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Ryan Jordan's SUL Winter Challenge
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paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: G6 capacity on 11/02/2005 16:50:24 MST Print View

using some of the webbing loops on the G6, i bungee a Nightlight Torso pad to the pack (ThinLight pad might be "cut" in a couple of places and folded similarly for "bungeeing" - if necessary duct tape can hold the sections together). makes a nice "poor man's" pad pocket. obviously, since there is no hip belt, there is no need to xfr wt and this arrangement wouldn't do that anyways. it's just a nice spot to place the pad and frees up a lot of interior space.

Richard Nelridge
(naturephoto1) - M

Locale: Eastern Pennsylvania
Winter SUL list- Ryan's March of Doom on 11/02/2005 17:10:41 MST Print View

I've been looking over the Ryan's SUL list for his March of Doom and I have some questions. First, I presume that the 2 Gossamer Gear pads will be used inside the bivy which will prevent them from absorbing any water. The Torso Length NightLight is only 29" long and the 59" long 3/8" ThinLight Pad is supposed to be used under the NightLight with the rest of the body (the legs) lying over the partially emptied pack. I am wondering will those 2 pads provide sufficient insulation for close to freezing temperatures in a Snow Cave?

Will Ryan have sufficient insulation, in particular for his legs? The only insulating layer for his legs are the Arc'Teryx Gamma MX Softshell Pants. Will the GoLite Reed Pants add sufficient added warmth or should we also include VBL pants or some additional insulating pants like the BMW Cocoon?

Also, even for only 2 days, will 1 MSR (is this the smaller or the larger canister?) gas canister supply sufficient fuel for hot meals,hot beverages, and melting sufficient snow for water?


Edited by naturephoto1 on 11/02/2005 20:58:04 MST.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Richard on Ryan's March of Doom on 11/02/2005 17:20:35 MST Print View

All excellant questions--I hope someone else will take a stab at answering them in depth.

I will just say that in part it will depend on Ryan's rate of metabolism and acclimitization to cold conditions.

Alan Garber
(altadude) - F
Re: Winter SUL on 11/02/2005 17:29:30 MST Print View

I was wondering how far what your plans are for this "SUL" winter expedition?

I worry about your safety. Exposure in the summer is potentially life-threatening but in the winter it is much more likely life-threatening. I just can't conceive how you can do it safely with such a light load.

Will you be travelling in an avalanche prone region? I guess is you are caught in a slide you don't need a beacon, shovel or probe if you are solo :)

At a minimum I would think you need a zero degree bag(I assume you are doing a true winter in January) and a bivy which is hard to keep under 3 lbs. Even if you build a snow cave or trench you still need to keep your down bag dry. Even if you do a down jacket and 20 deg bag and bivy you're talking 3 lbs.........

Over the years I have lightened my load (I no longer use my 900 lb TNF backpack).....I have a better down bag and I have learned tons from this and the and I travel lighter but I could never see myself travelling SUL in winter......

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Altadude and the Gearlist of Doom on 11/02/2005 17:43:24 MST Print View

Here's something for you to read Alan on the subject of light loads in Winter--granted Ryan Jordan will be attempting an even lighter system.
But with improved gear and some different assumptions concerning the gear and personal performance.

I can only assume that Dr. Jordan will be selective in his routefinding---he's a family man and doesn't seem to me to be suicidal.:-)>

Edited by kdesign on 11/02/2005 17:48:01 MST.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Saving Ryan's Privates: Update on 11/02/2005 23:16:23 MST Print View

Winter SUL Gear List updated to change Nalgene cantene size, cookpot, and sleep headwear.

