The Gear for Rainier
Kit: Climbing Mount Rainier
When you’re carrying everything you need on a round-trip totaling 18,000 vertical feet, you’re going to ask a lot of your backpack. It needs to swallow up at least 70 liters of mixed gear but still be easily and quickly accessible; it needs to provide lash points for tools like an ice axe, crampons and trekking poles. Oh yeah, and it’s gotta wear like it’s not even there. The Xenith 75 does all of this well. The black hole interior easily held multiple clothing layers, a sleeping bag and food while zip pockets on the outside held smaller stuff like sunscreen and extra gloves. A large mesh pocket on the back provided the perfect place to stow a climbing helmet for the approach hike and quick release lash points and loops transported an ice axe and crampons during the long hike up to high camp. The hip belt is heat-moldable, allowing for a custom fit, and its integrated zip pockets were perfect for energy gel stowage. Our only wish was for a removable waterproof liner for the rain at lower elevations, which would have been more elegant than a plastic garbage bag.