Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Crater Lake Snowshoe Video Essay
Display Avatars Sort By:
David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: clothing on 03/17/2010 09:35:13 MDT Print View

Excellent trip. We cannot have too many trip reports, and the terrain looks fantastic. Pretty cool to be on or near a "road" and have such a wilderness experience.

I'm rather taken aback by how much clothing you had! I do pump out a lot of heat, but can't imagine wearing that much wool on the move unless it was well below zero. I can't help but think that you must have stopped for the night with a lot of moisture in your torso layers that ended up in the down bag.

I'd say something similar about the Precip jacket. In my experience no WPB jacket comes close to venting properly below freezing, and every time I've worn one on the move I sweat like mad.

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: Crater Lake Snowshoe Video Essay on 03/17/2010 11:42:57 MDT Print View

great report guys. Darin your gear list is great. Not a whole bunch of fancy UL geek equipment, just a bunch of light stuff that you know works for you!

Curtis Ware
(ware_curtis) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Crater Lake Snowshoe Video Essay on 03/17/2010 12:03:01 MDT Print View

Darin, what software did you use to show your route on the map in the video.

Great job on videos!

Darin Banner
(dbanner) - MLife

Locale: Pacific North West
Re: Crater Lake Snowshoe Video Essay on 03/17/2010 13:25:40 MDT Print View

National Geographic TOPO! is the mapping software and I used the Mac OS X Snow Leopard version of Quick Time, which can record whatever you're doing on your screen and turn it into a video. BTW, the movie was created using iMovie software.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Re: Crater Lake Snowshoe Video Essay on 03/17/2010 18:37:37 MDT Print View

Nice work Darin. Thanks for sharing. Great videos.

About source the bag moisture - are you sure your aim was accurate into that P bottle? : )

Darin Banner
(dbanner) - MLife

Locale: Pacific North West
Re: Re: Re: Crater Lake Snowshoe Video Essay on 03/17/2010 18:50:55 MDT Print View

Now THAT explains it! ;-)

Edited by dbanner on 03/17/2010 18:51:32 MDT.

Donna C
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Re: Re: Re: Crater Lake Snowshoe Video Essay on 03/18/2010 06:13:42 MDT Print View

I learn so much from these reports. I do wonder if carrying the larger water bottle would allow you to take the same amount of fuel and not increase it as planned, due to the fact that you won't need to stop during the day to melt more snow. Just a thought, which may be totally incorrect. Correct me if I am off here.

Brad Roberts

Locale: Colorado
More Winter Camping Lessons Learned on 03/18/2010 08:42:16 MDT Print View

Excellent trip log. It is difficult to find hard-earned documented lessons for winter camping and travel. I just finished a Winter Camping school with the Colorado Mountain Club and had some similar experiences.

Winter camping with tent

First night, slept in a single wall tent with an REI minimalist Bivvy, Marmot Helium 15, montbell down inner parka, montbell thermawrap pants, Zlite pad & Thermarest prolite...etc. Temp dropped to 4 degrees and I was pretty warm with no condensation (breathed outside the bivvy). The tent made a huge difference and kept my bag dry from spindrift.

Snow pit palace

Second weekend, I spent all day building a snow palace, same sleeping configuration...but did not change out of my damp clothes and was much colder when the temp dropped only to 18 degrees (and even inside the cave). The snow pit was a huge amount of work, and probably contributed to my feelings of cold in the night from exertion.

Lessons I learned were to always change into a dry base layer in winter before retiring, seriously consider the benefits of a lightweight 3+ season tent (e.g. Tarptent Scarp), do plenty of extra eating and drinking, and carry a warmer bag (at least zero degrees) to be on the safe side.

Just wanted to pass on some hard-earned knowledge from the field.

Steven Nelson
(slnsf) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
And a few words from the slow n' easy team... on 03/18/2010 20:56:45 MDT Print View

Kim and I had a great time joining Darin and Mike on the trip - but took a different approach due to this being Kim's first real snow camping trip (she has lots of experience skiing, snowshoeing, backpacking and trekking - just not snow camping). Our goal was to still go light, but make safety, comfort, and a bailout plan key considerations.

