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Caples to Emigrant Lake in a windstorm
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Brian Mix
(Aggro) - MLife

Locale: Western slope, Sierra Nevada
Caples to Emigrant Lake in a windstorm on 11/23/2013 18:21:56 MST Print View

Short report for a short trip.
After the Yosemite Falls/Eagle Peak trip falling apart due to a windstorm I sat down with a map and quickly planned this trip as I needed to get out. Upon arriving at the un-plowed Caples Lake trail head parking lot and applying 4x4 persuasion to get to a parking spot I decided to add a couple layers because the truck was telling me it was 27* and waves were crashing over the dam from the above mentioned wind. Lake level was 10+ feet below spill level. This pic is from the hike out today when the winds were a little calmer. caples dam iceRight then I knew this would be a quick trip although the itinerary I left behind indicated a two night stay. Both USFS offices I called indicated no snow at lake level and the parking lot had 4" and I was wearing trail runners sans gators or snow shoes. After 30 minutes of hiking I couldn't drink from my water bladder as it had frozen. After paralleling the lake and enduring 50mph+ head and side winds for about a mile the trail veered away from Caples and onward towards Emigrant Lake. Numerous trees were down on the trail. trees on trailThe trail varied from calf deep postholing to sinking minimally in the encrusted snow. trailThe postholing would be the name of the game further up the trail as I would gain elevation. The winds were predicted to be the worst from 7pm to 1am Saturday morning and the last 3/4 mile of the trail is all peaks and ridges so I decided to not camp at my destination lake at an exposed elevation of 8600 feet. I ended up backtracking about a mile until I found a sheltered area in the trees to setup camp. resizedhexamidinsnowAfter I setup camp and got my bed ready I sat down and removed my soaked shoes (which were frozen 15 minutes later) to be startled by a popping noise. I nervously looked at my Exped ul7 and noticed one of the internal baffle seams had split. That'll be real comfortable to sleep on. expedAfter a while I was able to unscrew the top of my Camelbak to save the remaining water and transfer it into a softsided bottle. After dinner I simply went to bed as the wind was really picking up and I had forgotten a book to read. After an uneventful night I broke camp and headed up the trail again without my gear so my shoes would start to thaw. After I peaked out, I once again went to my camp, grabbed my pack and headed back out-my wool socks looking like ice donuts around my ankles. The hike back out was easy and uneventful if a little bit chilly.spindrift?

Edited by Aggro on 11/23/2013 19:31:40 MST.

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: Caples to Emigrant Lake in a windstorm on 11/23/2013 18:52:50 MST Print View

Sounds adventurous but you got out in more ways than one. Did the popped baffle on the Exped affect the warmth or other performance overnight? Curious as I have the same pad.

Brian Mix
(Aggro) - MLife

Locale: Western slope, Sierra Nevada
Exped on 11/23/2013 20:51:01 MST Print View

Aside from being quite uncomfortable I don't really think it adversely affected the mattresses performance. Had it gone flat and I was unable to fix it would have meant hiking out and not staying the night. I was cold thru the night sleeping in my WM Kodiak with poly and down layers which I am a bit perplexed about. One possibility on that is the bag is a much larger cut than my Ultralight so I was heating up more air around me.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Exped on 11/23/2013 22:00:26 MST Print View

Looks chilly but beautiful.

I've had the same thing with an Exped SynMat UL7. The baffle didn't split all the way, just a few feet at the end. The warranty guy (for Canada) was great though, I just emailed him a photo of mine and he mailed me a replacement pad.

I don't find the SynMat 7 to warm enough once ground temps dip below about 25-30F, so that might have been part of it. I find a similarly R-value rated NeoAir to be good to about 5 degree cooler, but I prefer the comfort of the SynMat design.