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Longs Peak Gear Advice

Info on gear, conditioning, and preparation for hiking/climbing. Gear Classifieds
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Re: Longs Peak Gear Advice

Postby I Man » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:07 am

Longs Peak is generally considered Class 5 by any routes after the first snowfall...which happened many weeks ago.
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"I fly a starship across the universe divide....and when I reach the other side...I'll find a place to rest my spirit if I can. Perhaps I may become a Mountain Man again.

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Re: Longs Peak Gear Advice

Postby DaveSwink » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:26 am

ashlee03 wrote:I see that it's probably going to be a little cold (about 40 degrees)


Ashlee, the current forecast is for the mid-teens on Friday night, when you will be starting out.

ashlee03 wrote:1) How big of a pack do I need? I have a 3 L CamelBak that I usually put extra water bottles and food in with it. I plan on making this a one day climb...not even sure how far treeline is. Will my pack be enough?


A winter pack needs to be bigger than your summer pack, to accomodate an extra baselayer, an emergency puffy layer, microspikes, extra hat & gloves, in addtion to your regular summer gear. A 30L pack will work if you are very efficient but most folks will use a 40 - 45L pack in the winter. Be sure to invest in a pack that has good tie-downs for trekking poles and snowshoes too, even if you don't own them yet.

ashlee03 wrote:2) I haven't climbed this late in the season before, so what kind of clothing would be best? Please don't say warm. If you could even show me examples on REI.com (that's where I get most of my gear), that would be awesome! I was looking at this: http://www.rei.com/product/787088/patagonia-down-sweater-womens and I'm not sure if this would be a good hiking jacket?


You would think that winter climbing would call for thicker clothing, the puffier the better, but it does not work exactly like that. Accumulated sweat in your clothing is a major risk that must be guarded against constantly by allowing sufficient ventilation/breathing, so layers become essential. I have found an excellent winter clothing system is: baselayer with hood (ex Patagonia R1 hoody), covered with another baselayer with tighter weave that is a bit more wind-resistant and a 1/4 zipper for venting, covered by my winter shell jacket. This clothing system works down to 20 degrees and 30 mph winds while I am moving. I try to keep all rest/water stops to two minutes or less, but if I am going to stop longer then I pull out my hooded puffy jacket to avoid losing body heat.

The down sweater would be too hot for me to hike in but too light to function as an emergency puffy layer.

ashlee03 wrote:3) What kind of pants would be best for this? I have a pair of thin, breathable hiking pants (would putting thermal pants underneath be enough?)


Regular hiking pants with light weight long underwear will probably work. Your legs generate a lot of heat.

You did not ask, but bring a warm hat and a two layer glove/mitt system.

Last, sorry but I have to join the others in suggesting that Longs becomes a much bigger undertaking right after the first snows. Looking at your list, I would suggest Torreys, Sherman, Bierstadt or Evans (not the SawTooth). Have fun!

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Re: Longs Peak Gear Advice

Postby peter303 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:00 am

Park climbing rangers declared the Longs routes winter-technical as of this weekend.
http://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/longs_peak_conditions_report.htm
Two weeks ago they gave a more nuanced description of various parts of the two main Longs hiking routes which had some snow and ice then, but passable with moderate winter gear. After exceeding a certain point of difficulty they terminate these nuanced descriptions.

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Re: Longs Peak Gear Advice

Postby smoove » Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:21 pm

FYI, Ashlee. Probably a good idea to keep an eye on this thread too. http://14ers.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=37717&p=456109#p456109

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Re: Longs Peak Gear Advice

Postby ashlee03 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:37 pm

Thanks for the heads up everyone. As much as I would love to climb Longs, I guess I'll have to wait until next summer. #-o

SAFETY FIRST!!!

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Re: Longs Peak Gear Advice

Postby DaveSwink » Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:12 pm

There may be a group going up Shavano/Tabuguache on Sunday. http://www.14ers.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=37853&p=456185#p456185

I am considering it. Shav and Tabbie would make a great fall climb.

