Clothes and protection
A Gore-tex top and bottom will be the most weather proof. Make sure it fits with all the possible layers under it. There are other options to Gore-tex that work fine. The top should have a comfortable protective hood.
Climbing Pants in Schoeller or nylon. Winstopper jacket (softshell is fine).
Inner layers (multi-layer system)
Mid weight long under wear top and bottom, Mid weight fleece top and bottom, Long Underwear Top - stretch midweight with pocket. Heavier weight fleece jacket or insulated sweater. Schoeller fabric stretch climbing pants are useful, but optional. Short sleeve shirt (synthetic), optional.
Socks and Liners
Good warm sock. If it is too thick, it might restrict circulation and make your toes cold. Some suggestions - Smartwool or Thorlos.
Heavy Insulated Jacket
Synthetic or down (Mt. Blanc only or winter). Some suggestions - Patagonia DAS Parka, Marmot, etc. A down sweater could be a little on the cold side depending on the weather; a jacket with a hood is preferable. Thinner for Haute Routes and thicker for Mont Blanc.
Light Gloves - leather palms best for all. Medium Gloves - ski glove weight. Super Heavy Gloves - like BD Guide Glove or Patagonia Nitro.
Fleece Hat - Neck gaitor and balaclava optional. Sun Hat - Baseball cap style is fine. Bandana - For long days on glacier.
Category 4 and side shields best for long days on sunny glaciers, wrap around cat. 3 sport glasses fine for most things. Goggles - Mt. Blanc, expeditions or winter with good low light lens is very important.
Spare batteries. Recommendation: Petzl Tikka Plus.
We find when we bring along our small and light camera, we take more pictures.
Any of these items can mostly be purchased locally and the technical gear (ice axes etc), can be rented. Another option if you are having trouble finding items in the US or want to get a better price, you can order from the web site www.cham3s.com.
A lightweight pack is super important. Your pack should weigh no more than 20 pounds.
Please let us know if you have any questions about equipment; for example, if you have something that you think will work, but are not sure.