Denali West Buttress Equipment List - Layering Systems

*It is recommended to create zipper pulls on all your zippers to make it easier to use with gloves and mittens on.



Big, puffy and warm. Wool, synthetic, or Windstopper material. Windstopper 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.



Sun Hat

Preferred to fit under a helmet






Glacier Glasses

Choose a model with 100% UVA/UVB protection and side shields. The lenses should not have any more than 12% of visible light transmission (VLT). They should have a snug fit. Bring additional, “backup” pair if you have them.

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 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. Plan on bringing at least two spare pairs of lenses and a few small bottles of whatever solutions you will require. Bring a pair of glasses as a backup or to give your eyes a rest.

Ski Goggles

For use in high winds and heavy snow. They should block 100% of UV light. Photochromic lenses are most versatile in a variety of light conditions. If you wear prescription glasses, these must fit comfortably over your glasses.
  • Julbo Aerospace
  • Smith I/07 ChromaPop
  • Oakley Line Miner

Nose Protection

Optional: 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. Trim as needed.





One item for face protection is required. Look for one that is UPF rated. Brighter/lighter colors work better for warmer conditions and darker colors for colder conditions.



  • BUFF® UV/Polar Multifunctional Headwear

Face Mask/Balaclava

Heavier (neoprene) for early season expedition are typically worn on summit day in combination with goggles, however even late season trips can be shut down by wind. Half mask with ventilation holes under nose and over mouth recommended.

Material: Neoprene, fleece

  • Patagonia R1 Balaclava
  • Seirus Original Masque



Lightweight Gloves

Worn for most of the time on the mountain. Should be dexterous and comfortable, but not necessarily very insulating. Bring one pair.

Materials: fleece, Powerstretch, or Windstopper.



Midweight “Working” Gloves

The most desirable glove is one that is comfortable and dexterous so that it can be worn all day. 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.

  • Mountain Equipment Super Alpine
  • Mountain Equipment Direkt Glove
  • Outdoor Research ExtraVert

Expedition Gloves

Composed of heavy-duty waterproof shells with a midweight liner, these modular gloves MUST have removable liners or be sized to fit a liner glove inside. Should be dexterous enough to handle ropes, carabiners, and jumars. Gauntlets should extend to mid-forearm.

Shell Materials: Gore-tex or similar

  • Outdoor Research Arete Glove
  • Rab Alliance Glove
  • Black Diamond Guide Glove

Expedition Weight Mittens

The first and often last defense against frostbite. Expedition weight, extremely warm and thick, modular mittens should be down or synthetic with a waterproof shell. Gauntlets should extend to mid-forearm. Large enough to allow for liner gloves to be worn underneath. Please attach keeper loops to them.

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

  • Outdoor Research Alti Mitts
  • Black Diamond Mercury Mitts
  • Marmot Expedition Mitts


 Upper Body


Sports Bra

Comfortable, activewear for women. Bring 2.

Materials: wool or synthetic.




  • Patagonia Switchback Sports Bra
  • Patagonia Active Compression Bra
  • Smartwool PhD Seamless Strappy Bra

 Base Layer

Should be “lightweight” or “silk weight” T-shirt or long sleeve.


Materials: Synthetic, wool.



  • Patagonia Capilene Lightweight Crew

Warmer Option:

  • Patagonia Capilene Air Crew

Sun Shirt

Hood recommended. Should be “lightweight” or “silk weight” synthetic or wool. Bring two, at least one that is light in color for use on the lower glacier

Materials:  Synthetic and wool only, no cotton.


  • Patagonia Sunshade Hoody
  • Patagonia Tropic Comfort Hoody  II
  • Black Diamond Alpenglow Hoody

Active Insulation Layer

Lightweight “gridded fleece,” or lightweight synthetic insulated jacket. Hood preferred. Look for 40g/m2 of synthetic fil and a breathable face fabric. A chest pocket is a helpful feature of this multi-use layer.

Materials: Fleece, Exceloft, Primaloft.


  • Mountain Equipment Eclipse Hooded Jacket
  • Patagonia R1
  • Montbell U.L. Thermawrap Parka

Softshell/ Action Layer

Thin, light, stretchy, breathable but wind and snow-resistant layer. Size your jacket to be trim fitting, but large enough to fit over base and second layers. Light to moderate insulation/thickness is recommended. Hood preferred.

Materials: Exolite, Matrix, Schoeller, Powerstretch, Powerdry, or similar.



  • Mountain Equipment Squall Hoody
  • Arc’teryx Gamma LT Hoody
  • Outdoor Research Ferrosi Hooded Jacket

Light Insulation Jacket

The goal for this piece is to add warmth to an internal layering system. Depending on clothing system/environmental conditions, may be worn 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 60g - 100g of synthetic fill in the torso are adequate. For Down, look for a fill weight of 100g-150g of 700+ fill power.

Weight: 10 - 20oz / 283 – 566 grams

Materials: Primaloft, Down, Exceloft


  • Mountain Equipment Frostline Jacket
  • Rab Microlight Alpine Hooded Jacket
  • Patagonia Nano-Air Hoody
  • Montbell Thermawrap Pro
  • Mountain Equipment Transition Jacket

Expedition Weight Parka w/ 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 still fully baffled, includes a hood, and offers sufficient coverage over the waist. Stitched through baffle construction is not acceptable, must be a box wall baffle construction throughout the body and arms.

