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1/2/13 Cupid 'summit' (Brrrr...)

Info on gear, conditioning, and preparation for hiking/climbing. Gear Classifieds
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1/2/13 Cupid 'summit' (Brrrr...)

Postby FFLpilot » Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:28 pm

OK, so I know Cupid is barely a 13er, and that there's nothing particularly difficult about hiking up above Loveland Pass in winter. At least on days unlike today. After skiing at Keystone in similarly-frigid temps yesterday, I decided to head toward Grizzly this morning, hoping that last night's weather disturbance would start to break up by mid-day, giving some opportunities to capture the type of blue sky and upsloping clouds we had yesterday. The weather didn't cooperate, but it was a great chance to test gear, prep, clothing, etc. in a somewhat-benign environment, being relatively well-traveled even in winter. Normally.

As I got started, the only two guys I saw all day were coming down from Cupid, and I got a brief report on what I already expected: slightly colder above, variable winds 20 to 30+. The car thermometer read -1 when I got started at 1045, and I went with balaclava w/goggles, and base + mid layer and a Gamma MX for the uphill, OR GTX ProShell pants, OR Alibi gloves with heat packs. With wind chills dipping toward -30, the breathable outer layer was just barely enough to keep me warm while moving uphill. After descending 300' down the far side of Cupid, I turned around at the crux of the Grizzly route (the rock stack on the south side of Cupid), as it didn't appear to have been traveled lately, and certainly not the line I was used to taking. I added a ProShell outerlayer on the way down, and reached the car at 1-degree F. I didn't stop to eat at the Pt. 12,915' wind shelter, it just wasn't worth the hassle.

The Canon 5D MkIII performed flawlessly (even residing outside my coat the whole way), though the Garmin 62S now will not start up, dies after the boot screen. The Camelback would have worked had the bite valve/cover not come off 2/3 of the way through (warm water and insulation, blowing air back in kept it from freezing, surprisingly). I discovered a few small details that really need to be attended to prior to starting, as needing to do anything requiring dexterity can be a real problem if it takes more than about 30 seconds (with a glove off).

Can't say that I'll be out anytime soon doing that again on purpose, but it's good to get out in extremes once in awhile to find your weak points. One image below, a few more can be seen here:

http://jeffwarnerphoto.com/2013/01/02/1213-loveland-pass-winter-hike/

Cheers,

J\V
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Last edited by FFLpilot on Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: 1/2/12 Cupid 'summit' (Brrrr...)

Postby Bean » Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:21 am

Looks like a fun (type-3) hike. How did you carry your camera? I'm looking at upgrading my SLR-carry system and think I know how I'm going (Capture) but could stand to know another option or two.
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Re: 1/2/12 Cupid 'summit' (Brrrr...)

Postby TomPierce » Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:47 am

Hey Jeff,
I was one of the two guys you spoke with at the parking lot (I was the second of the two), I was out testing some gear as well. Yep, a bit nippy up there yesterday, a nice training hike indeed!
-Tom

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Re: 1/2/12 Cupid 'summit' (Brrrr...)

Postby colokeith » Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:42 am

I was up there last week. That ridgeline is a windy SOB



Bean wrote:Looks like a fun (type-3) hike. How did you carry your camera? I'm looking at upgrading my SLR-carry system and think I know how I'm going (Capture) but could stand to know another option or two.


I assume you are talking about this http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/97103764/capture-camera-clip-system it looks pretty sweet!! My main concern would be dropping the camera after removing it.

I use this strap http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005EN32RG/ref=oh_details_o04_s00_i00 then an oversize biner to attach it to my pack at my hip. This keeps it easily accessible, but it doesn't swing forward when I lean in to get my hands on rock.
To climb is to push yourself in a way you might not normally imagine is possible. If your stamina, skill, and luck are sound you will get to stand on top. ... I realized that with climbing, I'd found something that nourished my soul and could forge me into a better version myself - Jim Davidson

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Re: 1/2/12 Cupid 'summit' (Brrrr...)

Postby FFLpilot » Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:05 pm

Hey Tom, glad to meet you yesterday, and was glad that at least someone else was out there!

Bean,

Boy, have I been back and forth, trying to cobble the perfect system over the years. As far as yesterday goes, I went old-school and literally just hung the camera around my neck (which probably contributed to the bite valve loss). I long ago quit trying to keep my cameras warm in the winter; I think it's better to just get them down to ambient temp and use them, assuming your batteries can handle it (I'm super-impressed that the 5D MkIII worked so well).

That being said, for more active endeavors when I need the camera available but secured (skiing, etc.), I have a variety of LowePro TopLoader bags that I attach to my packs across the chest. I'm currently in the process of fashioning a quick-release system where what is left on the pack is minimal, so that it's easy to grab whatever TopLoader I need and go. Easier said than done, though, as I always seem to need a slightly different buckle or clip that I don't have in my toolbox.

I also have several F-Stop Gear backpacks that I use for more serious photographic outings. If you haven't seen them, they have back-panel access and different sized internal camera units; the backpacks aren't garbage like most Tamrac/LowePro offerings, they're basically designed for backcountry use.

http://fstopgear.com/product/mountain/tilopa-bc

I'll see if I can find a pic of my setup..

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Re: 1/2/12 Cupid 'summit' (Brrrr...)

Postby jmc5040 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:22 pm

I agree, that ridge can get cold. I was up there about a month ago when the windchill reading was hitting -30F at pass level. It is the perfect place to test out your gear and know what works and what doesn't work before your in a bad situation with gear that is not working for you.
"My senses become heightened and the stresses of life fade with each step I take further from civilization. When I'm in the wilderness my brain and body work seamlessly together to do their finest work - a single flowing track down one of natures high peaks." - Jeremy Jones

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Re: 1/2/12 Cupid 'summit' (Brrrr...)

Postby FFLpilot » Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:13 pm

Bean wrote:Looks like a fun (type-3) hike. How did you carry your camera? I'm looking at upgrading my SLR-carry system and think I know how I'm going (Capture) but could stand to know another option or two.


Here's an old version of my setup, from 2006 or so. I now have QR attachments on the packs shoulder adjustment and hip straps, so that the webbing with clips are attached to the TopLoader and can be moved from pack to pack. Back in the day I just used to have the TopLoader's strap threaded behind the shoulder adjustment straps, and it worked for backpacking, but wouldn't be stable for active endeavors like BC skiing.

A few companies are starting to offer some similar solutions (I think ThinkTankPhoto has a version), but they are silly-expensive compared to cobbling something together yourself, and aren't necessarily any better unless you want some sort of CottonCarrier-like tripod screw attachment, which I don't.

-Jeff
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