Total- 79.2 oz (4.95 pounds)

Edited by jshann on 11/02/2005 23:18:15 MST.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: Saving Ryan's Privates: Update on 11/03/2005 02:56:21 MST Print View


looks like "TheGList" is really shaping up - looks good.

what do you, or anyone, think about substituting a Petzl TikkaXP for the Eos (both are very fine headlamps). i believe that the XP is ~0.3oz lighter and the flip-up diffuser might be appreciated inside a snow cave - a whole lot of reflected light i would imagine. also, the wt you listed for the Eos and mine, above, for the XP - are those with Li or alkaline batts? i think that the wts are with alkaline, so we want Dr. J to use Li batts, right? it's cold, plus if y'all decided to stick with the Eos, you'll get longer regulated output with Li batts (up to 4x longer) before the Eos switches to unregulated output. the Li batts, are also ~0.13oz per batt lighter, so another ~0.39oz saved for the 3 batts.

just some thoughts.

read somewhere someone objected to Alc. Gel.

ok. that's fine.

i won't be shakin' hands with the fella or eatin' anything he prepares/touches. however, for a short solo trip, less of an issue.

[really did enjoy his article on "Stove Theory" though. very well written and informative.]

questions: does reacted AqM have a half-life? if so, it's more than sufficient to kill Crypto after 4hrs contact time. however, if it does have a half-life, what is the half-life of AqM after it is reacted and water is treated? depending upon the ans. to these questions, using prev. treated water as a disinfectant (and not solely as a means of irrigating a wound) may not be advisable. sure the water is clean, but you may not "kill" any buggers with it - depending upon it's half-life.

also, more to the Alc. Gel point, if it does have a half-life, then if you mess on your hands, well, maybe water treated the prev. evening won't do for disinfecting the "schmutz" (yes, kevin, i know what "schmutz" really means. i'm using it in a more generic sense) after the next morning's toilet accident?? ... oh...well...there's always some sphagnum moss for disinfecting purposes - if you can find it; or, there's also the equally implausible " in the neighboring snow-cave, can you spare some alc. gel?" a little Alc. Gel is lookin' a bit better right now, right?!! use the wt. saved by using Li batts - see above- to incl. a bit 'o Alc. Gel in the kit. finally...

in reality, how many times do we "mess", not very often, right? how many times would we admit it, even less perhaps??? how many times would i want someone confessing this to me - NEVER!!!

i always carry Alc. Gel.; though, perhaps more than i really need.

i am serious, however, about finding out the half-life of reacted AqM. so, if you know it, please Post a reply.

just some more thoughts.

Edited by pj on 11/03/2005 04:42:53 MST.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
John Shannon's winter UL list of death2/ snowcave living on 11/03/2005 12:27:53 MST Print View

I like the Nunatak balaclava/Flight Jacket combo.
I will have to say that this all down-insulated clothing solution would be problematic for snow cave living in Pacific NW conditions. A low humidy winter environment/very dry snow is what will make it possible. But the warmth/weight ratio of above is so good.
How about listing some of the worn clothing that is being considered. We have some on your list , some on the BobG list ( on p.8).... Time to consolidate?

What do you think about the 1L Trangia saucepan w/ a foil lid (2.5 oz.) instead of the Evernew pot?

And now more on Snowcaves---
For a very small snowcave--which is what Ryan will most likely be constructing if he is to be on the move---it is imperative that the interior surfaces be glazed to prevent dripping which would be a huge bummer for RJ anytime he is not ensconsed in his Bivy.The interior has to be first scraped as smooth as possible and then bring in the stove, melt a pot of snow and boil, the moisture of which will then condense on the ceiling and walls and freeze, helping to "seal" the surface.

Edited by kdesign on 11/03/2005 13:10:00 MST.

Michael Martin
(MikeMartin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: North Idaho
Leg Layers (again) on 11/03/2005 13:25:53 MST Print View

Ok, I know I was the guy who steered us into the Gamma MX plus Golite Reed combo. But, the more I thought about it, the more I like something like Kevin's original layer system:

>> Bottoms--- synthetic baselayer - Golite LW C-Thru
Tights (4 oz.)
--- softshell pant-Golite Propel (10 oz.)
--- W/B hardshell pant-ID eVENT pant
(10 oz.)

