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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.


13

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 ...


12

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 ...


12

There have been quite a few studies on this. There are various factors that will affect this, these include: Position in the snow: people upside-down sometimes live longer because the brain has more blood flow Equipment you may be carrying (aqualung, etc.) Injuries or bleeding: if you bang your head you could be dead before the avalanche even stops, etc. ...


10

Only 1 out of 10 survive Avalanches If you are completely buried in an avalanche the odds of survival are slim, unless you wear a transceiver (beacon), and you have partners that escaped the avalanche who have the right gear (beacon receivers, probes, and shovels) as well as the experience from practicing with them to save you. Statistics show that the ...


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 ...


8

Traditional military routines for crossing a river under such conditions are the following Bag your pack and items in a waterproof sack/black bag Tie it up and use as a buoyancy aid Wear your normal boots and thin socks Ensure Gore-Tex socks are in your pack. They cost approx $10-14 Cross the river and accept the cold - embrace it :-) Once across remove ...


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. ...


7

I think it's quite similar to skiing because the reason for kick-and-glide is to save energy. Same for snowshoes; try not to elevate the whole weight of the shoe for every step. Of course in deep snow you have to lift the leg including the snowshoe quite high, but not as high as you'd have to not wearing snowshoes. Open the fixture at the back to make the ...


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 ...


6

Walking technique You can save energy by not lifting your shoe higher then needed. And also how long steps you take. If it's steep try to make smaller steps to save energy. If you walk with poles use your poles with the correct length and technique as with cross-country-skiing, both for every step, one per step or asymmetric. Path planing I think you can ...


5

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 ...


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 ...


5

When to use it: An vapour barrier is used when the temperature is very cold and when a wet down-suit/sleeping bag, clothes or shoes can cause serious hypothermia. It's also used if you can't dry your stuff because of no sun, cold temperature or bad weather, so everything stays dry at least from the inside. Thinking behind this: When the isolation layers get ...


5

When you are facing a serious sweating problem, maybe your overall setup is too warm. What layers/jackets do you wear above the one-suite-fleece? I am thinking of a very thin layer which is highly breathable and will just be a shelter against the elements (wind, rain/snow) like e.g. the Gore Active Shell. Still, sweating to some degree is pretty normal. ...


5

Not Cotton Related: Does cotton really kill? Any active base layer will suffice as long as it is not cotton. Cotton is great for keeping you cool, but terrible for wicking moisture and keeping you warm. The classic "Union Suit" that your suit is modelled after was developed as, and is still worn by some as underwear, so you could use your suit as your ...


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

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

I thought about fishing boots. They would probably take the same space as an extra pair of pants and boots anyways, but they would save you from getting wet from freezing water and be a lot cheaper as well.


4

Some pointers and questions Gloves: Layers are good. Have spares, as well as a set of mittens. Wool pants: How water resistant are they? The greatest potential for problems would be from precipitation in temperature ranges from 32F down +10F. You don't want frozen stuff melting into your trousers when cold. Sorels: Is that -40F for active or sedentary? ...


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

I think your basis for this question is a bit out of skew with the myself more at risk clause. The difference between truly top end Merino Wool and lesser quality wool is the micron (µm) being used. The really good quality stuff, say, Icebreaker, uses the highest quality micron which results in a warmer garment that is able to handle ‘peripheral temperature ...


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

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 ...



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