Trail & Snow Conditions
We hiked Mt. Baden-Powell from Vincent Gap:
- We got started later than expected. Both navigation apps on my phone gave us bad directions. Since SR 2 shows up as ‘closed during the winter,’ they were routing us to Forest Service Road 4N56.
- The trail was apparent and easy to follow. We did see tracks (from when the snow was deeper) where hikers had gone off trail. I’d like to go back when there’s deep snow and re-do the hike with snowshoes and/or crampons. I need to find info on the winter route.
- Most of the trail was covered with snow. With the cool temperatures, the snow hadn’t yet melted and refroze, so microspikes weren’t necessary. It was supposed to hit the 40s later in the day, so I suspect micros could be useful later this week.
- It got extremely cold & windy as we approached the summit. The wind had blown most of the snow off of the summit.
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The cold, windy weather was an excellent opportunity to get out with some of my new gear. Here are some quick notes:
- Black Rock Gear – The Original Down Beanie
- I was curious to see if I’d be able to wear this down beanie while hiking and not sweat excessively. As we approached the summit, the winds picked up and it got very cold. I wore the beanie for about 1.5 hours and found it to very comfortable. Without wind, I’m guessing it’s comfortable hiking temperature range will be <20° F for me.
- After some thought and experimenting on this hike, I think I’ll try carrying the following headwear on my winter hikes: my usual baseball cap, a Long Neck Gaiter (see below) or buff, and The Original Down Beanie.
- Baseball cap – used most of the time, until it’s cold enough that I want to protect my ears from the cold.
- Will carry my long merino neck gaiter or a buff, depending on how cold it is. Will be used headband to protect my ears down to ~ 20° F. Will be used to protect my face if necessary.
- The Original Down Beanie will be worn if the temps are below 20° F, in camp, or while I hang out at the summit.
- Katabatic Gear Helios 55
- Well designed/thought out pack. I will post a ‘first look’ style blog entry later this week.
- Minus33′s Kodiak Expedition Full Zip Hoody
- I continue to be impressed with how warm this hoody is. The temp was around 25° F with very high winds and the summit and I was comfortable.
- Baffin Zone Softshell Boots
- First time out with these boots. I typically winter hike and snowshoe with my regular hiking boots, but with an upcoming move to NH, I will need insulation boots.
- Initial thoughts:
- No break-in period needed, very comfortable.
- Rated for -4°F to 50°F. With mountaineering socks, I wouldn’t wear them if the temperature was warmer that 35° or so.
- Woolx Merino Wool Hat and Long Neck Gaiter
- Since I was testing a different hat, one of my hiking partners testing these out. It was his first experience with merino wool and he was impressed with it’s softness and lack of itchiness.
- You can win your own hat and neck gaiter by entering the HikingGeek Gear Giveaway!
- Darn Tough Mountaineering Sock
- Great socks. Full review coming soon.