When does winter start?

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Re: When does winter start?

Post by illusion7il » Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:18 pm

JQDivide wrote:Winter solstice 2018 in Northern Hemisphere will be at 3:23 p.m. on Friday, December 21
Can't leave the TH until that time to get your Winter Snowflake.
If were getting technical wouldn't the 3000 foot rule Apply?

Meaning you could start at 11K high in Chicago basin at that time.

Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. Never been in that situation, but I just though that's what it was.
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Re: When does winter start?

Post by 24kMagic » Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:22 pm

climbingcue wrote:
JQDivide wrote:Winter solstice 2018 in Northern Hemisphere will be at 3:23 p.m. on Friday, December 21
Can't leave the TH until that time to get your Winter Snowflake.

My rules are a bit different, I would say you could not be on the summit before 3:23pm on 12/21/18 to make it count as a winter summit. Not sure I would want to be on the summit that late in the day on the shortest day of the year (sunlight wise). So I would just wait to climb until the 22nd.

Good luck,
Bill
Well your rules don’t matter here bud, this is 14ers.com... who the hell do you think you are?
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Re: When does winter start?

Post by JQDivide » Fri Dec 14, 2018 8:57 am

Ryan posted this on another thread recently....

For those who are new to hiking/climbing in Winter, here is how the current "game" is played, as noted by Steve Gladbach in his trip report for Mount Evans, https://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=9674his winter 14er finisher:
sgladbach wrote:
The current "Game"

If you want to follow the precedent set by Mereness, Bock, Ralston (also Nolan and Burleson who are still playing), this is how they did it. If you want to play a different game, you'll get no criticism from me; however, this is how it's been done thus far!

First, of course, you must summit all of Colorado's 59 fourteeners in winter. Aron set the current precedent of counting 59 fourteeners in the winter quest. Mereness and Bock climbed 58 (That is 53 ranked + 5 unranked.) Aron further added North Massive, a not-too-difficult, soft-ranked 14er that only recently has gained popularity.

"Winter" means that in late December you cannot leave your car to begin your climb before the first minute of the winter solstice (which changes year to year). Furthermore, in late March you must return to your car one minute before the Vernal Equinox.

You can drive a standard vehicle to the WINTER trailhead. Specialized winter-modes of motorized travel that can be used to ride beyond the winter TH are not allowed. That is, no snowmobiles or ATV's equipped for snow travel. Public Transportation not designed for snow travel (i.e., the train from Durango to Cascade) are allowed. Since you are not using a winter vehicle, it is similar to driving to the Winter Trailhead.
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Re: When does winter start?

Post by Conor » Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:10 am

What do you guys mean by winter trailhead? Does that mean if you drove to huron's summer trailhead last december 23rd, you view that as not a "true snowflake?"
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Re: When does winter start?

Post by dpage » Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:19 am

Conor wrote:What do you guys mean by winter trailhead? Does that mean if you drove to huron's summer trailhead last december 23rd, you view that as not a "true snowflake?"
I remember in a thread about winter summits that things like using a snowmobile to get to the summer TH as being off limits such as accessing the Bells.
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Re: When does winter start?

Post by SnowAlien » Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:52 am

Conor wrote:What do you guys mean by winter trailhead? Does that mean if you drove to huron's summer trailhead last december 23rd, you view that as not a "true snowflake?"
It changes year to year, but generally it tends to be more accessible earlier in the season. During some winters (like last "winter"), summer THs remained accessible. But we also got lucky and were able to drive to Winfield in January '13, it's more of a function of how many trucks were on that road and the snowfall pattern. I also made to Missouri gulch TH in a Subi first week of March'16 or '17 (Winfield was off limits by then :-D ). Maroon Creek road & Castle Creek road are gated, and snowmobiling is not allowed for approaches.
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Re: When does winter start?

Post by Conor » Fri Dec 14, 2018 10:17 am

This just further reiterates my feelings of the "snowflake" being a silly thing. I'm more a conditions kind of guy, I don't really care what the calendar date says.
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Re: When does winter start?

Post by JQDivide » Fri Dec 14, 2018 11:04 am

SnowAlien wrote:
Conor wrote:What do you guys mean by winter trailhead? Does that mean if you drove to huron's summer trailhead last december 23rd, you view that as not a "true snowflake?"
It changes year to year, but generally it tends to be more accessible earlier in the season. During some winters (like last "winter"), summer THs remained accessible. But we also got lucky and were able to drive to Winfield in January '13, it's more of a function of how many trucks were on that road and the snowfall pattern. I also made to Missouri gulch TH in a Subi first week of March'16 or '17 (Winfield was off limits by then :-D ). Maroon Creek road & Castle Creek road are gated, and snowmobiling is not allowed for approaches.
I was able to drive to the Missouri Gulch TH one year, and counted my Belford ascent.
Was able to drive to Winfield, and counted my Huron ascent.
I believe the "spirit" of the snowflake is to drive to the TH in a 'normal' car/truck, drive as far as you can.
I also believe the "spirit" of the snowflake is based on "normal" winter weather. Yes, there are some years with less snow, some with more.

