Click here for the full trip report with more pics!
We're in the middle of a move from Fayetteville, NC, to Colorado Springs, CO...all of our belongings are in transit with the moving company, and a cold front is moving in with forecasted temps below zero in the mountains. What else is there to do but go camping? As I discussed in the White Christmas in Colorado thread, Jennifer had agreed to open presents in the mountains on Christmas morning, but we decided to have a more traditional Christmas (albeit at the Residence Inn) so Joker and I spent the 23rd at a campsite just off of Rampart Range Road outside of Woodland Park, CO.
Lowest recorded temp was -1.7 F...temps hovered between +2 and -2 for most of the night. Steady light snow all night. Winds estimated at 8-10 kts...snow was consistently blowing into the tarp until I put up the MacCat as an end cover.
Biggest take-away for me on this trip was the performance of the JRB Mt Washington 4-Season Underquilt...I'm usually a cold sleeper so bags and quilts don't take me as low as their ratings, but I was very comfortable all night in the MWUQ4 even though I was slightly below the stated temp range (0-10 F), with wind coming thru the end of the tarp all night and a suboptimal hammock hang (see link below for details on that). I have complete confidence in this underquilt!
I had ordered the Warbonnet Winter Yeti and was hoping to take it on this trip, but with the holidays it didn't come in time. I found out that it arrived about two hours after I left on this trip! But I'm glad it worked out that way b/c this is the lowest temp I've had the Mt Washington on and I was completely comfortable in it.
- I slept in the Warbonnet Blackbird, JRB Mt Washington 4-Season Underquilt (0-10 F) on bottom, Sierra Designs Wicked Fast (30 F) and JRB No Sniveler (30 F) on top. I wore thick socks, Montbell ThermaWrap insulated pants, RedLedge Thunderlight Rain Pants, polyester T-shirt, 100wt fleece shirt, REI Generator down jacket, fleece beanie, and sometimes a Serius neo-fleece facemask.
- Joker slept in the DownHammock, PeaPod (20F), Travel Pod (Hammock Sock), and GoLite Ultra 20 Short top quilt (20 F). He wore hiking socks, Columbia snow pants, a T-shirt, thick fleece hoodie (more than 300wt), REI kids down jacket (that he took off during the night), and a 200wt fleece beanie.
- We hung both hammocks under the JRB 11' x 10' Cat Tarp, pitched A-Frame but with the windward corners folded in. The wind shifted so I hung the MacCat Standard up as an end cover.
Sunrise over the JRB 11'x10' Cat Tarp, with windward side sealed up w/ the MacCat Standard. Think I'm gonna buy some of Grizz's doors soon just for this reason...
Leeward side left open. Joker's hammock is actually under the tarp even though it looks like he's sticking out a little bit.
How I hang two hammocks from the same tree to get enough separation for a comfortable hang, side by side, under one tarp
TravelPod with Joker still inside
Frosty webbing on the Warbonnet Blackbird
I'm really glad I got this trip in. I'm already planning my next one with the Yeti underquilt and MWUQ4+hood on top. Should be a very light sub-zero setup with the right tarp!