We both started off on skis with pulks - Kim immediately switched to snowshoes after deciding she wasn't comfortable with the pulk/skinny ski combination on the steep downhill just off the trailhead (ironically, probably the steepest of the entire route we traversed).

I used Karhu XCD GTs with Karhu Traverse boots and Rottefella basic tele bindings, and found them - for the terrain we covered - far more efficient than snowshoes, especially with the pulk. Even pulling both pulks (taking over when Kim fatigued), I was able to lead the pack most of the time, and keep up even on the few steeper climbs we faced (at one point, due to the drag of two pulks, I put skins on). If I were to return to do the full circle, I'd personally favor skis - but also note Mike's assessment of the trickier terrain and deep powder they faced on the eastern side of the route.

Either way, the pulk was such an efficient way to go on this route - easy to ski with, providing extra momentum and push on rolling downhills, and providing more comfort when stopping even for a few seconds (no significant weight to support). I didn't have any trouble with the single pulk on knife-edge and sidehill traverses.

We carried a Hilleberg Jannu, Western Mountaineering sleeping bags, lightweight shell jackets (Arc'teryx and Patagonia), softshell pants (REI and Cloudveil), and a mix of down and ultralight synthetic insulating layers (BPL and Sporthill for me; Marmot for Kim). We cooked on a remote canister Primus stove with a heat exchanger pot - very efficient for snow melting.

The Jannu was overkill for the conditions we actually got, though had the advertised winds swept through camp, we'd have been even more glad to have it. We envied Darin's ease of camp setup with the bivy sack, and Mike's equally roomy but lighter Stephenson tent (the Jannu is an excellent tent but arguably not worth the extra weight unless winds or snow loading are expected to be harsh). We did get some condensation both nights out, but felt we had only marginal weight gain on the down bags. Our clothing systems worked well - no discoveries either way on that.

As for the location - it's one of the most beautiful destinations we've visited, and striking in winter; we highly recommend this trip to anyone with the skills to tackle it. (Big thanks to Darin and Mike for sharing at least part of it with us, and congratulations for making the full circle in the face of some challenging conditions!)

Our photos are here:

Steve and Kim's Crater Lake Photos

- Steve

[edited to make link clickable]

Edited by slnsf on 03/18/2010 21:08:10 MDT.

Kathy A Handyside
(earlymusicus) - M

Locale: Southeastern Michigan
"Crater Lake Snowshoe Video Essay" on 03/20/2010 22:29:30 MDT Print View

What a fantastic trip! The videos are great! I'm so glad to see this, especially since I may be moving to the Klamath Falls area in the near future. I'm glad to see that that area gets snow! :D It's just beautiful. Thanks so much.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Crater Lake Snowshoe Video Essay on 03/21/2010 04:18:14 MDT Print View

Great trip report Darin.

Tom Doom
(tomdoom) - F

Locale: Northern California
Re: Crater Lake Snowshoe Video Essay on 03/28/2010 21:21:02 MDT Print View

That was just great, I really enjoyed your Video of the Crater Lake Snowshoe. Well done. I am new to Backpackinglight, old time backpacker, used to carrying around a lot of heavy gear. I am looking forward to making a lot of improvements and going lighter. Your gear rundown was especially helpful.Tom San Jose Ca.

Darin Banner
(dbanner) - MLife

Locale: Pacific North West
Re: Re: Crater Lake Snowshoe Video Essay on 03/28/2010 22:46:55 MDT Print View

Thank you so much. If you are looking at lightening your load and learning all kinds of cool things about backpacking, you have come to the right place. You should check out the trekking courses--they are a great way to get to an ultalight pack while enjoying a great adventure and meeting like-minded people.

Tom Doom
(tomdoom) - F

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Re: Crater Lake Snowshoe Video Essay on 03/28/2010 23:40:19 MDT Print View

Thanks for your quick response, I will check them out.