Hot answers tagged

41

If you have a clean black garbage bag with you (and if you don't, you really should :)), put the snow into the garbage bag, arrange it in a thin layer inside the bag, and lay the bag in the sun on a flat rock (if available), thin layer parallel to the flat rock. Weigh it down with a few rocks to help make contact between the black surface and the snow. ...


28

First off, I want to make clear that this applies to skiing and snowshoeing as a means of long-distance travel. It doesn't directly apply to skiing in specifically for the descents. Skis are better for: Lake traveling: The snow on frozen lakes tends to be firmer and this enables the ski's inherent advantage, glide. Even when pulling a sled, skis will be ...


21

The concept of wind chill does not apply in this situation. Wind chill talks about perceived temperature due to additional heat loss due to convection. Meaning without wind, the "heated" air will stay around you much longer, thus "insulating" you a bit, while in high wind any heated air will get swept away immediately. In a properly built snow cave you have ...


21

A dark coloured water bottle strapped on top of your pack would absorb quite a lot of solar heat on a sunny day. Getting the snow in would be easier with a wide neck, like a bike bottle or Nalgene. Around freezing point this can be quite effective. If you have flexible clear plastic with you in any form (a large ziplock bag for example) this can be loosely ...


20

This is really interesting, and I think it might be similar to why we don't generally have snow tires / chains etc as a common item here in stores. Certainly the South rarely gets snow, with Wales, The North and Scotland being more likely to get snow days. From the MET Office: The UK gets on average 33 days of snow fall or sleet a year (1971 - 2000). Most ...


19

If it is clean, fresh snow, it is safe to drink. This is basically drinking rain water. It hasn't had time to pick up pollutants when it is newly fallen. I live in New England, and kids do this all the time. You get taught early to only do this with white snow. Make sure that the snow is actually clean: the longer it sits, and the more urbanized an area is, ...


18

The best way to melt snow is to put it in a bottle inside your jacket under your mid layers while you're on the move and let your body heat melt it. Do not place it against the skin, leave a layer or two between you and the bottle. It's advisable to always leave your bottle in your jacket in subzero temperatures, it can freeze if left in your bag. Melting ...


17

Three thoughts: If the snow is thigh-high, then you should be either using touring skis or snowshoes to "float" over the snow. You'll expend way less energy. Seriously, I can cover probably 10x-50x the distance (or more) with alpine touring gear or snowshoes in the same amount of time as someone without, and that's regardless of the angle of slope. ...


17

I have never been in the area, but from what I can see in the Internet, there indeed are a lot of winter hiking routes in Lenzerheide. And all those routes are signposted. In fact, you can see a map and get all the hike descriptions right here: https://lenzerheide.com/en/winter/winter-activities/winter-hiking/winter-walking-tours I would recommend starting ...


14

For maximum efficiency (i.e. melted water per used fuel) make sure the following things are always true: Always have some water in the pot. Never have only water in the pot. Having water increases the thermal conductivity between the pot and the snow/water. With just snow you have a smaller contact area. As long as there is both snow and water in the pot, ...


14

Aside from what is mentioned in the answers to this question (How to light a fire with wet firewood?) the things you need to be concerned about in winter are the cold, frozen wood, and your fire being extinguished by snow. On winter camps one story that always went around was one of a man who died because after he built his fire and was just barely getting ...


14

They weight of the extra pole is counteracted by the energy saved using it. Poles do more than offer stability, they also save you legs precious energy on the climb, and on the descent. At 16,000ft you'll sing praises to your hiking poles, and I guarantee you'll find yourself resting on them a lot more than you would have expected. Get two poles, you won't ...


14

It's actually kind of the other way around, it's not that being too cold prevents snow from falling, it's that an absence of moisture in the air allows the atmosphere to cool. Low pressure systems bring with them (relatively) warm moist air which precipitates as snow. The clouds overhead act as a blanket, and keep the surface air warmer. When the low ...


