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kmehrtens

question Softshell for Denali

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What is everyone's favorite softshell jacket that worked our well for the West Buttress?

 

I also posted this in the Alaska section too.

 

Thanks.

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Mountain Hardwear Dragon worked great for me. The one I have is in my normal size but it fits really big. Which is what you need to layer it properly for those conditions. Fits like crap for wearing around town, which helps make it last for climbing!

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IMNSHO, stretch woven softshells are perfect for wearing on the bus to work in Seattle. Water resistant, windproof, and look much nicer with your business attire than a hard shell.

 

I also like them for lift service skiing. Paired with a nice merino wool scarf the look is quite fetching.

 

I wore a stretch woven softshell climbing once, and never again. In my mind, the original softshell, the Marmot DriClime windshirt, and similar designs by other manufacturers out perform stretch woven softshell jackets in every way.

 

They are as breathable, as water resistant, but lighter, more packable, and layer better due to their slick nylon shell. I am on my third one and never head into the mountains without it.

 

My stretch woven softshell sees the mountains only from a chairlift.

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Dan, I want a picture of you with the jacket and scarf!

 

I've never been to Denali, but imagine that you are going to have a hard shell anyways? If so, I think that your typical softshell isn't going to be a good layer to lug. Like Dan points out, lots of other layers out there that are more versatile and lighter and will compliment the hard shell better.

 

And a merino wool scarf. Don't forget that!

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What is everyone's favorite softshell jacket that worked our well for the West Buttress?

 

I also posted this in the Alaska section too.

 

Thanks.

 

Like JasonG, I've never climbed the West Buttress on Denali so I may not be qualified to comment on this question. However, I have climbed some other less extreme buttresses and I've been pretty happy in the mountains with a vey light wool base layer and this wind shirt here: http://westcomb.com/product/crest-hoody/

I've used this combo for a few years of infrequent soft man climbing and ski touring. I bet you can find the jacket on clearance somewhere online.

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However, I have climbed some other less extreme buttresses...

 

This made my day.

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Ok, I too have MH Dragon and love it. I was looking for something less bulky when packed, weights a little less and lighter weight. But then again, if I'm wearing it most of the time I won't be carrying it around. I was looking at the difference between a Patagonia Houdini and a Black Diamond Alpine Start. I'm thinking if I need something more substantial I will use my hard shell (Arcteryx Beta AR).

Edited by kmehrtens

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Agree that the Dragon + hard shell is perhaps not the minimum weight system as noted by all in both threads. But it worked well (enough)for me. Aside from the first 3 days and the last day I wore the softshell continuously. I wore the hardshell for about 8 hours on the whole trip and could have left it at home.

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Dan, I want a picture of you with the jacket and scarf!

And a merino wool scarf. Don't forget that!

 

Rob McDaniel gave me the idea for the scarf. Sure a buff is arguably a better garment, but Gaston Rebuffet never wore a buff. Empirical testing has shown that a clove hitch is the ideal knot for a scarf. I am working on bringing back knickers as well. The trick is finding socks that will work with knickers.

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Ok, I too have MH Dragon and love it. I was looking for something less bulky when packed, weights a little less and lighter weight. But then again, if I'm wearing it most of the time I won't be carrying it around. I was looking at the difference between a Patagonia Houdini and a Black Diamond Alpine Start. I'm thinking if I need something more substantial I will use my hard shell (Arcteryx Beta AR).

 

Why not something like the Nano-air hoody to replace the softshell? Much lighter and more breathable.

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Ok, I too have MH Dragon and love it. I was looking for something less bulky when packed, weights a little less and lighter weight. But then again, if I'm wearing it most of the time I won't be carrying it around. I was looking at the difference between a Patagonia Houdini and a Black Diamond Alpine Start. I'm thinking if I need something more substantial I will use my hard shell (Arcteryx Beta AR).

 

I love my MH Torch/Dragon, but it hasn't left my closet after buying a deadbird Squamish hoody. Used my Torch on WestButt and was very happy with it + Mammut Champ pants with an UL hardshell top/bottom in the bottom of my pack the whole trip.

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