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Haute Route Pack

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  • Haute Route Pack

    This fall we decided to ski the haute route. Eventually I acquired a slightly larger pack thinking I would need it as my normal pack, a 30 liter Cilo, is a little tight on longer ski tours but it's mainly sat in the corner because it looked bigger than what I needed for skiing around NewEngland.

    So today I tried some test packing, I laid out all the stuff and stuffed the bag, good use of a cold day. The larger bag sure swallowed it all up with room to spare. Which makes me think... should I squeeze into the smaller bag? So close on the smaller bag.

    Pictures below

    here's the pile.

    Here is the pile in the packed in a 30 liter bag, eventually all in minus the ski pants, harness and sweater.

    Here is the same in the 30/30 bag.

    Man the extra space seems excessive, but I'm still wondering if I am missing something. The pack without food and water is about 19 pounds. I sure hope I'm not missing anything! that's heavy!

  • #2
    Good luck! Ski tour of a lifetime!
    TAKE the 30L PACK.
    I was fortunate to ski the Haute Route with Marc Chauvin in 2006. Fortunately, blessed with full sunshine for 9 days, the only item that did not come out of my pack was the full-zip gortex rain/wind pants. If you have any room to spare, there may be "group gear" that you could pack - yes, one a perk of paying a guide is that he or she packs twice what the clients do, but you never know.
    Your post reminds me of a search & rescue training drill, where one member is subjected to the embarrasment of having their pack dumped out, and reviewed by a team leader, sometimes resulting in ridicule, requiring defense of items that the owner thinks are indispensable.
    RE: IMG_20170311_114114.jpg things
    I don't see:
    12-point crampons - in a separate crampon bag attached to outside of pack, maybe?
    Helmet? - yeah, not IN your pack, but mornings can be bulletproof ice, occasionally exposed to long sliding falls
    Sun hat & Cold hat - sun is blinding at that elevation, off the snow and from above - you may NEED SUNSCREEN every day, and a hat with a visor to shade your retinas. And of course a warm hat for most touring that doesn't require a brain bucket.
    SPARE SKI SOCKS!!! You will need to rotate between two pairs of socks, giving each pair a day to dry out; very few opportunities to wash anything, and humidity in the huts prevents anything drying out; your boot liners will still be moist every morning when you shove your dry pair of spare socks in them.
    Blisters on your feet would make the tour insufferable.
    SPARE UNDERWEAR - you will LIVE in your ski pants and tights/long-johns layer, most of he time. One day was so hot in the afternoon, that I arrived at Dix Hut wearing a pair of boxer shorts over my jock, and a silk-weight top underlayer with sleeves rolled-up; some mornings will start like a cold day on Mt Washington, with three layers top & bottom, maybe even a face-mask.
    but you will not be able to wash underpants. I started with 2 spares and one pair on, and it was hard to pick the best-smelling pair before the last long day of touring to Zermatt.
    SPARE under-layers- a cotton t-shirt, no matter how smelly, feels really good to put on at the hut, after wearing polypro all day; YOU CAN BUY ONE or TWO on the trip at several huts. I brought 1 mid-weight polypro and 1 silk-weight top underlayers; I don't recall bringing two pairs of tights, but probably did. I wore the same RaggedMtn micro-fleece lined top every day, on hot days, my hard shell was tied to my pack;
    I brought a small stuff-sack down-filled EMS parka that could go over everything, but only wore it at the huts in the evening, to sit outside.
    My wind/rain shell top only deployed a couple times, when windy, because my hard shell had no hood.
    Slippers for the hut may beat what the huts have for guests, but make sure yours have wicked good non-slip soles, because the path to the toilets is often very icy, and its a PIA to put your ski boots on when the liners have been taken out to dry, and you gotta go...
    Best wishes...
    "The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready." - Henry David Thoreau