Who wants credit for this one?

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CaptCO
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Re: Who wants credit for this one?

Post by CaptCO » Sun Dec 27, 2020 7:51 pm

I can’t and won’t hike with someone substantially slower than myself in winter. I also bring backup layers for a possible broken ankle. Why suffer more than you already have to? @daway
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climbingcue
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Re: Who wants credit for this one?

Post by climbingcue » Mon Dec 28, 2020 7:52 am

daway8 wrote:
Sun Dec 27, 2020 7:36 pm
climbingcue wrote:
Sun Dec 27, 2020 7:05 pm
This is the reason I never do winter hikes with anyone other than my trusted partners. Speed in the winter is super important and I need to move at a certain pace to keep warm. Happy they got the person out safety.
Curious to hear more about this response - when you say "I need to move at a certain pace to keep warm" - isn't that a bit of a safety concern?

One the one hand, I believe I know what you mean - I usually start winter hikes in gear that's fantastic at keeping me warm when I'm moving but which doesn't perform so well if I'm motionless for long periods. But since I know an accident/injury could cripple my pace I always have gear in my pack that will keep me warm regardless of my pace. If I end up with a slower paced partner I may put on some of those other layers to compensate.

Is this more of a "prefer" to hike at a certain pace or simply choose not to hike with people who don't match your pace because you'd rather not have to deal with that or is it truly a "need to" ?

FYI, I'm not trying to start some nitpicky argument about words or to question your judgment - I'm pretty sure you're more experienced than I am anyways - I'm just curious to hear your thoughts on this and figured this is a good safety topic for any newer users who might happen to browse this thread.
It took me a year to find the group of partners that are fast enough. I have 5-7 people that I will hike with in winter. I am sure there are more out there, I would just have to hike with them other than winter to see if we are a good match. I carry extra gear in my pack in the winter. I have an emergency bivi, extra socks, goretex pants, hat, down puffy, as well as a hard shell. I have only had two winter hikes where I had to put everything on minus the bivi. Most of the hikes that gear is just in my pack, just in case I need to stop for an emergency. For many people it can be very hard for them to move fast enough in the winter to keep warm, the elevation slows many people down just enough to make that impossible. I have done enough cold weather hiking I know how fast I need to move. Hope that helps answer your question.

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12ersRule
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Re: Who wants credit for this one?

Post by 12ersRule » Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:23 am

I'm not big on the high elevation stuff in winter, but aren't you supposed to slow down to minimize the sweating so you don't freeze?

Thanks.
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Re: Who wants credit for this one?

Post by RyGuy » Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:44 am

Wildernessjane wrote:
Thu Dec 24, 2020 4:50 pm
TomPierce wrote:
Thu Dec 24, 2020 12:44 pm
I don't necessarily fault the splitting up decision. I've occasionally been the one to bail off early; just not into it that day, worn out, not in the best shape that day, whatever. It happens. But of course it's a nuanced decision: is each climber fully competent to operate independently in the conditions, to descend safely solo? A call you discuss and make, I wouldn't automatically fault them in hindsight.
I completely agree with this. Personally if I was too gassed to go on I would want my partner to continue on without me. That said, I would never meet up with a random person on an internet forum without going into it with the mindset that we were essentially two solo hikers going out together (meaning I had researched the route and was confident I could navigate on my own and had everything I needed to stay warm). Now if that person was injured or struggling with altitude sickness or something else that could impair their reasoning then that would be an entirely different story. This certainly isn’t the first example of things going poorly after two people randomly met up online. To me, the takeaway is to pick your partners carefully and go into random hookups knowing you can be self-sufficient.
I also will not fault the decision to split in this case. As is often the case, there is more to the story that wasn't reported. (I am not a fan of OutThere Colorado and find they usually aren't that accurate in their reporting.)
Full disclosure, I know the person who called SAR and spoke to them on the phone both before and after the call to SAR was made. I also provided a GPX track for Shav and Tab in winter from the Angel of Shavano CG and know both people had a copy of it for navigation. I do not know the other person, other than having seen a few posts from them in the past.

That said, there are certainly some lessons to be learned from this situation as with many SAR situations. In my opinion the main takeaway as was mentioned by Daway8 and Jane is partner selection and vetting, especially in winter. I personally will only do peaks in winter with the most trusted and skilled partners I have from summer. The margin for error is often so small in winter, you really can't afford to be dealing with unknowns when it comes to a partners. That said, like Jane mentioned, I have both been the one who has split from a group in winter to descend solo because I didn't have the energy to summit AND get back to the car with a bit of energy to spare. I've also been the one who has talked to partners who haven't been able to continue and formed a plan, talked through the risks and backup plans, and then continued on, and met back up with a partner later after I got a late summit. It's a calculated risk and one that really isn't much of an issue *IF* both parties are experienced, prepared, know the game plan and then follow said game plan. The second takeaway would be extra power in winter & not replying solely on a phone for navigation. I also really like having my InReach (With battery pack to recharge it and my phone) these days for these situations because it allows communication between parties, and the backup battery pack ensures my phone and InReach can be recharged several times. Then I still have map/compass if I really need.

All that said...I don't see a need to further arm-chair QB this situation. Hopefully both climbers have learned some valuable lessons about winter hiking, and those reading this thread will also learn the same lessons to help them avoid similar situations should they choose to try hiking in winter as well.

-Ryan
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Re: Who wants credit for this one?

