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Winter backpacking in Rocky Mountain National Park
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Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
Winter backpacking in Rocky Mountain National Park on 03/03/2014 21:51:27 MST Print View

A weekend where I again assisted with a winter backpacking course.


Winter backpacking is, at first glance, not really that different from three-season backpacking. You still need your usual backpacking gear. Among them: a shelter, stove, sleeping bag, clothing, sleeping pad and so on. Food is still cooked, hot drinks still poured and routes are planned out on a map.

Except that the gear is heavier and bulkier. Tasks take longer. Being warm and dry takes a little more proper planning and work. Hydration seems a little more difficult. And you may even need extra equipment in the form of skis or snowshoes.

Winter backpacking is rewarding…but it does need a little bit of extra planning and requires more attention to detail.

With all that in mind, I again assisted on a winter backpacking fundamentals weekend with Andrew Skurka. A great way to kick-start and gain skills in deep winter backpacking. A chance to learn how to stay warm, dry and comfortable in winter, learn some basics of Nordic backcountry skiing and to enjoy the beauty that is winter.

Rest of report here....

Edited by PaulMags on 03/03/2014 21:53:01 MST.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Re: Winter backpacking in Rocky Mountain National Park on 03/03/2014 22:05:58 MST Print View

Mags, you and Skurka are two of Boulder's finest assets. It looked like a grand trip, with proper snow and happy participants. One question--what was your location, your routes? Thanks for posting this.

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
route on 03/04/2014 06:22:33 MST Print View

Thanks for the kind words.

We went to Fern Lake and back via an off trail route.

We then went to the Bierstadt Lake junction and back.

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Re: route on 03/04/2014 09:41:52 MST Print View

This and your last 2-3 recent trip reports have been very enjoyable. :)

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
darn lucky on 03/04/2014 10:00:10 MST Print View

I must confess, I sometimes feel like I don't get out as much. The yearning for the long journey never goes away.

As a person in early middle age (I hit 40 in two months), there are other responsibilities in my life. My wife and I are trying to build a life together. I am trying to think a little more long term. I look at my Dad who retired at 59 yo and I am quite envious. (Of course, he as the rarest of rare things in today's age: a pension!!!)

Something I've been struggling with a lot in the past few years:

Then I see compliments like yours. Hear nice things from other people.

For a weekend warrior, I get out a fair amount.

A 10th mtn hut trip is the culmination of many, many, many months of planning for most people.

Taking off to a national monument for a three day backpacking trip on a whim? I work with people who who have to plan for weeks to get a DAY to hike.

Being asked to guide with one of the most well known backpackers today? Not bad for a guy who grew up in RI and whose childhood outdoor experience was the very occasional camping trip at Johnson's Pond sandwiched between housing developments. (and one, quite literally, life changing hiking trip in New Hampshire when I was 12 )

So, I have to remind myself just how damn lucky I am.

I may not hike for months at a time anymore. But I have a wife who encourages me to do trips solo and with friends, will join me for some of the base camp style trips and while I don't have all the time off I'd like, it works for now.

OK...enough waxing poetic. I was grumpy to said wife this morning because of work issues. And I read all the nice words clients, friends and other people say about the recent trips. Read above how I need to remind myself how damn lucky I am. :)

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Winter backpacking in Rocky Mountain National Park on 03/04/2014 10:55:35 MST Print View

Your reputation precedes you, Mags, and your cook system proves it. You're going to have to get pretty dang lazy and quit going out altogether for your reputation to go away.

Adan Lopez
(Lopez) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Valley
cook system on 04/09/2014 23:17:15 MDT Print View

Awesome cook kit