OK, here's where I'm at. I split the difference in weight between the two lists. 95% of the ideas were incorporated into this final list. I opted for "less stuff" and bought some of the weight back with "warmer stuff".
I'll continue to update and note those updates as the dates get closer. Looking at between xmas and new years or early january right now.
The achilles heel of this list, and all of the lists I think, is the lack of waterproof gear for digging the snowcave. I'll gamble with the VB, a judiciously placed foam pad, and slow down to regulate sweating and sloppiness somewhat.
The other weakness of this list is the lack of meaningful winter insulation (clothing + sleeping) if the snowcave concept fails for some reason. Hence the addition of a killer firestarting kit.
Finally, the clothing system, and especially, the torso clothing, is brutally simple: two pieces. The VB is a decent base layer because the inner surface is napped and "warm" relative to something like a silnylon VB. But exercising, stopping, donning the Cocoon, will definitely result in a chill. The strategy for anything but a very nice day will be slow and steady progress to regulate sweating and energy levels.
Other challenges? (hint: there are many ;)
RYAN'S FINAL GEAR LIST FOR THE SUL WINTER CHALLENGE:
10.0 RBH Designs VB Jacket
8.0 RBH Designs VB Pants
4.0 BMW Featherlite Vapor Mitts
2.0 Headsweats Winter Cap
1. Changed clothing worn list to reflect the lightest possible combination that will likely be worn, moved remainder of clothing to the pack.
2. Ditched the sun hat.
3. Relying on synthetic high loft insulation (see below) for active warmth in really foul conditions in lieu of the MW tights and shirt.
4. Ditched liner gloves. If stuff can't work while wearing mitts, then it doesn't work ;)
1.5 Smartwool RBX Socks (liners)
3.0 RBH Designs Vapor-Thrm Fleece Socks
24.0 Montrail Susitna II XCR Trail Running Shoes
16.0 Forty Below Custom 2mm Neoprene Overboots
35.0 Northern Lites Elites Snowshoes
1. Lightened liner socks to an ankle length wool liner, ditched extra socks.
Other Items Worn / Carried
0.2 Maiu Jim Titanium Frame Sunglasses
0.5 ACR Whistle, Photon Freedom, AirCore 1 Lanyard
1.3 Suunto X6
5.4 Stix Pro Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles
1.5 Snow Baskets for Trekking Poles
0.2 Gossamer Gear Mini Sunscreen
1. Lighter sunglasses.
2. Flatter whistle.
7.04 Pounds total worn/carried (not in pack)
21.0 Expedition Arc X Quilt
3.6 Vapr Nano Bivy
3.7 Gossamer Gear NightLight Torso
5.7 Gossamer Gear Thinlight 3/8 19.5 x 59
5.6 Snowclaw Shovel
8.5 BMW Cocoon Pullover
8.5 BMW Cocoon Pants
3.5 Marmot Ion Windshirt
2.5 OR Windpro Balaclava
1. Saved weight in other gear/clothing & bought back some down fill in the bag.
2. Simplified pad system.
3. Synthetic insulation as a backup for the down bag.
4. Ditching “extras” like socks, will wear overboots over VB liners to bed if it's that bad.
5. Replaced CTE bala with Windpro bala (more warmth for less weight)
3.7 Gossamer Gear G6
1.0 Various Nano Stuff Sacks for bag, clothes, gear
1. Added some stuff sacks for organization of gear.
2.5 Trangia 1L Sauce Pan
0.2 Foil Lid
0.4 BPL Titanium Mini-Spork
0.3 Box of wooden matches in Ziploc
2.3 1.5L Nalgene wide mouth cantene
5.1 Modified MSR Windpro Stove
3.5 220 g canister (empty)
0.4 Ti windscreen / heat reflector
1. Replaced 3L cantene with 1.5L cantene for less bulk. Will plan on 1.5L per day of water carried/consumed outside of morning & evening in camp.
2. Replaced Xtreme with modified Windpro (Mike Martin's design).
3. Added back weight savings of stove with more fuel.
1.8 Petzl Zipka Plus w/Li Batteries
0.5 TP: 4”x4” blue shop towel squares
0.3 Alcohol hand gel in small bottle
0.3 Aloksak for organization
1.0 Firestarting Kit: Esbit Tab, Sparklite, Tinder-Quik, Lighter, Storm Matches
1. Replaced Tikka with Zipka and factored in Li battery weights.
2. Ditched candles, opting for more down in sleeping bag, stove fuel.
3. Ditched the knife and added back the weight in firestarting supplies.
5.37 Pounds base weight carried in pack
12.41 Pre-food/fuel/water skin out weight
70.0 2.5 days food @ 28 oz/day (2xB, 3xL, 2xD)
7.7 Fuel weight in 220 g canister
50.7 Initial water capacity at trailhead