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mav2005
12-09-2008, 04:28 PM
Hello everyone,

I'm planning a guided traverse of the Presidential Range in January 2010. I know that is a long ways out, but I am beginning to research my equipment choices. In particular, I would be interested in hearing recommendations for clothing during my hike. How many layers of clothing will I need?

Thank You

Bill O
12-09-2008, 05:00 PM
That is a long way out.

Four on the top, three on the bottom.

Top:
Midweight Capilene (or whatever brand you choose)
Heavyweight Capilene
Fleece or Down Jacket (depending on temps, either way down is lighter and more compressible)
Waterproof shell

Bottom:
Midweight Capilene
Windstopper fleece or softshell pants with full side zips
Waterproof shell with full side zips

climbabout
12-09-2008, 06:32 PM
Bill has it pretty well covered - the only thing I would substitute is my 3rd upper layer would be a fleece or primaloft jacket(this is a highly personal choice) and I'd add a down parka with hood for rest breaks and in camp. One thing to keep in mind with clothing on a trip like this - don't have any redundancy in your clothing - you can't afford to bring unnecessary weight. Each item is a part of a system and should fit so it could all be worn together if needed. This gives you the most versatility. Staying the right temperature is of utmost importance - this includes not being too warm while traveling.
Good Luck - there's lot's of experience and expertise on this forum - you've come to a good place to ask questions.
Tim

dangergirl
12-11-2008, 08:44 AM
The clothing above looks great. The basics are two light baselayers (for overnights) just in case the first one gets sweaty. I usually run hot when moving so I wear a Techwick base layer with a pair of softshell pants and my Mountain Hardwear windstopper fleece jacket (the best thing I own! Awesome ventilation and super warm). I wear a light wool hat and light gloves. If it is really windy I throw on my gortex top and bottoms.
For camp I wear Patagonia Cap 4 baselayers, Synthetic Pants and a Down Jacket. Down booties are pretty awesome too! I also bring extra socks for sleeping in.
Glacier glasses and sunscreen are definately a must because I once got the worst sunburn of my life doing a traverse above the clouds with the wrong glasses and no sunscreem. I learned what undercast conditions were that day. I also bring a balaclava, an extra hat, extra light gloves, warm mitts, goggles, and a couple of handwarmers.
That is usually my clothing for the traverse. You will have a blast! Here is a link to our successful traverse this past winter! http://www.flickr.com/photos/kfolcik/sets/72157604158225873/
We are hoping to attempt it again this winter and hit all the summits! My friend and I hiked it in a day this summer and hit all the summits from Madison to Webster! Here is the link to that: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kfolcik/sets/72157606143189727/

Steve M
12-11-2008, 09:36 PM
Thanks for the links, Dangergirl. Very cool pics. Can't wait to do a traverse of my own.

mtruman
12-11-2008, 11:05 PM
Thanks for the links, Dangergirl. Very cool pics. Can't wait to do a traverse of my own.

Wait a minute, I thought you were a Florida boy now. How's that thin southern blood gonna' hold up to all that cold? :D

Steve M
12-11-2008, 11:49 PM
Wait a minute, I thought you were a Florida boy now. How's that thin southern blood gonna' hold up to all that cold? :D

My body lives in Florida, but my heart is in the Whites!
I'm sure my body will survive.:D

ColdWeatherClimber
12-14-2008, 05:55 AM
Funny you brought this up, as I and my climbing buddy were talking of a January 2010 Presi-Traverse too.

We are looking at Feathered Friends Down one piece suits for all the exposed upper above treeline stuff, maybe wearing lighter stuff lower down for the huffing and puffing of the ascent. What is the average temp with wind chill in this area in January? We are not wanting our packs any more than 40-50 lbs for all gear, which will include clothing, bibler tent etc.

mtruman
12-14-2008, 12:06 PM
Funny you brought this up, as I and my climbing buddy were talking of a January 2010 Presi-Traverse too.

We are looking at Feathered Friends Down one piece suits for all the exposed upper above treeline stuff, maybe wearing lighter stuff lower down for the huffing and puffing of the ascent. What is the average temp with wind chill in this area in January? We are not wanting our packs any more than 40-50 lbs for all gear, which will include clothing, bibler tent etc.

You can look at the monthly F6 data from the last few years here: http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/f6/ (http://www.mountwashington.org/forums/../weather/f6/). Pretty big variation in possible temps and winds. Last January the average daily temp went from an extreme high of 39 to a low of -18 (with a min that day of -26). Wind speed max from a daily low of 40mph to a max of 110. The day that the min temp was -26 the average wind was 72 with a max 0f 101. Doing the math - the wind chill was, uh, REALLY FREAKIN' COLD! Bottom line is you have to be prepared for anything.

Bill O
12-14-2008, 01:16 PM
Others might disagree, but I think the one piece down suit is not the best idea for Mount Washington. It will be great when its -30, but anything warmer and its too much.

ColdWeatherClimber
12-14-2008, 08:31 PM
Yeah I was talking with another forum member in PM about the clothing issue, and I think just layers with a gore-tex shell, and a down parka in my pack will be the way to go. Our FF down suits will probably be way too much, even for just the traverse across the exposed peaks. I had expected a lot colder weather, really.