View Full Version : Winter Clothing Plan

11-09-2009, 01:40 PM
This forum is awesome! There are a lot of entertaining and informative posts to comb through. I've done a bit of this and don't really have any burning questions but just thought I'd pipe up with my Mt. Washington plans.

I'm fairly new to mountaineering -- about 5 months to be precise, but with extremely ambitious long-term plans. My climbing so far has been in the Catskills in NY (six peaks: Hunter, Wittenberg, Cornell, Slide, Indian Head, and Twin), except for Mount Marcy, in the Adirondacks. I've thus far hiked either alone or with my brother and in warm weather, sometimes rain. One of the fascinating things about mountaineering, from my perspective, is the whole survival aspect of it and preparedness to me is part of the fun. I've read the horror stories on here (and in "Not Withouth Peril") and can honestly say I promise to not be one of those newbies!

Because an unguided winter climb of Mount Washington is clearly beyond my current abilities (and because it will also be fun to stay overnight in the observatory), my brother & I are climbing with a guided tour in January.

In outfitting for Washington, I am following this suggested gear list: http://emsclimb.com/gear_OBS.html

For a base layer (top), I've chosen a thin synthetic long-sleeve shirt for wicking: http://www.patagonia.com/web/us/product/mens-capilene-baselayer-1-graphic-crew?p=45370-0-653

For an "over base layer" (top), I've chosen another long-sleeve synthetic shirt with 1/4 zip venting: http://www.patagonia.com/web/us/product/mens-capilene-baselayer-3-zip-neck?p=44440-0-685

For an insulating layer (top), I've chosen a merino wool (medium weight) long-sleeve shirt with 1/4 zip venting. This shirt seems not to quite meet the suggested amount of warmth/insulation, but in the next layer they suggest no insulation and mine has insulation so I think I should be okay: http://www.patagonia.com/web/us/product/mens-merino-4-baselayer-zip-neck?p=37760-0-761

For an "Uninsulated Waterproof/breathable Shell" layer, I've chosen a technical wind-resistant (maybe not wind-proof) and highly water-resistant (reviews suggest not necessarily waterproof) soft shell that I think is really cool:

For the "Over-it-all" layer, I've chosen actually a ski jacket as opposed to one advertised for mountaineering, with 600 fill down (not the heaviest around -- I saw 850 fill on First Ascent -- but I think should be fine given insulation in previous layer): http://www.patagonia.com/web/us/product/mens-pipe-down-jacket?p=30545-0-686&pcc=1128

For pants, I've only got my soft-shell outer-layer: a technical pant reviewed well in Backpacker: http://www.patagonia.com/web/us/product/mens-speed-ascent-pants?p=83360-0-961

For middle insulating bottom layer, I haven't decided yet but am leaning toward a medium-weight merino like this: http://www.eddiebauer.com/FIRST-ASCENT/First-Ascent-Mens/First-Ascent-Mens-Baselayer/index.cat#ppl=%7Btype%3A%22transition%22%2Censembl eId%3A%2234756%22%2CformatStr%3A%22product%22%2Cpa ssedIdObj%3A%7B%22ensembleId%22%3A%2234756%22%7D%2 CcategoryId%3A%2227375%22%2CpathInfo%3A%22C27372C2 7373C27375%22%2CcolorId%3A%22123%22%2CsizeIdSelect ed%3A%22-1%22%2CquantitySelected%3A%22-1%22%2CimageName%3A%22EB09IB_0150943_123C1%22%2Cim ageTypeCode%3A%22C%22%2CcatPath%3A%22%7E%7Ecategor yId%3D27375%7E%7EcategoryName%3DFIRST-ASCENT-MENS-BASELAYER%7E%7EpCategoryId%3D27373%7E%7EpCategoryN ame%3DFIRST-ASCENT-MENS%7E%7EgpCategoryId%3D27372%7E%7EgpCategoryName %3DFIRST-ASCENT%22%2Ccs%3A%220%22%7D

