Run-Up To The Bad Boy

It's only two days until some of us head out to the Bad Boy Extravaganza, so this post may serve as a place for any last-minute thoughts. We started tacking comments on the last post so if there's anything left to add we can add it here. For example, I don't have directions to the place Roland rented... or a phone #. I also don't remember who's going when. Hopefully we can fill in the blanks:

  • Address & Directions: 35 Adams RoadJackson, NHSki House #35
  • Heading out on Thursday: tMail, Roland (& Company) & Spungie
  • Heading out on Friday: everybody else

The snow today could be between 16 and 20 inches on the summit by thursday morning. The Friday trek to Galehead should be nice and snowshoey - packing that trail in could take quite a bit of energy. Good luck to you all.


Cold Days

tMail and The PM spent Saturday in the Blue Hills testing viper venom and scorpion juice over rice. I banged around Jay Peak w/ my brother and did a little xc action while the cold descended. No other field agents have reported back so we suspect a conspiracy is afoot.

Tonight we're to hit -20F again (or thereabouts) and then it's the long, slow, slog to The Bad Boy 2009. I still have no feeling in the back of my right hand. It's pretty weird. It's a naturally insensitive part of the body, but it feel like dead skin. If we're ever attacked by mosquitos, I'll distract them with my hand while everyone else quickly dons gloves.

I'm going to keep tabs on the USFS avi bulletin over the couse of the week. Things are slowly stabilizing and with the warming temps over the next five days I'm hoping that we can consider a Hillman's ascent. (Hillman's Photo at right was taken on 1/19, courtesy of Tuckerman.Org. In the meantime, here's a lovely thought from today's report:

Bitter air is still creating challenging conditions on Mt. Washington. A fair amount of people were Summit bound yesterday as temperatures plummeted to -22 F (-30 C) and winds gusted over 100 mph (161 kph). I'm not sure how everyone made out but seeing as my pager didn't go off last night, I commend everyone for their ability to deal.


The Next Big Day Out

Well, it seems like the next adventure will be the Bad Boy event in 8 days. I think tMail is heading out Thursday, I'm heading up Friday evening but I don't remember anyone else's schedule. As far as this weekend is concerned, a cold air mass is descending on the region and everyone is going to be seeking their own adventure.

Some odds and ends of thrifty gear stuff:

- tMail gave me and MadDog some cast-off biking tops. I took them all (sorry MadDog, will redistribute some time in the future). One bright yellow cold-weather cycling top seemed a good candidate for xc skiing. Even though those jackets aren't cut for arm motion, they are roomy enough so there was no tugging. I wore it with my thinnest base layer in 10deg temps and it performed like a champ.

- At TJMaxx with the wife, killing time while she looked for something, I was browsing through the aisles and found a "Layer8" brand top (thin windstopper material with thin loft on the inside). It was pretty dang good in one test of xc skiing. $11.

- Also at TJMaxx: a very thin marino wool sweater - about twice the weight of my base-layer Ibex which you can read through. It's a dress sweater that I bought for work, but I may go back and pick up another for hiking, in spite of the v-neck.... nothing a good balaclava couldn't handle. Also, it was $70 less than my Ibex (which cost $80).

More later ...


Passaconaway & Whiteface: Peggy O'Brien's Story

There's something about spending seven hours with in a small group in these circumstances that leads to a kind of peculiar conversation style. It's hard to put into words but since most (if not all) readers of this blog are part of that very group I think it's okay to not try to describe it. That said, I guess we should let the trip reports speak for themselves:

Mad Dog's Trip Report: Thanks for the participation, boys. A nice time out, and a nice workout. I need more of them. Some things that me chuckle, grimace, and sneer:

Chuckles occur constantly like when:
- We rediscovered of Peggy O'Brien. A bit of Irish lore, Italian love, and Jewish lunch food. What a combination for the trail. You just had to be there.
- I called Tmail and Mutha at 9pm the night before (while Tmail's in bed with his teddy goat and Mutha's wining and dining) that nearly all my stuff was stuck in the trunk of my Prius, and not accessible so I might have to bail.
- The rapid call-up of gear resources by Mutha and Tmail, due to the above situation. I think the technique being applied was something like, "just throw the shit in a bag for him".
- Being able to make it to the rendezvous exit on the first pass. Amazing!