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Re: Longs Peak Gear Advice

Postby summit21 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:03 pm

Looks like more cold and snow for Long's this weekend...Low of 16, high 33 at 13K, factor in wind and it could be very unpleasant it say the least.
http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?FcstType=text&TempBox=1&WeatherBox=1&PoPBox=1&textField1=40.254902&textField2=-105.615738&Submit=Submit&MapType=3&site=DEN&CiTemplate=0
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Re: Longs Peak Gear Advice

Postby Lamb » Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:20 am

Ashlee,

I think that is the safe call. I did Longs towards the end of July. It started to rain really bad a couple miles before I got to the boulder field. The sun poked out, but it was no warmer than 40 deg F past the Keyhole. There was a front that was lingering with lots of fog and light drizzle, the moisture and cold allowed for a thin layer of ice on the narrows and ledges. The soles of my shoes were hard as stone and cold as ice, I had no foot traction and relied heavily on what my hands could get a hold of. Quite honestly it had some real scare factor and I can not imagine how bad it could be with snow and real ice.

Have fun and stay safe!

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Re: Longs Peak Gear Advice

Postby tehchad » Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:16 pm

Hello Ashlee!
Looking at your list, Long's is significantly more difficult. I would love to see a summit photo from you, but I certainly cannot disagree with your decision.

If you were to take this on, I think I'd be ready for a 15 hour walk in a blizzard.

I really like dswink's thoughts. It could end up being 45F and you can sweat a ton in that. BUT! A nice puffy is still needed.

I think the hardshell is also needed along with some snowpants and gaiters. There are some areas that love to drift, per the relentless winds. I'd hate to plow through one of them without some good pants. This time of year requires teeth too. I keep hearing great things about the Katoolas, but I haven't yet tried them. Slipping wouldn't be fun at any point on the narrows or homestretch, but it seems more likely this time of year without teeth. And, personally, I wouldn't even attempt to do this one now without an axe. I have a raven and I love it.

Pack size can explode if you're not careful. I tend to take about 5 liters on this peak, just in case my party is slow that day (usually 4 is enough). With winter, extra clothing is no longer optional. I have a very small day pack for summer. Winter dictates my 40L pack.

For something like Torreys, there wouldn't be much change here excepting water and the axe.

Also, there will be more snow dumped on it before the week is done..... http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=40.25360844763074&lon=-105.61365158081054

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Re: Longs Peak Gear Advice

Postby MuchosPixels » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:11 pm

dswink wrote:There may be a group going up Shavano/Tabuguache on Sunday. http://www.14ers.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=37853&p=456185#p456185

I am considering it. Shav and Tabbie would make a great fall climb.


True. I drove by there this past saturday and all were pretty dry. There was so storminess in the afternoon though so I would tackle the climb very early.

Here is a picture of longs last sunday.
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Re: Longs Peak Gear Advice

Postby ezabielski » Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:51 am

tehchad wrote:Hello Ashlee!
Looking at your list, Long's is significantly more difficult. I would love to see a summit photo from you, but I certainly cannot disagree with your decision.

If you were to take this on, I think I'd be ready for a 15 hour walk in a blizzard.

I really like dswink's thoughts. It could end up being 45F and you can sweat a ton in that. BUT! A nice puffy is still needed.

I think the hardshell is also needed along with some snowpants and gaiters. There are some areas that love to drift, per the relentless winds. I'd hate to plow through one of them without some good pants. This time of year requires teeth too. I keep hearing great things about the Katoolas, but I haven't yet tried them. Slipping wouldn't be fun at any point on the narrows or homestretch, but it seems more likely this time of year without teeth. And, personally, I wouldn't even attempt to do this one now without an axe. I have a raven and I love it.

Pack size can explode if you're not careful. I tend to take about 5 liters on this peak, just in case my party is slow that day (usually 4 is enough). With winter, extra clothing is no longer optional. I have a very small day pack for summer. Winter dictates my 40L pack.

For something like Torreys, there wouldn't be much change here excepting water and the axe.

Also, there will be more snow dumped on it before the week is done..... http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=40.25360844763074&lon=-105.61365158081054


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