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17

The loop allows the gloves to be hung, on a carabiner for example, such that the fingers point up preventing the gloves filling with rain or snow. For example, see the manufacturer's description of these gloves.


11

In the US ice grades fall into three categories; Water Ice, which is seasonal and often shifting in difficulty; Alpine Ice, which is permenent ice found on glaciers or high altitudes; and Mixed Ice, which is a mix of ice and rock. Water Ice and Alpine Ice are on the same scale -- though alpine ice tends to be a little easier at the grade. (ratings taken via ...


11

If you don't have a compass or other instruments, it is possible to measure the slope with your two (ski) poles solely. Just hold/stick one pole vertically into the snow. Hold the other one horizontally until it reaches the slope with one end and the first pole with the other end. Now you check the height in which the poles contact each other. If it is at ...


9

In general it really depends on the snow condition. Angle: If it's powder snow you need a quite steep angle (25 degrees and more). If it's icy/ hard/ wind slab snow then you can try it on a less steep (20 degrees) slope. Safety: I would search for a slope where you have a safe run off, if you can't manage do arrest yourself. And also that your runoff is ...


9

Yes, the R-value will add of your different layers. If you wear layer A with R=5 and layer B with R=2.5, the overall insulation value will be R=7.5. To explain this a bit, we think of two layers or flat walls which interact only due to thermal conduction. This is just a model and in reality other effects will come in play. The Fourier Law for thermal ...


8

For winter walking a traditional straight-shafted mountaineering axe seems most appropriate. This would include products like the very common BD Raven or Raven Pro, and also those with a slight bend such as the Petzl Summit, Grivel Air Tech Evo, and BD Venom. As there are existing questions regarding length (How do I know what size ice axe I should get?), ...


8

To put it simply, carry a compass with you that has a clinometer to measure a slope's angle, set one of your poles down on the slope and place the compass on top of the pole to get a solid reading. If you spend enough time in one area you'll start to become familiar enough with the terrain to remember roughly what the angles are and which routes are the ...


7

First of all, I will just spread some ideas. I never did a winter bivi by myself. Please don't blindly trust my words. But... because I am interested in the idea and like to do something similar in future, I searched for some info which might help you (and me). Still I am looking forward for better answers (which are based on experience and real ...


7

I can't speak for the Scottish winter and there definitely are differences to the Alps. But still I can give you an overview what is important to learn if you are going to do alpine summer tours in the Alps. The German Alpine Club (German: Deutscher Alpenverein, DAV) is the world's largest climbing association. The number of members is over one million. ...


6

Bivying used to be regarded as a desperate act that you'd do in an emergency. In these circumstances a large polythene bag would serve as a make do shelter. Very cheap simple and pretty awful. In more recent years bivying has become more widespread in the outdoor adventure arena and purpose built kit is now available. A comfortable bivy is a fine art that ...


5

This isn't a complete answer, just an answer about the avalanche stuff, but it's too long to fit in a comment. Research shows that most avalanche training actually is not helpful in reducing people's chances of getting killed. It may even produce a negative effect on safety, because people get a false sense of competence. This is called the "expert halo." ...


5

Searching an ice axe for what I would call classical alpine terrain isn't that tough in my opinion. There might be fancy new features and very durable items (T-classification) but those might not be necessary for an ice axe typically used as a walking support. Most important for me is the correct length of the shaft so that you can actually reach the ground ...


5

If you are going to alpine area, your most important concern has to be security. Even with best equipment, knowledge about the dangers and how to avoid them is far more important. As you specifically asked for equipment, I will address these points. The only way I know of to spend a cold winter night comfortable is in some sort of a snow cave. There are ...


4

One problem with hemp compared to wool is how it conducts heat when it is wet. Wet hemp conducts heat very well when wet which means your feet could get freezing cold. Wet wool is a poor heat conductor so even if wet they will not be as cold.


4

There is a definite danger of hypothermia depending upon the "type" of tent you choose to use. Eskimos live in -70F environments from one day to the next, so it is doable certainly. Native Americans as cited above have tents to provide for living in environments that commonly get to -50F (by keeping a fire burning inside the tent). A TeePee isn't what I ...