Sneering is what occurs when you:
- Confront people like Hiker #3.

Grimace is what happens when:
- You eat Ashland pizza, I did it but it was painful, really painful.
- Mutha eats Ashland pizza with a 7 pepper sauce.
- When you stop for 5-6 minutes, anywhere in the Sandwich range on cold day. The hands just go in a flash.
Mutha's Trip Report (link to picture gallery): This part of the Sandwich Range is kind of uninteresting in that it lacks the ruggedness of the Presidentials and the drama of Franconia Ridge. It is, however, not without its serene beauty. It's also a really great place to spend seven hours with tMail & MadDog in extremely cold weather. Some specific notes:
  • There was no wind on the mountain, just the cold. Temperature regulation was a challenge as we slogged up and down but I discovered something specific about neck-warmers (or balaclavas with an integrated neck warmer). I need those exposed arteries in my neck to radiate heat. I had to repeatedly remove my neck-warmer to cool down my core temperature, and re-apply it when I began to chill. I think I'll make one with velcro fasteners rather than the over-the-head 'tube' style.
  • When MadDog reported (the night before) that all his gear was locked in his car, tMail and I scrambled to round up gear and found we had enough to outfit two more guys with no stuff.
  • Never eat at the Ashland House of Pizza - even if you think it's a good idea for a simple slice of pizza. The pizza sucks. The hot-sauce is fantastic but the owner doesn't sell it. One of the desserts looks like a dead jungle bug and the waitress can't pronounce it. It's Kataife (ka-ta-EE-fee) but just say it, don't order it.
  • For some reason, this trip was really funny. It was like a comedy show punctuated by dripping snot and sweating.
  • To hiker #3: maybe your orange snowshoes didn't work because you're a retard.
  • Peggy O'Brien: a singable sandwich, and edible song, a sentimental journey down memory lane, a memory of an edible sandwich... I guess all of the above. The Lyrics:
    On the fourth of July nineteen eighty six

    We set sail from the sweet Rhode Island
    We were sailing away with a cargo of bricks
    For the grand farms and slums of Long Island.
    She was a wonderful sandwich,
    Or maybe a girl which

    Just set poor MadDog a-cryin'.
    She withstood several bites (she had chiggers and mites)
    And they called her the Peggy O'Brien
  • I know that song made no sense, so here's the sandwich. You can make it any way you want, but it has to have the following characteristics all rolled into one sandwich: sweet, wet/drippy, vinegar, tart, fishy, fatty (just enough to go down smoothly):
    Two sliced of whole-grain bread.
    - spread on one slice: cranberry/walnut relish

    - spread on the other slice: hot mango relish
    - lay pickled peppers on the mango relish
    - the rest of sandwich: smoked mackeral, whitefish, trout or whatever smoked fish you want. add any other stuff, like capers, lemon juice, tomato slice, avocado, thin-sliced onion, etc.
tMail's Trip Report (link to picture gallery): My trip report starts on Friday night. I am fully packed, laying on the couch with some tea and watching Peggy O'brien does Federal Hill and the phone rings...thus starts the report:

1. "Tmail, its MadDog...we got problems in Doggland"
2. "What MadDog"..."The Prius ate my backpack and everything in it...I can't get trunk open...can you gather an entire winter pack for me...O Tmail take a sleeping bag as well"
2a. Sleeping bag = Sherpa Tmail
3. Contigency plan was working to perfection...then ring ring..."Tmail I got the trunk open...through smashing, pulling, smashing..see you tomorrow"
4. Both cars parked back to back while running create a environmentalists dream.
5. Whoever Dicey is can go to hell with Tom Wiggins.
6. On the ascent up I heard that Mutha built a program that can tell you how much cheese there is, where it is shipped, what inventory is, who eats it, what cows utter it comes from...Steve Jobs the world will be ok without you...
7. It took about 10 minutes for all of us to lose all ability to produce heat on Passaconaway...
8. The stories picked up on the way to Whiteface (Asians, the lore of Peggy O'brien part mountain spirit part i don't know what, stairmasters, shaving legs, Peggy O'brien sandwich, Peggy O'brien love song, bunk beds in college)
9. To hiker #3...you are "The man" nobody deserves the summits like you...hope you froze to death last night.
10. MD was talking about UFOs while walking back to the car.
11. Ashland Pizza and Jimmy the Greek...well worth it.
12. 7 kinds of peppers and drink vinegar for acid reflex. Medical advice for the new healthcare administration to digest.
13. The Bonnie and Clyde episode at Dunkin Donuts...
14. Excellent day boys MD congrats on #43 and #44...looking forward to the final assualts...thanks for the laughs!


