Took another trip to the snow and because we had poor visibility we limited the walking about to just getting to the mountain and one brief walk in two days.
So I had plenty of time to test several bits of gear that were either new to me or I have had and never used.
First the Notch proved to be able to stand up to some snow.
I can get changed and fiddle a bit inside but ideally I would like more space but at 700g bits having a bivvy...
Next I finally used my DIY lantern. (55g with a 9 hor candle (lasts 7 hours...))
It works . Nice to have a warm glow for the very modest weight.
We spent the first night at the trailhead (arrived there in the dark and was raining) so I used my Little Ripper to cut a couple of long branches to light the fire in the provided pot belly stove.
(I did not want to use the wood from the nearby (locked up but accessible to me) pile of wood.
The next day I used it again inside the hut near to where we set up the tents.
Very happy with the result. The wood I cut was from about 5 to 10cm wide (2"-4")
Should work well for the guys that use stoves inside their tents or winter touring where huts are accessible.
Another item I tried was a down vest. Had this for years but never really fitted with my layering system, however it did this trip.
That took the place of a fleece layer and turned out to be a very nice pillow (I have a silk pillow case (ex silk liner) to catch my dribbles, so it is used inside the sleeping bag.
Again I used the Summerlite with the WM Flash top and pants. (did the job)
My Exped DM let me down the first night, had to pump up it again at around 4 am after I already topped it up just before going to sleep at 10PM or so.
The next night on snow it remained pumped up so I put that down to error 17.
(error 17 is the code name in the software industry for user error (the problem is 17" away from the screen...)
Again I took my "heavy" but turned out to be very useful Mora knife.
That produced shavings and kindling needed to start the fire (I prefer that to the "firestarters" everybody else had with them..
So not much walking at all (nice snowshoes run down the mountain coming back..) but some useful testing was done.
(the first morning Vinnie the resident Park Ranger pointed out his picture pic on the weather forecast sheet.. that was funny cause I looked at that sheet the night before and did not see the pic)
(it was dark and my mate Brett had a very good single malt with him that he insisted in sharing, it would have been bad form to refuse)