“Wow, I made this Pack!”


“Wow, I made this pack.” That was the thought in my head as I worked to carry sixty plus pounds at fifteen thousand feet on Aconcagua. South America’s highest peak is located in Argentina along the spine of the rugged Andes mountain range. At 22,849 feet, it is the highest point outside of the Himalaya in Asia. Our route is called the “False Polish” traverse. There are three camps above base camp and we will spend a total of 16 days on the mountain. We will shuttle our gear and supplies up the mountain in alternating carries and moves. This is what mountaineers call “capsule style” climbing. We carried everything up and down the mountain ourselves as a self supported climbing team. I knew what was involved in climbing Aconcagua because I had been there the previous winter. Before I left for Argentina this time, I built a stripped down version of the Mystery Ranch G6000. I wanted a pack that carried as well as the G-series but I wanted to make it as light as possible. It all seemed like a blur. Building the pack, planning the trip, organizing the gear, buying the food, and getting myself and two other climbers to the mountain. Then I was loading the pack up with gear to go up the mountain. “Wow, I built this pack.” During the expedition I had time to reflect on the trust I was putting in my craftsmanship. I thought about the course building a pack takes. Starting out as raw materials in a basket, all the pieces being sewn together, then inspected and shipped. Ski patrollers, fire fighting crews, climbers, hunters, and soldiers are some of the people who use our packs. All of them will rely on the work we do in Bozeman, in much the same way I was relying on my own work on Aconcagua. It was gratifying to feel how our attention to detail and craftsmanship would make a difference to the people using Mystery Ranch gear.

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  1. Jennifer Nerison
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    Can you have Robert guide me up Everest, actually I was hoping he could CARRY me up in one of your packs?! Would the limiting factor be Robert, or your pack?

  2. Mark Seacat
    Posted April 23, 2009 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    interesting questions….

    on one hand Mystery Ranch Backpacks have a lifetime warranty… and on the other hand Robert is a really strong climber…

    My bet would be… if Robert made the pack…, he’d probably be able to carry you to the summit of Everest in it and of course it would last a lifetime!

  3. jane
    Posted April 26, 2009 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    How much does the strip-down G6000 weigh? Does Mystery Ranch have it for sale?

  4. Tipi Walter
    Posted May 23, 2009 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    I’ve used the G6000 on many trips and always started out with around 75 pounds, and over the last couple of years have decided the pack could use a lightening makover.

    First off, I’d get rid of the back vertical pack zipper as it’s never used. And then, I’d do away with the bottom sleeping bag compartment divider and the big straight ziiper with the outside buckle and the inside compression strap and buckle. It’s much easier and quicker to just stuff my bagged sleeping bag down in from the top of the pack.

    Other than this, it’s the most comfortable pack I’ve ever used, and handles a heavy load w/o complaint. It has no weak points as far as I can see.

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