When making the transition from hiking to mountaineering, the experienced users will find themselves looking for gear and equipment that is custom made and adapted to the conditions that they may face in a high-alpine region. This includes ranges such as the Alps in Europe, or the Himalayas in Asia. Due to the inherently difficult conditions, which can worsen at any given time due to relief particularities and weather variability, these environments demand only the most reliable pieces of gear which can withstand the harshest conditions.
Almost all mountaineering equipment producers take into account the conditions of the harsh environment where the equipment will be used, and make all their gear as if it would represent “beefed-up” versions of regular, lighter hiking gear.
Mountaineering boots will often times feature a far larger thermal insulation, a more rigid sole for increased stability, and most likely, some form of ice crampon compatibility. Several companies which offer some of the best mountaineering boots in the world, include: La Sportiva, Millet, Meindl, Garmont and Scarpa.
The mountaineering clothing range is also an up-sized version of the hiking clothes, and the same layering system applies in the mountaineering apparel range. Starting from the base layers, which are designed to allow breathability, these transition to the insulation layers, ending with the actual outer layers. The latter are impressively rugged and abrasion resistant, and these features work to withstand even the sharpest rocks and ice. All pieces of apparel are built using advanced materials, and they account for the elements present in the environment where the intended use will take place.
Well-known mountaineering producers such as Mammut, La Sportiva, and Lowe Alpine, all use highly resistant materials in their products, and construct them with specific functions and purposes, depending on the different locations and environments of use.