Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    designer@quickdata.com's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Bend, OR
    Hammock
    WBBB, WBRR, WL LiteOwl
    Tarp
    OES, WL BullFro
    Insulation
    HG UQ & TQ
    Suspension
    Python Straps
    Posts
    171

    My First Snow Camp

    Sorry, I seem to have forgotten how to embed photos. I'll put their place holders in.

    My First Hammock Snow Camp.


    When the hammock snow camping starts with Plan B, you can be assured there is a lot of learning going on.

    My first decision was to use skis or snowshoes; the initial plan was to use both. I travel faster on xc skis, but didn’t consider that it hadn’t snowed in a couple weeks. With some really warm days with freezing nights, the “snow” was icy and packed (hint: take snowshoes). So I took skis.

    I left the snowshoes because I misplaced some accessory side pockets to hold gear on the pack, I had put them where I wouldn’t forget them – and now I couldn’t find them. So more gear went inside the pack and things got too unwieldy to carry snowshoes.

    I approached the first downhill groomed road with trepidation. A 30 lb. pack made any slight momentum a big momentum. Keeping the skis as parallel with the slope as I could, step by tiny step I made my way sideways down the hill. A young woman, on snowshoes, leisurely sauntered past me.

    ToddLakeRoute.jpg
    The Spot Real Time Tracking. Note those are just straight lines connecting points, not the actual route. I didn’t ski across the lake; I skied around the east side.

    Once the slope leveled out a bit, I pointed the skis in the direction I wanted to go and was cruising. I easily passed the woman on snowshoes and left her in the (snow) dust. Maybe skis were the right choice after all.

    The first camp was to be on the northern ridge above Todd Lake. There would be a nice view of Broken Top; of course there would be trees.

    The “live action” route, provided by The Spot shows the north ridge was a bit steep. About mid climb, each step was accompanied by a “How am I going to get down?” thought. Images of my climbing snowshoes, nestled in the back of the jeep, filled my head.

    Once I topped the ridge it was time to find hammock trees. I had read several posts stating hammocks “… don’t need no level ground …” so I didn’t think it would be so hard. But it was. And I wasn’t ready to trust that “anywhere” lore completely if there a miscalculation meant a 200 foot tumble.

    We have Trees here in the NW – not those pencil things I see in hammock videos. Finding the right combination of tree diameter, nuisance branch density, and access without dropping into a tree well was more of a challenge than expected.

    PlanB.jpg
    Plan B – Sleep on the ground.

    By the time I found something possible, there was just enough daylight to set up camp and cook food – no more experimenting. I opted to dig out a flat platform and use a bivi bag for ground sleeping.

    My regular technique is to stomp on the snow to compact it somewhat. But more importantly, I get off it and leave it alone for about 15 minutes. The snow crystals re-bond firmer, more solid (that’s how you make a quarry for cutting snow blocks). Then I use the shovel to scrape off the surface “mush” and level out the snow underneath.

    I was very glad for the flat platform because though you might be able to sleep in a hammock on a slope, it doesn’t alleviate the effects of gravity. It seemed very time I put gear on the snow (did I mention it was on a slope), not on my platform, it started its own journey down hill.


    EverythingRolls.jpg
    With a slope, everything rolls.

    I did do one thing right. After tucking in and getting comfortable, I could still feel a ridge on my back. Maybe you have learned that instead of lying awake hours, not peeing because you are sure morning will come soon and you’ll be okay if you JUST DON’T MOVE … if instead you just get up and pee it will take less than 2 minutes and you’ll have hours of comfortable sleep in exchange for the “adventure”. Taking that lesson to heart – I got up and in less than a minute I used my shovel to smooth out the offending ridges, giving me a comfortable night sleep.

    The next morning I dumped everything out to repack and prioritize what I’d need for the day. There, on top of the pile, because they were at the very bottom of the pack, were those side pockets I had put somewhere so I wouldn’t forget them. After everything was repacked, I headed to my second destination; an area called Big Meadow.

