Kilimanjaro Down/Synthetic

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Kilimanjaro Down/Synthetic

Postby Neil » Wed Jan 31, 2007 6:28 am

Hey Everyone,

I'm off to Kilimanjaro this summer and took quick stock of my gear last night. I think the only item I really need to invest in is a new down or synthetic layer.

For those of you who have climbed it, what is the lowest temperature you experienced at night or on summit day? These are the only two times I would anticipate wearing a down/synthetic layer.

Also, for those of you who climbed Kili or who have climbed in similar environments, what, if any, down/synthetic layer did you use?

I am especially interested in a technical outer layer - warm and wateproof - since I'd like to wear it at night while my other layers dry. For this reason, thanks to way too many hours of research at work, I've fixated on the Arcteryx Fission SV. It is made with Primaloft, which I've been very impressed with through this research, with a GoreTex layer for waterproofness. Any opinions on this or other waterproof down/synthetic layers would be VERY appreciated.

Thank you for any help or advice you have!!!
"On the edge of the porch in the warm evening night
Throwing the bone for the dog I see two passing lights
Well, I wonder where that driver's bound
Is there someone, somewhere, someway out there that I've not found"
-Driving Song
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Postby mtnmike » Wed Jan 31, 2007 7:13 am

I did Kili last Janaury, and summit day was definitely the coldest. Although we started at 11pm, it truly got cold in the hours just before sunrise...about 5am when we crested the crater rim. It was probably about zero, give or take. I have a light Mountain Hardware down jacket (the SubZeromodel), which I wore over my base capilene layer and a fleece vest. I was plenty warm with that combination.

In addition, that SubZero has been in my pack all winter long, and I've never encontered a day when it wasn't enough to keep me warm (even with blizzard conditions and 50mph winds on Quandary!).

"Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory." - Ed Viesturs
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Postby MtHurd » Wed Jan 31, 2007 7:33 am

I did it in October a few years back and I'd say the temps were about like October in Colorado actually. Not really that cold, probably below freezing but not too bad. I just took what I normally use in Colorado. You will want layers because after you summit and the sun comes out, it warms up fast.
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Postby Aubrey » Wed Jan 31, 2007 8:15 am

Neil, I just bought a 700-fill Sierra Designs jacket, which I plan on using for Kili in September. The great thing about it is that it's SUPER warm (in this current weather we're having, I could wear a t-shirt under it and be fine) and it packs down really small. It's also pretty light (only about a pound, I believe).

I don't really anticipate needing it much for hiking, except maybe summit day, but I think it would come in handy when you're just sitting around in the evenings ... or early mornings.

And in the end, I'd rather have more warmth than I need than not enough. Besides, if I don't need it, I'll just leave it in my 35-pound bag that the porters carry. I doubt that bag will be anywhere near that max weight, anyway.

You should make a run up to Sierra Trading Post like I did recently. I got this for just $149:,43 ... r-Men.html

Thanks for posting, btw, I love reading all this advice, too!
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Postby scheelt » Wed Jan 31, 2007 8:24 am

I climbed Kili in Feb 06. Summit day was definitely the coldest. There was a light breeze blowing from Stella Point to the summit which lowered the temperature some (probably around 10 F with windchill). The decent (after sunrise) got hot. Layers are a must. I wore 3 layers,
1. Long Sleeve wicking base layer
2. 300 fleece jacket
3. REI Elements shell.
I was comfortable sitting at the summit waiting for the sun to rise. IMO synthetic/down parka is overkill (at least it was on my trip) Your weather conditions may be different.

Good Luck

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