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Ryan Jordan's SUL Winter Challenge
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kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Ryan's Winter ramble is finally shod on 10/25/2005 21:34:30 MDT Print View

By all means, add the Elites. Good choice.

Moving on...

Michael Martin
(MikeMartin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Shelter on 10/25/2005 21:48:59 MDT Print View

Ryan writes:

>> Since shelter type will govern clothing choices to a large extent, let's tackle shelter/sleep system. The current proposal on the table (from John Shannon) is:

# Snowcave
# Snowclaw Snow Shovel
# Arc alpinist X
# Vapor nano bivy
# Spinnsack for sleep gear
# GG nightlight torso length cut down
# GG thinlight 3/8" cut down
<<

Ryan-

We brought up the VBL issue previously. Without (yet) divulging your secret SUL techniques, can you deal with the down Arc X and snowcave condensation without one? (If so, I'm really looking forward to your trip report -- much to learn...)

Seems like you'd be shivering on your thinlight in a bag of wet oatmeal by the third night.

Best Regards,

-Mike

Edited by MikeMartin on 10/25/2005 22:00:48 MDT.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Shelter on 10/25/2005 23:10:44 MDT Print View

There is still the 4 oz. to add some overfill or a vbl.......or them extra socks.

Mike Maurer
(maurer) - F - M

Locale: Oregon
Winter SUL list on 10/26/2005 08:40:54 MDT Print View

Hey all,

Long time lurker, first time poster. couldn't resist this one. Haven't read the entire thread so this may be a bit redundant, OK, here goes;

IN PACK:
G6 pack - 3.7 oz
Arc X bag - 15.2
WM vest - 5.0
Cocoon jacket - 8.5
Quantum knickers - 6.4
reed pants - 4.3
Golite syhth hood - 2.5
Pdown cap - 1.4
OR balaclava - 1.0
PDown gloves - 1.2
Nano Pocho Tarp - 4.9 NEW (est)
6 stakes, line - 2.0
Nano/quantum bivy - 4.2 NEW (est)
RBH Vb socks/liners(sleeping) - 2.6
GG torso pad/+ leg pad - 7.5
Jet ti stove - 2.7
fuel canister - 3.3
SP 600 cup/spoon - 3.5

WEIGHT IN PACK - 79.9

Wear:

smartwool crew
Dragonfly
Golite momentum
arcteryx gamma pants
ice floe gloves
tilley hat
your choice of shoes

concept - cook drinks and soup, eat cold food. might switch SP60 for slightly larger pot. still need room for platy but this is getting close to what I'd carry.

OK - fire away.

Mike Maurer

Mike Maurer
(maurer) - F - M

Locale: Oregon
Winter SUL, part II on 10/26/2005 08:42:36 MDT Print View

Hey all,

I forgot to add Northern litees snowshoes tot he above list - they'd double as the shovel.

Mike Maurer

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
M. Maurer's Winter SUL list on 10/26/2005 10:32:44 MDT Print View

What are "quantum knickers"? Are you suggesting a pair of cut down Cocoon Pants?

Cook pot too small, I think, for melting snow.
Perhaps too much weight and bulk from too many layers. You are suggesting that much of this fit into a G6. The Cocoon Pullover/W.M. vest combo is versatile but perhaps not warm enough to justify the weight/bulk penalty (over 4 oz. difference). If using a Cocoon, Ryan has access to a hooded version.

Poncho of limited utility in Winter--I'd hate to have it flapping around in a winter storm (if any) and doesn't provide arm protection when digging out a snowcave but would be an excellant vehicle for trapping large quantities of loose snow within.

I think wind and moisture protection should be one garment for this trip. Dragonfly will flap around, a stiffer ID eVENT jacket will serve dual utility and be an extra thermal layer as part of layering system.
I would more likely use a UL windshell as part of a sleeping system in Winter.

I would go with a midweight merino wool baselayer.
I think a softshell jacket/pants combo is essential.
Golite Momentum (possibly) and the Gamma MX (good). Personally, I would prefer either Ibex Guide Lite Pants or Beyond Fleece Cold Fusion Pants (probably the latter for this mission). A zippered W/B pant is needed to fit over it.

Edited by kdesign on 10/26/2005 11:38:26 MDT.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: M. Maurer's Winter SUL list on 10/26/2005 12:12:36 MDT Print View

>> I think wind and moisture protection should be one garment for this trip. Dragonfly will flap around, a stiffer ID eVENT jacket will serve dual utility and be an extra thermal layer as part of layering system.
I would more likely use a UL windshell as part of a sleeping system in Winter.

Interestingly, choice of windwear is far more integrated with choice of shelter in the winter than in the "other seasons".

If your choice of shelter is something you carry (tarp, tent, pyramid, etc.) then shoveling/stomping out a platform is not such a wet task and you could probably ditch waterproof garments.

On the other hand, if your choice of shelter is a snowcave, where your hands, knees, butt, shoulders, head, etc. are in constant contact with the snow, then waterproofs become a more serious consideration.