    Before I had left the house, I used MapTech software to print out “quad map” segments of the area. Using UTM coordinates gave me great resolution and the map showed me where I was and what was up ahead.

    Usually, to save energy, you ski in the tracks of someone who had been there before – assuming they were going where you were going. I was following tracks at top of the ridge but they turned south and seemingly too close to the lake to be headed for Big Meadow. The map indicated I needed to continue east a bit more. Soon I crossed the groomed snowmobile road that cuts through Big meadow and I set up for the second night.

    I’d be walking around without my skis so I did the compression trick under and about the hammock area as well as tracking a path to the “bathroom”. It is not fun to go for that walk in the middle of the night and sink to you knees (or more) in soft snow. So I packed out a path to some trees. The snow is usually solid by the time it needs to be used.

    DigItOut.jpg
    Prepping the “living room” and kitchen/cooking shelf in back.

    I also “prepped” the snow around the hammock trees, making it a solid platform for the numerous adjustments to hammock suspension.

    I put the HH Survivor up and removed the undercover, then strung the fly with a continuous ridgeline. I don’t know how many of you have seen “that” video using Dutch hardware – where everything goes like silk, the line doesn’t even tangle. In my attempt, every mistake that could be made, I made. The hammock suspension wasn’t inside the fly ridgeline suspension – made that mistake twice. I missed running the ridgeling though the D-ring. I started with an “above the tarp ridgeline then decided I wanted it under. But the good news is, I probably won’t make those mistakes …. as often. And I’m glad I got to experience them privately.

    Finally I hung The Nest UQ and set about boiling water for dinner and breakfast the next day.

    UnderQuilt.jpg

    It gets dark about 5:30 pm this time of year so I was ready for a LONG night under the stars. I had forgotten the thermometer I intended to bring. I don’t know how cold was that night (at 7000 ft.) but the newspaper said it was 15 degrees“ in town”.

    To add more warmth, I pulled the tarp, which I had moved over to the side, back over the hammock. At first I thought I’d miss the stars but the moon was so bright, they’d be hard to see anyway. I also put an undercover below the UQ.

    That last move might be controversial because though you add more air blockage, you can also compress the UQ, reducing its loft/warmth. But the combination seemed to work – except for one small remaining area. I took my pillow – just ski shirts tucked in a thin felt bag (I wear jammies to bed. No matter how hard the day, getting into clean clothes and slipping into a soon-to-be-warm bag makes it tolerable) - and slipped it under my butt. Ah, all was warm and comfy.

    I slept well and woke up in the morning. Of course, after going to bed at 5:30 pm, morning came just a little after midnight. But still, I was warm, relaxed, and visited by occasional cool, sweet breezes.

    Real morning eventually came and breaking camp was quick. This time, instead of using the sleeping bag and UQ stuff sack, I put them loose in the bottom of the pack. That minimized dead space. The HH was rolled/coiled in its snakeskin and stove, food, water, extra clothes, etc. piled in.

    Earlier, I saw couple on skis heading back to the lake and decided to follow their path. It lead to hard packed snow in a gully, to narrow to side step. Their tracks had disappeared, so I did what I think they did – just took off my skis and walked down.

    Once road leveled out as it passed south of Todd Lake and the skis went back on. I left the road and skied the established xc trail back to the lodge. When I got home, I reported to my “responsible party” that all was well.

    Next time I’ll do it better.

    Gear.png
    The gear.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by designer@quickdata.com; 02-16-2013 at 12:44.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Thunder Bay, Northwestern Ontario
    Hammock
    Hennessy Explorer Deluxe
    Tarp
    DIY Hexish Tarp
    Insulation
    HHSS
    Suspension
    Whoopie slings
    Posts
    550
    Sounds like a great trip! Especially since you learned a bunch of stuff that will make the next one even better.

