Denali West Buttress Equipment List - Clothing & Footwear

Base Layer Top

Bring two. This will be your base layer and should be “lightweight” or “silk weight” synthetic or wool. Bring at least one that is white or light in color for use on the lower glacier. You will want this layer to somewhat form fitting as to avoid bunching when other layers are worn over-top of it.

Weight: 5 - 8 oz / 140 - 225 grams  Materials: Synthetic, wool (No Cotton).

Baselayer Bottoms 

Look for the same features as your Base Layer Top. One pair is usually sufficient.

Weight: 5 - 8 oz / 140 - 225 grams  Materials: Synthetic, wool (No Cotton).


Most climbers bring 1-3 pairs depending on personal preference for changing.

Materials: Synthetic, wool (No Cotton)

2nd Layer Top

A lightweight fleece. A chest pocket is a helpful feature of this multi-use layer. You will want to pick a modern type of fleece with waffle-grid pattern. These are warmer for their weight and are more compressible.

Weight: 13 - 16oz / 368-454 grams  Materials: Nylon, micro weave fabrics, 100 or 200 weight fleece, wind stopper

Examples: Mountain Equipment Eclipse, Patagonia R1

Expedition Weight Baselayer Bottoms

A thicker pair of long underwear bottoms that will serve as an additional insulating layer for use in colder temperatures. This layer will go on top of your base layer but under your softshell pants. One-piece suits (Farmer-John/Union Suit) are popular but require more planning and effort when answering the call of nature and work best with other layers designed for using the bathroom without removing layers. Windproof/Windstopper pants are heavier and less functional and will not work for this layer.

Weight: 5 - 8 oz / 140 - 225 grams  Materials: Powerstretch 100 fleece, wool or similar.

Examples: Mountain Hardwear Powerstretch tights, Mountain Hardwear Powerstretch Suit, OR Saturn Suit, 100-200 weight fleece or Powerstretch, or Patagonia R1 pants.


Soft Shell / Wind Shell Jacket

Thin, light, and breathable but wind and snow-resistant layer that is comfortable to wear is ideal. This will be your 'action layer' and the outer layer that you spend the most time in. Hoods are optional but highly recommended. Size your jacket to be trim fitting, but large enough to fit over your base and second layers. Light to moderate insulation/thickness is recommended. This layer will go over your base and expedition layers, but under your shell and parka if wearing this layer in combination with those layers. 

Weight: 18 - 26 oz / 510 - 737 grams Materials: Schoeller, Powerstretch, Powerdry, or similar

Examples include: Rab Vapour Rise, Mountain Equipment Ultratherm, Mountain Equipment Squall Hoody, Arc’teryx Gamma MX, Patagonia Figure 4 and Ready Mix

Soft Shell Pants

Softshell pants are stretchy, breathable and wind / snow-resistant. They are available in many different weights from light and thin to thick and heavy-duty. Thinner models will be more breathable, but not as warm. A midweight model will be ideal. This will be your outermost layer most of the time for your legs. A thigh pocket is a useful feature for storing small items. Your base and expedition weight layers need to fit under these pants comfortably.

Weight: 16 - 30oz / 450 - 850 grams  Materials: Schoeller, Powershield, Powerdry, or similar

Examples include: Mammut Courmayeur Pants, Patagonia Guide pants, Black Diamond Alpine Pants, Arc’teryx Gamma LT Pants, 

Lightweight Insulating Layer

Light Insulated Jacket

The goal for this piece is to add warmth to your internal layering system. Depending on your clothing system, and the environment you are in, you may fit this layer underneath or over top of your shell jacket. The weight and design of this piece will vary based on the other items of climbing that you are bringing. Generally, Jackets with 60 - 100 grams of synthetic fill in the torso are adequate. 

Weight: 10 - 20oz / 283 – 566 grams Materials: Primaloft, down, fleece

Examples includeRab Xenon, Patagonia Puff Jacket or Micro Puff pullover, Wild Things Primalight and EP jackets,  or any light and compressible down vest.


Expedition Weight Parka with Hood

Expedition Weight Parka With Hood

These jackets come in many shapes, sizes and temperature ratings. If you tend to get cold easily, opt for a slightly warmer and more substantial parka. Otherwise, choose a down parka that is fully box-wall-baffled, includes a hood, and offers sufficient coverage over your waist. Stitched through baffle construction is not acceptable as you will experience cold spots where the stitches are.

