I was about to head out to the Cascades for an Advanced Alpine Guides Course that was being taught by the AMGA. But before I headed out there, I had to give my new pack, the Marmot Drakon 35 litter, a test run.
That test run would be a guided two day ascent of Longs Peak (14,260’). Right away I keyed into the fact that the pack seemed to have a bit more room than most 35 litter packs I’ve used in the past. I was able to pack a Black Diamond 2 person tent and poles, an inflatable sleeping pad, a sleeping bag, stove/fuel, freeze dried food, the ten essentials, extra clothing, and all my climbing gear into my pack. I placed my helmet and climbing rope over the top of the pack and used the side straps to fasten the rope tightly to the sides.
On the hike up to the Boulder Field the pack carried really well. I had no sore spots or pains because of the pack. I could tell that the waist and shoulder straps are built in a way that makes carrying heavier loads easier and more comfortable. With the added benefit of the vertical zipper system, I was able to access food and water easily while on the trail.
The next day I was able use this same pack for the summit climb. By buckling the side straps across the front of the pack, the Drakon 35 compresses nicely and becomes low profile for climbing. Little pockets on the inside of the pack made it nice to store sunscreen and snacks.
After this trip I knew this would be the pack to take on my Alpine Course. Needless to say… I give this packs two thumbs up.
Colorado Mountain School Senior Guide