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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

    Comment


    • #3
      Trip report, please?!
      As I was leaving Chamonix this March, I figured that the next visit there will be for Haute Route. And hopefully soon! I'm interested in any and all details you are willing to share. Were you with the guide? If so, which company? What route variation did you take? Which pack did you take and was it a good size? ​ Anything else?! Pictures!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Lftgly View Post
        Good luck! Ski tour of a lifetime! TAKE the 30L PACK.
        Thanks! It went well.


        I ended up taking the larger bag, the Cilo 30/30 bag over the smaller Cilo 30 L bag. The size worked out well allowing for carrying some unplanned things when one in the group wasn't feeling well. Had I gone with the smaller bag the gear redistribution would have been more of pain if not impossible. For most of the trip I had the lid detached and stuffed in the bag because the full space didn't come close to getting used.

        From you analysis...

        Originally posted by Lftgly View Post
        I don't see:
        12-point crampons - in a separate crampon bag attached to outside of pack, maybe?
        They are there, in the carry bag, the black blob, above the ski crampons blob (top center)

        Originally posted by Lftgly View Post
        Helmet? - yeah, not IN your pack, but mornings can be bulletproof ice, occasionally exposed to long sliding falls
        I didn't wear a helmet, pretty much no one on route had them.

        Originally posted by Lftgly View Post
        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.
        Sun hat/visor. Center
        Warm hat. Not pictured, On head, have it on almost eveyday (on now).
        SunScreen plastic bag center. It was HOT and sunny, used a lot.

        Originally posted by Lftgly View Post
        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 socks in center bottom, didn't use them, for me it was not an issue. Others in the group used their spare socks.

        Originally posted by Lftgly View Post
        SPARE UNDERWEAR - you will LIVE in your ski pants and tights/long-johns layer, most of he time.
        Center bottom in the bag. Perhaps TMI but I switched at end of day, one for ski - one for hut.

        Originally posted by Lftgly View Post
        some mornings will start like a cold day on Mt Washington, with three layers top & bottom, maybe even a face-mask.
        Ya most were cold, but nothing crazy. We did have two days of wind, one was pretty high, Both buffs were used on the high wind day

        Originally posted by Lftgly View Post
        you will not be able to wash...
        One hut had a shower, but no towels, I took one. 3 of the huts had no winter running water.

        Originally posted by Lftgly View Post
        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.
        there was a spare shirt, green center above maps, not cotton. I wore it at night as the hood from the sunshirt was a bit of a pain to sleep in. The sun shirt with a hood was pretty nice because it was SUNNY. As for other clothing, my second layer was a windshirt (Marmot/MountainEquipment like), then a Patagucci Nano air. The hard shell jacket never came out. I didn't need to stuff anything down as the bag was more then large enough. For the legs I just had a slik weight bottoms. That's it.

        Originally posted by Lftgly View Post
        My wind/rain shell top only deployed a couple times, when windy, because my hard shell had no hood.
        I didn't take the wind top out, even on the high wind day, I did use shell overmits. My pants were hardshell with big side zips.

        Originally posted by Lftgly View Post
        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...
        I did not bring the shoes pictured, just used hut slippers, The shoe were part of our back-up plan, if we were going to bail but the weather looked good for most of the time so we risked it. We'd had a bad weather experience before and really didn't want to spend a week in ski boots if we were stuck in/out of town or in Austria.

        Boot liners, I pretty much take my liners out every day to let them dry. So I am well practiced on that.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by concordia2 View Post
          Trip report, please?!
          As I was leaving Chamonix this March, I figured that the next visit there will be for Haute Route. And hopefully soon! I'm interested in any and all details you are willing to share. Were you with the guide? If so, which company? What route variation did you take? Which pack did you take and was it a good size? ​ Anything else?! Pictures!
          Working on it! Just did one post. It's so long and so many pictures it's difficult and time consuming to put together and not be super long. Drop a line if you want any beta. I will be posting more about our trip but if you have specifics let me know.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank you for posting! I'm sure to ask you many questions, when I start putting the plan together. Asking now is pointless because I don't know what I don't know...

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