I'm curious what thought processes others go through in deciding on shell gear, or if there are other considerations here.

Mike Maurer
(maurer) - F - M

Locale: Oregon
SUL gear responses on 10/26/2005 12:13:14 MDT Print View

Keith,

Not much interest in debating gear decisions, HYOH I say. Here's what was in my head, however, when I posted the list;

1. Mentioned in my "concept" notes about the need for a bigger pot. I'd switch to the anitgravity pot but didn't want to take the time to figure out where to deduct the weight.
2. Quantum knickers - somewhere on this enormous website you might find a winter pic of Ryan in green down pants. These are his down knickers. Made by Nunatak a long time ago.
3. Warmth layers - with such a light down bag he'll need the core warmth a WM vest provides. One of the better warmth/weight ratios around.
4. Poncho - arm coverage provided by the momentum jacket. Flapping ponchos suck but so what. Tarp would make a great roof for a snow trench in a big storm.
5. Layering the Dragonfly is for hiking WARMTH, not so much for wind protection. baselayer/windshirt/momentum can be a highly breathable, very warm kit for winter hiking (just ask Ryan).

Cheers.

Mike

Mike Maurer
(maurer) - F - M

Locale: Oregon
Winter SUL LIst on 10/26/2005 12:25:31 MDT Print View

Sorry Kevin,

I meant Kevin, not Keith on the last post. I know a guy named Keith Davidson, which is waht was in my head when I typed. Anyway, know you know why I don't post much - I usually screw something up, and don't spell check very well!!

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: Winter SUL list on 10/26/2005 12:26:55 MDT Print View

Mike Suggests:

>> 1 lb down bag
>> Poncho Tarp
>> wind shirt
>> snowshoes for a shovel

The only way to make a 1 lb down bag work in these temperatures is to (1) keep it dry to preserve the miniscule amount of insulation that's in there, (2) take the time to build an ultra-efficient snowcave and keep it warm with an all-night candle (tea lights won't do it), and (3) keep it dry from dripping, and drip it will, aplenty, if the cave is as warm as you want it.

The chance that (2) will happen with a poncho and wind shirt and a snowshoe is somewhere between zero and none. It will take about 10 minutes of digging with this setup before one becomes very wet, very cold, and very frustrated. This is an emergency scenario, which is not the goal of this exercise. The goal here is: how light can you go and still be safe and comfortable, tapping into as much skill and knowledge about gear and technique as possible to reduce pack weight.

Because the snowcaver with the kit listed above is soaking wet by the time he goes to bed, the one pound down bag will be destroyed in a few hours.

I think it's fine that you're wet when you go to bed, and I certainly don't mind digging with a snowshoe and taking a poncho vs. a set of waterproofs. I can figure out a way to dig a good cave doing that, and don't mind getting wet in the process. But, in order to make THAT system work, you need a down bag with spare dry clothes and/or VB perhaps, or, a synthetic bag that is a bit fatter than 1 lb, to compensate for the loss of insulating ability as a result of moisture in the bag.

Cool discussion, so many options. I hope this exercise is valuable: there's lots to consider in the winter.

The trench idea is a good one, I love building trenches: they are FAST and with a roof supported by skis, sticks, poles, etc., pretty comfortable in a storm. But, they are COLD and require a sleep system rated to the ambient temperatures.

Edited by ryan on 10/26/2005 12:27:30 MDT.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Ryan's Winter List observations on 10/26/2005 13:14:17 MDT Print View

Ryan --I'm being absolutely snowcave centric at this point in the discussion when I'm suggesting/critiqueing gear choices. I would like to keep the Arc Alpinist in the picture.

Mike , if you don't want to debate choices, where's the fun in participating in this discussion?

We all may learn something.

Edited by kdesign on 10/26/2005 13:18:01 MDT.

Mike Maurer
(maurer) - F - M

Locale: Oregon
Winter SUL on 10/26/2005 13:51:24 MDT Print View

Kevin,

Good point on the debate thing - i'm in. Forgive the spell check issue though. OK - instead of asking myself WHAT I would put on a 5 lb baseweight list, I thought about what would I NEED in those conditions, and how much does it weigh? I started with Ryans ingoing scenario (about the 3rd post on this thread.) He needs to be covered for above treeline, storm conditions, 3 days/2 nights.

Then I thought, OK, what do I NEED in terms of snow melting. shelter, etc. When I got to the shelter part I figured:

below treeline, storms - Alphamid
bleow treeline, light snowfall but safe - Spinnshelter (for full protection)

However, I'm guessing that since the criteria is above treeline/stormy, a snow cave scenario is the only way to even consider a sub 5 lb weight. The minimum shelter I'd carry above treeline in winter is likely a Bd firstlight, carbon poles. Weight is around 2# 6 oz I think, which wipes out the 5 lb idea. So I'm going to re-think the gear list based on a snow cave scenario They take a long time to build, but ryan didn't say he needed high mileage, so maybe a 2 night, three day trip can utilize a snow cave that would be used for 2 consecutive nights. Hike in/build on day 1, hike a loop on day 2, hike to car day three. I haven't done the weight math, but some thoughts I'll be considering under this scenrio:

Kitchen:
2L aluminum pot, lifter, flame, screen, lid, etc - 8.2 oz
large fuel canister - I think around 4.5 oz.
This would get him water and warm drinks.

warmth:

WM vest
cocoon jacket
cocoon pants
arc x bag - 15.2 oz
P3D overbag - 11 oz
nano bivy
down hood - 3 oz

Gets him down to Zero, and the high % of synthetic might get him through snow cave issues.

