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Gear for Adventure: NIAD (Nose in a Day) for Mere Mortals

Jason Antin shares his gear list and training tips for the normal climber to climb the Nose in a Day

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As I pack my haul bag for my seventh trip to play on the big walls of Yosemite Valley, I can’t help but think back to my first big adventure out there and climbing the Nose in a Day.

Although I had climbed a few smaller routes in the Valley, I was eager to get up high and tackle one of the taller classics.  At the time I’d spent 2 days on Moonlight Buttress, Zion, working out big-wall systems and had just returned from a trip to Southern Greenland. I was incredibly excited tackle my first Yosemite wall.

[Also Read Jason Antin’s Gear For Adventure: Cassin Ridge, Denali]

Wade Morris, one of the athletes at the Alpine Training Center, Boulder, Colorado, had revealed to me he’d spent some time in Yosemite and had a few walls under his belt. We became friends and began climbing together more frequently.

Left: Jason Antin on El Cap during his and Wade Morris Niad. Right: Wade Morris during the NIAD. Both Photos: Jason Antin.

In late August we began planning a trip, with El Cap in the cross hairs. As we started talking through options and logistics, we soon immediately realized our limited vacation time would not permit a last-minute wall expedition in late fall. Wade jokingly suggested we attempt the Nose In A Day (NIAD).

I smiled and began optimistically thinking through the reality of such a goal. Neither of us had been up the Nose and we had less than two months to prepare for this objective. Could we pull it off?

Over the next 50 days we trained whenever we could.  Our program mainly consisted of the following:

1) Fixed Line Sessions on Country Club Crack, Boulder Canyon, Colorado.

We’d drive out before work in the dark and hang two fixed lines from the top of Castle Rock: one rope hanging freely to the ground, the other redirected over the classic granite crack. One partner would TR solo CCC, while the other would jumar the free-hanging line. We’d switch and repeat until we had to run to work, or were completely worked.

2) Strength & Conditioning at The Alpine Training Center

At the Alpine Training Center, based in Boulder, Colorado, Wade and I trained two times per week under the guidance of gym owner, Connie Sciolino, to prepare our overall physical strength and endurance for our objective.

3) Pulling Plastic

Two or three days a week, Wade and I would meet at the climbing gym for long sessions on 5.10 and 5.11 routes to build our stamina for the Nose in a Day.

4) Simulator Day

I’d never spent a long day out with Wade, so we created a simulator of sorts to test our bodies, minds and partnership while fatigued. We drove out to Castle Valley, Utah, and climbed 20 pitches of desert sandstone. We ended up climbing the Rectory Formation twice and Castleton Tower three times.

The simulator was a total beatdown on the hands and great strengthening event for Wade and I as climbing partners. Our bodies were as ready as they would be given the short timeframe—now it was time to get the gear together.

We spoke with several Nose in a Day veterans and were able to pair our rack down to what you see in the table below! 

Rack for the Nose in a Day. Photo: Jason Antin.
Antin and Morris’ rack for their NIAD. Photo: Jason Antin.
Nose In a Day Gear List
Weather Forecast Mountain Forecast NOAA
Gear Item Quantity  Details
Personal Gear
Approach Shoes  1x Merrell MQM w/ custom Sticky Rubber resole
Climbing Shoes  1x La Sportiva TC Pros (sized up)
Active Socks  1x Thin Merino Socks (worn all day)
Upper Layers
T-Shirt Baselayer  1x Merrell Merino T-Shirt
Long-Sleeve Mid-Layer w/ Hood  1x Merrell AlphaTherm Full Zip Fleece
Soft Shell/Wind Jacket w/ Hood  1x Black Diamond Alpine Start Hoody
Insulating Parka/Puffy  1x Patagonia Micro Puff
Lower Layers
Underwear 1x Saxx Merino Boxer Brief Short
Softshell Pants (Mid weight) 1x Merrell Stapleton Pant
Head + Neck + Face
Helmet 1x Black Diamond Vapor
Buff  1x Neck Gaiter/Buff
Glasses  1x Zeal Caddis w/ neck strap
Lip balm  1x Dermatone Tin
Sunscreen  1x Dermatone Tin
Crack Gloves/Hand Jammies  1x Taped Hands (EuroTape)
Wall Gloves  1x Black Diamond Leather Gloves for jugging (pair)
Personal Climbing Gear
Harness 1x Misty Mountain Cadillac
Belay Device 1x Black Diamond ATC Guide
HMS Locker for belay device 1x CAMP Nitro Locker
Grigri 1x Petzl Grigri
Locker for Grigri 1x CAMP Photon Locker
Small Locking Carabiners 3x CAMP Photon Lockers
Small Wiregate Carabiners 3x CAMP Nano 22s
120cm Dyneema Runner 1x Edelrid Aramid Runner
Cordelette 1x 21-foot Sterling PowerCord
3rd Hand + Locking Carabiner 1x (1) 13.5-inch Sterling Hollow Block

