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Snow or Wind Pants?

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Snow or Wind Pants?

Postby Lotso » Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:57 am

Hate to ask a stupid question but we are planning to try Quandary in about 3 weeks - would Snow Pants be advisable or could we opt for the lighter weight Rain / Wind pants? Thank you.

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Re: Snow or Wind Pants?

Postby Exiled Michigander » Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:14 am

Depends on current conditions. I could have practically done Yale this past January in shorts, but I also could have used snowpants last July on Longs. If I had to guess, I would say snow pants might be beneficial even in late April. But it all depends on the weather on the day of the climb. Either way, have fun!

Re: Snow or Wind Pants?

Postby BobbyFinn » Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:39 am

I'm generally a warm person and, even in winter, I rarely wear anything very warm on my legs. During the summer, I wear light-weight nylon or whatever synthetic pants and in winter, I wear a pair of heavier pants - but they are far from snowpants. My legs have never gotten uncomfortably cold.
I wore my skipants while hiking in January once. Once.
I was way too warm.

In late April, it will likely be pretty warm at the TH and early on in the hike and again toward the end of the hike. It would be better to not get all sweaty before getting into the wind above treeline - you might get a chill.

However, if you're planning on glissading, you may want to bring some rainpants along so the snow doesn't get your rear and legs soaked/cold.
Last edited by BobbyFinn on Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Snow or Wind Pants?

Postby sivadselim » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:00 am

Kinda depends upon what you would be wearing underneath.

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Re: Snow or Wind Pants?

Postby SurfNTurf » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:08 am

Given Quandary's easy access and straightforward route, I wouldn't obsess over what type of pants you'll wear. Especially if you have gaiters. I did it in January in gnarly conditions and saw a guy summit in jeans. I'm not suggesting that, but I wouldn't break the bank on expensive pants, either. Combine a baselayer with something water-resistant and you'll be fine.

I wear Mountain Hardwear Winter Wander softshell pants, combined with a midweight baselayer, on winter climbs. Never had an issue. As April wears on I'll probably say goodbye to the baselayer.
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Re: Snow or Wind Pants?

Postby Lotso » Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:20 pm

Very helpful. Thanks so much for the feedback.

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Re: Snow or Wind Pants?

Postby MuchosPixels » Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:58 pm

Hi, I recently hikes Pikes Peak and only used soft-shell hiking pants. (mountain hard wear navigation pants) never wished for anything else. I used Patagonia capilene 3 under for summit day or capilene 2 for the warmer day. The pants never got me wet even when postholing through wet snow. I was super comfortable. Check out marmot scree pants also. If you are going to glissade or posthole a lot get high gaiters.

I would skip on the hardshells unless it's very cold then they are good for over the soft shells. Or if it's gonna rain.

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Re: Snow or Wind Pants?

Postby OnyourLeft » Tue Apr 05, 2011 7:58 am

I made it most of the way (about 13,600 ft) up Quandry about 3 weeks ago wearing soft shell hiking pants and my long bike pants underneath. They work great as a base layer and I had no problems with my legs staying pretty warm and completely dry. I post-holed some at the tree line. Turned around due to ridiculously high sustained winds trying to freeze my dog to death.

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