I'm heading up to Mount Cardigan the first week of February. I'm taking along 2 people that have hiked the other 3 seasons but never in the winter. We are staying at the high cabin for one night.
I'm trying to figure out what exactly I should tell them they need. Should I suggest renting a pair of crampons or do you think some microspikes will work? Would their Sorrels that they usually snowshow in be sufficiant? I'm thinking a -20 bag. I have both crampons and hillsounds, msr snowshoes, a -20 bag, 3 season gortex boots, double boots, and a pair of baffins. I have options and don't need to worry about renting anything. They'll have to plan a little more in advance to make sure they can get everything they need.
IMO the Sorrels are sufficient winter boots for all but the most extreme conditions one might find above tree-line, and even then would suffice. -20 bag is a definite yes. Not much between you and the elements at high cabin. I have seen Cardigan covered in glaze ice and crampons were necessary, but if there is a good snowpack would they'd only be extra weight. That said, Cardigan is bald and windblown and often the snowpack is scoured and ice and rock prevail. I'm not a winter camper per-se, but have done it. Maybe someone with more experience can chime in.
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