  3. #3
    TallPaul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Hammock
    WBXLC, WBBB, LiteOwl
    Tarp
    Superfly, MambaJam
    Insulation
    HG Phoenix, WL Sum
    Suspension
    Webbing, Whoopies
    Posts
    1,552
    Images
    5
    I really enjoyed your write up. Sounded like you had good visibility to enjoy the views. Makes me miss Oregon.

  4. #4
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Gloucestershire, UK
    Hammock
    My Modded TW hammock
    Tarp
    Alpkit
    Insulation
    UK custom 75% UQ.
    Suspension
    Erm. . Custom.
    Posts
    39
    Really enjoyed reading that. . I laughed too! Probably because it was easy to relate to the way you assessed each of your challenges. You never once mentioned that you felt cold, hungry or thirsty; so I would say that was a trip well done. Wishing I had a snow camp 'bagged'. .

  5. #5
    Senior Member FBG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Cedar Hill, MO
    Hammock
    Ticket to the Moon Double
    Tarp
    Guide Gear 11.5x14
    Insulation
    3/4 DIY UQ
    Suspension
    BIAS Whoopie kit
    Posts
    348
    Great report and thanks for sharing. There's nothing like putting things "where you can find them" only to find you can't!
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking."
    George S. Patton

    The 50 State Project: Thread
    The 50 State Project: Table

  6. #6
    Doctari's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Cincinnati, Oh
    Hammock
    WBBB
    Tarp
    Custom OES
    Insulation
    DIM UQ NoSniv TQ
    Suspension
    JRB Triglide/strap
    Posts
    2,992
    Images
    30
    Good report, hope you can post pictures soon!

    I have found the best way to make something disappear forever is to utter the magic words: "I'll put this somewhere where I won't forget!"

    I lost an entire city doing that once, they called it "Atlantis".
    I swear I put it where I always did when done playing with it!
    When you have a backpack on, no matter where you are, you’re home.
    PAIN is INEVITABLE. MISERY is OPTIONAL.

  7. #7
    OutandBack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Hammock
    Snipe WinterGnome
    Tarp
    TtTTG 12x10
    Insulation
    WL-TQ/UQ, HG 3/4UQ
    Suspension
    stock
    Posts
    4,182
    Images
    129
    Nice TR would love to see more picts if you took them.

    Sorry to read you had to bivi your first nite out.
    It does take a bit of practice to get your hammock kit in order for easy deployment.
    RL's, Tarp lines, hammock tie outs can be a real pain until you can get a system that works for you.
    I'm in the KISS camp when it comes to all this cordage exp in winter when things get
    10x harder to do with gloves and cold fingers.

    I to have taken ski's when I should have used shoes. It's still better than postholing.
    I've found that strapping snow shoes to the outside of the pack makes for an easy carry.
    Maybe you could do something like that with your pack.



    Looking forward to your next TR, thanks
    Last edited by OutandBack; 02-16-2013 at 11:17.
    O&B
    May your mileage in the backcountry exceed your post count.

  8. #8
    designer@quickdata.com's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Bend, OR
    Hammock
    WBBB, WBRR, WL LiteOwl
    Tarp
    OES, WL BullFro
    Insulation
    HG UQ & TQ
    Suspension
    Python Straps
    Posts
    171
    OutAndBack - that's what I had in mind. But I got a little flustered when I had to rearrange where things should go. Though it was a little after noontime, I had to get "on the trail". When I got up after the first night and repacked the gear, I saw that I could have rigged those shoes as you have in your photo (same MSR). ... Next time.
    Last edited by designer@quickdata.com; 02-16-2013 at 13:13.

  9. #9
    Senior Member ripcurlksm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    CA
    Hammock
    WBBB 1.7 DBL
    Tarp
    WB SuperFly
    Insulation
    0* Mamba & Yeti
    Suspension
    Whoopie Goldberg
    Posts
    104
    Nice job in the snow, looks cold

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •