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Thread: My failed Mt. Liberty overnighter :(

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  1. #1
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    Default My failed Mt. Liberty overnighter :(

    Due the below list of things I had to abandon my overnight plans on Liberty on this lovely warm day.

    • I was SOAKED with sweat and when I stopped I paid the price.
    • Hiking mountains (as opposed to flat ground) in snowshoes is hard work! It makes muscles hurt I didn't know I had and makes them hurt rally bad.
    • I fell at the 2nd crossing and twisted my leg up enough that I was wishing I turned around and didn't got all the way up the ridge.
    • My water was freezing and it was strapped to ME!


    I'm not in the best shape but I don't have problems hiking anything in the other three seasons and can run several miles without issue. Never in my life have I had this weird pain in my upper thighs toward the groin area from hiking, never. I'm guessing the snow shoes are causing the issue?

    So due to all the above and the fact I was hiking alone I decided to take the safe option and just go home. I was very concerned that I would not be able to get my clothes dry even if I put them in my sleeping bag (which is down) during the night. It would have made for a disaster come morning.

    All this leads me to seek some advice on the above items; the most difficult one for me is controlling sweat. In the summer this doesn't cause problems but in the winter this drives me nuts!

    Is the answer to just slow down? I was down to just a base layer and windshirt. I can't remove the windshirt because the sweat on the baselayer will freeze to my skin (guess how I know this? LOL).

    As a side note I if anyone reading this was on Liberty today I was the guy wearing orange who appeared to be in pain (because I was).
    Chris Caisse Photography
    http://chriscaisse.com

  2. #2
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    Default Start cold

    The general rule with me is start out COLD! I never start out in layers. If I do I'm sweaty before I know it. Sometimes you can't help getting sweaty, so I bring 3-4 dry shirts, they don't weigh much. Got to get them off and a dry one on out of the wind.

    I don't put a hat on until I've wiped down. As soon as I stop I work on drying off and getting into dry things and then adding layers before eating or anything else.

    Also have a spare hat or two, but usually hike in a bandana or fleece ski band which keeps my ears warm but lets the heat out the top. Pants that vent by zippers on the sides for lower body. Several pairs of dry socks.

    Not knowing the trail conditions or your type of snowshoes or how much weight you were carrying it is hard to tell what was causing you pain, but I suspect a combination of the 3. Pushing too hard can cause problems and so can dehydration. You want to be peeing clear liquid to be sure you're hydrated enough, you need to replace what you're sweating out. If your pee is orange or if you're cramping drink more water. I prefer something with some electrolytes.

    It was COLD out there today, hard to drink a lot and easy for it to freeze. Consider a thermos of hot coffee or soup as well, it really hits the spot when you stop. I use an insulated holder for my drink, but keep another wrapped up in my pack in case the insulated one freezes.

    KDT

  3. #3
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    Default

    We're still getting used to winter hiking conditions with progressively more each year the last couple. I've had the same problem with getting hot and soaked with sweat before delayering (more often than not) and it definitely isn't pleasant. I think that Kevin definitely has the right idea with starting out cold. As long as you get moving and particularly if you're getting into an uphill early you'll warm up fast. When we did Liberty a couple of weeks ago I started with just a base layer shirt and a lightweight fleece. The fleece was gone in 1/2 hour and only went back on when we took a long break.

    I also had my hat off almost the whole day because my head was so hot. A lightweight hat that can breath and still keep your ears warm is seemingly the key (just ordered a light smartwool hat today for just that reason). In my case my biggest problem is pushing too hard on the uphills. I like to move fairly fast and keep the momentum going. Doing this on steep uphills in snowshoes (like Liberty) it's going to be impossible to keep from sweating. If you're just wearing a single wicking layer then it will at least get away from you and dry quickly but a slower steadier pace seems like the best way to keep things under control.

    I've definitely got a lot to learn in this department and look forward to the continuing advice of the many VERY experienced winter hikers here. That and lots more practice and experimenting
    Mark

    Keep close to Nature's heart...
    and break clear away, once in awhile,
    and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods.
    Wash your spirit clean. - John Muir


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  4. #4
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    Last year I did Liberty on a day hike and it was cold like yesterday. I started in just a baselayer; about an hour into the hike I had this stinging feeling on my stomach. My sweat was freezing and my shirt was frozen to my stomach in a couple spots. I quickly added a layer and feared for frostbite but everything worked out. I wasn't in snowshoes though which take more energy IMHO.

    How do you deal with the frost bite fear? Can I get frostbite while I'm sweating? When it is below zero and say a lite 20mph wind there is real danger which is why I kept my head covered. Am I being a little to conservative; is is not possible to get frost bite on my head?

    -Chris <-- Still learning
    Chris Caisse Photography
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  5. #5
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    Default Frostbite

    If that was happening, I'd stop and change the shirt. The biggest chance of frostbite IMO is in the wind, if I'm going above treeline I'm stopping before I'm out in the wind and layering up and covering ALL my skin, so balaclava and goggles and maybe a hat and a hood over that, too.

    Keeping your head warm AND dry is essential in weather below 0. You must carry extra gear to change into when your other stuff gets sweaty. Pacing yourself will help, too. Move fast enough to stay warm, but not so fast you're pouring sweat. It takes some time to get used to doing this.

    KDT

  6. #6
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    i was hiking up Tucks a couple weeks ago and it was cold out .i took Kevin's advice and started the hike with a wicking shirt and my seek the peak long sleeve shirt over it and a light weight rain coat ,i had wicking long pants and a light weight pants over that . well it was not long before i took off the rain coat but my hands get cold so i had some down mittens on and no hat the hole way up .once we were in the open i needed a hat .
    but in my pack was more gloved .a fleese shirt ,socks ,another hat and rain paints . i to sweet a lot but not that much on this day because i did not have a lot on to start .
    i also used my camel back for water and it did not freeze. we all live and learn and the best thing you did was to know it was not safe to stay out that night ,so you live to hike another day
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  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by KD Talbot View Post
    If that was happening, I'd stop and change the shirt.

    KDT
    absolutley agree and I have done such before... and as silly as it may seem I always carry a small hand towel with me in my pack just in case I need to clean something off


    BTW NEpilot I did not see it listed here or maybee I just read by it... what was your skin / base layer made of? reason I ask is cotton is the devil most people seem to say silk undershirt and then something like a polypro type shirt over it
    Last edited by smithtim; 02-05-2010 at 07:27 PM.
    'when it starts to hurt your nearly halfway and probably should get out those ropes & put your crampons on"

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