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Winter at Mt. Mansfield
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will sawyer
(wjsawyer) - F

Locale: Connecticut
Winter at Mt. Mansfield on 12/21/2010 19:42:27 MST Print View

Here is my gear list for a post-christmas two night trip to Mt. Mansfield. Weather: cold, a low of -20F, very windy, hopefully snowy until I get there and then sunny! I don't have much time or funding to go out and get much, so I'm looking for first a safety critique and then a weight critique.

patagonia blue striped hat 59.002.08
julbo glacier glasses 29.001.02
rab aeon tee long sleeved 117.004.13
patagonia houdini 119.004.20
loki 100wt fleece gloves 37.001.31
red 100wt fleece 278.009.81
smartwool longjohns 165.005.82
stoic softshell pants 563.0019.86
thick socks 124.004.37
trail runners 715.0025.22
40 below light energy TR overboot, pair 471.0016.61
ONE denali evo ascent snow shoe21776.0062.65
buff 38.001.34
Leki extreme probe poles, pair 623.0021.98
fox river socks, pair 76.002.68
overboot insoles medium 31.001.09
overboot insoles thin 14.000.49
Rab down jacket 877.0030.94
fleece pants  472.0016.65
thick socks 124.004.37
turtle fur balaclava 56.001.98
spyder fleece hat 24.000.85
Scott goggles 99.003.49
MH 100wt balaclava 38.001.34
Burton mittens 272.009.59
timberland gloves 114.004.02
GG thinlight 1/8 51.001.80
Z-lite 384.0013.55
REI kilo expedition -20* longer 1869.0065.93
sea to summit 35L drysack 164.005.78
rei 1.9L Ti pot 175.006.17
Ti lid/ frying pan 94.003.32
whisperlite/pump*** 341.0012.03
lighter 22.000.78
nalgene 2356.0012.56
mora knife 89.003.14
mora sheath 16.000.56
light my fire spork 10.000.35
fuel bottle   
cell phone 89.003.14
snowshoe tails 350.0012.35
flashlight 43.001.52
toothpaste full container 14.000.49
toothbrush 14.000.49
Mt. Mansfield map 39.001.38
25ft paracord 43.001.52
duct tape  16.000.56
body and gear repair kit   
compass 28.000.99
chapstick 8.000.28
(1) Total Weight Worn or Carried5.11 kg (11 lb 4 oz)
(2) Total Base Pack Weight5.87 kg (12 lb 15 oz)
(3) Total Weight of Consumables0.00 kg ()
(4) Total Initial Pack Weight (2) + (3)5.87 kg (12 lb 15 oz)
(5) Full Skin Out Weight (1) + (2) + (3)10.98 kg (24 lb 3 oz)

Notable things:
things w/o weights have yet to be found, but are definitely somewhere in the basement!
backpack - will be determined by how all of this packs…looks like the 35L pack isn't going to cut it.
shelter - I'm planning on spending the nights in shelters, they have four walls and a roof. If I am cought out there should be enough snow to do something, I'd improvise a shovel from a snowshoe or something.

For anyone who knows the snow conditions up there, do I need the extension tails? I would hope for my total weight to be less than 210lbs.
what winter specific repair/first aid things do people bring?
Hows everything look?

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
jacket on 12/21/2010 21:23:59 MST Print View

which rab jacket is it?

also do you have insulators for your nalgenes to keep from freezing?

bring some cheap vbls just in case ... compactor bag for sleeping, cheap plastic gloves and bags for feet and hands ... bring hand and feet warmers

have you done day trips at these temps before? ... are you going with someone?

Edited by bearbreeder on 12/21/2010 21:26:28 MST.

will sawyer
(wjsawyer) - F

Locale: Connecticut
Re: Eric on 12/22/2010 07:18:54 MST Print View

Its the ascent jacket, it has 330 grams (11.64 oz) of 650+ fp down. by my calculations that would be about 9.5 oz of 800 fp down.
I was planning on storing at least one, probably both bottles in my pack and insulated by my jacket, but it might be a good idea to make an insulator.
I have vb. on my to-do list. I'll have bags that I can use for my feet, and I've been thinking about making an "overmitt" out of some think plastic for when its windy but not cold enough to want my heavy mitts on. that could be used for sleeping as well.
I'll be in the area with my family for a few days so will be able to take one or two day trips before to test everything out. The sleeping bag was purchased a few years ago when my family and I climbed Kilimanjaro, and it was pretty cold higher up, although there wasn't any snow.
I'll be traveling solo, but wouldn't be too surprised if I ran into people in one of the cabins. safety wise, there are many trailheads, roads, and ski resorts in the area, so I'll never be too far away from people in an emergency.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
will on 12/22/2010 12:55:53 MST Print View

i highly recommend traveling with someone else ... even if you meet someone on the trail group up ... solo travel in the winter mountains at -20F is serious business ... especially if there are avalanche or other technical hazards ... someone else can also warn about frostbite on yr face ... spot/plb may be a consideration

youll need a gallon of water a day minimum, at minimum you should have 2L+ on yr person a a minimum and may need to stop to melt more ... at cold temps nalgenes can freeze in a pack

bring vbls for emergency purposes ... even if they are cheap plastic subway food gloves and bags ...

