The Mont-Blanc kit list, no South Butt stuff included

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Not a South Butt in sight.  Definitely all bona-fide North Face type chaps, these Wilmington Mountaineers.

With fitness preparations well underway, time to start thinking about the kind of things they’ll need to take with them.  I’m not sure who’s got what so far, but fortunately there are shopping lists available.  So this is what they need, some bits more obvious than others, so I hope you don’t mind my interpretation.

Your every day stuff…
  • Rucksack
(to carry the huge number of things you need to take with you)
  • Waterproof Jacket
(because ice originally started off as water)
  • Waterproof Trousers
(because it would be a shame to have a wet bum)
  • Gloves: 1 thick pair, 1 thin pair
(no point in getting frost bite)
  • Extra Mid Weight Layer
  • Thin Thermal Top
  • Trekking Trousers
(presumably not of the pony trekking variety)
  • Thermal Leggings
(who said the recent fashion trend passed blokes by?:-))
  • Socks: 3 pairs liner socks, 3 pairs mid weight trekking socks
(personally I can’t believe they’ll be bothered to change their socks while away from home, so1 pair is enough surely?)
  • Sun Hat
(got to hedge your bets with both types I suppose)
  • Gaiters
(the calf protection sort, not reptilian)
  • Sun Glasses
  • Water Bottle
The bits that remind you it’s going to be cold, as the temperature loses 1c every 100m ascended
  • Neck Warmer/Balaclava
  • Fleece
  • Ski Goggles
  • Warm Hat
(well, yes)
The specialist stuff
  • Ice Axe
(boys and their toys, hey)
  • Helmet
(in case the chap above you dislodges some scree)
  • Mountaineering Boots
(stiff soled boots, many of the older versions being in comfortable plastic in some super garish colours)
  • Crampons
(to fix onto your plastic boots to act as spikes to dig you into the ice.  Apparently you need to walk like a robot when you are wearing them.)
  • Harness
(for attaching the rope between you and your companions)
  • Head Torch
(for some illuminating early morning ascents)
  • Walking Poles
(not just for the old and infirm)
And the niceties not to forget ….
  • Sun cream
(to make you feel as though you’re on holiday)
  • Lipsalve
(well there’s no point coming back too weather beaten)
  • First Aid/Blisters Compeed, tape
(for the nasty things)
  • Painkillers
  • Sleeping Bag Liner
(oh, so they do get some rest then)
  • Duvet aka body warmer
(now this one did stand out as rather odd, because duvets aren’t known for their ability to pack up small.  It turns out they are referring to puffer body warmers.  Aha)
  • Ear Plugs
(is that to block out the snoring of friends or the howling winds?)
  • MP3 Player
(well if the ear plugs don’t cover the snoring you’ve always got your tunes)
  • Camera
(I know it won’t be taken by my husband but hopefully one of the others will remember it)
  • Change of Clothing
(ah, so that’s why North Face sells these fancy ‘base camp’ bags
  • Insurance
(Ok, I was fine up until the point I read this bit.  Daren’t ask exactly what might need to be covered, but a sensible thing to take out nevertheless!)

Thank you Mt Blanc Guides for this useful insight and I’m sure they’ll enjoy their shopping.


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