Weight: 20 - 55oz / 567 – 1560 grams

Fill Materials: Down

Fill Weight: Look for at least 300g of 800 fill Down for size L. If the jacket is using anything less than 800 fill Down, make sure there is substantially more fill weight in the jacket.

Shell Materials: Drilite, Pertex


  • Mountain Equipment K7 Jacket
  • Patagonia Grade VII
  • Feathered Friends Volant Jacket
  • Feathered Friends Khumbu Parka

Hardshell Jacket

Waterproof/breathable construction. Should be sized to comfortably fit over other base and mid-layers (minus 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. Hood should fit over a climbing helmet.

Materials: Gore-Tex, eVent, Drilite, H2NO, Pertex Shield


  • Mountain Equipment Odyssey Jacket
  • Arc’teryx Alpha FL
  • Patagonia Cloud Ridge Jacket


 Lower Body


1-3 pairs depending on personal preference for changing.

Materials: Synthetic, wool




  • Patagonia Women’s Barely Bikini
  • Patagonia Men’s Daily Boxer Brief

Lightweight Baselayer

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

Materials: Synthetic, wool






  • Patagonia Capilene Lightweight Bottoms

Warmer options:

  • Patagonia Capilene Air Bottoms
  • Patagonia Capilene Thermal Weight Bottoms

Expedition Weight Bottoms

A thicker pair of long underwear bottoms that will serve as an additional insulating layer for use in colder temperatures. Windproof/Windstopper pants are heavier and less functional and will not work for this layer.

Materials: Powerstretch 100, wool, fleece, or similar



  • Rab Powerstretch Pro Pants
  • Patagonia R1 Pants
  • Brynje Arctic Longs

Softshell Pants

The outermost layer that is worn the majority of the time on the mountain. Should be stretchy, breathable and wind/snow-resistant. A thigh pocket is a useful feature for storing small items. Base and expedition weight layers need to fit under these pants comfortably.

NOTE: Early season expeditions should look for thicker, warmer models whereas late season expeditions should consider thinner, light in color and more breathable models.

Materials: Schoeller, Exolite, or similar



  • Mammut Courmayeur Pants
  • Arc’teryx Gamma LT Pants

Warmer Options:

  • Outdoor Research Cirque Pant
  • Mountain Equipment Chamois Pant
  • Mountain Equipment Ibex Pant

Hardshell Pants

Non-insulated, waterproof and breathable membrane. Must have full side zips.  When sizing, make sure it is able to fit over a base layer and softshell pants.

Materials: Gore-Tex, Drilite, H2NO, Pertex Shield




  • Mountain Equipment Odyssey Pant
  • Arc’Teryx Alpha SL Pant

Insulated Pants

Sized to fit over softshell pants and long underwear layers, these pants are the last line of defense in extremely cold temperatures. Hip to full-length side-zips is a critical feature. Down or synthetic fill (as opposed to fleece) pants are preferred. The warmth of this layer will vary based on the temperatures expected on your program.  Reinforced seat and knees recommended.

Weight Recommendation:

                     Early Season             Late Season

Down-         100-150g 800+ fill            60-100g 800+ fill

Synthetic-         100g/m2                80g/m2

Materials: Primaloft, Polarguard 3D, down




  • Rab Photon Pant
  • Montbell Tec Thermawrap Pant
  • Mountain Hardwear Compressor Pant
  • Black Diamond Stance Belay Insulated Pants


  • Montbell Tec Down Pant
  • Feathered Friends Volant Pant
  • Feathered Friends Helios Pant





Bring three over the calf complete changes, more if you know you have very sweaty feet. If planning 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



  • Darn Tough Hiker Cushion Boot socks
  • Lorpen T3 Midweight Hiker socks


High Altitude Mountaineering Boots

This is one of the most important items on this list, proper fit, and function with sock system is a MUST. Double boots are required, designed for extended use in extreme temperatures. 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






  • La Sportiva G2 SM
  • La Sportiva Baruntse
  • La Sportiva Spantik
  • Scarpa Phantom 6000
  • Scarpa Inverno
  • La Sportiva Olympus Mons
  • Scarpa Phantom 8000
  • Millet Everest Summit GTX

NOTE: There are many 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 the acceptability of your chosen model.



If you have an 8000M boot then these are not required. If you have the La Sportiva G2 SM, then an overboot is optional, recommended though if you tend to get cold feet.  For any other boot, they are a MUST. Please verify these fit over your boots and that your crampons stay on without fail. Mountain Hardwear Absolute Zero, Outdoor Research, and 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.

Materials: Neoprene, Cordura, ballistic cloth

  • 40 Below K2 Superlight
  • 40 Below Purple Haze
  • 40 Below Everest


Optional. Recommended only if you are using boots that do not have an integrated gaiter. Make sure they fit to your boots.





  • Outdoor Research Crocodile Gaiters

Camp Booties

Nice for use in camp, these must be very lightweight and packable.

Fill Materials: down, synthetic


  • Western Mountaineering Expedition Booties
  • 40 Below Camp Booties


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