Heading off to the AT to do my first overnight hike in the winter season on Jan 30th. Weather is projected to be around 23* with a low of 10*. I think I have my set up the way I want it to be and I did some last minute gear changes to alleviate about 2lbs off my base weight by switching out my -15 degree bag and my JRB Mt. Washington 4 UQ for the winter yeti and the Black Mamba winter TQ (Thanks Brandon for the fast shipping). Heading off to Bear Mountain (Section 12 NY SOBO) and ending at West Mountain Shelter which is approx 5 miles one way. Did the route before so I’m comfortable with it which will make my first winter overnight less stressful.
Had a buddy who said he wanted to come out with me. Gave him 4 weeks notice of when I was going to head out. He agreed to the date and purchased the gear he needed (I was supplying him with most of the sleep gear and cooking gear). A few days before he backed out. If he ever comes out with me his trail name will be “Gear Slug” as this is the second time he’s backed out. I’m up for changing his trail name if anyone has anything funny and catchy.
New gear I’m bringing out which I will be testing for the first time:
Gossamer Gear Trek Light poles (110cm) – won’t worry about my section poles malfunctioning anymore
Nunatak Teanaway modified down booties (really down socks)
Winter Yeti Deluxe (includes reflective liner)
Black Mamba Winter Top Quilt
Montbell UL Down Inner Parka (used for sleeping and brief breaks during the trek)
Kahtoola Micro Spikes (snowed Thursday and stayed cold so I anticipate some slippage)
Gossamer Gear Thinlight Pad (1/4” Wide) for feet
Have my base weight down to about 18.5 lbs…. total pack weight estimated at 25 lbs for the overnighter. That is 15 lbs less weight for the same trip I took in November. I’m hoping to be flying up Bear and West mountain NOW! Not to mention I’ve lost about 10 lbs and have been hitting the gym on a regular basis so my cardio is almost at fighting quality (I may have a match in May or June we’ll see what happens).
As always I’ll follow up this trip with a video on Sunday when I return.