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  1. #1
    Senior Member Raul Perez's Avatar
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    First Winter Overnight Hang

    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.

  2. #2
    Whoooo Buddy)))) Shug's Avatar
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    Good and fine new gear there Raul ....... I especially like my Montbell Inner Down Jacket ... a truly versatile piece of gear.
    That winter Yeti will do you just fine as well. Have had mine to -5º no problem.
    Nice on the cardio. Kick some arse!!!!!!
    Have a terrific trip.
    Shug
    Whoooo Buddy)))) I Love Onions, Grits, Greens, Livermush, NC Style BBQ, Potted Meat, Anchovies, 'Naner Puddin", Peanut Butter Pie, Red Velvet Cake and Cocoa and Straaaaaawwwwberrrry Milk and Coffee Crisps....
    I Hope Heaven has a Bakery!!!!



    Shug's YouTube Videos

    Hammock How-To Videos ..... Essentials For Noobs

    Shug and Friends Jammin'

  3. #3
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    Sounds like a great trip. Can't wait to see the video.

  4. #4
    Senior Member TOB9595's Avatar
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    Lookin forward to seein the pics. A beautiful place, BEAR MOUNTAIN, been there many a time.

    Report of the gear in action
    Tom

  5. #5
    Senior Member Raul Perez's Avatar
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    heading out in an hour just weighed my pack at 25.6lbs so happy with this set up as everything fits in the REI Flash 65 now.

    Sucks I have to wake up at the butt crack of dawn to get to a decent trail which is 2 hours away.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Hangin'Yankee's Avatar
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    RP,
    You'll have to give a report on the Mamba. I'm looking at one of those.

    We gonna end up Seeing you on UFC fight night sometime in the future?

    Randy
    “Somebody told me it was frightening how much topsoil we are losing each year, but I told that story around the campfire and nobody got scared” - Jack Handy

  7. #7
    Senior Member Raul Perez's Avatar
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    Just got home... some interesting results from the gear... most of which seem to be operator error I'll post video and some results later on have to air out the gear and unpack my bag and take over the living room before my girlfriend returns home.

    No UFC for me. I make more money being an accountant (I'm no Chuck Liddell) I just do it for the fun of it. Been fighting and teaching for about 13 years now.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Raul Perez's Avatar
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    Winter Trip Results with video

    The trip was a huge learning experience. First I don’t know how Shug or you other Minnesotans do anything in the negative Faranheight numbers. Its not when I’m hiking its when I’m stopped the cold just spits in my face, hands, and feet!
    First off I brought too many jackets… The shell was unnecessary and the second down jacket also. I could have gotten away with the Monbell Parka (awesome btw) and the fleece which is what I wore the whole trip. I’d say the shell if it is snowing but that’s probably it.

    Hiking in general was a lot easier at 25lbs. Definitely happy about that. I wasn’t completely exhausted when I got to West Mountain Shelter as I was with the 40lbs for obvious reasons. Really nice to show up and have a lot more energy to get things done.

    Very Icy as expected and the Kahtoola Micro Spikes REALLY made the difference going up trails that were totally iced over. They did add some soreness to my feet due to the pressure of the spikes gripping the terrain but the pros outweigh the cons.

    Its funny how some obvious things don’t come to light in your planning until you start executing some of your tasks in the field. Water freezes basically instantly in 15*. Pretty amazed how my Krazy Cooking Kit iced over before my eyes when I packed it up after a hot coa coa break. It made dinner a fiasco when I couldn’t open the kit. A little bang against the shelter floor loosened it up. Also most of the water sources were no longer accessible. I ended up finding a spot where I could hear the water running underneath and I kick a hole in and scooped up the water. Again funny to see it start to freeze over in my cup before I could bring heat to it.

    Ran into a few crazy people like myself getting in a day hike. A group of graduate students showed up around 4pm at the shelter. Nice people but couldn’t make a fire to save their lives. I threw in some helpful hints and sat back and watched the show. I started my fire with char cloth. They had lighters and matches and were in utter embarrassment. They kept blaming their friend Phil… poor guy had nothing to do with it HA. Guess he was the group scape goat. I turned in around 5pm to get out of the cold. The girls in the graduate party quickly jumped to my fire to warm up. I had collected a lot of wood so I told them to use it to keep warm if they were staying after dark.

    I got 3 hour sleep increments. 5-8pm; 8-11pm; 11pm-2am; and then it was a free for all after that.

    My winter yeti was not working for me at 10* the way I would have liked it. Mostly my fault. My hammock set up was not great. It was not staked out at all and the foot end was much higher than the head end. In the cold I wasn’t fooling around with the set up too much… wish I had. Having the foot end higher made the head end of the yeti bellow out which let cold air in. My back was cool… not cold but cool enough to bother me.

    At 2am I decided to take my Gossamer Gear Treklight pad and make it full body length (I folded it for my feet which were toasty in my down booties). It worked for about an hour but I still felt cool at times.

    3am I woke up to my tarp slapping my feet and the wind blowing in 11* gusts. That sucked something awful. The ground was solid so I used the rocks at the shelter to tie my guylines out. One got loose in the gusts and I had to deal with it. Having dealt with it and noticing how AWESOME the moon looked as well as the NYC Skyline I decided to fix the foot end of my hammock to get that Yeti flush against the hammock. Well it fixed it but my back was not as warm as I had imagined. Thinking it was the liner I ripped that bad boy off at 4am to just get the Yeti against my hammock… Still the same. Maybe I’m a cold sleeper and that’s my limit at 11*.

    The Black Mamba (Winter) was working basically as I imagined it would. Again I must be a cold sleeper because I was not as warm as I am in my -15 degree bag (well DUH). I was warmer in the bag than the temp outside. However when I touched the inside of the bag it was cool to the touch. Outside of the bag was freezing cold as expected. The snap for the head is an annoyance to me. It kept undoing itself when I fussed around. I think I will add tie-outs to it like there is at the foot area. To me that would make more sense. As far as the Top quilt wrapping around you… when the snap is in place OH YEA really good wrap around and conforms in unity with the yeti. And I did get the icing over the top from breathing.

    I gave up sleep at 5am. Packed up as quick as I could and ran to the shelter to start a fire. Felt like the graduate students at that point because I couldn’t get the fire started for quite a while. Used 2 large pieces of char cloth and then 2 pieces of dryer lint. Finally got enough coals to get that wood cooking.

    Krazy cooking kit was frozen over yet again… pulled out a mountain house beef stroganoff and oat meal to figure what I wanted to eat. I laughed at my oatmeal packet and chowed down on the mountain house meal.
    My DIY canteen cozy worked out. However I did heat the water before I went to bed and kept the canteen in the cozy upside down until morning. Still had a lot of water to use for cooking. I heated more water up and put it in the canteen, swished it around to turn the rest of the ice back to water for the hike back to my car.

    Gossamer Gear Trek Light poles… awesome. Don’t even feel the weight
    Gossamer Gear 1/4 inch wide is TREMENDOUS! Received this box as tall as me and I’m like no way its all that… yeah it was. I cut the width down and used the extra for a little sit pad and the rest I may use for future DIY projects. The pad performed as expected, very well.

    Again not a comfortable night sleeping but I did survive to tell the story. Hiking was very enjoyable as long as I was moving and staying active. I’m going to play with the winter yeti a bit more and perfect the set up. I’m still thinking it’s me. The 3 season yeti was mega warm when I tried it on the hammock in 41* in a quick set up with my 1.1 Single. But I had it all staked out and the hammock set up was optimal based on Brandon’s videos.

    Here are the videos, Enjoy:

    Part 1:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcxoF99zNtA

    Part 2:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOLmEp5v4xw

  9. #9
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    Good report bro. Good to see you survived. It does look quite cold.

    One question I have is if you hate that mountain, why keep going back? You're aware that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results?
    I have heard your confession I know who you blame
    If you had it all back you'd just lose it again
    Can't bank on redemption if you ain't saved
    Don't bring me your tales of temptation and loss
    Don't bring me the pieces of your shattered cross

    -- Stuart Adamson

  10. #10
    Senior Member Raul Perez's Avatar
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    I like the view of the shelter at west mountain especially on a clear night. Have to go through a little hell to hit paradise I suppose

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