MOUNTAIN SKILLS: Equipment for an ice, snow, rock or mixed route

Featured, Mountaineering, Safety

The latest article from the UIAA Mountain Skills provides recommendations for equipment for an ice, snow, rock or mixed route.

Adapt this list accordingly to the difficulty and conditions of your chosen climb.


  • warm knit cap
  • helmet
  • scarf
  • sunscreen > SPF 30
  • lip balm > SPF 30
  • sunglasses (protection level IV)


  • long-sleeved breathable undershirt
  • 1 waterproof breathable shell jacket
  • 1 fleece jacket
  • 1 lightweight insulated jacket or vest
  • 1 pair of snow gloves
  • 1 pair of spare gloves


  • 1 pair underwear
  • 1 pair lightweight long underwear
  • 1 pair waterproof, breathable pants
  • 1 pair crampon-compatible mountaineering boots
  • 1 pair crampons fitted with anti-snow plates
  • 1 pair warm socks
  • 1 pair gaiters


  • daypack (30-40 litres)
  • 1 or 2 ice tools depending on the route
  • a single 60-meter rope plus tagline for rappelling. For alpine rock and ice routes, two 60-meter half ropes; or for pure ice, two 60-meter twin ropes.
  • harness
  • conventional or reversible belay device (tube, plaquette, etc.)
  • 5 to 10 quickdraws
  • ice screws
  • hook for making v-threads
  • nuts and cams (rock and mixed routes)
  • nut tool
  • assorted pitons + hammer, depending on the route
  • 3 x 120 cm slings
  • avalanche transceiver, probe, shovel
  • water bladder/bottle
  • food rations
  • first-aid kit
  • multifunction knife tool
  • headlamp with new batteries
  • radio or phone
  • topographic map
  • compass, altimeter, whistle, GPS
  • crevasse-rescue kit
  • camera, charged batteries, empty memory cards

For a rock-only alpine climb, use the gear list provided under “Multi-pitch climbing” in the Climbing Module to complete your equipment. If the approach is glacial, take the crevasse-rescue kit. These sections are available to view in the full version of the guide. To purchase the guide please click here.

Previous extracts from the Guide can be found on our dedicated Skills page.

Main Image: SWAT Project by Mountain International Widerness, 2018 UIAA Mountain Protection Award nominee

About the UIAA Alpine Skills Summer Guide

The UIAA Alpine Skills Summer guide was first published in 2015. Produced in collaboration with the Petzl Foundation, the guide and has been well received worldwide and is currently available in five languages. To mark the launch of a digital version of the publication, the UIAA is running a series of articles from the guide designed to help hikers, climbers and mountaineers develop their skills and knowledge of the mountain environment.

The guide was developed specifically as a reference document for trip leaders and instructors of club and federations within the UIAA – an aide memoire for climbers and mountaineers who attend training courses delivered by instructors and guides who have gained qualifications accredited by the UIAA. Now open to the wider climbing and mountaineering world, the handbook’s four modules focus primarily on summer activities. However, a specific winter guide is currently in production.