Working Up A Steamer For 1/17 or 1/18

So, in an effort to keep MadDog on target for the original project plan date of delivery of all 48, we'll drag his ass out regardless of what he wants. This is all about us. My ski date fell through so I'm available on either Saturday or Sunday.

The weather looks pretty challenging for Saturday (temps in Danville are supposed to hover around -15°F for Wed/Thu/Fri night, warming to -5°F by Saturday night). Sunday is looking quite balmy at a daytime high of 15°F.

While we're waiting for Mad Dog to work through his scheduling issues, we can toss out some ideas for both MadDog 48-ers and also some Plan B treks.

MadDog Scenario:
- Pass/Whiteface

Non-MadDog Scenario:
- Lincoln's Backbone (descend via OBP)

[Update 1/16] It's Decided! Passaconaway & Whiteface! That's quite a challenge for the mileage in the bitter cold conditions. Bring plenty of food boys, that furnace'll need stoking. Logistics to be determined.


The Moose: Trip Reports

It was an excellent day for the weather and the company - one of the largest assemblies in quite some time, with tMail, g-$, the Puppet Master, MadDog, NateG and myself. Blue skies and low wind warmed us in the bitter cold and helped with the slog up the Ravine road to the lodge.

Trip reports and links to photo galleries will be posted as they arrive (either in the comments or in an email to me).

The Puppet Master's Trip Report (Pics Here):
  • Great day out! I think the pictures say most of what needs to be said...
    (See Picasa Pics from the PM)
  • Mad Dog, Congrats on #43 and thanks for the gifts - including the hot chocolate on the trail! Next hike, we bring you a shaving kit!
  • TMail (aka Elton), Hope you enjoyed the pack... I can be bought if you can't find one online!
  • NateG, It's about time you dusted yourself off and got some exercise!
  • G$, Hope the bloop emergency was nothing serious. Dr Amy says "if it's red in the bowl then don't panic, if the poo is very dark and tarry then be concerned."
  • MuthaZ, Whiskey... need I say more?!
Mad Dog's Trip Report: The good, the not-so good, and the bad.

The Good:
  • NateG's appearance and company. We need more of that.
  • Planning and execution of the ascent by Project Management Office
  • Hitting 42
  • Seeing all the boys on the trail
  • Poles from the TSHS (tmail's second hand shop). G-$$$ I think this guy is your most serious competition.
  • The clear dark blue sky reminded me of WY.
  • The views.
The Not-so Good:
  • My gloves really bite it. I need to work on a better solution.
  • My feet produced a lot of moisture that of course was trapped in the boot. As long as there was movement, it was fine. Just don't stop for too long.
  • We never saw a drop of perspiration on Tmail. Research is now underway in the Italian provencial archives for any links of his clan to nomads and their transports -> camels.
The Bad:
  • Truth on the Inbound travel to the rendezvous point - Mutha and I did not make the much anticipated visit to "the" village in Montreal. But at the outset - even after clear direction from Mutha, about not discussing bhuddism during the drive and eyes being peeled for Lincoln exit signs, yep...we managed to drive right past the exit. Apparently my leading the conversation on eastern decor and calming environments was too close to bhuddism. What was priceless was Mutha's expression when we discovered our error, and then the project manager's response from on our status report "You're serious?"
  • Truth on the Outbound travel from the rendezvous point - uh, you wanna guess? Yep, we missed the on-ramp, drove right by it. I asbolutely love it, without even trying - it's just a barrel of fun. Even if I am laughing at myself...life is too short not to.
Mutha's Trip Report (Pics Here): I'm writing this after reading the PM's and MD's reports, so I'll just add to what they said rather than repeat how today was the most excellent day for so many reasons:
  • The contrast between the blue sky and white snow was too stark to capture on digital cameras. The pics that we all posted are so dim compared to being out there in person - but that's always the case on these bright blue days.
  • The snow was beautifully textured - perfect for snowshoeing: soft, yielding, grippy and cold.
  • It was great seeing NateG on the trail again. One of the most noteworthy characteristics of this group is the interpersonal dynamics. There is an absolutely smooth fluidity that allows any and all to move in any groups and sub-groups. I'm amazed at the camaraderie.
  • I'm okay with never going to Dunkin' Donuts again. The place sucks pretty bad.
  • Just beautiful.

