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LW Windshirts for Winter Mountaineering
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Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
LW Windshirts for Winter Mountaineering on 08/04/2006 08:13:14 MDT Print View

Does anyone here have any experience using a LW windshirt for winter mountaineering. I mainly climb in NH for the winter where some parts on average see 60-100 mph winds and -20 degree temps above treeline. Even with these cold temps it is still rather easy to build up a sweat. With appropriate clothing underneath (ie. exp. Weight wool base layers, some light fleece, hoodless softshell and a primaloft vest) I am thinking a windshirt would be a great add-on in place of my goretex jacket that builds up rather large amounts of sweat on the inside (then of course turns to frost when the temps are right). Currently I own a Patagonia Houdini which would be perfect in terms of fit, but I wanted to see if anyone had any good/bad or indifferent experiences with this.

John Schafer
(jdshiker) - F
Re: LW Windshirts for Winter Mountaineering on 08/04/2006 08:52:36 MDT Print View

I am interested about this myself. I also hike in NH, but am fairly new to winter hiking. In the past I have used a patagonia MW base layer with a Marmot windshirt below treeline. Above treeline, I add a gortex shell. This works ok if it is really cold (below 0), but otherwise I overheat easily. I am thinking about experimenting with the following:

1. Replacing the Marmot windshirt with a lightweight windshirt.
2. Replacing the Marmot windshirt and gortex shell with a soft shell (not sure which one) and a windshirt.
3. Going to a LW, or silkweight, base layer.

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Winter mtneering in NH on 08/04/2006 09:23:29 MDT Print View

Depending on where you are in the Whites you have a good system going, but once you get up in the Washington area, this would not be warm enough.

The system which has worked very well from the car to the summit of Washington on -20deg days is as follows

-Icebreaker wool T and Ibex Long Johns bottoms
-Marmot Driclime + Patagonia Houdini bottoms (adds valuble wind resistance)
-Ibex Icefall jkt and Backcountry pants
-Patagonia MicroPuff vest and Arc Teryx Sirrus SL jkt (this is what I want to replace with a windshirt)
-Top it off with Patagonia DAS and Wild Things EP pants for sitting around on the summit.

Starting off I do not wear much of this, but by the time I get to the top my pack is empty.

John Schafer
(jdshiker) - F
Re: Winter mtneering in NH on 08/04/2006 10:24:01 MDT Print View

Yes, I haven't been up in the Washington area in the winter yet, but I hope to go this year. I was up on Moosilauki last year with below 0 degree temps and 40 mph winds - I didn't stay long ;).

Thanks for posting your clothing system. It's very helpful. I forgot to add that I also carry a primaloft jacket and pants for rest stops, and marmot precip pants for wind.

I didn't mean to hijack your thread. I hope somebody else chimes in...

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Mooslauke on 08/04/2006 13:35:17 MDT Print View

Funny you mention Mooslauke, that is the first winter climb I used a windshirt. I found it to work really well and it snowed alll day. While it was pretty darn cold, there was not more than a 40 mph wind so I guess that is my one reservation about hitting strong winds with the Houdini. If it does work for this kind of condition it will definitly hands down win the award for my most valuble and best year round piece of gear.

Good luck starting up your winter adventures in the higher Whites. Hitting some of those peaks for your first time in the winter is a truly amazing experience.

larry savage
(pyeyo) - F

Locale: pacific northwest
breathable on 08/05/2006 15:04:21 MDT Print View

I've kinda been getting away from the goretex and using activent, microfiber, or a patagonia houdini. I can work up a pretty good sweat even in winter and I'm finding the more breathable my outer jacket is the drier and warmer I am. The other piece that never seems to left behind is a powershield salopette.

Jonathan Shefftz
(jshefftz1) - MLife

Locale: Western Mass.
Wild Things Gear on 08/21/2006 19:10:45 MDT Print View

Given that we now have three Jonathan/John posters who often frequent NH, I'll put in a plug for this NH company:
Their products are very popular among ice climbing guides in the Mt Washington Valley.
I have the pullover version (no hood) of this:

(RobertM2S) - M

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Re: Wild Things Gear on 08/28/2006 21:39:56 MDT Print View

I fear Wild Things may have gone belly up, I haven't been able to get into the web site for weeks and weeks.

Mark Larson
(mlarson) - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: Re: Wild Things Gear on 08/29/2006 05:10:41 MDT Print View

The WT website worked for me just a minute ago. Some good sales right now. Looks like they'll be on vacation for a week in September 10-17.

Jeroen Wesselman
(jeroenman) - F

Locale: Europe
Wild Things Gear NH on 08/29/2006 05:19:05 MDT Print View

There are no problems getting on the WT website, actually they have a clearance sale going.
I live in Europe but have family in Vermont and we go at least once a year to Vermont and NH. I love to hike in the White Mtns. especially in Winter. In December 2005 we climbed Mt. Washington which was a great experience.
My favorite clothing set up for NH Winters is:
wool (or synthetic) base layer
RAB Vapour Rise Trail Smock (with hood),
when it is really cold (Mt Washington!) I add a Cloudveil Icefloe softshell jacket or a Patagonia Ready Mix jacket.
For summit pictures (?!) I have a Patagonia DAS Parka (when it is really cold) or a Wild Things EP Hooded Jacket (when it is less cold).
When conditions are not so severe and cold I leave the softshell jacket at home and just take the EP Jacket and use that as a belay jacket over the RAB.

For the legs I use Mammut Chamonix Schoeller softshell pants. For most conditios this is enough, if it is colder I like to layer a pair of merino wool bottoms under the pants. If conditions are wet I use my Patagonia Drop Seat Pants over merino wool bottoms.

Next winter (December) we going to Vermont and NH again, I hope to do some climbing in the Huntington Ravine or maybe a good winter traverse. Has anybody some good winter trip suggestions? Thanks.


Locale: South West US
Re: Re: Wild Things Gear on 08/29/2006 05:22:01 MDT Print View


Try using a different browser. The site doesn't show up in Firefox. It does work with IE though.


Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: Wild Things Gear NH on 08/29/2006 05:50:43 MDT Print View

For some great winter climbing in the Whites I would recommend King Ravine up Adams. It is a difficult route, but is less technical and requires less gear than Huntington.

That is a good gear setup you have. Insulated windshirts are def the way to go in the winter

Jeroen Wesselman
(jeroenman) - F

Locale: Europe
Re: Re: Wild Things Gear NH on 08/29/2006 06:10:50 MDT Print View

Hi Jonathan,

that sounds like the perfect trip, I will look it up in my WM guide book.

I never use anything waterproof anymore in winter, for me windproof is all that matters.


Jonathan Shefftz
(jshefftz1) - MLife

Locale: Western Mass.
Randolph Mountain Club on 08/29/2006 09:36:58 MDT Print View

Another great resource for King Ravine & Mt Adams is the Randolph Mountain Club, e.g., helpful website, year-round huts at treeline, helpful guide book and map. (I can also sell you the previous edition of the guideback for cheap - but not the map.)