Stand Out Kit From My 2017 Expeditions – Rolfe Oostra

Climbing mountains is about trust.

You need to be able to trust your climbing buddies, your support crew but more importantly your equipment. Your support crew stuck in basecamp will not be able to help you if you are hanging 600 meters of the ground and the pick of your ice-axe snaps off.

This is why I am grateful to be sponsored by Berghaus. When it comes to equipment to be trusted I could think of no finer brand.

Let me give you a few examples from the expeditions I lead in 2017 where the kit that Berghaus provided me with not only kept me warm and dry but surpassed all my expectations for quality.

Last year I climbed the Great Trango Tower in the Karakoram mountains of Pakistan.

These mountains are about as fierce as it gets in terms of climbing and weather conditions. There is never an uncomplicated way up them and there is always a lot of stuff to think about when climbing them. It was therefore with great peace of mind that I knew that I wasn’t going to get cold.

Buried in the bottom of my rucksack was my Extrem Ramche 2.0 down jacket. This beast is super light and ultra-warm. I fished it out when belaying my climbing partner, as the sun set on another cold bivvy and when, yet another storm blew through. When it comes to a bit of kit you can trust this is at the top of my list.

I guide a lot on a 6500-meter Nepali Mountain called Mera peak.

The approach trek to basecamp throws a lot of differing conditions at you; harsh sun, cold wind and steamy rainforest. To combat these conditions and to reach a comfortable happy medium I constantly wear the Pravitale Extrem fleece hoody.

The wicking qualities of this bit of kit are excellent and since it is long sleeved I run little chance of getting sunburn. And of course, when crossing that high pass, it is fantastic to keep that wind at bay by pulling up my hoody. But best of all this hoody remained firmly stuck to my body and serves as a warm base-layer for the climbing above basecamp. A more versatile bit of kit has never been invented.

No Himalayan trek is without some rain.

Be it the Annapurna circuit, Stok Kangri in India, or the approach to the trekking peaks of the Khumbu valley of Nepal you are sure to experience some of the wet stuff. Therefore, I am never without my Extrem 7000 pro jacket.

It is 100% water-proof, perfectly sealed, has a snug fitting hood, awesome wicking properties and allow me to stay dry even in the most outrageous down pours. Plus, its ample pockets allow me to have my essential day to day items within easy reach. Naturally this bit of kit has found a permanent home in the top of my ruck-sack.

There’s always heavy loads.

When I am guiding on Aconcagua I help make things easier for my clients by moving up the group equipment to the higher camps when they have their scheduled day off. For this I use my trusty Wilderness 65+15 Rucksack.

This beast is light, and with its revolutionary Bio-fit back system is incredibly comfortable. I have at times carried over 30 kg of fuel, tents, stoves and food in it and have always been surprised how much I can fit inside it. This rucksack is a veritable Tardis of rucksacks as its side expansion panels allow me to cram it to the brim with essential group equipment. It is incredibly robust, and I have never had a worry about it failing under a heavy load.

Trusty boots.

For every trek I lead I wear the Hillwalker II GTX boots. In-fact I am so impressed by these boots that I wear them all the time for every occasion. Full stop.

I am the proud owner of several pairs of these very stylish, water-proof, comfortable, robust and super light boots. Be it trekking, carrying a load to a high camp, gardening or around town these boots never leave my feet. And when doing talks and presentations I polish them up with a dab of shoe-polish and voila my feet are decked out with footwear that must surely be the envy of any politician or high-flying businessman. They truly are that brilliant!