The Mammut Trion Nordwand 20L was made for extreme alpinist pursuits, but I found that it's just as useful for aspiring mountaineers because it's made to last. Mainly, the tougher-than-steel Dyneema ripstop nylon material will hold up through training climbs and stay in tact in time for that first big expedition. This summer, I took the pack into Boulder Canyon to multiple crags. We'll call them "training climbs" and we'll call the beer we brought along "hydration."
One of the days, my climbing friends and I crossed a tyrolean traverse to an area called Avalon. On the way up to the wall, we scrambled a talus field that led to a wooded area. My partner's shirt sleeve got snagged on a branch that left him with a gnarly shoulder scar, but I breezed past the trees without my pack (or skin) getting sliced. An added bonus: The pack's sunrise orange color directed my friends ascending behind me. It also comes in black.
At 20-liters, the Trion Nordwand toted my harness, two pairs of shoes, a set of draws and belay devices, slings, a guidebook, a helmet, extra layers, and snacks. I tucked accessories in the interior zippered bag and my phone into the waterproof external pocket. An attachment on the flap secures a rope. Even when it was loaded up, the removable T-frame, lateral compression straps, and 3D EVA foam backing kept the Trion Nordwand's shape, and therefore, it stayed snug on my back. The pack also features two ice axe attachments, exterior daisy chains, and cinching straps.
I'm not ready yet, but I know that when I plan my first alpine climbing expedition, the Trion Nordwand will have my back.