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Thanksgiving in Desolation
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Nate Meinzer
(Rezniem) - F

Locale: San Francisco
Thanksgiving in Desolation on 11/13/2009 21:26:57 MST Print View

So I'm heading up to Desolation over Thanksgiving and was wanting some advice/feedback on my gear. Accuweather is predicting highs in the upper 40's/low 50's with lows around 20 at South Lake Tahoe, so a little colder where we'll be. (Probably lows in the teens.) We're not going to overnight if there is any chance of a winter storm event...I don't expect my gear to be suitable for that. In anycase, let me know if there are any alternatives I should consider, and if this list will do the trick. (Items with asterisks I have not purchased yet.)

GoLite Hut 1 with snowstakes and a RAB Alpine (eVent) bivy.

Kelty +15F lightyear bag
3/8" CCF

Underarmour polyester baselayer
100wt Fleece pull over
Sierra Designs down coat (I could take Montbell UL down vest instead)
Fleece balaclava
O2rainwear rainjacket
Longsleeve hiking shirt (Canyon from Mountain hardwear)

Expedition weight Polypro Baselayer
Convertible Hiking pants (TNF, slightly heavier weight)
Sierra Designs rainpants (could substitute for 02rainwear rainpants, but these are more durable)

Outdoor research fleece-lined wool gloves
Wp/B Overmitts**

Two pairs Wool socks (one thicker for sleeping in)
Coolmax liner
Sierra Designs Down Moccasins**
NEOS Trekker Overshoes** (could also get lighter, shorter Villager model)
Trail runners

For what it's worth, I'm a fairly warm sleeper with slightly cold hands and feet.

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: Thanksgiving in Desolation on 11/13/2009 21:38:30 MST Print View

I'd be cold with that sleeping bag. Where in desolation are you going? Any idea how much snow is up there now? Who knows how much will be there over the holiday. You might need some tools to float on the snow with.

Nate Meinzer
(Rezniem) - F

Locale: San Francisco
Thanksgiving on 11/13/2009 21:54:24 MST Print View

And here I thought all this would be overkill!

Well, I'd be sleeping in all of my clothes and a big puffy down jacket, and the triple-layer eVent adds quite a bit of warmth, I've found.

You seem like a skinny guy, besides. =)

Yeah, taking snowshoes and all that. Heading out from Echo Lakes trailhead....there's definitely snow up there now, and with a few more days of weather between now and then, definitely expecting snow on the ground. Although, the daytime highs are above freezing everyday, so not sure exactly how much snow.

Ali e
(barefootnavigator) - F

Locale: Outside
"Thanksgiving in Desolation" on 11/14/2009 11:36:20 MST Print View

Nate,I have done quite a bit of winter camping in the area. DONT rely on local weather to tell you whats going to happen. When it gets bad it gets bad fast. I have seen 6' of heavy wet snow overnight. Bring extra food and count on it being colder than you think. Your list looks good as it is. Its virtually impossible to get lost so as long as you have enough food you will be good. I have a cashe of wine up there if you want a treasure map. Ali

EDIT Bring a snow shovel just in case you need to dig out your car when you get back
Because of the high day temperatures and low night temperatures there may be quite a bit of ice inder the snow. Be carefull.

Edited by barefootnavigator on 11/14/2009 11:54:34 MST.

Nate Meinzer
(Rezniem) - F

Locale: San Francisco
Wow on 11/14/2009 12:21:58 MST Print View

I'm definitely not equipped for 6' of snow....if there's an "event", I'm packing up and heading out. Thinking about bringing a zero degree bag. Thanks for reminding me of the obvious thing that is easy to forget.

Ali e
(barefootnavigator) - F

Locale: Outside
"Thanksgiving in Desolation" on 11/14/2009 12:29:52 MST Print View

Nate, I'm not trying to freak you out. Its just a worse case. With snowshoes yout will be fine. A

Zack Karas
( - MLife

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Desolation is brrr on 11/14/2009 13:08:01 MST Print View

I live in Tahoe City. I went to the top of Mt Watson yesterday and there was a couple of inches of snow from around 7500' upwards. I was up at Lake Aloha on Monday before the storm and there was virtually zero snow up there--but I imagine there will be patchy snow when you get up there if it doesn't snow again before your trip. It's been sunny lately and melting fast. Nighttime lows are currently 15ish and daytime highs are 45ish. Should be stellar up there.

As far as your gear, you should be fine. If I were you and it doesn't storm between now and your trip, and the forecast was good, I'd ditch the overboots (maybe) and not bring snowshoes or a shovel. The last storm only deposited about 4-6 inches of snow up high--I might be suggesting something risky, but there really isn't a whole lot of snow up there right now. Take this with a grain of salt.

I like 'Tahoe Weather Geek' email alerts (google it and sign up) and 'weather underground' for the weather up here.