Tag Archive for 'Hiking'

Last 14er of the season …

lastClimbsm2

This photo released by National Park Service shows from left to right: Gary Favela, Don Teichner, Muku Reynolds, Steve Arthur, Linda Arthur, Robin Brum, and Mark MacKenzie.  The hikers, six from California and one from Nevada, died when fast-moving floodwaters rushed through a narrow park canyon Monday, Sept. 14, 2015.  (National Park Service via AP)

This photo released by National Park Service shows from left to right: Gary Favela, Don Teichner, Muku Reynolds, Steve Arthur, Linda Arthur, Robin Brum, and Mark MacKenzie. The hikers, six from California and one from Nevada, died when fast-moving floodwaters rushed through a narrow park canyon Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. (National Park Service via AP)

End of season plans

The season is coming to an end, and I still have a handful of hikes I want to complete before the snow rolls in:

  • Backpack to Como Lake, sleep, day-hike (ultralight) up to bag Blanca and Ellingwood, come back down and backpack out. This is probably the trip I am most looking forward to.
  • Backpack in to Missouri trailhead, day-hike up to Oxford and Belford, retreat back down to valley for r&r, wake up and bag Missouri and perhaps Emerald
  • Finish segment 9,10 of CT (should put me up to about 200 miles if I get 5 and 7), stage car at end of 10, sleep and bag Massive.
  • Finish segment 5 and 7.

School starts this weekend so hopefully I will have time to knock out 3 of these. Labor day weekend might provide an opportunity to complete the Blanca trip.

Uh … summer?

Whiskey Tango

Whiskey Tango

My CT trip is coming up, and we are still getting rain/hail daily below 9000 ft, and snow everywhere else. The snow was up over the Pikes Peak webcam at http://www.cograilway.com/Summit/summitcam.jpg last week. I cannot remember the last time there was this much snow on Pikes Peak this late in the year … weird. I guess I will just have to accept the fact that I will be postholing and getting sunburned for long stretches of my hike.

Evans Lessons (yes, that easy-ass mountain)

1) I broke my rule and did not bring a topo map. This won’t happen again.

2) My watch compass was not calibrated. Be sure to calibrate it and possibly have another compass.

3) Know the route. Know in advance where the trails are and what to expect. Because we didn’t plan Evan’s I did not know the route in advance and I trusted the instructions of a park ranger to take a longer class 2+ route.

4) Know what the summit looks like, and what to expect of there. Is there a registry? In a white-out this is extremely useful.

5) Be careful who you trust and who you follow. I was given bad information by at least 3 different people/groups.

6) Be very careful to avoid summit-fever when I have other less capable people with me.

7) Make sure Jade has warm gloves. Her hands are always cold.

8) SPOT issues. Develop a CONOP for friends and family so they know what to expect, and how to react to duress situations. Know the meaning of the success failure code colors, and keep that cheat card with me.

9) When things go south, relax, sit down, think things through. Take an inventory of what you have and come up with plans for the worst case scenario. Know before the hike when it is acceptable to press the red button.

10) Be sure to eat and drink more when things aren’t nominal.

11) Take the 10 essentials.

12) Bring my down puffy coat. It is tiny, and lightweight and it worth the extra 7 ounces after August.

13) Take 2 pairs of hand-warmers. They aye lightweight and extremely useful.

14) Be wary of falling mice.

15) Be sure to have the right camera settings.

16) Never underestimate a whiteout.

Grays & Torreys combo lessons

1) Eat breakfast. We did not eat anything until about 2/3 up and that was the reason I had some difficulty early with some steep stuff. Once I had some sugar in me I felt much stronger.

2) Do not eat a massive Mexican food dinner the night before. Eat something lighter with complex carbs, like spaghetti or sandwiches.

3) Have lunch planned and packed and prepped for the trip.

4a) Do not bring shitty gloves. Good gloves are worth the investment. If my hands are cold/frozen you really cannot do much in the way of using your phone/camera/GPS, unwrapping things, etc. When there is snow and ice on the ground and you are scrambling or walking with Trekking poles you really need good gloves.  I bought a pair from Golite on the way home that will allow me to use my phone while wearing them. I will take them out with me next trip.

4b) Bring a secondary thicker pair of gloves. Again when you cannot use your hands things get difficult quick.

5) Bring some sort of super lightweight hankerchief or something like it, to wipe freezing snot off your nose and beard.

6) Make sure to have something to cover your head. A balaclava also might be good to have around.

7) Make sure I actually hit the begin tracking button on the SPOT, instead of the send ok message button.

8) Bring crampons, or miniature crampons always. You never know when things will get icy or snowy.

9) Bring Afghanistan undershirt. There really isn’t anything better

10) For Torrey’s and Greys, there really isn’t any need to bring water up to 12,000 feet or so, since there is a wonderful stream running. Collect water there, and do not need to collect a lot since we can hit the stream up on the way down.

11) Hydrate the night before.

12) Trekking poles are great for descents and for icy conditions, however they are a pain to deal with when doing anything >= class 2+. Invest in some collapsible, lightweight trekking poles. They are versatile.

13a) Be sure to have my phone fully charged before the hike. I only had about 30% power when we started, and we did not even see sunlight until we were 2/3 of the way up so my solar panel was not able to really charge it adequately until we were coming down …

13b) Put phone on airplane mode, and leave solar cell in car for day-trips <10 miles.

14) Have two good, clean pairs of wool socks.

15) The Big Agnes Air Core sleeping pad and my 3-season sleeping bag in the back of the car resulted in some of the best sleep I have ever had out in the country. The Legacy is a bit longer and will probably allow me to stretch my feet out, so take that one when I can.

16) Wet wipes are great to have. I had never used them before even though they were in my first aid kit for years (see item 2).

17) Using the restroom above tree-line sucks (unless you like audiences), but it is certainly worth the effort to head off trail when it’s safe to find a little happy place, instead of pushing through in pain and agony until you simply have to go.

18) Get to the campsite well before dusk if possible. Because my partner was sick, and because we got there late, we both ended up sleeping in the car, instead of pitching a tent or two. I slept great, but he was quite miserable in the passenger seat.

19) Always leave early. Even if there is next to 0% chance of precip you still avoid the crowds, and have more time for breaks (see item 17).

20) For day-trips <10 miles, there really isn’t much of a need to bring the Mule, since I can rarely find anything in it anyways. Instead bring a single compartment ultra-light with a bladder and everything else wrapped in a plastic bag. The other way to go would be to bring a Nalgene bottle instead. For Grey’s Torreys, this would be preferred.  This could save 1.5 – 2 pounds between using the ultralight and bottle instead of the Mule and Bladder.

21) Think long and hard about wearing my summer hiking pants. 3 season pants are probably the safest route during the summer.

22) Bring a tiny rolled up blanket or travel Pillow. They are light weight and worth their weight in Gold when space is not an issue or when you are not hucking your sleeping stuff.




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