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Ten of the best.

It's not just scientific equipment that would be required for an expedition measuring alpine slope movement, plenty of traditional travelling equipment is needed too. Here, Mark Allan highlights the kit taken to the Alps, including ice axes, warm clothing, weather-proof tents and, of course, the all-important camera-fitted drone ...

1 Drone

DJI S800 Evo 6,000 [pounds sterling]/8kilograms (take-off weight)

When we went to the Alps in the summer of 2014, the S800 Evo was one of the best unmanned aerial vehicles on the market. This model has a GPS-based navigation and stability system which made it particularly straightforward to fly.

2. Camera

Sony Alpha 6000 530/285 [pounds sterling] grams (body only)

This was perfect for the photogrammetry technique that we use in the high mountain environment. It's rugged, fits in a pocket and is light enough to be slung beneath a drone. I paired the Alpha 6000 with either an 18-55 or a 20 mm lens.

3. Vehicle

Land Rover Defender 110 Station Wagon 30,000 [pounds sterling]/2,000 kilograms

The Land Rover Defender is the most iconic off-roader in the world. It took the expedition into areas that would not otherwise have been possible. Having the additions of a roof rack target, off-road wheels and an increased storage area made it the perfect vehicle for the job.

4. Tent

Terra Nova Ultra Quasar 620 [pounds sterling]/312 kilograms

This lightweight mountain tent can be erected quickly, and has plenty of space for people and kit. Most importantly, the self-supporting geodesic design stood up to all the weather the Alps threw at us.

5. Boots

Scarpa Manta Pro GTX 300 [pounds sterling]/164 kilograms (pair size 42)

These B2-rated boots are perfect for summer alpinism. They're sturdy and provide ample ankle support, and can accommodate C2-rated crampons.

6. Satellite messaging service

Spot Gen3 [sic] 120 [pounds sterling] (plus annual subscription)/114 grams (w/lithium batteries)

Now in its third incarnation, this handheld unit was our safety net. We used it to send emails whenever we headed onto --and returned from--a glacier. The dedicated SOS button connects with local emergency services and informs them of your location.

7. Rucksack Osprey Variant 37 120 [pounds sterling]/1.5 kilograms

This pack, which received a fair amount of abuse over the course of three months, provided ample room for all the kit needed to carry onto the glacier each day. Attachment loops and straps accommodated large GPS equipment and sharp crampons. The rucksack's design distributes the weight comfortably across your back.

8. Insulation Berghaus Furnace 310 [pounds sterling]/300grams

This insulated jacket, with its integral hood, came in handy whenever I stood still on a glacier in inclement weather. It squished down to an impressively small size when not in use.

9. Ice axe GrivelMunro 50 [pounds sterling]/482 grams

This non-technical ice axe provided all the stability and security I needed on the ice and snow surfaces we negotiated. The classic design includes a wide adze, an effective spike and a gentle curve on the head. The Munro is also supplied with an adjustable leash.

10. Crevasse rescue Petzl Kit Secours Crevasse 105 [pounds sterling]/370 grams

This kit contains many of the essential items--including pulleys, karabiners and a sling--that you need to safely cross a glacier. You will want to add a rope, a harness, and training in glacier travel and crevasse rescue to complete your crevasse rescue ensemble.

DON'T FORGET ...

... to buy a climbing rope with a water-repellent treatment. Otherwise, your rope will feel twice as heavy when you pack it into your rucksack at the end of a day of glacier travel.
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Title Annotation:EXPLORE; equipment used for expedition to the Alps
Comment:Ten of the best.(EXPLORE)(equipment used for expedition to the Alps)
Publication:Geographical
Article Type:List
Date:Jul 1, 2015
Words:606
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