4

Whoever told you C1 are aimed at 'more advanced users' than C2 is plain wrong. Crampon grades are really about where and how you plan to use them, rather than how good you are. Here's a typically thorough and useful article by Andy Kirkpatrick, here: http://www.andy-kirkpatrick.com/articles/view/getting_the_right_crampon Also, the BMC have some good ...


4

It's good for a question on SE to be focused. However, there is a broader context here, which is that you want your activities to be (a) safe and (b) comfortable and enjoyable, so that you'll want to continue doing winter mountaineering rather than letting your crampons gather dust in a closet. In this context, the exact choice of crampons is a relatively ...


3

Coming from an "enjoying nature" perspective, the equation becomes more simple in my estimation. If the trail can be expected to be reasonably well packed down, boots are perfect, traction cleats can be slipped onto boots if the hike is especially steep or slick. If the trail is expected to be deep powder, not hard pack snow.. snow shoes are easily the best ...


3

Postholing is more of an etiquette thing. On popular snowshoeing routes when people posthole thru a trail the make a thin deep canyon of snow. This makes it difficult for snowshoers to get nice flat sections to hike on. After the holes get covered by fresh snow, these holes become a mine field for people on snowshoes..


3

-20 celsius is not particularly cold, but 3 weeks summer hiking experience is not particularly helpful. You might not kill yourself, but you probably won't thank yourself, either.


3

Several people have already mentioned getting special gloves that have "flippable" finger tips, but no one has specifically mentioned sensory gloves which can be a little bit different than gloves that just flip their tips. In addition to flip-tips they also have a little hole that you can touch through, so you don't actually have to take your finger tip all ...


3

If you sleep only in a bivy bag direct on snow you need to have a sleeping bag with a good isolated pad for the temperature in the forecast at least. If you sleep in a well build igloo the temperature is much warmer than the outside. Snow is used because the air pockets trapped in it make it an insulator. On the outside, temperatures may be as low as ...


3

Interesting. All of the answers address winter mountaineering, which I would regard as a separate subject. Winter skills for someone like me, living 4 hours from the mountains, would primarily be about how to prepare and cope with winter conditions, such as encountered by a hunter or hiker below timberline. Skills I would see as important: Hypothermia. ...


3

Unless the slopes gradually becomes less and less steep and you're sure there are no glaciers hidden under it, then the only way to safely practice that is to build a solid backup anchor on top of the practice slope and tie into it with a significant amount of rope slack. How to build the anchor is dependent on the terrain. There could be ice on top of the ...


3

Two other answers have given methods for measuring this on-site. The trouble is that there's a lot of behavioral and sociological research showing that this doesn't really work. Once you get to the location where the activity is planned, you'll tend to go ahead anyway because you feel committed, and because there is a strong psychological need to show other ...


2

You can use the common technique with the poles to measure the slope angle like discribed by @EverythingRightPlace. There are also several Apps for your smart phone to measure the angle of a slope. These Apps are only an additional help for the existing physical methods and are not completely reliable. for WindowsPhone for Android for iPhone


2

Like already mentioned in other replies, it depends were you are and the weather changes. I'm working on a bear project in the Canadian Rockies and we know the bears can be active until January. They should be in there den until April, but there are exceptions. We always take bear spray with us during winter fieldwork.


2

According to wikipedia2 In calculating the R-value of a multi-layered installation, the R-values of the individual layers are added. I would imagine a slight diminishing return as the r-value is a laboratory measurement in ideal condition which is not quite the same as on the field (variable temperatures, moisture, air movement, etc.).


2

I can't recommend Hempsocks, except you use them as second socks to reduce friction. They're very durable but not comfortable to wear. A good alternative to Merinowool is Bamboo, it's also very smooth and dries very quick. So in short, hemp is good to protect your socks or reduce friction because it's a very cheap and durable material, doesn't cost much - ...


1

and are there other textiles that can work? One option is of course polypropylene, it is hydrophobic (unlike most other materials used in clothing) and has a lower thermal conductivity than wool - this does not mean better insulation, but it is a safe bet it can perform fairly well over natural fibres and is fairly cheap. You may see these as liners to ...



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