In The Bag: Kidder

Kidder: In The Bag


Not everyone has had the chance to meet Michael Kidder; those people are missing out. As he likes to tell people, he introduced Newton to the sport of climbing a while back and is one of The Crag’s founding members. As a preview for a series of blog posts he’s going to write about his recent trips to Washington to climb Challenger Glacier on Mount Challenger, we’re taking a peak inside Kidder’s Alpine pack.


Alpinism:  You need everything for glacier travel, camping, AND rock climbing.  Lightweight is the name of the game – you will hear it over and over from the pros.

Arc’Teryx Khazri 55 Pack55 liter alpine pack. Light, massive, versatile. Everything you could want in an alpine pack.


Scarpa Phantom Light BootsI prefer a technical climbing boot over plastics – these have a built in neoprene gaiter.


Scarpa ThundersComfortable and easy to slip on or off depending on the type of climbing we’re doing.


HelmetBrains are important, so I wear a helmet. All the writing you see is from a weekend at the Red River Gorge where I climbed 35 pitches to celebrate my 35th birthday. My climbing partners from the weekend all signed my helmet to commemorate the feat.


First Aid KitLike they say in scouting, Be Prepared.


Petzl Adjama HarnessLight, adjustable legs for different weather conditions, and lots of gear loops. A great harness for both sport, trad and alpine climbing.


Black Diamond Icon HeadlampLong days sometimes turn into nights and “alpine start” means rolling out by 3am. Gotta have a headlamp. The Icon is rechargeable or use AA batteries, can run for 5 days straight and can throw light further than an NFL quarterback can throw a football. 


Sterling 60 m, 9.5mm ropeThin and light.


Black Diamond Sabertooth CramponsThese are light and abuse ready. 


SunscreenRemember the inside of your nose or you can get sunburnt nostrils on a glacier from the reflective light.


Collapsible mugI must have my coffee; I make my partner carry the Titanium cooking pot.


MSR Pocket Rocket StoveI carry the Pocket Rocket if I don’t have to melt snow, otherwise a white gas version is best.


Outdoor Research Alpine Bivy SackTents are two or three pounds; bivys are one.


Pocket bag – I carry a mesh bag for all the little stuff, even on day climbing trips.  I always know right where it is in my pack – Toothbrush, contact case, lip balm, tape, etc.


Glacier GlassesAsk me about the time I lost mine in the mountains (*see: Bandana).


Light Alpine RackWe carry a light alpine rack when we expect technical rock: full Black Diamond nut set, 4 Camp USA Tri Cams (never forget the pinkie), 4 Black Diamond cams that cover ½ – 2 inches (#.75 thru #2 since you ask) , a couple of hexes – all weighing in right at 3.3 pounds.


SlingsIn the mountains, you can sling features instead of putting in a piece of gear.  It saves time and weight.  I usually carry 5 or so single length and several doubles.


Black Diamond wire gate quick draws (6-8) – Light as you can go.  I have wire gates on slings too; actually on everything but my 3 locking carabineers.


Black Diamond ATC Guide – Something that can auto belay a second is imperative so you can move fast and multitask at belay changes.


6 mill cord slings (2)Necessary for self-rescue from a crevasse and as a rappel backup.  You also need a pulley and a couple other locking carabiners.


Metolius Equalizer 20’ ft. anchor slingNo bolts out there, so you’ve got to build it yourself.  This one tucks into a built in bag.


BandanaWhen you lose your glacier glasses and don’t want to go blind, you adapt. (*see: Glacier Glasses)


Miscellaneous gear for ascending/descending including Outdoor Products rappel rings and Petzl Tibloc Ascender.


Look for more in the coming weeks about Michael’s trip. If you have any questions about his gear or alpine climbing, send us an email or post a comment on our Facebook page.

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