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  1. #41
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    So I published another blog post last night which I welcome you all to read here at 2180miles.com

    Long story short, I've got all of my gear, it all fits very snugly into my pack, and I'm headed up to the Whites to test it this weekend on a 18ish mile loop around Crawford Notch. The goal is a mix of elevation and distance, and I'll be spending a night up there in the new tent. I comedically set the tent up in my living room Wednesday night, then again on my back porch last night and spent overnight sleeping outside to make sure everything worked comfortably. The -15 degree bag was HOT (fleece bottoms, long underwear poly top) and temps dropped only into the mid 30s. I'm not entirely sure what I'll see this weekend at elevation, but it won't be -15. Side note, I did not use the bag liner last night, instead leaving it stuffed down by my feet.

    For those who are Whites friendly and knowledgable, the plan is to go up Signal Ridge Trail from 302, over Mt. Carrigan, down Desolation Trail, and spend the night along the Carrigan Notch trail. The next morning i'll take Nancy Pond trail around the lower elevations of Mt. Anderson and Duck Pond Mountain before making it back down to 302. My folks have a vacation property in Bartlett about 20-30 minutes away and will drop off/pick up so that I don't need to leave mine in a parking lot or be car spotted back. Weather shows a likelihood of snow, so I'm bringing my light traction and snowshoes, planning to overpack to get a good idea of how weight will be including a few days worth of food.

    Anyway, that's the update as of now. Since everyone likes photos, here's one of 96% of my gear laid out in a pretty picture.

    Talk soon!


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    Texaco
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  2. #42
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    Apparently in order to actually see the microscopic pretty picture, you have to click on it..
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    Texaco
    GA-ME 2014 | April 4th - July 26th
    Long Trail Winter 2016 | December 19th - ......
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  3. #43
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    I'm excited for you!
    Lazarus

  4. #44
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    I see microspikes and snowshoes in that picture. Any sort of crampons? Highly recommended.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by rafe View Post
    I see microspikes and snowshoes in that picture. Any sort of crampons? Highly recommended.
    I initially was planning just the two above, but in recent conversations with my dad I've been looking out for crampons. I've got a $20 coupon for REI I can use next week, so I was going to wait for that.

    Any thoughts on these?: https://www.rei.com/product/798354/b...ith-abs-plates
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  6. #46
    Clueless Weekender Another Kevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texaco View Post
    I initially was planning just the two above, but in recent conversations with my dad I've been looking out for crampons. I've got a $20 coupon for REI I can use next week, so I was going to wait for that.

    Any thoughts on these?: https://www.rei.com/product/798354/b...ith-abs-plates
    They're what I use. I don't have many complaints, they're good for what I use them for. I see more Grivel G10's and G12's among the folks I've gone out with. Either the Black Diamond or Grivel strap-ons will work with Sorel pac boots. Most 'better' crampons need mountaineering boots, which are not so great for hiking.

    As far as I'm concerned, in any conditions where you need full crampons, you need an ice axe (and training in self-arrest). The Black Diamond Raven is just about the only axe I see Out There.

    Do NOT in any circumstances get aluminium crampons for hiking in the Northeast. We have mixed hard ice and rock, basically all winter long. Our conditions just eat aluminium.
    I always know where I am. I'm right here.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texaco View Post
    I initially was planning just the two above, but in recent conversations with my dad I've been looking out for crampons. I've got a $20 coupon for REI I can use next week, so I was going to wait for that.

    Any thoughts on these?: https://www.rei.com/product/798354/b...ith-abs-plates
    No, though they look like they'll do fine. They look very similar to Hillsounds, what I and a lot of White Mtn. winter peakbaggers use.

    One of the more annoying situations in winter hiking is having to change traction devices frequently. Especially this time of year where the snow cover isn't complete, so at various times you're walking over either snow, ice, or rock. Walking on rock with crampons is a pain.

    Your practice hike sounds like fun. It was eons ago but as I recall the descent of Carrigain was steep as get-out. That was in summer time.

    You may want to consider a length of rope (line) and or ice axe. I'm not trying to be alarmist. Earlier this year while descending Canon, my partner and I hit a short section of trail that was, in my opinion, impassible with any of the traction devices we were carrying (we had them all.)

    The trail itself was a traverse. Ground water had formed a steep, sheer-ice chute across the trail, straight down the fall line. The chute began well above the trail and continued steeply for another 100 feet down the mountain. It was a good 15-20 feet wide at the point where it crossed the trail. We looked uphill and down, couldn't see a safe way across. We ended up bushwhacking downhill along side the chute for a fair distance until we found a spot that was safe to cross. My concern at that point was finding our way back to the trail, but we got lucky and found it pretty quick.

  8. #48

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    I doubt you'll need snowshoes. Any snow tonight/tomorrow won't amount to much and the recent rain and above freezing temps has washed most of the snow we had last week away. Could be really icy though, since it's going to get cold this weekend with lows in the 20s or teens. Microspikes probably aren't going to cut it going up the steep part of Carrigan and it looks like it could be really windy up there with the front moving through. I would think twice about going up there.

    The forecast maps are showing a lot of snow for the Green Mountains though, especially the northern end, which typically gets a lot of snow even if no where else does.
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  9. #49

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    You won't need the snowshoes, but you are smart to bring them along on your shakedown. Testing is about simulating conditions so make it as real as you can.