Wear:
Gamma pants
swool base
dragonfly
momentum jacket
tilley
shoes
K2 overboots
Northern Lites

Carry:
reed pants
maybe Montane superfly jacket
w/b gloves for building the cave. Hopefully he can build a cave in reeds/momentum/ w-b gloves

As you can see, the weight is soaring and I haven't done the math. But this might be the lightest scenario for above treeline, I'd just need to tweak a wet snowbuilding clothing list and see where the numbers come in.

Mike

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
About Snow Caves on 10/26/2005 14:10:40 MDT Print View

When figuring out a sleeping system that will keep RJ warm and dry, remember that the inside temp. of a snow cave will generally stay around 32 degrees F if you can construct entry and venting right. Warmer when using a candle (vent well!).
see this for a snow cave primer--
http://www.etisurvival.com/snocv.htm

Keeping Ryan's down bag dry will have to be addressed from both inside and outside of the bag.

Keeping the bag dry from ouside moisture sources:
quantum bivy , groundsheet, or even pack covers/liners/xtra clothing on top. Proper constuction of cave so anything that melts runs down walls and not dripping from ceiling.

Keeping things dry on the inside:
not breathing directly into the bag. VBL clothing or liner. Possibly wearing of w/b shells, windshirt and the like to bed would mitigate some of the moisture produced by the body.

Keeping things in perspective (if things go right), this trip is 3 days. Ryan can probably afford some degradation of his down insulation from moisture buildup---although his base weight will be going up with a wet bag.

Edited by kdesign on 10/26/2005 15:44:19 MDT.

Mike Maurer
(maurer) - F - M

Locale: Oregon
Winter Snow caving on 10/26/2005 16:32:15 MDT Print View

I was beginning to put together a list of gear to recommend when it occured to me - I've never camped in a snow cave, nor have I ever built one. It wouldn't make sense for me to post any sort of gear recommendation under these circumstances. I'll step back and learn at this point.

Enjoyed playing in the sandbox though.

Mike

Kevin Sawchuk
(ksawchuk) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Ryan's winter list on 10/26/2005 19:09:01 MDT Print View

I hope the snow out in Montana isn't like that here in California or a snow claw won't dig him a snow cave. In anything other than fresh light snow the snow claw hurts your hands and makes it very hard to dig.

Any thoughts on who takes over the website if he doesn't come back? :)

Douglas Frick
(Otter) - MLife

Locale: Wyoming
Re: Re: Winter SUL list on 10/26/2005 19:39:48 MDT Print View

> I hope this exercise is valuable: there's lots to consider in the winter.

Absolutely. This year I'm changing from Hawaii winter (big surf) to Wyoming winter (brrrr). It's been a long time since I snow camped, and I'm still gearing for winter. This is a great thread.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: About Snow Caves on 10/26/2005 23:40:50 MDT Print View

>> remember that the inside temp. of a snow cave will generally stay around 32 degrees F if you can construct entry and venting right. Warmer when using a candle (vent well!)

At 0 degrees ambient, a 32 degree solo snowcave requires a very small volume cave with a tiny entrance. In practice, to make a cave "livable" and not a "coffin" the real difference is about 20 degrees once you're settled down and asleep, an all-night candle like that provided with a standard sized UCO candle lantern will add a few degrees and take the edge off well enough in a solo-sized cave. Two or three persons in a cave, even though the cave is bigger, is usually a few degrees warmer.

The temperature is higher when you're up and active and generating more heat than when you're sleeping.

When you're cooking, the cave really heats up! It's nice! 45 degrees inside and a howling subzero blizzard out.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Snowclaw Shovel on 10/26/2005 23:42:00 MDT Print View

>> I hope the snow out in Montana isn't like that here in California or a snow claw won't dig him a snow cave. In anything other than fresh light snow the snow claw hurts your hands and makes it very hard to dig.

Nah, it's all cold smoke out here in mid-winter. The Snowclaw is perfect for the Northern Rockies.

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Ryan's Winter Challenge on 10/27/2005 00:19:18 MDT Print View

Ryan, Do you have a date or an estimated date for your hike?

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: Ryan's Winter Challenge on 10/27/2005 00:36:19 MDT Print View

>> Ryan, Do you have a date or an estimated date for your hike?

As soon as there's enough snow in the mountains to dig a cave and the low temps drop to zero or lower.

Could be as early as late Nov. Shouldn't be any later than early Jan.