And anyone who is out in CO weather knows that some of the heaviest snowfall can be in the spring, which proves a great point about "conditions" over "calendar."
And I guess some international folks categorize winter as something other than "calendar" winter, it ends sooner.
But the standard for this site and most 14er folks is calendar winter, whatever the conditions are.

The 3,000 foot isn't normally a factor, if you have to walk the roads from the winter TH. Driving up Pikes partway for a Winter summit, goes against the "spirit" of the snowflake.


JQ
Last edited by JQDivide on Fri Dec 14, 2018 11:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: When does winter start?

Post by XterraRob » Fri Dec 14, 2018 11:05 am

Conor wrote:This just further reiterates my feelings of the "snowflake" being a silly thing. I'm more a conditions kind of guy, I don't really care what the calendar date says.
Leaving one's ego at the door is the ultimate sacrifice. For some however, they cannot survive without it.
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Re: When does winter start?

Post by nunns » Fri Dec 14, 2018 11:42 am

DArcyS wrote:
JtheChemE wrote:
DArcyS wrote:Astronomical winter, which involves the positioning of the earth and the sun, begins and ends on roughly Dec 21 and Mar 21, respectively. Meteorological winter, which presumably keeps meteorologists happy, covers the months of Dec, Jan and Feb. (Those meteorologists must have noticed that the beginning of December sure feels more like winter than the beginning of March.) If I were to do a winter ascent that I cared about, I'd do it from Dec 21 to the end of Feb to cover both periods.

https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/news/meteorol ... al-seasons

So, as it turns out, any question that has two answers does not have an obvious answer.
... Just google"winter solstice 2018". You will know when winter starts down to the second. It's pretty clearcut.
lol, I like this better

https://www.timeanddate.com/countdown/g ... 0Countdown

So people can stand at the trailhead and know when they can start.
I can imagine someone in the future doing this in an attempt to break Andrew Hamilton's FKT record for winter Colorado 14ers.
Does it always start about 3pm on December 21? I know it is December 21 every year, so I assume that the starting time is also the same every year.

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Re: When does winter start?

Post by dpage » Fri Dec 14, 2018 11:46 am

nunns wrote:
DArcyS wrote:
JtheChemE wrote:
... Just google"winter solstice 2018". You will know when winter starts down to the second. It's pretty clearcut.
lol, I like this better

https://www.timeanddate.com/countdown/g ... 0Countdown

So people can stand at the trailhead and know when they can start.
I can imagine someone in the future doing this in an attempt to break Andrew Hamilton's FKT record for winter Colorado 14ers.
Does it always start about 3pm on December 21? I know it is December 21 every year, so I assume that the starting time is also the same every year.

Sean Nunn
It's not always December 21
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Re: When does winter start?

Post by Chicago Transplant » Fri Dec 14, 2018 12:17 pm

Some winters are just snowier than others, and some years the snow has a later start than others. I don't see any issues with taking advantage of that to increase safety and your chance of success. The spirit of the whole thing seems to be to climb on your own power in calendar winter from the consensus winter trailhead.

I would say the winter trailhead is wherever it happens to be in that particular winter. Some years you get to the summer trailhead in January (I climbed Buckskin from Kite Lake last January) and others you can't even get to summer trailheads in June (I skied Democrat from the winter closure in June one year). I certainly wouldn't call my June ski of Democrat "winter", given the stable spring snow and warmer calmer weather than Buckskin, it certainly lacked the objective hazards that make winter "winter". The trailhead seems largely irrelevant to winter conditions in my opinion.

As far as conditions, waiting for avy danger to go down, climbing on a sunny calm day in winter to reduce your exposure to frostbite, well to me that just seems like a smart way to stay safe in winter. No reason to climb in a raging blizzard for 3 days to tag Huron, and no need to hike 8 miles up a completely dry dirt road with no gate just to start lower either. Part of the winter "game" is waiting for the safe windows to climb, in my opinion that is part of why it has a calendar limit. While its true that people's risk tolerance varies, any some people are more willing to push conditions than others, it doesn't mean people waiting for safe conditions accomplished anything less. Most people I know who have had a close call from pushing too far in bad or dangerous conditions wonder why they didn't wait for better conditions.
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