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Too cold to hike?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by C29368 View Post
    -20F forecasted low for Lake Placid tonight!
    Saranac Lake airport bottomed out at -24F this morning at 5:51.

    Here at Random Scoots it was a balmy -12F.
    Scooting here and there
    Through the woods and up the peaks
    Random Scoots awaits (DP)

    Eat, sleep, hike, repeat.

    It doesn't have to be viewtiful to be beautiful. (NL)

    "Pushing the limits of easy."


    • #32
      -12F here too, but it was -17 up on the hill away from the water. The Malamutes seem to enjoy it, but I'm going to stay in today and try to finish the remodel on my half bath. Too cold to go out and play in the woodpile.
      Adopt a natural resource. Give back.


      • #33
        Originally posted by Aspiring HP Queen View Post
        Sure, you can carry 10-15 pounds all winter and that's great if you don't hurt yourself, trip, break a bone or bang yourself up in some way. But what if you did?
        Here's the most ironic scenario from the Worry Wart's Can of Apocalyptic Worms: unconsciousness. No matter what you have in your pack, you can't use it!

        Based on the winter misadventures described on this forum, over the past three years, most folks fell victim to a combination of navigational error and fatigue and not a catastrophic injury. Anything is possible, just not probable. Know thyself, and the conditions, goes a long way to avoiding trouble.

        Hiking in extreme cold increases the risk of equipment failure and debilitating fatigue (more energy expended to stay warm). It'd be quite the calculated risk to get by with minimal gear. Not the level of risk I'm comfortable with and I normally carry very little. To each his own.

        Warming trend begins this weekend. Pleasant winter hiking conditions are back.
        Looking for Views!


        • #34
          In my early career I was an Air Force navigator. Quite a few years ago my crew and I headed off to Eielson AFB (Fairbanks, AK) for a 30 day rotation in a very cold December. As we were departing home, we learned of a KC-135 that had just then crashed shortly after takeoff up there. After diverting to Washington to pick up an accident investigation team, we landed that same day, surface temperature was minus 56F. Because jet engines are much more efficient even at idle when it is so cold, as soon as wheels touched down we had to immediate shut down two of our four engines in order to stop on the runway.

          Because of the crash there was no flying for the first week before resuming our flight missions headed much farther north. It was spooky with that crew's locked quarters right next to ours. For the first 8 days the temperature never got above -40. Then mysteriously on day 9 it went up to +40 before returning back down to the -40 and lower range for the remainder of our time there.

          Turns out that the crews on the multiple flight mission the night before we arrived had multiple long ground delays from southern based planes like ours blowing oil seals in the cold, among other cold caused problems. There were not enough mobile external heaters to go around to all the aircraft cabins while waiting hours for the repairs. Several of the crews noted cabin temps well below zero, with coffee freezing solid in their cups. The fateful crew had minor problems upon takeoff that should not have been fatal, but they were so cold that their thinking process and muscle control was slowed and they worried more about the minor problems than flying the aircraft. Gear still down when it should have been up, heavily loaded with fuel to the max, in a scheduled turn they lost sufficient lift while banking and side slipped into ground.

          The ice fog was thick every day - like sparkly crystalline air severely limiting visibility, though beautiful when it thinned somewhat in the low angle sunshine. But I had to get out for some hiking, even though we had only 3 hours of useable daylight between sunup and sundown. I layered up in bunny boots, wool pants plus thick insulated pants, and my parka with wolf fur snorkel hood, and headed out for a hike into the countryside, down to where the oil pipeline was then being constructed. I was warned that even with full cold protection gear, to watch out for my knees. At -50F I did keep my core and feet toasty, with the exception of my knees. With every step my knees compress the insulated pants enough to drive out the warm air, and then it decompresses to draw in the cold. Nothing serious, but it was an unexpected interesting effect to have chilly knees.

          Another interesting thing we were told was that you can't effectively warm yourself by any exercise that causes you to breathe hard. At -20 or lower, you will lose more heat warming the air you breathe than you gain from the exercise, and you risk internal frostbite in fast hard breathing. The wolf fur snorkel hood is amazing. The frost from your breath does not stick to wolf fur. Those with the newer fake-fur hoods had considerable frost build up inside their zipped up hood.
          "Leave the beaten track behind occasionally and dive into the woods. Every time you do you will be certain to find something you have never seen before." - Alexander Graham Bell


          • #35
            FWIW the coldest I ever remember starting a hike was -18 F. Sewards with Skidoc and Alistair. Never got any warmer and winds on top were in the 40mph range. I remember Skidoc asking me to check his face for any exposed skin or signs of frostbite as he checked both Alistair and me.
            It has been my experience that as temperatures drop below 0 F the humidity is usually greatly reuced, I find that I need to drink more frequently to keep from dehydrating and snacks are imperative.
            My winter pack is adjusted accoring to the hike, the weather and if I am solo or in a group.
            Solo I tend to try and balance weight to safety. I might pack less heavy thermal back up clothing with more lightweight but warmer down or primaloft.
            I will carry my Bivy, Sleeping Bag and if it is a long trip I have a 2 lb tent I carry as well. still I usually keep the pack weight at or below 35 lbs.
            "Climbing is about freedom. There's no prize money; there are no gold medals. The mountains are all about going there to do what you want to do. That's why I'll never tell anyone else how to climb. All I can say is, This is how I prefer to do it."
            Ed Viesturs


            • #36
              -45 wind chills? Yep, too cold.



              • #37
                Forecast for 4700 ft on Mt. Marcy: BRRRRRR!

                Tuesday Night:Mostly cloudy, with a low around -27. Northwest wind around 9 mph.
                Wednesday Mostly cloudy and cold, with a high near -9. Northwest wind around 11 mph becoming southwest in the afternoon.
                Wednesday Night Mostly cloudy, with a low around -25. Northwest wind 7 to 9 mph becoming east in the evening.
                Love all wilderness!
                Trying to hike and XC ski as much as possible.

                ADK 46/46 still not official.
                W 27/46