be able to climb with mittens - you lose your dexterity but will most likely keep your fingers. Good luck on your trip! Thanks for your question.
This month's Gear Guru question was submitted by Joe Coughlin from Colorado Springs, CO. He will receive a BackcountryStore.com Nalgene bottle for his question. Enjoy, Joe!
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