You may not understand the appeal of climbing up frozen waterfalls on the coldest winter days. If you have a loved one that does it though, you’ll do everyone a favor by getting them something from this list to make their seemingly incomprehensible passions a little more comfortable.
1. Garmin Fenix 5X Plus GPS Smartwatch
Ultralight hikers no longer need to carry a big handheld GPS unit if they want full topographic maps on their device—Even on this small screen, they’re completely readable and make navigating through new terrain easier. Plus, Pulse OX will give hikers a readout of how their body is handling elevation on those hilly trails.
2. Black Diamond Vapor Helmet
Lightweight, but without sacrificing durability, your loved ones will be less likely to “forget” their helmet when it doesn't cost them any additional effort to carry it to the ice on their pack.
3. Q Energy Drink Mix
It can be hard to stay hydrated during the cold winter, which makes flavored energy drinks valuable, but Q Energy mixes include Quercetin, a natural chemical found in fruits and vegetables, which improves energy levels, supports the immune system, and offers anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine relief—perfect for a long day of kicking into hard ice.
4. Mountain Hardwear Superforma Glove
Dexterity in a glove is the key to getting a good feel of the ice and placing accurate swings, and the Superforma offers that without sacrificing warmth or waterproofing. A Gore-Tex insert with Thermal.Q Elite insulation keeps your loved one’s hands warm and dry while a leather palm and four-way stretch back of the hand keeps movements subtle for more delicate climbs.
5. Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Backpacker Medical Kit
Make yourself feel good about feeding an adventure habit by supplying your loved one with a well-stocked first aid kit. The AMK kits come fully-loaded with everything they would need to get out safely if something went wrong.
6. Smartwool Mountaineering Extra Heavy Crew Socks
Cold toes are the worst part of any day ice climbing, but you can avoid that at the sock level with these super-insulating wool layers. Extra heavy cushioning adds some comfort in stiff climbing boots and thick insulation keeps toes warm when boots are tied tight.
7. Petzl Reactik+
The best climbs require an early morning, which during the winter means starting in the dark. The Reactik adjusts its beam based on the amount of light being reflected back at it, so when a climber looks from the trail down at their watch, the lamp automatically dims the beam, saving your loved one some money on batteries.
8. Camp Scorpio V-Threader
Who knew a tiny piece of metal hanging from your loved one’s harness could make it so much easier for them to come home? This tiny gadget helps climbers thread cord or webbing through small holes drilled in the ice to rappel off. The Scorpio allows for one-handed operation, which makes descents safer and easier.
9. Ortovox Haute Route 32
The versatility of the Haute Route line is what makes it the ultimate winter adventure pack. Quickly strap skis or snowboards to the pack in a handful of different ways, or tack on crampons, ice axes, trekking poles, rope, a helmet, and more, all with built-in straps and attachments. It’s the only pack they’ll need.
10. The North Face Respirator Jacket
On the approach, unzip the ¾-zip fleece and pull it down to your waist to cool down without taking it all the way off, and on the climb, zip up the high collar and put up the under-helmet hood for warmth. The polyester and elastane material has a DWR treatment so melting ice brushes off with ease.