Playing the sock-game | part deux

In my previous blog I wrote about how working as team is all about making small decisions that count. However the sock-game is still on, and some of you have been asking to really get into the specifics. You need a lot of stuff to go on a expedition. In this blog I'll give you the highlights. You can learn more on our Gearpage. But okay, let's talk gear :)

Last year on the summit-push my toes were really cold. We used, what seemed to be extremely thick synthetic socks, but they just didn't perform well. This year we're making the transition to wool and our friends at Teko hooked us up with a few of their great merino wool eco-performance expedition socks and complementary liners. 

I've personally never used liner socks, but I recon Peak Pobeda might be a good place to start! Socks alone won't do the job and recently we received our new expedition boots. These things are huge!  

When we look at the 'clothing department' a few things stand out. Last year we also partnered up with Mountain Equipment, so we already had a lot of the gear we need. On the other hand we also learned from our Peak Lenin expedition where we can still improve in our clothing system.

The main lesson was that 70% of the time you spend on these big mountains it will be freakin' hot! That's why this year we replaced several hardshell items with more breathable softshells. You don't want to go too light, so we did comprehensive testing during the ice-climbing season. It turns out that for example these ME softshell trousers hold really well in cases of spindrift and cold! The difficulty is that during the other 20% of the time, it can be extremely cold, so you need as well all the down clothing (pants - jacket - gloves). Therefore it is quite a challenge to be fully prepared for all circumstances, without taking too much stuff. 

Shoes and clothing are just two examples of personal gear you need during a expedition. There is a section of expedition gear which is underestimated how important it is. These are the small practical items that keep you comfortable and organised. The devil is most definitely in the details. I'm convinced that it's small things like having the right compression sack for your down-trousers that really make a difference! For that and a million other things we partnered up with Sea to Summit.  

Gijs Schuurhuis