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3 Days in the Whites Montains - Winter
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Scott Janz
(nocmanus) - F
3 Days in the Whites Montains - Winter on 02/03/2009 08:31:29 MST Print View

I will be in the Whites next weekend and wanted to make sure I was prepared and was on the right track for gear. This is my Winter Gear list thus far. Any feedback would be helpful.

Active wear

-REI Midweight Zip T
-Arcteryx Rho AR Top
-Arcteryx MX Hoody Softshell

-Incase we have wet precip. I'm taking my Marmot Rain/Wind Hardshell to put over the MX Hoody

Non Active or Camp

-Insulator - Monbell Alpine Down Jacket

Active Wear

-Midweight Capline boxerbrief underwear
-Patagonia Polyarec Midweight Capiline
-REI Taku Pants (I'll be Ice Climbing so water was an issue)

Non Active or Camp

-Intragal Designs Denalli Pants

-Outdoor Research Verlas Gaiters

Sleep System
-Feathered Friends Eider -10F
Hilleberg Jannu Tent (tent is aweseome)

-Moutain Hardware Spearhead - Removable 200 weight polyester fleece liner.
-Wool mittens

-Merino Wool socks (2 Pair) Active
-Thick Wool socks for Camp

-Moutain Hardware PowerStretch balaclava
-Wool Hat

-Golite Pinnacle

Cooking System

-Baffin Tundra Men’s Snow Boots (not sure this is what I want to be climing in)
Alternative would be my Oslo Hiking boots.

-Northface Hommes (or insulated slippers) for camp

-Grabber hand and toe warmers
-Fireribbon fire starter (small amount in a baggie with small amount of kindling)
-First Aid Kit in baggie minimal (blister, antiseptic)
-reflective CD
-ER Wistle
-2 liter platy for water
-1 liter sig bottle
3 days of food, but only need 2 days worth.

Am I missig something? Overlooking?

Brian UL

Locale: New England
Re: 3 Days in the Whites Montains - Winter on 02/03/2009 10:31:50 MST Print View

It can vary person to person but I would bring more insulation. I would maybe bring an extra vest of some kind while on the move and maybe an neck gaiter. I would bring the warmest parka for stops and camp you can get -I dont know how warm the Montbell is- just being cautious here.
I would bring a mask for wind protection and goggles. The wind is the real problem you have to deal with especially over treeline (obviously)- so cover up and leave no skin exposed. I would bring more extra gloves and socks, the Whites can be cold and wet and your gloves will get wet easily from contact with snow. Last I dont know from the list how you intend to keep your water from freezing? The standard set up around here is something with a wide opening a nalgene or Hunersdorf bottle in an insulated cover clipped somewhere convenient to get to. Have fun.

Misfit Mystic

Locale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
What pad? on 02/03/2009 10:37:21 MST Print View

Hi Scott, so what sleeping pad system are you using? You are going to want some pretty serious ground insulation. I have always used a 3/4 Thermarest Guidelite (1.5" x 47" x 20" 18 oz.) and a full length foamy (GG nightlite torso for legs, GG thinlite under the Thermarest). The foam pad will come in handy around camp; just standing still on the snow in those temps, you can feel the heat leaching outta your boot soles!

You may struggle with keeping the Jetboil lit, and it's kinda small for melting snow. Search the forums for some tricks to keep upright canisters going in extreme cold. You are gonna need some means of keeping your water unfrozen; it WILL freeze in a Platy in a pack pocket while you're climbing.

Make sure you take a crazy amount of snacks; calories keep you warm in winter! If you haven't done alot of winter trips, overestimate. I find I eat around 4000-4500 calories a day in sub-freezing conditions with fairly high activity levels. This compared to about 2500-3000 in warmer weather with similar activity levels. I bump my meal portions a little, my snack portions alot, and I take lots of hot cocoa and tea. Take some good fatty snacks like nuts and cheese, and something that burns real quick like hard candy or fruit leather. I'm 6'2" 165lb., fast metabolism and not usually a huge eater, as a reference for my caloric intake.

If you aren't used to melting snow, take alot more fuel than you think you'll need. Seems there was recently a good discussion about this on the forums. This is where my concerns about the Jetboil are based. I have used upright canisters in winter before, and it's hit or miss. I can usually keep them going long enough to boil water for food, it's the snow melting that's the problem. It takes a long time, and it's hard to keep the butane boiling in your canister. Thus you burn off all the propane and are left with liquid butane you can't burn. Read up on this, it's going to be a problem in the conditions you are facing.

