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
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.
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!
|Nose In a Day Gear List|
|Weather Forecast||Mountain Forecast||NOAA|
|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)|
|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|
|Underwear||1x||Saxx Merino Boxer Brief Short|
|Softshell Pants (Mid weight)||1x||Merrell Stapleton Pant|
|Head + Neck + Face|
|Helmet||1x||Black Diamond Vapor|
|Glasses||1x||Zeal Caddis w/ neck strap|
|Lip balm||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|
|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+|
|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)|
|Offset Cams||3x||(1) Fixe Alien Black/Blue Offset
(1) Fixe Alien Blue/Green 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|
|Locking Carabiners||8x||DMM Keylock Lockers|
|Nut Tool||1x||Metolius Nut Tool w/ leash|
|Pocket Aiders||2x||(1) Metolious Pocket Alpine Aider|
|Ascenders||2x||(1) Petzl Ascension, right (yellow)|
|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|
|Large Safety Pins|
|3 Feet of 3-inch Coban|
|4×4-inch Gauze Pads|
|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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