Group leap on mountaintop. Silas Patterson photo. Varsity Outdoor Club.



From Wool to Fleece

Mountaineers used to depend on wool, cotton or even silk clothing to protect them from the extreme elements they faced. These fabrics have been largely abandoned for the increased warmth, water resistance, and lighter weight offered by synthetic fabrics. Gore-Tex®, nylon and fleece outperform and outlast traditional materials in most circumstances. Modern outerwear is also tailored specifically to accommodate heavy backpacks, harnesses, and gear without encumbering the climber. These changes have revolutionized the way mountaineers combat the elements.

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