Jon Rhoderick
(hotrhoddudeguy) - F - M

Locale: New England
Re: 3 Days in the Whites Montains - Winter on 02/03/2009 12:52:47 MST Print View

I definitely second bring more insulation. Jonathan Ryan on this site has posted 2-3 gear lists of previous Presidential Range trips, and he usually has 6-7 layers, including a puffy vest and patagonia DAS jacket. Maybe adding a Logan vest could help you, or a full on synthetic parka. Also Platypus in sub 20* weather is going to be tough, and I've also cracked sigg bottles winter camping, but they still remain my favorite, and I will often carry them in a chest pocket for accessibility and warmth. I've read that Dromlites are effective, that may be handy for having 4L of water ready in the morning in your bag rather than in a more time consuming fridge. You could get some aluminized bubble wrap and insulate your platy for the winter as another option.

For 3rd day food, maybe consider GU packets or the like, they are very light and what are the chances your stomach is up for something like Ramin after being in a coffin cave? Alpinists swear by them.

Ice climbing may require more glove liners, Jetboil will work if you are carrying the canister in a pocket, make sure that it is unlikely you will run out of dry socks and gloves, and know that you can dry them by body warmth.

For what its worth I have used a Big agnes Aircore pad down to -5ish, and its a 32* pad, and luxurious, but I've also heard people getting cold on this pad, YMMV

Edited by hotrhoddudeguy on 02/03/2009 12:55:32 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: 3 Days in the Whites Montains - Winter on 02/03/2009 13:39:16 MST Print View

Jetboil Helios stove with inverted canister - fine.
Jetboil GCS or PCS (with upright canister): you are going to have some serious problems! Very serious ones.


Scott Janz
(nocmanus) - F
Pad, and Jetboil on 02/03/2009 21:04:19 MST Print View

Thanks for that advise on the jetboil. As for my pad I usually bring my Thermarest 3/4. However, I have on occassion wrapped a reflective pad that you buy at Walmart for wall insulation. It has worked great in my Hennesy Hammock before. Reflects your body heat back up. I velcro it to my Thermarest. ??

I do have a Patagonia Polartec® Thermal Pro® polyester R1 Fleese. That would be four layers not including a Parka for stopping and camping.

Thanks everyone for hte advisce.

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: 3 Days in the Whites Montains - Winter on 02/03/2009 21:17:59 MST Print View

I just came back from the Whites and it was -20 at night!
You will need more insulation and plenty of face protection and a hooded parka like the Patagonia DAS in addition to your Montbell. I wear 3 layers of merino wool tops and a Montbell Alpine Down Vest in addition to the synthetic parka.

I had OR Endeavor gloves (PackLite shell with Primaloft insulation) along with Smartwool liner gloves in them and I was very impressed that my hands never got cold.

The snow is a few feet deep now (20" of new snow while I was there). I always wear waterproof pants on the outside of powerstretch bottoms and merino bottoms. I find myself sitting or kneeling on the snow too much.

Fortunately, it wasn't windy while I was there. I find that the wind makes me colder than cold temperatures.

I wouldn't use anything but an inverted canister stove when it is that cold. I used a MSR WindPro.

Brett Tucker
(blister-free) - F

Locale: Puertecito ruins
Re: Re: 3 Days in the Whites Montains - Winter on 02/03/2009 22:14:32 MST Print View

Or for crying out loud hop on a plane and go someplace nice. It's brutal up there in winter! (And, no, it's not winter's fault, per se, but the Old (recently deceased) Man of the Mountains'. *vbg*

Edited by blister-free on 02/03/2009 22:16:23 MST.

Trevor Scott
(trevhscott) - F

Locale: New England
Cold Jetboil PCS on 02/14/2009 19:56:30 MST Print View

Was up at Katahdin in December and brought my Jetboil. Buddies had white gas stoves. The jetboil was slow getting started but once i got a little warm water (or borrowed some of buddies) i poured it into a extra pot/lid and put the whole canister and stove into the hot water. Doesnt take much and the jetboil lived up to its name again and started cranking. just make sure to use or get rid of water before it freezes.