g-$$$'s Trip Report: Things I learned today....
  • How to climb mountains without sweating or hydrating...just do as tmail does
  • I always thought Rainbow Bob was the only guy who could pull off climbing a peak with a camera bigger than his backpack, but NateG's got game.
  • Hot chocolate always tastes better when you aren't the one carrying the thermos to the summit
  • Santa, although you didn't give me everything I wanted for Xmas, the Jan 10th delivery was a nice surprise...now I've been a good boy so can I am hereby adding Microspikes to my want list.
  • Don't tell your wife or Sig Other that today's not going to be a big day out when you know MD and MZ are carpooling together
  • Corollary to the above, under no circumstances allow MD and MZ to take point when traveling by car.
  • If 8 people are on the trail ahead of you and they are all wearing snowshoes and you have them on your pack...you might want to put them on....courtesy of the almost to the summit duo from Boston
  • Infected blisters suck.
  • Another awesome day in the mountains...You guys rock!!! Until the Bad Boy or #43 whichever comes first!
tMail's Trip Report (Pics Here):
  1. How this group refuses to put on boots in the cold...DD served nicely this time.
  2. MD you need to visit the Art of Shaving store...and invest in a pre shaving oil. First shave with the grain then shave against. This will give you a baby smooth finish and keep it TIGHT.
  3. To the Boston dynamic duo you both remain a mystery to me maybe they were following one of us...if anyone I bet it was Mutha they were tracking.
  4. NateG...One outfit, one small pack, one will to survive...a Project Managers Dream
  5. MD lose the gloves join the Mittens Only Club...REI is having 50% off check them out online.
  6. The PM Rental Shop no hassles with delivery or customer service highly recommended.
  7. G$$$ Gannett Gannett Gannett!!!
  8. MD thanks for the trail treats I stole PMs bag of expresso beans and ate them then proceeded to eat mine...my HR was higher than the turkey that got plowed by the Green Mountain Durango...
  9. MD when are you next available for 43?
  10. Thanks for an awesome day great company and I look forward to the next adventure!!!


And For Our Next Act

Well, Spungie Day was an amazing success and an excellent bit of adventure. There's a natural period of calm as we recover from being assaulted by the demons at the back of the Northwest Wind, sent by the Mountain Spirits to test our resolve. But that calm will turn to thirst as our next adventure swirls in the future, barely visible like backwash in a class of clear spring water.

While I'm always impressed by the big days out, we might be due for something a little different - what, I can't say for sure. But winter adventure doesn't have to be complicated. If anyone is available next weekend start posting ideas in the comments section this week.

[Update 1/8/09, 7am] It's Decided: THE MOOSE. Exact time, mtg place and route to be determined. Temperatures should be frigid to start w/ low visibility on the summit. In the interest of a personal lifetime goal of hiking all the trails in the WMNF, I propose hitting Gorge Brook Trail at some point. Another interesting challenge might be to ascend via the Beaver Brook Trail - a great, steep challenge in winter and opportunity for high adventure.

