Page 2 of 2

Re: Winter storms

Posted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 7:21 am
by CaptCO
globreal wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 10:42 pm
CaptCO wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 8:57 pm My simple advice is to purchase the best clothes money can buy. I have invested more in clothing than any other type of gear this year, and it's soooo worth. Shop for deals! If you have common sense you will have no issues with rando storms
Having the right gear is essential....not necessarily having the most expensive gear is essential.

And having "common sense" really means you won't go out during bad weather. However, learning how to find accurate forecasts for weather is not always that easy. Learning where and how to look for your forecasting is very important and then deciding to only go out at the right time. Find others who can teach you these researching skills. (I'll help you if you like.)

Having the navigation skills is VERY important in winter. Can you navigate yourself out of the backcountry in white out conditions or complete dark (no moon, no city lights at all?)

PLEASE learn about avalanches and take the necessary classes if you plan to travel on snow (any time of the year!)
Yes very true. Listen to Glob over myself, decades more experience..

Re: Winter storms

Posted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 9:22 am
by Squirrellysquirrel
Great advice provided.

I think less of unannounced storm potential and more random, super gusty wind conditions that can be brutal in the winter. I’ve also noticed that wind gusts tend to be on the front end and back end of a storm pattern by about 12-24 hours; winds tend to pick up at sun rise and sunset, too. I share this because windy winter conditions, and super gusts of sustained wind, can be unexpected, dangerous, and stoopidly painful if you’re not prepared, wearing poor gear, etc; windchills at the top can easily be in the single or negative temps.

That said: face protection (chapped exposed skin due to cold wind) and great polarized, UV blocking eye wear (snow blindness and retinal degradation) are other wintertime essentials to consider. I also bring basic overnight gear/tools with the assumption that if I have to sleep the night in the snow, I can comfortably do so.

Re: Winter storms

Posted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 9:42 am
by daway8
globreal wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 10:42 pm Having the right gear is essential....not necessarily having the most expensive gear is essential.
Very true - if you can find good stuff cheaper, go for it. But generally speaking, I've been finding that the expensive stuff is expensive for a reason. You can get gear that's far lighter, warmer, more compressible, etc if you're willing/able to pay for it. Doesn't mean that everything expensive is automatically better (watch out for brand name price inflation) but often those pricey clothes have an amazing performance difference.
globreal wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 10:42 pm Learning where and how to look for your forecasting is very important and then deciding to only go out at the right time. Find others who can teach you these researching skills. (I'll help you if you like.)
Based on last winter I still need to fine tune those skills... though I like nyker's suggestion of giving yourself at least a 24-36hr buffer before a storm and limiting your goals even then. Because typically the day or so before a storm blows in... well something has to "blow" it in... so there can be some pretty epic winds even the day before a big storm. Coming down off a mountain as the sun sets on the day before a storm comes in = even worse (ask me how I know...). Winds often pick up around sunset - yes, these other guys commenting have a lot more experience but you can learn a lot from a dummy... I only have a couple seasons of winter 14er bagging under my belt (lots more at lower elevations like RMNP) and while I've been very conservative on route choices I've gotten burned on weather choices, that's why I figured I'd chime in once more to highlight how easy it is to underestimate conditions if you're new to the high country in winter. Moral of the story: give yourself LOTS of buffer room before any incoming storms (and also afterwards due to avy concerns).

(edit - I see Squirrellysquirrel beat me to the punch with some of the wind warnings - it's because of those type of winds that I picked up the high dollar gear that has performed amazingly in those conditions - and also the reason why I'll be likely making more conservative choices in regards to weather this winter...)

Re: Winter storms

Posted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 10:50 am
by CaptainSuburbia
Like others have said, winter storms are very predictable. Just don't go for a big outing if there's something in the forecast. I was 20/20 on getting summits last calender winter. All were on bluebird days and most with very little wind. If you can be flexible there are plenty of nice winter days. It's not like the summer where there is a chance of thunderstorms everyday and they can pop up out of nowhere. You'll see winter storms coming. Look for high pressure weather patterns that stall over Colorado. These can give days of good weather.

Re: Winter storms

Posted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 1:11 pm
by ltlFish99
I learned the hard way, about footwear in winter. Actually it was ignorance on my part that lead me to believe that my leather boots I used the previous summer would be fine in deep snow with minus 10 temperatures in December.

I was wrong. It took several months for me to get the feeling back in some of my toes.

The next week I invested in the correct type of footwear for such activities.

I agree with the comment on high winds before and after storms. It is one of the best predictors of an incoming storm and I believe it is mainly due to the dramatic changes in barometric pressure prior to, and following storms.

A good balaclava and goggles are winter necessities as far as I am concerned.
Along with a good headlamp and extra batteries.

Imo, the wind is the more unpleasant/ possibly dangerous element of the winter. Cold and snow can be dealt with, but trying to follow a gps track in the dark with high winds could prove to be challenging.
One of the most pleasant things I have had on winter excursions is a cup of hot soup and hot chocolate during a break.

As a complementary source of weather data to noaa, I found this site to be helpful:

https://www.mountain-forecast.com/peaks ... casts/4337

Re: Winter storms

Posted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 3:18 pm
by benmangelsdorf
Thanks for all the info guys :-D

Re: Winter storms

Posted: Mon Nov 16, 2020 1:55 pm
by Plugugly
ltlFish99 wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 1:11 pm I learned the hard way, about footwear in winter. Actually it was ignorance on my part that lead me to believe that my leather boots I used the previous summer would be fine in deep snow with minus 10 temperatures in December.

I was wrong. It took several months for me to get the feeling back in some of my toes.

The next week I invested in the correct type of footwear for such activities."


What boots did you get?

Re: Winter storms

Posted: Mon Nov 16, 2020 3:09 pm
by SchralpTheGnar
I do James peak via st Mary’s glacier every year in winter and after that nothing else ever seems quite that bad for windy conditions

Re: Winter storms

Posted: Mon Nov 16, 2020 3:27 pm
by ltlFish99
Plugugly wrote: Mon Nov 16, 2020 1:55 pm
ltlFish99 wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 1:11 pm I learned the hard way, about footwear in winter. Actually it was ignorance on my part that lead me to believe that my leather boots I used the previous summer would be fine in deep snow with minus 10 temperatures in December.

I was wrong. It took several months for me to get the feeling back in some of my toes.

The next week I invested in the correct type of footwear for such activities."


What boots did you get?
Initially I got kolflach double boots and they worked well for ice climbing boots. They were the ancient neon green ones, and always made for a good laugh the last couple years at the Ouray ice park.
Last March I finally got some new ones, La sportiva Nepal cubes and they are very comfortable and much lighter.

Re: Winter storms

Posted: Mon Nov 16, 2020 3:30 pm
by ltlFish99
SchralpTheGnar wrote: Mon Nov 16, 2020 3:09 pm I do James peak via st Mary’s glacier every year in winter and after that nothing else ever seems quite that bad for windy conditions
I second that comment. That peak is the best for wind, wind, and more wind.
It was also an enjoyable ski descent when I first started skiing peaks.

Re: Winter storms

Posted: Tue Nov 17, 2020 8:28 am
by mindfolded
SchralpTheGnar wrote: Mon Nov 16, 2020 3:09 pm I do James peak via st Mary’s glacier every year in winter and after that nothing else ever seems quite that bad for windy conditions
I had a Quandary hike in February that set a new baseline for what I consider to be windy. It hasn't felt all that windy since then and I've noticed people commenting on the wind WAY before it crosses my mind. I agree, go on a windy hike early and get a feel for how much it can suck, the rest of your hikes will be great.