Weight:  25 - 50oz / 700 – 1400 grams Fill Materials: down

Shell Materials: Drilite, Epic, eVent, nylon

Examples include: Mountain Equipment Annapurna, Cho Oyu, Gasherbrum and K7 Jackets, Rab Andes Jacket, Mountain Hardwear Sub Zero SL Parka, Patagonia Fitz Roy Down Parka, Marmot Plasma parka.



Insulated Pants

Insulated Pants

Sized to fit over your softshell pants and long underwear layers on the bottom, these pants are the last line of defense in extremely cold temperatures. Hip to full-length side zips are a critical feature. Fleece is undesirable because it picks up snow, is bulky, and low-loft with respect to its weight. Down or synthetic fill pants are preferred and lighter weight, but require more care to not get them wet and/or frozen. The warmth of this layer will vary based on the temperatures expected on your program.

Weight: 16 - 24oz / 453 – 680 grams  

Fill Materials: Primaloft, Polarguard 3D, down Shell Materials: nylon or similar

Examples include: Rab Photon Pants, Mountain Hardwear Compressor pants, Feathered Friends Volant Pants, Patagonia Puffball pants

Shell Pants

Made of a waterproof/breathable material, your lightweight shell bottoms must have full or hip-length side zips. This garment should be extremely lightweight and packable. A zipper fly is a nice, but optional.

Weight: 8 - 16oz / 227 – 453 grams Materials: eVent, Gore-tex, h2No, or similar

Examples include: Mountain Equipment Pumori Pants, Arc’teryx Theta LT or Gamma AR Pants, Patagonia Grade VI, or Marmot Precip

Shell Jacket

This layer needs to be made of waterproof/breathable construction. Your shell should be sized to comfortably fit over your other base and mid-layers (minus your expedition parka). Choose the lightest, most packable shell that will still get the job done. Avoid extra pockets (one or two chest pockets is all you need), and hanging linings. Your hood should fit over your climbing helmet comfortably. 

Weight: 8 - 20oz / 227 – 566 grams Materials: eVent, Gore-tex, h2No, or similar

Examples include: Rab Muztag, Stretch Neo, or Myriad, Arc’teryx Alpha, Patagonia Jetstream, Patagonia Stretch Latitude, Westcomb Mirage, Marmot Precip.


Bring three complete changes, more if you know you have very sweaty feet. If you plan to wear 8000-meter boots or Intuition liners, bring several light to mid-weight socks and one pair of heavy/warm socks. Adjust your sock system ahead of time to perfect your boot fit.

Materials: wool, synthetic

 Integrated Boot

Synthetic Double Boot

High Altitude Mountaineering Boots

Double boots are required. They should be designed for extended use in temperatures at least as cold as -40F. Modern synthetic integrated boots (those with a built in overboot/gaiter) are suitable for this climb. For traditional plastic boots, thermo-mold liners are warmer, lighter, and more comfortable than standard liners. If you have heat-moldable liners in your boots already and you have worn them for several trips, you may want to have them re-fit to ensure that the foam has not compressed and the temperature rating has been retained.

Shell Materials: Synthetic, plastic Liner: Thermo-moldable or High Altitude models

Examples IncludeLa Sportiva Olympus Mons, G2 SM, Spantik or Baruntse, Scarpa Phantom 8000 and Inverno, Koflach Degre, and Millet Everest.

NOTE: Purchasing these 1/2 to 1 full size larger is highly recommended due to feet swelling at altitude as well as the ability to add thick socks for more warmth. There are many of makes and models of high altitude boots out there and not all are created equal. Please consult with our Equipment Shop if you are uncertain about what boot, or size to purchase.


Knee height is required. Check the fit of the gaiter to your boot in advance to make sure the coverage is adequate. Not required for those with integrated, gaitered boots.

Weight: 4 – 12 oz / 110 – 340 grams Materials: Schoeller, nylon, Cordura

Examples include: OR Crocodile, Mountain Hardwear Venti-Gaiter


Required for all boots except integrated, gaitered boots. Please verify these fit over your boots and that your crampons stay on without fail. Mountain Hardwear Absolute Zero overboots and OR Brooks Range overboots have not performed well on past expeditions and cannot be used. “40-below” are the lightest, warmest, most functional and highly recommended.

