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  1. #11
    HandyRandy's Avatar
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    AT section in WMNF (Liberty-Pinkham) in December planning questions

    Actually my KTS Kahtoola crampons (XL size) fit on my Steger Yukon mukluks just fine. I will be spraying the mukluks with a water repellent to keep the moisture out. And I will carry a spare set of liners and soles. And my bladder has a built in funnel where it unscrews for easy filling.

  2. #12
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    While I might disagree with Grumpy on a couple minor points, he is spot on with his warnings. I didn’t mention double plastic boots because they are so obviously the only way to go. I was up there with 2 very experienced partners, both strong winter hikers, on a day hike from a high hut (not AMC), and at one point we were crawling against 80 mph winds and below zero temps. One got Facial frostbite through a thick neoprene face mask, even though there was no a square millimeter of exposed skin.

    You may want to try s couple day hikes before heading out on a multi-day. The idea is to have fun and not die.

  3. #13
    HandyRandy's Avatar
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    AT section in WMNF (Liberty-Pinkham) in December planning questions

    I’m thinking of taking your advice about the bladder. My line of thinking is that I will have a 40 oz double wall stainless bottle on my hip belt pocket. Then I want one additional water container inside my pack for extra capacity. But I want it to be suitable for sleeping with. Meaning leak proof and also that it gives off heat at an ideal rate to help with staying warm. Another double wall wouldn’t give off any heat, so I was thinking a bladder that is designed to be slept with would work, but they seem to be heavier than I anticipated and your points about pouring and filling are noteworthy.

    What kind of bottle and sock/parka/coozy combo would work best for me?

    For the mukluks, why wouldn’t just putting several coats of repellent on them suffice? Sure they lose some breathability, but it works, right?

    Just to be clear, our plans are now to go to WMNF and just do whatever is within our comfort zone and learn quickly.

  4. #14
    Grumpy Squatch's Avatar
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    The sort of standard watter bottle setup for winter hiking is a Hunersdorf 1L HDPE wide-mouth bottle in either an OR Bottle Parka or (my preference) a Forty Below neoprene Bottle Boot. Both insulators will fit a Nalgene bottle if you prefer but I find the Hunersdorf bottles much easier to use with a glove and they seal much more securely. As I said earlier, use HDPE rather than the Tritan or Polycarbonate ones because the Tritan bottles will crack or shatter if dropped on a rock or on pavement in the cold. Nalgene does make HDPE bottles if you prefer that brand.

    Water Bottle: http://www.40below.com/products_detail.php?ProductID=18 or https://www.amazon.com/Liberty-Mount.../dp/B001OPMD9Q
    Forty Below Bottle Boot: http://www.40below.com/products_detail.php?ProductID=8
    OR Bottle Parka: https://www.amazon.com/Outdoor-Resea...79T/ref=sr_1_2

    My dayhike system has a bottle in the Bottle Boot on a carabiner on my hipbelt and a spare in the OR Bottle Parka zipped inside my pack. I like the Bottle Boot because you don't have to work a zipper with gloves on to drink. I like the OR Bottle Parka inside my pack because the zipper on the top adds an extra degree of leak protection and it's insulated a bit better. On a 15° F day, the Bottle Boot will keep boiling water warm for about 6 hours and unfrozen for 8-10. I do often keep a double-walled insulated bottle of something hot to drink in my car to warm up when I return (usually Bovrite, the American version of English Bovril; I don't drink coffee).

    Regarding Mukluks and Winter footwear in general, here's my opinion. Take it or leave it as you wish.

    In the White Mountains because of our climate (and especially as it has warmed over the last decade) you will experience three types of frozen substrate on every hike: unconsolidated snow, consolidated/partially-frozen snow (névé or 'frozen granular' in ski report parlance), and solid water ice. You will often encounter the latter two types on terrain with a substantial slope. Although we don't have the wide open spaces of the Western or European mountains, we do have our share of steep terrain. And, particularly for the short distances of steep, icy terrain you are likely to encounter here, classic French technique is the most appropriate style to tackle it. Avoiding falls is of particular importance in New England because we don't have the long slopes that allow for self-arrest. So the good news is you won't plunge head-first into a gorge and crash onto rocks at 30 mph sliding down a hill (Mount Washington and a couple of neighboring peaks excepted), but you can slide into a rock or tree in just a few seconds causing at least pain or possibly worse. And French technique involves planting feet flat to keep all the points of your traction devices planted for the entire step. In my experience, a stiff-soled boot is critical to this technique. With flexible boots and flexible crampons like the Kahtoola KTS it is way too easy to place just a heel or toe down and not the whole flat foot, and eventually your grip will fail because of it. Particularly if traversing a side slope. For my friends that haven't had formal instruction and/or lots of practice, I notice that this is particularly true when they are descending hills rather than ascending. It's always harder and more dangerous going down. There are also times you will be either bare-booting or relying on microspikes or similar traction devices. And in these circumstances, the stiff soles of mountaineering boots and the tough rand around the boot allow you to use your foot as a hammer to break into the hard ground, 'kicking steps' on the ascent and 'plunge-stepping' on the descent. I would be shocked if you could do this effectively in soft mukluks. Similarly when using the edges of your boots on rocks or on cross-slope ascents or descents. Stiff boots allow one to kick or balance on the side of the sole for short periods. And even if it is only for short periods of a few steps, one can front-point up or down a hill with stiff boots. I doubt one could do so in mukluks. Finally there is the traction provided by the boot itself. The bottom of most Steger mukluks look like this:

    camuksx6.gif

    The bottom of my boots look like this:

    la_sportiva_batura_evo_mountaineering_boots_04.jpg

    Which do you think will provide more safety on the approaches like this:

    Field%u0025252C+Tom%u0025252C+Isolation+003.JPG

    Finally, there's the issue of getting the crampon bindings tight enough on a soft mukluk without restricting the circulaton in your feet. You mat be able to, but I always had a problem with softer boots.

    Can you do what you're planning in mukluks and be safe? Probably. Lord knows I hiked for decades in Sorel boots and I've passed kids these days in trail runners in winter. But I'm basing my recommendations on what I think will make this experience the easiest and safest for you.

    One more recommendation to start: when you arrive in Conway, NH, head to International Mountain Equipment. Have a look around and talk to the staff there. Many have been doing what you're thinking about since the 70s and they can share a lot of real-world experience. They will also sell or rent anything you discover you need. And take a look at the consignment section in the basement. Often some good deals to be found there.
    Last edited by Grumpy Squatch; 11-28-2018 at 22:29.

    Men hang out their signs indicative of their respective trades; shoe makers hang out a gigantic shoe; jewelers a monster watch, and the dentist hangs out a gold tooth; but up in the Mountains of New Hampshire, God Almighty has hung out a sign to show that there He makes men.
    - Daniel Webster

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