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Old 02-21-2018, 03:59 PM   #1
tenderfoot
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Nippletop & Dial Feb 17

Drove up to ADK Loj on Friday evening Feb 16th, enjoyed a pleasant night in a lean to with hammocks hung. Brisk temps in the low teens. Heart Lake a welcome but noisy bed fellow with its ice grumbling.

Up prior to dawn, much to the chagrin of a dog in the next site that woke up to challenge us. Bit of a racket but once we were introduced all was well.

At AMR prior to 7am. Lot filling up. Temp in teens F. The weather was really what I wanted - cold enough so that nothing on trail would be wet. Trails were well packed. So we carried snowshoes but did entire loop in micro-spikes.

Bluejay day for the morning and great views from Nippletop and Dial. Initially trails were well traveled but after maybe 2pm we say no one else.

We took our time - I am a very slow uphill hiker. So finished up the HG Leach trail in the dark with headlamps (expected). Dusk on Noonmark's shoulder with a front moving in was awe inspiring.

Back to Loj for a hot meal and another pleasant night in hammocks under stars.

We have been out late fall and early spring, and a January Day hike but this would be our first high winter peak and I think it went well.

Things we did well:
  • water lasted whole trip, no need to melt.
  • I can't say enough about 'primaloft' as an insulation. It really breathes well.
  • New Motorola Android phone with AlpineQuest app was a treat.
  • Used our EMS packs as day packs and this helped manage the extra stuff one brings along for winter hikes really well.

Things we will do different next time:
  • We had good intentions of packing day packs prior to trip. Doing it at trail head is a bit rushed. Did not leave anything out but wasted some time.
  • Way to obsessed with time. Need more pauses along the way.
  • Should have heeded others advice to boil water to keep a warm water supply on trail. Our cold water was freezing along the way. Drinking ice water in cold weather resulted in some nasty muscle cramps. We had a stove with us but did not wish to slow down. Advil resolved cramps.
  • I started with one to many layers. By the time I shed the extra layer my base layer was a bit damp and had to dry out some. Have to remember to always start out hiking colder than comfortable.
  • We had microspikes, crampons and snowshoes. Need to get longer spikes and ditch the crampons I think.

Thanks to one and all for the advise and tips from this forum.
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Old 02-21-2018, 05:53 PM   #2
gebbyfish
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The Hillsound crampons have a bit more spike to them and are a good halfway point between microspikes and full crampons. Don't beat yourself up too much on the lack of hot water. The heating and then putting them in the nalgenes I think is most likely to keep it from freezing, not with the expectation that you'll have piping hot water at 3 in the afternoon from water you boiled at 5 AM. If you camped out, that would have wasted even more of your time(boiling water) on a camp stove. Maybe some electrolyte supplementation with NUUN tablets the next time out with cramps. If it's your first winter hike, fitness level might have contributed to the cramping as well. Get some Outdoor Research Water bottle parkas and store spare bottles upside down and the one you're currently drinking rightside up. That should cut down on freezing water.
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Old 02-22-2018, 08:18 AM   #3
debmonster
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Welcome to winter camping! Sounds like you had a good trip. I also recommend bringing a good double wall insulated thermos with tea or cocoa. For lunch I'll bring hot soup - provides warmth, hydration and nutrition.
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Old 02-22-2018, 09:10 AM   #4
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Thanks - I forgot to mention that we did have as supply of Gatoraide chews as well as tangerines. I love how tangerines, clementines or oranges taste on trail.

Double walled container is a good idea. I do have one of those. On other hikes we actually make the time to stop and brew up some hot apple cider we carry with us. This trip we knew we'd end up on trail after dark. We do not really have a problem with that, done it before, but felt we were literally burning daylight all afternoon long so kept up a steady pace.

We did part of the Gothics range last year in I think April and really enjoyed full crampons. Did Algonquin in March two years ago and really missed having them. Yes, extra weight on this trip but I felt we had the right gear. Good lesson for daughter - just because we did not use the crampons, extra insulation, food, bivvy, etc does not mean we should not have been carrying it.
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Old 02-23-2018, 12:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenderfoot View Post
Double walled container is a good idea. I do have one of those. On other hikes we actually make the time to stop and brew up some hot apple cider we carry with us. This trip we knew we'd end up on trail after dark. We do not really have a problem with that, done it before, but felt we were literally burning daylight all afternoon long so kept up a steady pace.
I didn't mean to suggest making a hot beverage on the trail. I boil water for tea and soup while I'm preparing breakfast and my insulated containers keep the liquid hot until about 4pm.
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Old 02-26-2018, 07:26 PM   #6
tenderfoot
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No worries. We actually like to pull over and brew up a hot cup of something. Something about this trip had us rushing a bit to much.
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