This past winter has held my first interactions with backpacking in these cold temperatures. It's been an interesting and fun challenge to figure out what works (and what doesn't), and it will be equally interesting to continue to fine-tune. I guess my main lesson has been to have a warm sleeping bag -- when all else fails, just dive into the tent! Oh... and to have booties. :)
But I agree with Daniel. Catching that sunset from Rockytop was wonderful. Great weekend all around.
0 · February 19
@MikeVW, Doug ... We walked 17.5 / 15 / 8.0 for a grand total of about 40.5 miles. It was wintery out there (snow and high winds up high), and my plan to walk 23 miles or more on Sunday was just not happening on a short day with winter gear, so we stopped a little short on Sunday for a nice campsite. Still a very good loop with big views. I *think* we were in the low teens Sunday night--we recorded 18 the next morning, but it was colder when we went to bed--water was freezing fast. Everybody hiked very well. Will get a full trip report up tomorrow. A little drowsy just now, despite the long night in the bag. (The more ambitious 50-mile loop I had planned is possible, but would be a lot more pleasant in 3-season gear and conditions.)
1 · February 18
If anyone would like to borrow my 15-degree (Marmot Trestles)sleeping bag, just ask. Caveat: (1) it's really a 35-degree bag, 30-degrees at best, (2) it weighs ~ 3 lbs. 10 oz., and (3) it's not especially compressible. That said, if you need to 'double up' and put one bag inside another, the Trestles works fine. I've used it outside another sleeping bag before. Consider it another layer of insulation to keep heat in and moisture out. Also, I've got isobutane/propane fuel for 'Jetboil' stoves if anyone needs some.
0 · February 15
Posted my liability waiver on the Meetup page...let me know if there's another I need to turn in.
On another topic, does anyone have a warm (e.g., 0-degree) sleeping bag or quilt they will not be using on this trip? I've yet to buy a new (better) one for myself and would gratefully borrow somebody else's, if they could spare one.
0 · February 11
... and Skyline Drive is now closed ... due to "snow and ice."
LOL ... It may be a game time decision of where we start, as in we drive up to the park, see that it's closed, and drive to my other point.
I'll add my spikes back to my gear, and make sure I have driving directions to both points.
And the adventure factor just went up a notch. ;)
1 · February 14
Weather is looking cooler, but with less precipitation:
So, that's good.
If you've not yet paid your dues, please do so! (Carrie, John, and David.) I'll get signed liability waivers from Carrie, David, Denise, and Dan at the trailhead. MM
0 · February 11
I am so looking forward to this one!! My head is spinning from all the activity here lately. So many awesome adventures, yet only one body with which to enjoy them. Decisions. I've ALWAYS been terrible at them. Most definitely have my mind made up on these next two though... ;)
0 · February 8
Hey guys, just a note that I'm off to the Grand Cayman in a few hours and, given how AT&T is acting, I may not be online much. When I get back next weekend, we'll throw the organizing of logistics into high gear. We should have a great trip. Long-term weather forecast looks good:
0 · February 2
Hmmm ... I hope you guys are feeling ambitious. I'm plotting out my "dream list" of trails for this trip and it comes off as pretty challenging. We'd see almost everything, though ... I'll post some more details tomorrow, and we can chat about it. I'm happy to say that I've managed to route it with two nice back country sites on Big Run and Riprap Hollow.
1 · January 24