Winter Cragging with the Guide Lite 28
For the first time yesterday, I didn’t feel like an ass. A donkey, that is (what were you thinking?).
You see, in our many years of climbing at our local crag—Sinks Canyon—I have always schlepped gear fifteen minutes up the winding climber’s trail in our Deuter ACT Lite 65+10. We looked like we were on a serious backpacking expedition. In reality, we were heading up for a few hours of sport climbing. The size of the pack was in direct proportion to the size of the flock—two adults, a child (now six years old), and a dog.
Until our son was old enough to hike with his own pack, nearly everything went in “the big green monster”—one rope, twenty quickdraws, three harnesses, three pairs of shoes, three helmets, two belay devices, two pairs of belay gloves, three sets of layers, a cornucopia of snacks for the little picky eater, two Nalgene bottles and a giant juice jug of water for the hyper-hydrator (my husband), one dog bowl, and assorted toys.
But yesterday. Oh, yesterday! It was just me and my friend Anna. And we had about three hours to play on a sunny winter day. No kid. No dog. No husband. So I stuffed what I needed into my Guide Lite 28, and what used to feel like a slog up the trail turned into a breeze.
This pack is perfect for one person’s worth of stuff for a day of winter cragging. It fits about 20 quickdraws, my belay device and belay gloves, harness, layers, snacks, water, and a camera.
The difference between this pack and a run-of-the-mill daypack is the back system. My other pack of about the same size has standard one-inch webbing for a waist belt, no chest strap, and no padding on the shoulder straps. Though the Guide Lite 28 is small, Deuter did not skimp on its system. The hip belt is wide and padded, there is a chest strap, and the back system feels as burly as the system on my big pack. Overkill? Not really. Not if you don’t want to feel like an ass.
Author: Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin, Family Ambassador