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What’s in a Guide’s Pack on an 8000m Peak?

Thinking of climbing an 8000-meter peak and wondering what to put in your pack? When you’re above 8000-meters, it’s important that you have carefully considered, planned, and organized everything that you bring with you. Here’s what Adrian Ballinger, owner and founder of Alpenglow Expeditions, has carried with him to 18 successful summits on 8000-meter peaks.


Personal Gear

  • First aid kit, including altitude medication (diamox, dexamethasone, nifedipine)
  • Satellite communicator (InReach or SAT phone, and/or cell phone depending on the mountain) 
  • Radio comms with backup batteries 
  • Backup power bank for all electronics
  • GPS watch with offline mapping software (Gaia, Fatmap), altimeter, and barometer
  • Headlamp (always!) with spare batteries
  • Bathroom kit (wag bag, toilet paper, sanitizer)


Technical Gear

  • Technical gear (crampons, ice axe, harness, helmet, rope)
    • 30m RAD line or 60m single line depending on the terrain
    • Cordelette, locking carabiners, 1-2 ice screws, snow anchor, and V-thread
  • 2 person bivy sack and/or space blanket (quick shelter setup)
  • Oxygen bottle and spare, mask, regulator, backup regulator, backup mask (only above 23,000 ft.)



  • Base layers
    • Windproof layer
    • Large down jacket for accidents and/or unplanned overnights
    • Full-length down suit with layers underneath **for summit day only
  • Goggles AND sunglasses
  • Gloves (Light climbing gloves w/ hand warmers AND heavy gloves or mittens that are much warmer (for backup or a rescue scenario)
  • Neck gaiter/balaclava
  • Warm hat


For more specific information on how to pack for the high alpine, check out our blog, “Packing Principles for Alpine Climbing”. 

Interested to begin your journey to 8000-meter peaks around the world? Check out our page on The Road to Everest! For any questions call our office at 877-873-5376 or send us an email We hope to climb with you soon!