If we need waterproof pants robust enough to kneel in while digging a snowcave, then it's lighter to go with a decent hardshell rather than a deluxe softshell (the MX) and a flimsy waterproof overpant.

Plus, since we agreed that Ryan will need some kind of leg base layer for the VBL, the base+Gamma MX+Reed combo is getting pretty heavy.

I know it's going in circles, but maybe we should reconsider something like Kevin's original suggestion. It's lighter, simpler, and more robust. If you want to trim it even further, you could call the Propel pants a base layer (assuming they wouldn't get too soggy in the VBL) and eliminate the lightweight C-thru tights. Or, go with a mid or heavy weight (depending on expected temps) C-Thru, Powerdry, or Merino layer and skip both the Propel and lightweight C-thru.

Whatcha think?


Edited by MikeMartin on 11/03/2005 13:33:39 MST.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
The Leg Layer's connected to... SUL Winter GL on 11/03/2005 18:22:49 MST Print View

Well Martin, I certainly thought my system was a good way to go.

I really hope some other people can jump in and stir the pot.

This has been a great thread at times--I know it's going to inspire me to modify my kit this Winter.
Which incidently has just started in my neck of the Woods---blizzard in the Cascades--wahoo!

Edited by kdesign on 11/03/2005 18:24:15 MST.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: The Leg Layer's connected to... SUL Winter GL on 11/04/2005 00:03:40 MST Print View

Head spinning, great discussion!

Quick comment: the Cocoon Belay Jacket prototype, which is being discussed in various degrees of vagueness above, has an insulated hood, the hood is insulated, the insulation throughout is the same as the Cocoon pullover, quantum lining, eVENT shell...ho ho ho!!!! That'll shake it up. it's 14 oz. I also have a WM Flight Vest (5) and Jacket (10 oz), Rab Quantum Neutrino (18), Patagonia DAS (25).

The 9 oz Cocoon vaporware from a pvs gear list was an old prototype with an uninsulated hood and was even thinner insulation.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Cocoon Belay Jacket Prototype on 11/04/2005 00:47:12 MST Print View


Richard Nelridge
(naturephoto1) - M

Locale: Eastern Pennsylvania
Cocoon Belay Jacket Prototype on 11/04/2005 01:28:22 MST Print View


Really Cocoon Belay Jacket insulated with Polarguard 3D with Quantum inner and Event outer. I want one and so will a lot of other members and for only 14 oz or so. Will this have a full zip, possibly weatherproof?


Edited by naturephoto1 on 11/04/2005 01:31:08 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: rinsing the SUL soapbox--ready to rumble? on 11/04/2005 02:24:35 MST Print View

> how about details of your sleeping/shelter system at -15 C. Was there wind? Were you prepared for a storm?
Well, conditions in australia are often very different from America. We CAN get -15 C overnight, and do, but we can also get 100 kph winds, sleet and rain overnight on the same trip. And this is in the snow.
In addition, I always travel with my wife, and she expects some small elements of comfort at the end of a hard cold day. So, we tent. A very lightweight 2-man 4-season tent: I made it myself. But it blocks the wind. It is interesting that when you add together the weights of two tarps, two ground sheets, two bivy bags etc, they often come to more than my tent.
And we carry 3/4 length Therm-a-Rests to sleep on in the snow. Damn it, I'm 60, and expect some comfort!
Otherwise, I wear silk coveralls at night and sleep under my SB used as a quilt. My bag has a hood, and this goes right over my head. Very nice and warm. My padded trousers go at the end of the mat for my feet.
In fact, I prefer some wind: it keeps the inside of the tent dry. In still air the hoarfrost builds up, and I have to scrape it down in the morning :-)

Snowshoes without poles: our country is more rolling, so we don't get the steep stuff. Anyhow, snowshoes lack that certain elan which XC skis have. Most times, we ski. Lightweight 3-pin stuff.