Weight: 20 – 24 oz / 566 – 680 grams Materials: Neoprene, Cordura, ballistic cloth

Examples include: 40-Below K2 Superlight, Everest, and Purple Haze

Glove Liners

You wear these for much of your time on the mountain. They need to be dexterous and comfortable, but not necessarily very insulating. Bring one pair.

Materials: fleece, Powerstretch, or similar

Mid-Weight Gloves (Work Gloves)

The most desirable glove is one that is comfortable and dexterous so that it can be worn all day. It should be durable enough (leather/synthetic palms) to handle ropes, jumars and ice axes. These come in different weights, so choose the thickness that works with your glove system. Bring one pair.

Materials: softshell, windstopper fleece, leather or similar

Examples include: OR Gripper Gloves, Mountain Equipment Super Alpine, Black Diamond Drytool and Jetstream, and OR ExtraVert and PL400 gloves.

Expedition Weight Gloves

Composed of heavy-duty waterproof shells with extremely warm liners. These modular gloves MUST have removable liners. These gloves must be dexterous enough to handle ropes, carabiners, and jumars. Gauntlets should extend to mid-forearm.

Weight: 9 – 14 oz / 255 – 400 grams Shell Materials: Gore-tex or similar

Examples include: Black Diamond Guide Gloves, OR Super Couloir, and Marmot Ultimate Ski Gloves.

Expedition Weight Mittens

Make no compromise with these as they are the first and often last defense against frostbite. These are expedition weight modular mittens, down or synthetic, with a storm-proof shell. You want your mitts to be extremely warm and thick. This is more important than dexterity. Gauntlets should extend to mid-forearm. These need to be large enough to allow for liner gloves to be worn underneath. Please attach keeper loops to them if they are not already equipped with them. 

Weight: 12 – 16 oz / 340 - 453 grams         

Fill Materials: Down, Primaloft, Polarguard 3D Shell Materials: Gore-tex or similar                       

Examples include: OR Alti Mitts, BD Mercury Mitts, Marmot Expedition Mitts, Mountain Equipment Fitzroy Mitts, Rab Nebula Mitts

Head System

Your cold weather head/face system should not leave any skin exposed. When wearing your warm hat, balaclava/face mask, and goggles, there should not be any gaps in your clothing where wind and snow might penetrate close to the skin level. The outside edge of your goggles is a common place for climbers to overlook and as a result, get frostbite. Have a friend double-check your system to make sure you have complete coverage.

Beanie Hat/Toque

A warm hat that will fit under your climbing helmet and over your balaclava.  Fleece, wool, or similar fabrics are best.

Warm Hat

Big, puffy and warm. Windstopper fabric can be a good idea but makes hearing difficult. This hat will primarily be used while sitting around camp or in very cold and windy conditions.


Balaclavas are thin to medium weight thickness hat plus face mask combos. We recommend a mid-weight thickness one for this trip. You should be able to pull it over your face to the base of your neck so that it completely covers the head except for an opening for the face.

Materials: Powerstretch, fleece, polypro, windpro

Examples: Patagonia, Mountain Hardwear, and OR powerstretch models

Face Mask

Thick fleece, windstopper, or neoprene.

Sun hat

A baseball cap or visor serves well. Models with a “tail” are recommended for increased sun protection.

Nose Protection

Designed to protect your nose from the sun, this is a cloth nose guard that fits onto your glacier glasses. Try the fit on your sunglasses; they should fit well without pushing the frames off your nose. 

Example: Beko Nose Guard


Glacier Glasses

Choose a model with 100% UVA/UVB protection and side shields. If you have an extra pair, bring them too. Note: Those using contact lenses should also bring a pair of prescription glasses in the event that your contacts or solutions are lost or damaged by freezing.

*Contact Lens Care and Precautions: In our experience, contact lenses are perfectly acceptable for climbing trips at altitude and in very cold conditions. If you plan on wearing contact lenses on Denali, you should be familiar with the intricacies of long-term maintenance and care in these conditions. You should plan on bringing at least two spare pairs of lenses and a few small bottles of whatever solutions you will require. Bringing a pair of glasses as a backup or to give your eyes a rest is a good idea as well.

Ski Goggles

For use in high winds and heavy snow. These should be lightly tinted but not so dark that the will reduce visibility in low light conditions. Photochomatic versions are available, just be sure they change from category 2 to 4. They should block 100% of UV light.

If you wear prescription glasses, these must fit comfortably over your glasses, so look for OTG models. 


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