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A night out in the cold
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eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
A night out in the cold on 03/14/2013 14:54:05 MDT Print View

much more at link ...

A night out in the cold
Tales of unplanned winter camping

After team-shovelling their makeshift snow cave to the width of about a quad chair, everyone got inside and they sealed the entrance with a solid chunk of snow. The three skiers and one snowboarder huddled for warmth, with nothing but their clothing insulating them from the ice-cold floor of the cave.

"I was still freezing because my clothing wasn't very waterproof," says Dobashi.

"After the digging my pants and gloves were completely wet and frozen, making me even colder throughout the night. We were all freezing in the cave with no fire and no food but we tried to stay positive. We kept poking each other and taking turns talking with one another so that everyone stayed awake. I remember when I got out of the cave for a pee I saw a clear sky and all of a sudden lots of shooting stars, all streaking in the same direction. It may have been a hallucination."

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
A night out in the cold on 03/14/2013 22:14:52 MDT Print View

"We kept poking each other and taking turns talking with one another so that everyone stayed awake.'
I guess remaining awake was the key to their survival.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: A night out in the cold on 03/14/2013 22:23:29 MDT Print View

"I guess remaining awake was the key to their survival."

Youth. Us old guys would be dead. Of course us old guys may have avoided going there in the first place. I would get out the ol' Swiss Army knife with saw and a fire steel and MAKE FIRE, FIRE GOOOOOD. And some boughs to sit on. I'm glad they made it.

Never did full snow caves-- isn't it dangerous to seal them too tight? I recall needing a vent hole and a way to keep it clear.

I'm generally sleepy after poking ;)

Edited by dwambaugh on 03/14/2013 22:24:13 MDT.

just Justin Whitson
Re: A night out in the cold on 03/14/2013 22:31:17 MDT Print View

You must have had to bit your tongue on that one Franco, as i understand "poke" is Aussie for something altogether different :O

(i'm not making light of the survival situation btw, i'm glad they got out safe and sound)

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: A night out in the cold on 03/14/2013 23:05:58 MDT Print View

"full snow caves-- isn't it dangerous to seal them too tight? I recall needing a vent hole and a way to keep it clear."

Generally we would put only a tiny hole near the ceiling, like an inch or two in diameter. Then put a larger hole where the door would be, down low at floor level or lower.

That way, cold air might flow out of the larger hole, and there is a tiny bit of circulation.

If you have a shovel, then you carry it inside the snow cave with you in case of overnight snow accumulation. Otherwise, if you have a ski pole, carry it inside for clearing air holes.

If you have a source of heat like a stove, then you need much much more ventilation. Generally place the stove next to the larger hole or else completely outside.

It works.


eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
more from the link on 03/15/2013 12:51:23 MDT Print View

in case yr too lazy to go to the full story ;)

"More than 85 per cent of the calls from overdue backcountry skiers that we (respond to) involve people that have overnighted," said Whistler SAR team manager Brad Sills, a 35-year veteran of the organization. Calls from lost parties requiring rescue usually come late in the afternoon or evening when people have exhausted all other options, but SAR is unlikely to initiate a rescue if there is little daylight left.

"We're not trying to punish people, but you cannot find people at night time," says Sills. "You can't travel outside the ski areas after dark without certain risks to the rescuers."

When SAR receives a rescue call from the RCMP it will designate an urgency rating based on the victim's age, medical conditions, the number of subjects in the party, cumulative experience in the party, the equipment carried and the weather at the time of the call.

"If you're a 13-year-old girl by yourself with diabetes, we're going to go out because you're probably not going to make it through the night," says Sills. "If you're a 30-year-old male with two buddies with no medical conditions, and the weather is -4C, chances are you're going to be spending the night out."

Sills reinforces that a night out in the backcountry is not as difficult or scary as it sounds providing travellers are adequately prepared. That means carrying more than the minimal survival gear of a transceiver, shovel and probe (see sidebar for complete equipment list.)

"Of that 85 per cent (of unprepared travellers) that we are called to assist, most have virtually no gear at all. They have the clothes on their back, a candy bar and if they are smokers they may have a lighter. Those are the people that are the most at risk of having a really poor night."

Paul Mason
(dextersp1) - F
Hopefully I have enough on 03/15/2013 18:49:57 MDT Print View

I hike alone and hopefully carry enough to say alive for 1 night.
cell phone
SOL bivy
sit pad
hand warmers and a lot of other stuff.

The issue is - if I'm hurt could I use the stuff.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Re: Hopefully I have enough on 03/15/2013 19:09:03 MDT Print View

I have one of those Sol bivies for Summer time but the rest of the year take a Blizzard bag and 2 person bothy along with insulated clothing.

Good point on what if you where hurt while out solo.