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14950Re: [pct-l] Snow Advanced Course - Forester

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  • ned@mountaineducation.org
    May 2, 2011
      Hi, Dan!

      I'm so glad you were there! I hope everyone else understood what I was
      saying, advising, and encouraging them to do on the trail for safe passage.

      I'll keep you posted as we finish up the details regarding the SAC from KM
      to Kearsarge in May.

      Because of the amount of snow up there (which we will see and deal with
      first-hand on the above SAC), even in July there will be elongated approach
      and descents of the major passes to be done safely over snow. With that in
      mind, we encourage hikers to carry and know how to use good boots, traction
      devices like the Kahtoola Microspikes, and an ice axe for the steep snow on
      the passes. As we showed in our video-teaching from Muir Pass last year
      (July), all of the above (including a self-arrest pole) has their time and
      place in your arsenal of techniques you can use to assure your balance and
      safety on snow.

      The conditions up there are not that bad. Sure there will be snow. Just
      learn how to be careful when on it, take your time (slow down and don't
      expect to do more than 1 mile/hour on suncups and soft snow), and try to get
      off it before you start post-holing by mid-afternoon. Snow adds so much
      beauty to the High Sierra landscape that it is something not to miss,
      really! With a little "common sense" about how you place your feet while
      walking on snow, climbing in snow, and descending over snow, your SoBo JMT
      trip in late July will be all the more fun and exciting!

      We all want to have "ideal" conditions for our mountain adventures, but they
      simply can't be realistically expected nor counted on when in the Sierra,
      any time of year. Prepare for the worst, enjoy the best, and rest easy that
      you know how to be aware of your surroundings, when the weather is changing,
      and how to deal with anything that may come your way.

      Should you need an exit point, make sure you have the maps to show you the
      way out. That is one of the problems with strip maps. Of course, Red's,
      Mammoth Pass, VVR, MTR, Bishop Pass and Parcher's Resort, all the
      lesser-used eastern escape routes, Cedar Grove, Kearsarge Pass, Sheppard
      Pass, and on out.

      When it comes to sleeping bag ratings and your own metabolism, only you can
      say whether a 20 degree bag will keep you warm in 20 degrees. A
      manufacturer's "rating" is only a benchmark on the possible performance a
      new bag might deliver. It is more important to your sound sleep how good
      your internal furnace is at keeping you warm, cranking out the heat to put
      into the bag in the first place. We have witnessed countless of our students
      suffer from cold nights more from cold dinners or fatigue than from having
      brought a sleeping bag that they haven't tested for themselves in the
      weather conditions expected (ambient temp., humidity, and wind).

      Personally, I take a bag "rated" to a colder temp than I expect to
      encounter. If I get hot, I sleep under the bag as if it were a quilt or
      blanket. If it gets cold, windy, or snowy, I have what it takes for a good
      night's sleep!

      "Just remember, Be Careful out there!"

      Ned Tibbits, Director
      Mountain Education
      1106A Ski Run Blvd
      South Lake Tahoe, Ca. 96150
      P: 888-996-8333
      F: 530-541-1456
      C: 530-721-1551
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: <dofdear@...>
      To: <ned@...>
      Sent: Saturday, April 30, 2011 7:15 PM
      Subject: Re: [pct-l] Snow Advanced Course - Forester

      Sorry we did not connect today. The wife and I hiked in from Boulder Oaks
      Campgrounds and needed to return by early afternoon. Anyway, still may be
      interested in the SAC. What are the details? Also, need your opinion on
      the following as it will relate to our planned SOBO thru-hike of the JMT
      beginning 3rd week of July and planning a 20 - 22 day hike;

      1. Would you advise ice axe and crampons
      2. What would be the recommended exit points you would consider if things
      turn out beyond our capabilities (VVR, MTR, etc.)
      3. What temperatures should we plan for (would a 32° or 20° bag be best,

      We enjoyed the presentation this morning. You and Ken do a 'stand-up' job,
      both in the pitch as well as the service you provide the community. And I
      like your philosophy, start early because you will run into the snow anyway.
      Just be trained and prepared to deal with it. And I know about frost-bite
      from my failed SOBO of the PCT last season. And that is why I am
      considering your training course.

      And speaking of frost-bite, do you have any insight relative to the
      propensity to get FB and certain medications, particularly beta-blocker?
      I'd like to discuss this as well. Anyway, enjoy the rest of the Zero Days
      festivities and we'll talk soon.

      Dan C. aka Thumper
      (619) 659-5850 Home
      (858) 254-9192 Cell
      ---- dofdear@... wrote:
      > Ned,
      > I may be interested. I'll look up up at the kick-off.
      > Dan C. aka Thumper