    Desolation does have a couple of really steep sections which can be bad in the Spring when ice is really thick. If icy it should be dangerous enough right now to be fun but passable in good spikes like the Hillsounds. Personally I'd do the route you described in the other direction because I enjoy climbing Desolation a lot more than descending it in any season other than deep snowy Winter. Be safe, have fun, take pics!
    The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait until that other is ready...~Henry David Thoreau

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  10. #50
    Clueless Weekender Another Kevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rafe View Post
    You may want to consider a length of rope (line) and or ice axe. I'm not trying to be alarmist. Earlier this year while descending Canon, my partner and I hit a short section of trail that was, in my opinion, impassible with any of the traction devices we were carrying (we had them all.)
    Besides, without an ice axe, how are you going to have the fun of glissading back down?

    Glissading without an ice axe is NOT fun. If you've ever done the "inadvertent glissade with tree-assisted self-arrest" manoeuvre, you won't want to do it again.

    I suppose it doesn't hurt if a party carries a static line, and maybe even a harness or two, a couple of braking devices and a handful of ice screws and quickdraws. I've been on one trip to Sugarloaf (the one in the Catskills) where the ice was just unreal, and the folks who had full crampons and piolets wound up going on ahead, tying in and top-roping the guys who'd brought just microspikes or Hillsounds. Some of the local hikers call Sugarloaf 'Suicide Mountain' because of the ice conditions - much worse than the surrounding peaks, for some reason. On the other hand, with crampons and ice axe, it was fun. With French technique, you could walk right up the stuff - easier than in good weather where you'd be picking your way among the boulders.

    That chute you ran into on Cannon sounds nasty! A lot of Northeast peaks have infamous spots. There's one on Blackhead that was deceptive when I did it in a five-foot snowpack. Notice that trip leader Jon has his piolet in hand:


    In low-snow conditions, you wind up needing full crampons (this guy is doing it in spikes, but I wouldn't!) for about twenty feet. Something like that can happen on almost any of our mountains if the wind was wrong in the last storm. It's a surprise you have to be prepared for.

    (Source: http://www.eastcoasthiker.com/trails/blackheadrange)
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  11. #51
    Registered User DavidNH's Avatar
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    a winter thru hike of the Long Trail. This gives new meaning to the term INSANE!!!

  12. #52
    Peakbagger Extraordinaire The Solemates's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf - 23000 View Post
    Texaco,
    Just a couple points. Winter hiking the Long Trail is a SERIOUS hike that can very quickly turn out BAD. Im going to be brutally honest because this hike can end lives. First your cell phone app WILL NOT WORK. When I took my cell phone winter hiking in Maine (2005) full charge. While gearing up from my car, in less than 20 minutes I found my cell phone completely DEAD. Cell phone batteries are not designed to handle that kind of extreme COLD. Your extra batteries will be dead before you are even able to use it. The batteries I did find that can handle the EXTREME cold are the lithium batteries made by Energizer. I used a GPS that took AA batteries and map/compass to help keep me on course.
    You are also going to need more fuel. I recommend using white gas, with the ability to simmer. Canisters have come a long way but they still are not burning as hot as white gas. Your stove and amount of fuel needed is going to be drain in two ways. First by the outside temperatures is going to require more fuel to burn than your summer hike. Two the ice/snow is much colder than the water you can get from youre AT thru-hike also requiring more fuel. For your meals, figure on at least 30 minutes per/burn to include both cooking your food and melting snow/ice.
    Your Marmot jacket is going to quickly become an ice jacket. When the snow falls on top of it, your jacket is going to quickly freeze while you are wearing it. The best thing that I found that helped was wearing a poncho. A simple non-rip nylon poncho did wonders. It was also usefully in helping keep me warm while breaking for lunch.
    Finally, when I did my 1995 winter Long Trail thru-hike, it was before the Internet was even popular. Im not aware of any link of other winter LT hikers. It is difficult to post anything from the trail because of the cold and the service.

    Hope this helps.

    Wolf
    Wisdom in these truths. I've done some extreme winter hiking, and have not been able to have operable cell phone batteries or operable canister fuel stoves - despite carrying both on my body to warm them all day, and sleeping with them inside the sleeping bag at night. Despite these best of practice precautions, they still would not work. Forget the cell phone and also use white gas.
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  13. #53
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    ...... oops, double posted ......
    Last edited by Another Kevin; 12-02-2016 at 14:26. Reason: double posted
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  14. #54
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    Couple photos of that ice chute...




    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Been raining on and off all day, temps in the high 30's in the valley. But it's starting to clear and when the temp drops later tonight, the ice flows will start forming up.
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  16. #56
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    It's snowing right now in the high pemi. I'm contemplating getting out of the tent to pee.
    Let me go

  17. #57
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    Headed up West Bald Pate in late April4A2F3740-7357-4D16-AF13-5732BC14AAF2.JPG

    ice makes great photo ops

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texaco View Post
    I initially was planning just the two above, but in recent conversations with my dad I've been looking out for crampons. I've got a $20 coupon for REI I can use next week, so I was going to wait for that.

    Any thoughts on these?: https://www.rei.com/product/798354/b...ith-abs-plates
    Those are the exact crampons I've used to climb big, high mountains all over the world. For a bonus, they are relatively light. The only time I use the more rigid "mountaineering" crampons is vertical ice climbing.

    No snowshoes, really? I read all the doom-and-gloom bottomless snow depths in this thread, I would assume snowshoes would be near-essential in many parts, but the local would know, don't listen to me.

  19. #59
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    Snowshoes are essential
    Let me go

  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by T.S.Kobzol View Post
    Snowshoes are essential
    crap, sorry, i missed the context of the "no snowshoe" comments, referring to only a near term shakedown hike, nevermind!

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