For base layer (bottom), I haven't decided but am leaning toward a synthetic light-weight layer: http://www.thenorthface.com/catalog/sc-gear/mens-baselayers/mens-xtc-lightweight-pant.html

I realize my "over base layers" or "insulating layers" are kind of a repetition of the baselayers and perhaps that is a point of criticism, but I think it should be okay. Next I will turn my attention to: ski goggles, gloves, mitts, and socks (will rent sleeping bag and double plastic mountaineering boots). I'll bring chemical warmers. I also realize I may have overdone it with the name-brand stuff and don't really have the money to throw around like that but it was part of the fun for me and I'll get value if I do follow through on my current plans (at least many hikes in Catskills, Adirondacks, etc.).

I'm fascinated with pictures of Katahdin (knife edge looks awesome). For 2010, we want to do Washington, Katahdin, and Mitchell. For 2011 we have penciled in Hood and Rainier but I really want to speed all this up (plans involve lots of instruction -- winter climbing courses through EMS and perhaps a longer 4 or 6-day mountaineering course at some point out west in the Cascades; climbs of Hood and Rainier and anything bigger would all be guided).

A while back I set a goal for myself of climbing all 35 mountains in the Catskills over 3,500 feet and all 46 Adirondack peaks over 4,000 feet. I thought I'd set a reasonable goal for myself of "10 to 20 years". Imagine my surprise when I found this website of a guy who did the 35 Catskill 3500's in "2 days, 15 hours, 24 minutes": (http://www.thedogteam.com/Catskills-Web_Pages/Catskills_35/Catskills-index-frame.html) and the Adirondacks in "3 days, 18 hours, 14 minutes" (http://www.thedogteam.com/Adirondacks-Web_Pages/Adirondacks_46/Adirondacks-index-frame.html). Clearly, I can stand to be more ambitious than I thought I was...

Would like in the next couple years to climb volcanoes in Ecuador, a little longer-term Mont Blanc, and harbor secret even longer term goals for things like Denali, Ojos del Salado, Aconcagua, and other mountains I dare not mention! I will share I believe Ama Dablam (from pictures only) is the most beautiful I have seen thus far in a lot of internet surfing. Alpamayo looks gorgeous, too (both these mountains are said to be more dangerous at present than in the past, though). A big part of the problem for longer expeditions is the job factor. In my line of work, it is unheard of to take 4-8 weeks off at a stretch, although I guess no one knows what the future may hold.

This is my rambling post -- just had to post my excitement here for ridicule or encouragement!

11-09-2009, 09:31 PM
I won't ridicule but I do concur that your plan is an ambitious one. Your list of clothing is much more organized than I plan to be, mainly because I can't afford to make all these purchases at once. At first I was going to ignore winter climbing for that very reason, but I'm getting bored out of my mind so I had to change my opinion of winter hiking. Good luck with all your plans.

11-10-2009, 08:46 AM
Good luck - Ems runs a great obs trip - I did it with them many times in the 90's when they first started them - it's definitely a unique experience. I agree, you have a bit of repetition in your upper layers as well.

11-19-2009, 03:05 PM
Wow you are way way prepared... only thing I've ever invested in is a solid outer layer such as your "over it all" layer or and good waterproof pants / boots

Winter climbing courses through EMS and perhaps a longer 4 or 6-day mountaineering course at some point out west in the Cascades; climbs of Hood and Rainier and anything bigger would all be guided).

Cascades are just beautiful.. But, Rainier & Bakerr are great but that are walkups ( locals will do it in one day, but that entails getting on the trail way pre dawn). For more of a climb I'd look at Shuksan or some of the other more remote peaks up in the north cascades; I don't know what EMS does but I know that Alpine Ascents Mountaineering School does a great 3 or 4 day climb up Shuksan in the north cascades.

here SP lists with tons of great reading, especially the individual trip reports on the left bar, which speaking of that I forgot to put my last on up there again; what's new life and work to busy :( guess that's is what pays for the vacations I live for :)

Best of luck out there

12-04-2009, 07:59 PM
This fixes the issue in the Winter Holiday Mod that caused males to be white boxes becuase they had no clothing set associated with them.