View Full Version : Feb Hike

01-15-2009, 03:22 PM

Im off with EMS in feb, I made sure of going 1-1 with a guide. I would hate for other to have to turn back because of me and could see myself pushing to hard to avoid that.

But that brings me to my questions.(thank for all who have helped so far)

What pace will the guide set, im not a fast hiker by any means. I dont mind being turned around etc, but would like to go at somewhat my own pace as long as time remains.

B. I am almost flat broke on outershell pants, I have the EMS stasher pants and am wondering if those are ok or not?

01-15-2009, 03:53 PM
The stasher pant is probably a little lighter than ideal, but if you wear a midweight longjohn under or a med fleece pant under - you should be ok - you'll be working hard and with boots and gaiters covering up to your knee and a shell on top - only your mid and lower thighs will be exposed - usually the legs are the least problem for cold.

Every ems guide I have ever been with is very sensitive to how the client is doing. Don't have your sole focus on summitting at all cost - learn and have an enjoyable experience. He or she will set a pace that you can keep up with - it may be challenging at times - if it's not fast enough to summit and return before dark, they'll turn around at the appropriate time. Communicate how you are feeling - although they will make their own observations as well. Assuming you are doing the 1 day ascent, you'll probably meet at the school at around 7am for a gear check and to get and fit any rental equipment they are providing you. You'll probably get to the trailhead to start your climb by around 8:30am. Typically, they'll want to have summitted by between 1 and 2 - although your guide may tweak that based on how you do early on.

If you are in reasonable shape, 800-1000ft per hour average should be a manageable pace. The climb is about 4200'. Keep in mind, you'll stop along the way to learn self arrest and cramponing techniques as well as take a few rest breaks and stop to put on your crampons at some point.

First hour or so goes like this:
On a typical climb you'll climb for 10-15min, stop briefly if you need to make clothing adjustments, then continue on to the base of the sherburne ski trail and this is usually a good spot to practice self arrest and other techniques. Water and a small snack here as well.

Then it's on for an hour or so to the base of the lionhead winter route - snacks and a drink - and in typical winter conditions, this is where you will don crampons and the real climbing begins. Usually there might be another brief stop at treeline for clothing adjustments if necessary, and then up to lionhead proper, where there a good spot to stop sheltered from the wind - another snack and drink. This section could also take an hour or more.

From here it's still another 1300' or so to the summit - often the strech just above lionhead is the windiest, with some relief once on the summit cone.These guides are very professional and you'll be in good hands -
Good Luck

01-27-2009, 01:42 PM
Thanks Climabout, Im sort of stuck in the middle with base layer for pants- I have a heavy ploartek pair and a medium wieght smart wool.

I did two laps around/ Up bear mountain this weekend(2300). (about 5.5 hours) with a 60lb pack. Im still sore today but think I have a fighting chance.

I really dont see how to not sweat, I had no gloves no hat, heavy tech wick and a med fleece and still was pretty soaked. When I stopped to drink, I noticed the 20 degree weather(no wind).

Would like to stay dry but I do sweat easy.

01-27-2009, 03:00 PM
Uncas -
you're quite welcome - since you sweat a lot - I would be inclined to go with the emdium weight smartwool under the stasher pant. Bring both to the climbing school and your guide can help you make the final decision depending on the weather that day.

If you are doing just the one day trip with ems - you should be able to get your pack weight to around 30lbs +/- a few lbs. You'll become better at minimizing your sweating, by paying close attention to your clothing. A little seating is normal as long as the synthetic fabric can keep up with wicking it away from you. It's not unusual to be comfortable hiking in 15-20 deg weather in just an upper base layer, provided it's not windy - so you may have just had too much clothing on.

At your rest breaks, think of them as personal maintenance breaks - as you are approaching your rest break, before you stop, take note of how you are feeling(hot or cold or just right?). As soon as you stop, drop your pack and put on a layer or two - a fleece and a parka is usually my choice. You worked hard to build up that body heat - it will be gone in a minute or two if you don't layer up immediately, and I mean immediately, BEFORE you pee or do anything else. Then take care of any bodily functions, then sit on your pack and eat and drink something, even if you don't feel like it.

The digestive process will aid in keeping your core warm as will the liquids - even slight dehydration speeds hypothermia. Regarding the sitting, theres an old saying, "never stand when you can sit and never sit when you can laydown". But place your pack with the side thats against your back face up, so you don't get snow on it and the pack will insulate you from the cold ground.

Once the break is over, think back to how you felt coming into the break and decide accordingly if clothing adjustments are needed. Best to always start a little cold and warm up rather than start warm and begin sweating.

One last note - I usually carry a spare top base layer with me (they only weigh 5 or 6 ounces), so I can change into it in the unlikely event mine becomes soaked. I wouldn't try to change into it in a 40mph wind above treeline, but a couple of times below treeline it came in handy. You're miserably cold for a minute while your skin is exposed, but that dry shirt helps warm you quickly. Doing that more than once usually makes you pay close attention down low to make adjustments BEFORE you become soaked. Hope this helps.