Post by climbingcue » Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:17 am

12ersRule wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:23 am
I'm not big on the high elevation stuff in winter, but aren't you supposed to slow down to minimize the sweating so you don't freeze?

Thanks.
I dress so I am warm enough, and don't sweat. Which is why I get cold if I stop to long, I have the right amount of clothing on for my hike.
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Re: Who wants credit for this one?

Post by JtheChemE » Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:37 am

12ersRule wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:23 am
I'm not big on the high elevation stuff in winter, but aren't you supposed to slow down to minimize the sweating so you don't freeze?

Thanks.
You are supposed to move as quickly as your day requires, if you are sweating you have too much on.

Start the day out cold, your body is a big heat motor when you are moving. The moment you stop, for however long, throw on your puffy (which is why it should be one of the most accessible piece of kit). The majority of my winter peaks I am moving only in a mid weight wool layer (perhaps two), and will add / remove my shell while moving as needed by wind. Layering shouldn't be an elaborate system that requires frequent pit stops, so I prefer 3/4 or full zippers on any layers to dump heat as necessary. If it's cold enough to require an insulator while moving, I prefer breathable primaloft jackets with high vapor permeability. Don't let your down insulators wet out (even the ones with a hydrophobic coating).

On the subject of heat management, don't hold in your pee. It takes a huge amount of energy to keep water (urine) warm, so keeping the bladder full saps heat from other areas (starting with extremities).
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Re: Who wants credit for this one?

Post by RyGuy » Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:43 am

JtheChemE wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:37 am
12ersRule wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:23 am
I'm not big on the high elevation stuff in winter, but aren't you supposed to slow down to minimize the sweating so you don't freeze?

Thanks.
You are supposed to move as quickly as your day requires, if you are sweating you have too much on.

Start the day out cold, your body is a big heat motor when you are moving. The moment you stop, for however long, throw on your puffy (which is why it should be one of the most accessible piece of kit). The majority of my winter peaks I am moving only in a mid weight wool layer (perhaps two), and will add / remove my shell while moving as needed by wind. Layering shouldn't be an elaborate system that requires frequent pit stops, so I prefer 3/4 or full zippers on any layers to dump heat as necessary. If it's cold enough to require an insulator while moving, I prefer breathable primaloft jackets with high vapor permeability. Don't let your down insulators wet out (even the ones with a hydrophobic coating).

On the subject of heat management, don't hold in your pee. It takes a huge amount of energy to keep water (urine) warm, so keeping the bladder full saps heat from other areas (starting with extremities).
I will second Justin's layering advice. I even usually will change out my top base layer (Wool) at least once on a winter hike because I just sweat a ton in both summer and winter. It's sometimes annoying, but for me is a critical part of managing my heat. I also use my pant zippers to ventilate my lower layers, and often will adjust my gloves/head covering to dump more heat if needed. Conversely, I will just zip up vents to preserve heat as wind picks up or it gets colder. You also ALWAYS want extra layers for emergency use. I carry a full base layer change of clothes, socks, gloves, and balaclava in a waterproof bag case something happens and my base layers get too wet. Wet base layers=major liability.
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Re: Who wants credit for this one?

Post by markf » Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:58 am

12ersRule wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:23 am
I'm not big on the high elevation stuff in winter, but aren't you supposed to slow down to minimize the sweating so you don't freeze?

Thanks.
Slowing down increases the odds that you will be caught out after dark, when you can really get cold, and increases the odds of getting caught out in bad weather. Minimize the sweating by choosing and managing layers, and by venting with armpit zippers and zippers in your pants legs. Moving slowly is very seldom a good idea in the mountains.
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Re: Who wants credit for this one?

Post by polar » Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:59 am

JtheChemE wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:37 am
On the subject of heat management, don't hold in your pee. It takes a huge amount of energy to keep water (urine) warm, so keeping the bladder full saps heat from other areas (starting with extremities).
This is one of those "common sense" advice that sounds good on the surface. I'm an engineer by education. About 15 years ago I was passing on this same advice to a group of friends, and one of them (also an engineer) challenged me to explain it in scientific terms. After thinking about it for a long time, I realized that he's right, this common-sense advice really doesn't make any sense. Pee when you need to. Don't hold it, but also don't pee more often than necessary just so you don't need to "keep your pee warm".
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Re: Who wants credit for this one?

Post by JtheChemE » Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:06 am

polar wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:59 am
JtheChemE wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:37 am
On the subject of heat management, don't hold in your pee. It takes a huge amount of energy to keep water (urine) warm, so keeping the bladder full saps heat from other areas (starting with extremities).
This is one of those "common sense" advice that sounds good on the surface. I'm an engineer by education. About 15 years ago I was passing on this same advice to a group of friends, and one of them (also an engineer) challenged me to explain it in scientific terms. After thinking about it for a long time, I realized that he's right, this common-sense advice really doesn't make any sense. Pee when you need to. Don't hold it, but also don't pee more often than necessary just so you don't need to "keep your pee warm".
I'm an engineer too, it passes all the sniff tests to me. What's the specific heat of water again? I'm not saying pee every two seconds, or plan a day around "urine breaks", but I have been out with people who for some reason will not stop to pee at all. Don't do that.
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Re: Who wants credit for this one?

Post by polar » Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:09 am

JtheChemE wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:06 am
I'm an engineer too, it passes all the sniff tests to me.
So can you explain to me why it makes sense to you? (I assume you're a chemical engineer?)
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Re: Who wants credit for this one?

Post by justiner » Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:13 am

oblig.

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