[Update 1/9/09, 6:30pm] Dangerous conditions, steep trails, exposure, bitter cold, acid-spitting snakes, tiger pits with hungry velociraptors, lava, bullets flying, barbed-wire and tornadoes. Bring your A-game.

[Update 1/9/09, 8:15pm] Some Stats:
From Rte 112 (Kinsman Notch) to Moosilauke Summit via Beaver Brook Trail:
3100ft ascent, 3.4 miles

Return via Gorge Brooke Trail
2450ft descent, 3.7 miles


Spungie Day II: Trip Reports & Photo Galleries

I'll post the trip reports as they come in. Wow, what a great day. Not sure of the temps or wind speed. The PM's air-hotness-measurer registered -5°F at Greenleaf. There was much speculation about wind speed: 100? 50? 60 with gusts up to 90? The pic at right was captured this morning, but starts on the left at 7:15am yesterday. Regardless of the actual temps/wind, this much was sure: walking varied from manageable to impossible.

The PuppetMaster's Trip Report (Link To His Pics):
  • Great day out. Impressive resolve and determination from everyone - that was not a walk in the park!
  • Thanks to Spungie for hauling us North in the Bus and making the day what it is - SPUNGIE DAY! Never seen a more controlled bottle pee in my life!
  • Thanks to Keith for the delicious beer, the call for "real" pee stops and the "customer call" (Mutha will have fun with that last one!)
  • Thanks to Mutha for showing me his new N/S finder, agreeing that a beard is a good balaclava as they make, and leading us across that cursed path of death.
  • Thanks to TMail for the sweet goods and not taking a picture when I was creating my own version of the prop used in "Two Girls and a Bowl." [Note from Mutha: that's "Two Girls, One Cup"]
  • Thanks to Rainbow Bob for his calming nature and steady persona - does anything shake this guy?! Kathadin in Feb (hmmm?!)
  • Thanks to G$ for making the N to S call early, that surely saved us some serious pain!!! And thanks for the G$ war whoop - what's a day out without at least one?!
  • And finally, thanks to the Mountain Gods for allowing us a safe passage to weather their fearsome blows!
PICS POSTED - http://picasaweb.google.com/puppetmaster64/SpungieDay2009#
tMail's Trip Report (Link To His Pics):
1. What a difference 15-20 minutes can make on a summit
2. Great job by all on the hike, regarding battle gear, pace, communication.
3. The antics in the Spungie Bus were great I will leave it at that
4. Cat crap works wonders on the goggles (not actual Cat Crap)
5. Moisture management continues to be the mantra
6. Mountain Rescue came through yet again.
7. Cell phones work on OBP just before tree line
8. Going down falling water is so much better
9. Seeing 5 other people in front of me getting blown over was AWESOME
10. Looking forward to Spungie Day III and Bad Boy in coming weeks.
Mutha's Trip Report (Link To His Pics, Link To Short Video):
  • I'm learning to walk again.
  • g-$$$ - lot's less goggle freezing w/ the wind at our backs. Good call.
  • Watching the snow and ice and clouds rocket over the ridge - amazing
  • Watching six other hikers freeze, held in place by the wind
  • Dropping to all fours to get through the next gnarly 10ft of windage
  • Is Keith really on his cell phone? WTF?
  • Nobody got hurt, Everybody worked hard, No regrets on gear
Rainbow Bob's Trip Report (Link To His Pics):
  • G-$$$ great call on the reverse route
  • downhill with the winds on our backs was the way to go.
  • PM the pictures are intense.
  • Great job by all
g-$$$'s Trip Report:
1) The only things sure in life are
-My googles fogging up

2) I still can't believe how a teeny-weeny blister can cripple a grown man

3) My sole mission for each adventure is to provide one satisfactory war whoop for the group...you can call me a smart(ing) ass this morning

4) carbon fiber is light material for hiking poles but doesn't take being stepped on with snowshoes very well (at least BD sells replacements shafts for only $14)

5) I got some incredibly great hiking buddies that know how to take care of each other (and me)...to that end, Mad Dog, you were missed!