14

Summary from a winter spend in Winnipeg long ago compared to Central European conditions: there are probably good reasons why native North American people went with snowshoes while native Europeans invented skis. terrain Snowshoes have advantages over skis in bushy terrain off trail (where long skis become super cumbersome) or rugged terrain. Canadian ...


13

An unhurdled slip-and-drop would be fatal without a doubt. If this is the case, then maybe you need a belay. However, if the snow is sufficiently deep and soft that you're sinking up to your knees, why is it the case that slipping and being unable to self-arrest is so dangerous? In these conditions, typically you can't even intentionally get going fast ...


13

You want to leave enough room at the entrance for airflow. If the entrance is totally blocked you could possibly suffocate on the CO2 you breathe out. In addition to the entrance, keep an eye on the air exit at the top so it doesn't get blocked. You can heat the inside significantly with just a candle.


13

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 ...


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 one pole vertically by using gravity and stick it 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 ...


13

Pee on it. To keep the water drinkable, you'd want to have the liquids separated but still have good thermal transfer between them. A well equipped traveller will pick his/her thermos bottle and a condom, pee in the condom (ladies would probably do it the other way around), tie the condom and put in the bottle, fill the rest with snow, cap, wait and drink. ...


12

I am willing to take the time to learn what I need to, so I don't want to go with the "easier to use at first" option. If you really mean that, then you can't not try skiing. There are many trails in Colorado where it is no easier to go uphill on snowshoes than to go uphill on skis, given even modest technique on skis -- but with even the smallest ...


12

I'm somewhat of a claustrophobic sleeper when it comes to quinzhees, so I'm very particular about my ventilation. How much ventilation you need is proportionate to the size of your quinzhee, and how many people are sleeping in it. Larger quinzhees need less ventilation than smaller ones, and more people obviously require more ventilation than fewer people. ...


12

If you get a pair, you can choose whether to actually use one or both for a particular day. I recommend that you buy a pair well before your expedition, and use them enough to you learn your preference. If you never want to use both, you still have one you can retain as a spare. Personally, I found that when I started using poles, I got very frustrated ...


12

Both are dangerous, and as James says both require drivers to be extra cautious and adjust their driving. However from my experience living in Alberta, Canada where we spend ~5 months of the year in the snow with temperatures as low as -25C ice with snow on top is more dangerous. Ice with snow on top once your vehicle begins to slide your tires are not in ...


11

You have not provided any evidence you were actually dehydrated; it seems you only tought you were dehydrated - I assume you had dry mouth and felt thirsty. Symptoms and signs of dehydration are described here in great detail: Dehydration Symptoms and Signs. In short: thirst, dry mouth, fatigue, headache, nausea, decreased skin elasticity, dark urine, ...


11

In addition to the good answer by Aravona, there are two important reasons: Snow shoes are impractical on steep terrain because they put a lot of stress on your ankles. If you are going to buy equipment for going up snow-covered mountains, there is a much better solution: mountain skis with skins attached. Skins increase the grip tremendously. Example: ...


11

Really the key to escaping tree wells is to ski/board/snowshoe with a buddy. I have friends who have ended up head down in a tree well, completely unable to reach their bindings. With every movement more snow would fill in the well. If they hadn't been skiing with a partner, it would have been a dire situation. Even with a partner it took a while to get them ...


11

Watermelon snow is caused by algae called Chlamydomonas nivalis. Apparently, it has laxative effects. As Giersch and National Park representatives explain, the red pigment in the algae helps to protect its chloroplast from the sun’s radiation, allowing it to take in more heat. As the algae absorbs the sun's heat, it causes the snow around it to melt, ...


10

I'm from Switzerland and must have used a dozen or so different types of sleds over the years. By far the fastest types I have ever ridden (and still do so ever winter) are 'Rodel' type sleds which are common in Switzerland/Austria/Germany. The steel runners have relatively sharp edges, making it possible to even steer them on frozen snow/ice (to some ...


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