that jacket by itslef would likely to be NOT enough for -20F in camp .. so keep that in mind

make sure you thoroughly test yr system before committing, untested systems in winter overnights arent the best thing ... also have a plan of retreat in case certain things go wrong ... know the warning signs about stuff not working ... leave clear detailed itenerary

bring extra fuel and insulation yr first time out

for weather updates ...

Edited by bearbreeder on 12/22/2010 14:10:09 MST.

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Re: Winter at Mt. Mansfield on 12/22/2010 14:51:42 MST Print View

Does your windshirt fit over all insulation layers? Will it really block enough of the high velocity wind? Do your legs and hands have enough wind protection?

I use vapor barriers on my feet as soon as temps get down to 20 F. The turkey-sized oven bags are durable and work well. Bring an extra pair or two since they weigh very little.

Can you attach your flashlight to you? It might be awkward using it to navigate, scramble, or set up a shelter while holding it.

I would bring at least a winter bivvy or tarp just in case.

mitten leashes
extra lighter kept in warm pocket
plastic pealess whistle on-person
small backup compass on-person
Avalanche safety gear with a partner seems appropriate, but I'm not familiar with the area

Michael B
(mbenvenuto) - F

Locale: Vermont
mansfield on 12/22/2010 21:23:37 MST Print View

The long range forecasts aren't calling for cold here, so it doesn't look like you will face serious cold. I have never been in the mountains at -20, but -5 and -10 are cold and scary enough. You hopefully will avoid that, but with that said it is always cold on the summit ridges. We get snow tonight, and there is a possibility of substantial snow on Sun/Mon. There is 24" at the stake on mansfield, so while I haven't been up there, my guess is that currently the trails will be navigable and packed as of today. that could change if we get lots of snow. But the depths aren't going to be so deep as to obscure the white blazes and trail signs. So I think you could hopefully find the LT along there on the south side of Butler. I would bring the tails if you are doing that section of the LT (taylor to butler).

As to gear, I worry that the houdini is inadequate and doesn't have a substantial enough hood. If the temps are warm, you could probably manage. But I find a heavier more substantial shell, hard or soft, is necessary in the winter, warmer and more protective. And a hood that can go up to the nose is key. But you seem to be carrying several balaclavas and a buff, so maybe those can substitute. But if you face brutal conditions near and above treeline, I worry that the lack of full hood and a real shell is going to be a problem. You could always wear the down parka I suppose. I am tempted to say the forecast is warm enough that this may not be a concern, but we ski at Bolton and even on "warm" days in Vt in the middle of the winter, the summits are still very cold usually.

I would carry 4 handwarmers, so you could use two and keep two for emergencies. I can't quite figure out your glove system. Light fleece gloves are not warm enough most of the time once you are high, and you don't have a shell glove or mitt. Maybe you can wear the timberlines and keep the fleece and the mitts as backups.

For emergency gear, I would carry a bivy of some sort, they are really light. You can't expect to dig in the snow, since you may be exposed on windswept ridges. The shelters are likely to have a candle left there, but I would think about bringing one for the long dark night. You don't need avy gear, and you should be able to reasonably expect your cell to work; the tower is on top of the Mt.


will sawyer
(wjsawyer) - F

Locale: Connecticut
Re: WInter at Mt. Mansfield on 12/23/2010 19:10:29 MST Print View

alright, thanks for the help everybody. in response to you all:
1. I made two reflectix cozies for my bottles
2. thinking about other warm layers to bring, I'll have some with me that might end up getting tossed in.
3. I'm going to add my rainjacket in as a more substantial shell
4. found an extra compass, but the compass pointed backwards! fixed it with a magnet. now I've got a whistle and compass around my neck.
5. mitten leashes is a super good idea.
6. i'm adding two handwarmers for emergency use, and two candles for use at night/mornings
7. the mitts are waterproof, but I think would be too warm for active use. I think I'll make a pair of plastic mitts to use over a pair of gloves during the day. I'm also going to try to find a pair of old socks and convert them to 'wrist gaiters' to add warmth.