Mountaineering requires a lightweight functional clothing system that does not hinder movement of the mountaineer. The clothing system is required to keep the mountaineer comfortable, and provide protection from the elements in all planned and unplanned scenarios. Although the mountaineer may have taken all precautions, the weather at altitude can change very quickly leading to unplanned scenarios.
The high levels of physical exertion associated with mountaineering leads itself (like most other activities) to a layering approach for the clothing system allowing the mountaineer to adjust the levels of clothing to suit the conditions. As mountaineering can incorporate snow climbing, ice climbing, rock climbing and glacier travel at altitude, the clothing system needs to cater to wind and driven snow / rain.
The base layer needs to have a high moisture wicking ability and provide a level of insulation/warmth.
The mid layers would augment the insulation / warmth provided by the base layer and is highly breathable to allow the perspiration to escape the clothing system.
The outer layer would typically be a durable waterproof and windproof layer, providing the mountaineer the protection from the elements that are required.
The clothing system is required to be compatible in design with the mountaineering equipment to be carried on the body.
The clothing system must be non-restrictive allowing the mountaineer to climb and descent unhindered.
Insert graphic of mountaineering function priorities
- Moisture wicking
- Warmth retention
- Durable – abrasion resistant
- Unhindered body movement
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