Thank you for answering, that is good to know. :)
My buddy asked a fellow, while on Rainer, "what was the hardest part of climbing Everest" to which he replied "trying to pee through six inches of insulation with a three inch unit".
On the serious side now.
As for bottoms, I typically wear a pair of Marmot ski pants as my outer layer. I have to say, a pair of full side zip shell pants would be convenient for potty breaks, but more important, I put my boots on at the base after I put on my shell pants. Who would want to take their boots off to put on shell pants when it gets too cold and windy to hike without them? A full side zip pant would make it much quicker and easier. Under the shell I often wear a single mid or heavy weight baselayer. Yesterday I wore both and my wool hiking pants because I expected to be standing still at belays a few times. I could have done fine with the lightweight and wool pants, but luckily my pants breath well and are vented
My upper body always seems colder than my legs do, until I get moving for ten or so minutes. I typically wear a midweight and a heavyweight baselayer. On top of that I wear a softshell. I bring a micro-puffy jacket for stopping. I also have a waterproof windproof breathable jacket for windy conditions.
I check the weather before I leave the house and dress for what I think it will be like as far as layers go so I can be quicker at the base. Just the same, I bring a small duffle of other weight stuff and reassess when I get there.
Yesterday, me and two buddys went up to climb in Huntingtons and ski down from the hut in Tuckermans. I was down to my baselayers, no hat or gloves within ten minutes of the trail head. Granted I was carrying a full ski set-up in addition to climbing gear and regular winter hiking gear, whick was a workout, but if I didn't have my skis we would have been almost twice as fast, and I would have been pretty warm below treeline anyway. Yesterday was a little weird for Washington at the end of January. At the top of the climb on top of Huntingtons completely exposed, it was calm, almost dead calm and probably twenty degrees. I didn't put on my jacket for ten or so minutes while I cooled down.
Disclaimer: averagejoe works for REI. averagejoe does not speak for REI or represent REI's point of view.
^ what you described above just hit in on the most important advice one can give:
listen to your body; if you're hot take of a layer or if your shivering put on a layer... everybody's different and you have to figure yourself out and listen to what your body is telling you
so many people get locked into ideas like "its less than 20 degrees so I need x number of layers" and that just doesn't work
BTW Joe how was the ice looking in those gullies?
Yeah you know, not as many people hike in the winter because for a newbie it's a P.I.T.A.
First off there is a whole slew of gear you have to own or some you may be able rent. When you are on the trail and don't have the experience to know how to dress yourself, you can carry extra layers, or wear what you have on and maybe freeze your ass off. Though you're more likely to overdress and sweat. You then think, oh these layers wick so I'm fine, only to get cold when you stop to break cause you're drenched and don't have a layer for that purpose. Not that I ever did that.
The ice was "good" all things considered. We only went up Central Gully cause there was a slow moving party on Pinnacle. If you have a Facebook account check the pics.