Speed in winter conditions

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14ers:summits30 winter3 

Re: Speed in winter conditions

Post by shelly+ » Tue Jan 26, 2021 9:22 pm

Aphelion wrote:
Tue Jan 26, 2021 8:59 pm

In that scenario, I'd spitball maybe a 10% slowdown on average? But that's also super individual. 15F and 20mph isn't that bad for me, so I consider it to be 0%/negligible slowdown factor. Postholing to boot-height is also not really post-holing, so it's going to be dependent on snow conditions. If that's 6" of powder, maybe only 0-5% slowdown factor? But if it's a hard but unsupportive crust, that's going to increase up to maybe 30% slowdown if I'm having to break through on each step and then mince my foot straight up out of the hole (or break crust twice per step). Microspikes probably slow me somewhat, but I use them so rarely that I'm not sure I could put a number on that. Weight of additional worn clothing is negligible, but I still carry quite a few more layers in winter than in summer in the pack (which I know isn't part of this scenario).

I don't have a great answer to your original question, but I've found in my own experience that unless the trenching is truly miserable/long, my winter pace is rarely less than 50% of my summer pace, so I typically use 0.5*(summer estimate) as my normal winter planning rate and then wind up coming in ahead of schedule. The main impeding factors are trenching effort, extra weight carried/worn, and the extra care necessary for walking on slick/snowy terrain.
Thanks! That's super helpful!
we were never being boring.
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Re: Speed in winter conditions

Post by mtree » Wed Jan 27, 2021 10:55 am

shelly+ wrote:
Tue Jan 26, 2021 7:06 pm
Let me fine tune the question, since I'm not asking specifically about hiking peaks in winter from TH to summit and return.

If you hike between 13k and 14k for one hour in summer on a class 1 slope and you usually on average achieve about 1000', how much would that rate change on the same terrain if you hiked it for one hour in 15F, 20mph wind, no route finding, no trench, postholing to the top of your boots with spikes? All other factors are equal (same boots, same pack weight, etc), except having more weight in clothes.
Unless you can replicate those conditions 100 times or more you will never know. Not a soul can say for sure what the change in rate would be or if it is because of said differences. Therefore, this isn't a question which can be answered with any certainty. Anyone who thinks they have an answer is just conjecturing. My guess is it will take you longer in snow. But maybe not. It will probably be more effort. That's almost certain.

There are too many variables including YOU. You may wake one morning feeling like a million bucks and rip off 1000ft of vert in 30 minutes. Another morning it may take you an hour and for no reason you can think of. There are simply too many variables and you're over thinking it. I've hiked summer routes in winter and managed to summit quicker than some summers. Most times I did not, but it has happened and its not uncommon. As long as you enjoy it just keep hiking. Hike in snow. Hike in cold. Hike longer, further and faster and your goal will be realized. Its that simple. Through my experience the summit is not always the end all be all. Its all about the journey. Enjoy it.

Oh yeah... there's always the possibility you'll wake feeling like crap and fail. Oh well. History suggests the mountains will still be there.
- I didn't say it was your fault. I said I was blaming you.
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