Anxiously awaiting SPUNGIE DAY 2010!!!!
tMail's Trip Report (Pics Here):
  1. How this group refuses to put on boots in the cold...DD served nicely this time.
  2. MD you need to visit the Art of Shaving store...and invest in a pre shaving oil. First shave with the grain then shave against. This will give you a baby smooth finish and keep it TIGHT.
  3. To the Boston dynamic duo you both remain a mystery to me maybe they were following one of us...if anyone I bet it was Mutha they were tracking.
  4. NateG...One outfit, one small pack, one will to survive...a Project Managers Dream
  5. MD lose the gloves join the Mittens Only Club...REI is having 50% off check them out online.
  6. The PM Rental Shop no hassles with delivery or customer service highly recommended.
  7. G$$$ Gannett Gannett Gannett!!!
  8. MD thanks for the trail treats I stole PMs bag of expresso beans and ate them then proceeded to eat mine...my HR was higher than the turkey that got plowed by the Green Mountain Durango...
  9. MD when are you next available for 43?
  10. Thanks for an awesome day great company and I look forward to the next adventure!!!


Spungie Day II (2nd Annual): Logistics

Any planning ideas/decisions can go in the comments - I'll move them to this main article. I believe tMail had established the basics:

- Massholes to meet at 6:30am at [location]
- All hikers to meet in the parking area on the east side of Rte 93 in Franconia Notch at the trailhead for the Bridal Path/Falling Waters. Meet at 8:15 - 8:30am.
- The Route is the same as last year: Slog down the rec trail to Liberty Springs Trail, hit Franconia Ridge heading north. Return via the OBP.

Weather: There is currently a wind-chill 'advisory' in effect which upgrades to a 'warning' by tomorrow morning:

In the clouds w/ a slight chance of snow showers. Wind chills remaining 45-55 below. Highs: struggle to around 5 below°F Wind: NW 60-80 mph increasing to 85-105 mph w/ higher gusts.

Speaking for myself and tMail, this seems like a good, challenging hike.

[Update 1/2/09, 7pm] The route has been reversed: up the OBP, south on the ridge to either Falling Waters or Liberty Springs, depending on conditions. Meeting time at the trailhead is 8:15-8:30, boys from Mass to probably be in two cars.

[Update 1/3/09, 5:15am] unlike thursday, the weather will be getting worse over the course of the day:
Highs: around 0 falling through the day to around 10 below°F
Wind: NW 60-80 mph increasing to 85-105 mph w/ higher gusts

the wind chill advisory becomes a warning at noon.


Mt. Pierce & Halfway To Eisenhower

Well, that was certainly an adventure. Where to begin though? First of all, it was cold. A guy coming down had a coldness-measurer and it was down to -20°F. Second of all, it was windy - really windy. See pic at right for today's Mt. Washington Observatory Conditions. It was an outstanding adventure for learning and testing conditions and gear - but MAN was it cold. The NWS had posted a wind-chill 'warning' (not just the usual 'advisory'). The MWO had published wind-chill warnings along with the admonition to hike with a buddy and check each-other for exposed skin. You know we did. It cut like a knife. We're guessing the wind-chill probably got close to -60°F (based on the MWO chart)

Mutha's Trip Report:

This was the coldest I'd ever experienced. This was some serious cold. Here are some factoids about how cold it was today:
  • I dressed entirely in the car, including putting on crampons. The wind was howling at the parking area.
  • After ascending about 60% to Pierce, I did the remainder of the ascent wearing a base layer, a poly top, a fleece top (that's right! fleece!) and my winter gortex shell.
  • Just before we left treeline we did the standard change of tops. I stripped to the tMail's Frozen Lashes
    waist to bare skin and had my smartwool base layer on in under 30 seconds. In that time I completely lost feeling in all my fingers and lost the ability to manage any objects. I thrust my hands in my mittens but didn't have enough on top to handle the cold, so had to take the hands out, put on some more layers and put the hands back in and windmill them, finally returning to the last layers, face mask, etc. My fingers came back on the summit of Pierce in the most painful experience of my hiking career. I actually said "aaaahhhhhh" from the pain. tMail got hit with the pain later and, as I recall, said the same thing.
  • Between Pierce and Eisenhower I changed into a balaclava w/ integrated face mask, additional face mask and additional fleece hat. The reason for the double face mask was that the wind was forcing through the holes in the first mask and burning my lips and nose.
  • The cold was punishing. It also forced under my goggles and burned my skin.
  • We turned back halfway to Eisenhower due to frozen goggles (we burned through four pairs). But also because my eyes were so incredibly cold. Yeh, it was too cold under the goggles. I got brain-freeze and cold eyes.
  • We did the descent - all the way to the car - in full battle gear. Yes, you're not hallucinating. We kept on our balaclavas and face masks, full mitts w/ chem heaters and gortex shells, and no we did not roast. About 20min before the car I took off the face protection but kept on my hat, and kept my hood on and shell zipped high. I almost regretted it. It was so freaking cold.
  • At the car, I pulled out a gatorade that I'd tucked in a gear bag on the front seat. I wasn't frozen at all - no ice. I couldn't open it, so tMail wrenched the top off and when I put it to my lips it was full of slush - a 60sec slushy - like he had the Midas Touch.
We also learned a lot of lessons about the ultra-cold hiking experience:
  • Bring three of everything. We both had plenty of gear and we needed it all. I had windstopper gloves inside insulated O/R Cornice mitts with TWO chem heaters in each and never went lighter - even on the way down to the car.
  • Drop chem heaters in your mitts - several in each mitt. You'll need spares as you go - to give to a buddy or to put somewhere else. When you stop to put ANY in your mitts, put in 2 or 3 in each mitt so they're hot and ready. There may not be enough oxygen in other places but your mitts should be fine.
  • Oh yeh, put a chem heater in the top of your nalgene - even if you put the nalgene in upside-down. Put it on the lid so you can get the fucking thing open and actually drink from it.
  • At those temps, get in-boot toe-style chem heaters. We both had liners and our heaviest expedition wool socks and got numb toes for a while.
  • More later ... Oh yeh, pics are posted HERE.
tMail's Trip Report:
Holy Shit:

I have never experienced bone crushing cold like that in my life...my fingers and feet (I think the crampons contributed to this taking the heat away from the feet) were gone most of the day...they would come and go. My right index finger still has pins and needles down to 2nd knuckle. I have never seen double hats, double face masks, fleece on the way up...it was historic

Definition of Cold:
a. Having a low temperature.
b. Having a temperature lower than normal body temperature.
c. Feeling no warmth; uncomfortably chilled.
a. Marked by deficient heat: a cold room.
b. Being at a temperature that is less than what is required:
3. Having no appeal to the senses or feelings:

Some of the experiences / conversations:

1. The envelopes for the parking fee are frozen (mutha) Fuck'em (tmail)
2. I am getting ready in the car (mutual)
3. 10 minutes later...I am putting my crampons on in the car as well (Mutha)
4. There is no wind we better drink and eat (tmail)
5. ascending up to Pierce "i need to put on another layer" mutha
6. Changing before Pierce "non of my clothes are wet" (tmail) "me neither" (mutha)
7. On Pierce the both of us started to rapidly detoriate...more on that later
8. We both learned a valuable lesson from MD don't scrap your goggles with the bottom of your poles, junk them instead.
9. After Pierce conversation was I can't see, let my try your goggles, lets turn around...that was it for convo

Observations lessons learned:

1. From the top of Pierce to the bottom of Pierce I lost my first set of goggles...mutha had bone crushing pain in his hands which i experience...it was pain and you just want to fall on your knees and f'n scream.
2. I walked with my head straight up in the air and my eyes looking down for 25-30 minutes as the second pair of goggles went to hell.
3. I realized in those temperatures and much colder how someone at serious altitude could walk by someone and leave them for dead.
4. What to do when shit hits the fan build a snow cave? drag the person? stay with the person? WOW major decisions.
5. Its amazing the weather up there...everything becomes a major hastle from getting water to adjusting masks, hats, mittens etc etc...
6. Moisture management was imperative.
7. All parts of me were cold...except my elbows.
8. It was more Artic than cold.
9. What a way to start 2009.