(1) Trango Locker

Self Rescue Kit 1x (1) CAMP Photon Locker

(1) Petzl Tibloc

Daisy Chain 2x Yates Adjustable Daisies
Daisy Lockers 2x DMM Oval Lockers
Fifi Hook 1x Black Diamond Fifi Hook
Food + Hydration
Dromedary 1x 6-Liter MSR Dromedary Bag w/ Hose (for the team)
Water Bottle 1x 1-Liter Nalgene (to hang off harness)
4,000 Calories worth of food Bars, snacks and other endurance food
Power Sandwich 1x Thick sandwich to look forward to!
Personal Electronics + Other Gear
Mobile Phone 1x iPhone 7+
Headlamp 1x Petzl Nao
Spare Headlamp Battery 1x Petzl Nao spare battery
Team Technical Gear
Team Climbing Gear
Dynamic Lead Line  1x Mammut 60-meter 10mm Dynamic Rope
Zip Line  1x 35-foot 6mm Cord
Small Backpack 1x Hyperlite Mountain Gear Summit Pack
Micro Nuts / RPs 3x 3 Smallest Offset Alloy Stoppers, 1 each
Micro Cams  2x (1) Black Diamond 000 C3 (grey)

(1) Black Diamond 00 C3 (purple)

Offset Cams  3x (1) Fixe Alien Black/Blue Offset

(1) Fixe Alien Blue/Green Offset

(1) Fixe Alien Green/Yellow Offset

Standard Range Cams  16x (1) BD Grey .4 C4

(2) BD Purple .5 C4

(3) BD Green .75 C4

(3) BD Red #1 C4

(3) BD Yellow #2 C4

(2) BD Blue #3 C4

(2) BD Grey #4 C4

Cam Hooks  2x (1) Small Cam Hook

(1) Medium Cam Hook

Alpine Draws 5x (5) Dyneema Slings + (5) Wiregates
Quickdraws  16x Keylock Quickdraws
Locking Carabiners 8x DMM Keylock Lockers
Nut Tool 1x Metolius Nut Tool w/ leash
Pocket Aiders 2x (1) Metolious Pocket Alpine Aider

(1) Trango Dyneema Pocket Aider

Ascenders 2x (1) Petzl Ascension, right (yellow)

(1) Petzl Ascension, left (black)

Lockers for bottom of ascenders 2x CAMP Photon Lockers
Wiregates for top of ascenders 2x Black Diamond Oval Wiregates
Foot Strap 1x Metolius Easy Aider Foot Strap
Medical Kit
Athletic Tape
Latex Gloves
Alcohol Swabs
Large Safety Pins
Triangular Bandage
3 Feet of 3-inch Coban
4×4-inch Gauze Pads
Surgical ABD
Prescription Meds
Ibuprofen (200 mg tablets)
Prednisone (20 mg tablets)

Jason Antin is sponsored by Merrell, Gnarly Nutrition, Hyperlite Mountain Gear, Go Pro, Bentgate Mountaineering, and Zeal Optics.

Feature Image: El Capitan, Yosemite Valley, California. Photo: Adam Kool.

Jason Antin, a native of New England who now calls Colorado home, focuses all of his time striving to achieve the ultimate work-life balance. He also spends much of his time working as a Climbing Guide for Denver Mountain Guiding, as a strength and conditioning coach at The Alpine Training Center in Boulder, CO where he prepares his athletes for the physical and mental rigors of the mountains. Off the clock, Jason shares his home in Golden, CO with his wife Jenny and 2-year old daughter Avery. He enjoys moving quickly in the mountains over all mediums that mother nature shares with us whether that be trails, rock, ice or snow.

Read more about Jason’s adventures at his website!

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