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Colorado Alpine 3-Season and Summer (almost SUL)
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Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Colorado Alpine (almost) SUL Summer and 3-Season on 07/11/2011 21:08:37 MDT Print View

I've been contributing here for a while, but haven't been proud enough of my gear list for public scrutiny until now. Note that I list a Zpacks 6x9 tarp. I'm still using a SilTarp1 5x8 until I'm confident that a tarp bivy setup is for me. So far, I've done 2 trips, including some nasty weather, and it works for me. My trips are all 2-4 days, as my vacation time is used for other things.

Summer (and Utah spring) List:

This list is almost SUL. If I bought a Zpacks Zero or similar instead of using the Osprey Daylite, I'd be below 5lbs baseweight, but I like the backpad and having a big-name pack gives you some credibility on the trail and makes it easier to convince others to go UL.

I just recently tried a 2-day backpacking trip with this gear in the alpine in the presence of thunderstorms and it worked great. I had food leftover, enough room for a pint of whiskey, and a little bit of extra space, so I'm sure I can fit 3 days into the tiny pack (13L). I loved being stoveless. I never realized how much cooking is a hassle, even when freezer-bag cooking. While 1L isn't a lot of water storage, it works fine in the alpine out here due to snowmelt and streams/water being everywhere. It also forces me to carry less water, which is huge plus! The pack got quite a lot of attention at my destination (which is a "busy" natural hot springs about 9mi in at 11000'). I'm sure I made a few converts.

3-Season List:

In spring, I usually ski mountaineer or am in the Utah desert, so this list is mainly a fall list. It also is geared towards summits, and class 4/5 scrambling, since the weather in fall stabilizes, and being exposed on alpine ridges for long periods of time is less dangerous. I'm assuming the colder weather will force me to bring my stove, for comfort reasons (warm meals), but I'd at least like to try stoveless in the lower temperatures.

I could save quite a bit of weight and get two quilts, one 40-degree and one 20-degree, but I like to have a lot of camp insulation since I often will get up just before sunrise (coldest part of the day) for photography. The extra camp insulation can be crucial.

If you look at the spreadsheets, you notice they're automatically filled based on temperature and conditions. So, summer means 40 degree lows and 70-80 degree highs. Fall means 20 degree lows and 60-70 degree highs. At times, a fall day can certainly feel like summer out here, and at other times, a summer day can feel like fall. When you get into late fall, you can get winter temperatures of 10 degree lows and 40 degree highs, so my gear list is capable of reaching down to 10-15 degrees (tested at ~15 degrees during midweek in winter).

Since I spent a lot of time building in a temperature system for automatic decision making, and other similar features into the spreadsheet, I figured people might want to play around with it, so here's a publicly editable one to see how things work:

And yes... Mike will be pleased, no TP! With all the snow out here still, I wouldn't even think of bringing any, unless I'm in the Utah desert. Mike, got any tips for going TP-less in the Utah desert? I haven't been able to do it yet.

Edited by lindahlb on 07/12/2011 00:05:36 MDT.

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Colorado Alpine (almost) SUL Summer and 3-Season on 07/14/2011 17:55:53 MDT Print View

No suggestions? I must have had my list more dialed than I had thought!

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Colorado Alpine 3-Season and Summer (almost SUL) on 07/14/2011 18:52:05 MDT Print View

Good list! It's hard to find anything to change. Btw, I certainly wouldn't worry about the pack; there is no prize for getting under "SUL".