Cool outing in the White Clouds

Cool outing in the White Clouds

splattski
splattski

February 6th, 2012, 12:41 am #1

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Joined: December 20th, 2007, 3:45 pm

February 6th, 2012, 3:12 am #2

Most excellent! I hope Dave didn't break too much trail with those skis!
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Joined: December 13th, 2010, 3:00 pm

February 6th, 2012, 2:55 pm #3

John, great rip report. Dylan and I tried something like this a few years back but on snowshoes. No peak attempt - just a winter campout on Hell Roaring. Coldest night of my life!
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Joined: December 20th, 2007, 4:22 pm

February 6th, 2012, 4:18 pm #4

Phew! Great stuff. Reading reports like that reminds me why I rarely sleep out in the winter. 'Cause I am a wuss!
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Wes
Wes

February 10th, 2012, 6:05 pm #5

Ahh the joys of winter. Sounds like a good call on the turn around. It aint easy to survive a -20-30 degree night in a -5 bag. Does anyone else believe in all bag temp ratings? Some manufacturers numbers seem overly optimistic.

Care to share any tips for the toboggans? I build my own and use them occasionally but I go for the super light Wal Mart affair. they don't hold to the side hill worth a damn well I can easily strap it to my backpack for the ski out. You're a Denali vet, what do you use?
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splattski
splattski

February 10th, 2012, 7:56 pm #6

I've slept at -5 in my-5 bag, with the hood fully cinched (rating is spot on!). So the predicted -1 didn't worry me. The temp in Stanley worried me.... And the -20 was a tough night, even in all my clothes and boot liners on, and expedition parka over the outside. I could feel the cold coming through my ground pad.

Wes-
You probably already know this stuff, but I will put in here anyway-

For this trip Dave and I were each using a kiddie sled on a rope. I've used them a lot over the years. I got mine from Target or some such for about $10. Mine says "Torpedo" on it, so obviously of top-notch quality. Generally, look for the longest, stiffest sled you can find. Smooth entry into the snow up front helps, too. Then put a shock absorber in the pull rope (an old bicycle inner tube). The shock absorber lets the sled pull more smoothly while you do the herby-jerk of ski touring.
We added reinforced lash points around the edges. I make sort of a fishnet of parachute cord, then add a nylon strap on a buckle. You use the strap to keep things tight- it's too cold to be fussing with knots, so you just cinch up the strap to do your final tightening.

Another tip is to have an adjustable-length rope. In trees, you need a really short tether. But on some trips I've been able to skate with my sled (yes, even with metal-edge skis), and a really long rope keeps the sled from bogging down your lateral movement. Also, on small bumps the rope means you are over the bump before the sled even gets to it- so you are not pulling the sled UP the bump while you are CLIMBING the bump.

As you know, you can put a ton of weight in a sled and not notice it much. For a tow attachment, Dave just hooked a biner to a belt. He skied the whole way with just a small day pack.

Final tip is to keep the load low and only put the heavy stuff in the sled. Dave put his whole pack in, but it tipped a bit. Mine had the tent, cook gear, extra water, snowshoes, etc. I put all my clothes and light stuff in the pack.

On Denali, we used real pulks, with rigid poles, runners, etc. Even those will turn over if it's steep enough. I expect my first aid kit, which fell into a crevasse on such a roll around Windy Corner, will exit the Kahiltna in about 2000 years.
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Joined: June 17th, 2009, 5:29 pm

February 10th, 2012, 9:08 pm #7

Have you guys thawed out yet?
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Joined: December 20th, 2007, 3:45 pm

February 10th, 2012, 9:15 pm #8

Ahh the joys of winter. Sounds like a good call on the turn around. It aint easy to survive a -20-30 degree night in a -5 bag. Does anyone else believe in all bag temp ratings? Some manufacturers numbers seem overly optimistic.

Care to share any tips for the toboggans? I build my own and use them occasionally but I go for the super light Wal Mart affair. they don't hold to the side hill worth a damn well I can easily strap it to my backpack for the ski out. You're a Denali vet, what do you use?
My two cents is that the cheap ones suck nuts. I tried over the years to make them work. They don't. A frozen deer turd will tip them over if they have much more than a sandwich loaded in them.

I have used two different types with success. One is an "Expedition Sled" that used to be sold at R.E.I. It was taller than the cheap ones, wider, with a flat bottom and had NO flex in it. It was long, though!

It's not currently at R.E.I. but here is what it is:
Expedition Sled

The next evolution came with this sled:
Ice Fishing Sled

Here it is packed with everything for a trip to the Tetons. It's not packed well and things are left willy-nilly to give the impression that I was prepared with all the correct gear.



I have made some mods on it. I added gromets down the side to spiderweb the gear in. Also they act as a stronger attatchment point for ridgid poles. There are "fins" made from 1X1 angle aluminum that I can attach to keep it from sliding on moderate sidehills. I also did this for tacking in the wind since at SOME point I will kite-ski with it. It's a good size because I have a 40L and a 60L pack that fits down in it perfectly and you can wear it like a backpack with your touring pack on your front or strapped to the top. I skied out of the bush on Moran that way.

If you are into building a sled a recommended read is this:
http://www.skipulk.com/images/stories/pdfs/pulkbook.pdf

Lot's of good ideas. But if you really want to haul on a sled, then you'll need to borrow one of Heath's sleds:



How's the skiing over there, by the way?
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splattskl
splattskl

February 10th, 2012, 10:13 pm #9

or you can do a true pig... example at about :40 in this (awesome) video:

http://vimeo.com/18894744
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Bob
Bob

February 12th, 2012, 11:41 am #10

Cool video and very familiar terrain, eh?
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