Joshua Mitchell
(jdmitch) - F

Locale: Kansas
Cocoon Belay? on 11/04/2005 07:28:41 MST Print View

Gah... I can't wait until all the details of the new gear are released... grrr... any chance of getting a sneak peek pic of the prototype, DrJ?

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Cocoon Belay? on 11/04/2005 19:32:33 MST Print View

My 2 cents.
The only way to go super ultra light and still be warm enough is to have some homemade gear in there. You can barely get under 6# with store bought stuff and here we are sending this poor man out with gear that is not suited for this experience.
This is why no can agree with any thing especially in tiring to get under 5#.
First of all, I don't see how everybody doesn't have a problem with the 8oz of pad he is carrying, or 1/10th the weight. He will be much warmer on a balloon bed with a cut down nightlite pad on each side. Then the issue of the G6 not being large enough won't be an issue.
Besides, if you look at anybody's UL gear list that is under 5#, you will realize that the only way they got there is with homemade gear. I would think that if Ryan already has the gear made, than he can use it but not make anything special for the trip. I'm sure Ryan himself is looking at the list and thinking, my gosh if I had this and that, It would be much lighter and I would be much warm.

Last, if we are really going to push the point of store bought gear than we really need to be lenient on the clothing and call about half of what we have as base weight as being worn clothing.

Edited by awsorensen on 11/04/2005 19:33:07 MST.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: Re: Cocoon Belay? on 11/04/2005 19:46:59 MST Print View

Aaron makes some outstanding comments.

I don't mind using prototypes that are slated to eventually hit the market, like the Cocoon Belay Jacket, but do let's try to keep this with gear that is available from commercial manufacturers by anybody. Custom or prototypes are fine, like the 2mm neoprene overboots / RBH VB jacket, but let's keep the homemade stuff out for now. Anything I've offered up is all fair game.

I want this exercise to be as accessible as possible to everyone involved.

Also, don't get stuck on 5# as winter SUL. SUL in winter may need a different definition. Maybe this forum is part of how we come to that?

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Pads in winter on 11/04/2005 20:22:52 MST Print View

i have snow camped often w/ just Mt. Washington pads. What's the big deal? Yes, the one's suggested are cut to the bone, but doubled up will work for the torso. I would add a 1/8-1/4" evasote pad to supplement the leg feet area along w/ the pack.
Fitting the pads on the G6 was never a issue for me---it's the other stuff I worry about having room for.

It's not that people are not agreeing on stuff, it's that the people doing most of the posting on this thread see this project as the challenge it is and are not settled in their own minds on the definative solutions. Plus, Ryan keeps introducing new prototype equipment to consider....grrr.

So, Ryan--getting cold feet about 5# ? Seriously, though, could you elaborate more on what you were saying in your last post.

Edited by kdesign on 11/04/2005 20:43:47 MST.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: Pads in winter on 11/04/2005 20:38:17 MST Print View

I don't mind going 5, 4, 7, whatever. I'm just saying, don't get hung up on the tenths of ounces to reach some partly arbitrary weight goal. As mentioned earlier, the FSO is probably a better indication of 'how much can you do without'?

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Re: Pads in winter on 11/05/2005 12:54:53 MST Print View

O.K., lets get one thing straight, Ryan is starting the trip with a sub-5# base weight. I just don't want to feel partially responsible when they find him 3 weeks later as a frozen popsicle. It's easy to go sub-5. Just wrap him up in a polycryo ground sheet cocoon filled with primaloft. Then the base weight will just be 3.7oz, (the weight of the G6).
I would rather see you do this than not go sub-5#.
You have a very good point about the gear being accessible to every one and the list is looking top notch.
I would like to have you carry a PDA so you can give us live updates during the trip.
One last thing. I don't see what's with all the commotion about the food weight per day. The food is not counted as base weight so you should be able to carry what ever you fell like. I would believe you could do it with 17oz of food, but when the final list comes out and you see that you may not be as warm as you want to be, that extra food will come in very handy for consuming some calories before you go to sleep for warmth.