/ Keeping dry on long winter walk-ins

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SARS on 02 Nov 2012
Last year I changed base layers at the bottom of the winter climbs so that I was dry for the climbing. Any other tips for keeping dry on walk-ins, ie wicking away the sweat that builds up?
IainRUK - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to SARS: I used to just swap tops too..
Milesy - on 02 Nov 2012
Leave earlier and take your time on the walk on. No point getting to foot (which everyone has done) sweating like a prossie on overtime, and knackered.
shantaram - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to SARS: Keep well vented, and change your base layer top before you start climbing (sometimes not possible in fierce Scottish conditions). I invested in a pair of merino icebreaker boxers last year and what a difference. The most expensive undies I've ever bought but I'd highly recommend them. It's surprising how cold, wet cotton undies all day make you feel.
SARS on 02 Nov 2012
Good tips all, thanks, but it seems there's nothing else to do other than what I do already.

Wee Davie - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to SARS:

I always marvel at those who start the walk-in wearing a full shell outfit. Crazy. I'd melt in the first 500m wearing that. I walk-in wearing a wicking top and a windproof and feel toasty all the way. It's only when I have to stop to gear up that the cold hits.

My only tip would be to go at an appropriate pace. If you're at a busy crag you might be paranoid that every other team is going for your route. If you let that paranoia get the better of you, you can get sucked into a 'race' mentality that will only leave you tired and sweaty. The funny thing about the honey pot crags is that there are usually great routes in the coire- they might not be 3* but they will still be good.
nufkin - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to SARS:

Taking a change of tops and not walking too quickly is pretty much what Will Gadd recommends in his book. For popular areas you just have to leave (even) earlier.
Mind you, I expect he wasn't reconning with Scottish weather - if it's raining on the walk-in I don't think there's really any way to avoid getting wet one way or the other.
Fly Fifer - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to SARS: I'd echo Davies sentiments. There are those who are naturally hill fit who move quickly but don't get sucked in to that. Move at a pace which ensures you are comfy and wear a base layer and a windproof, if you run hot this set up will be more than adequite. Have plan B and Plan C as there are often routes which are great but not frequented by the majority. And yes, i to normally change my base layer before the climb in most situations.If, like me, you run hot on walk ins there is no easy solution.
Milesy - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to Wee Davie:

Be bold; start cold.
Fultonius - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to SARS: What do you actually wear?

I'm rarely in more than a base layer. If you're not shivering when you leave the car, and taking about 30 minutes to warm up, then you're wearing too much. Man up, wear less.
Simon Wells - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to SARS:

Base layer, merino, windproof, pertex, if feeling flash Rab vapour rise stretch top.

This year I'll mainly be wearing a R1 hoody and pertex for the walk in, a lovely casual combination that can be mixed and matched with other items from your wardrobe to suit formal or informal occasions.
Charlie wp Hill - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to SARS: I used to swap tops but in the last couple of winters I've had a lot of success with Merino wool, wearing a lightweight (150), short-sleeve T-shirt to walk in - in dry, non-windy weather this is all I wear on top and walk fairly quick to keep warm - then put a Icebreaker Tech Top on top of the T-shirt (plus waterproof, and fleece if it's particularly cold) when I get to the gearing up point/too cold for comfort. Dampness hasn't caused me any discomfort when doing this. Merino wool is great! I can't reccommend it highly enough.
jonnie3430 - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to SARS:

In normal weather, longjohns and baselayer for the walkin, if it's snowing then salopettes and windproof top go on and I go slower. When I layer up as I rack up I go the whole hog and put the belay jacket on too. This means I am warm even with a slightly damp back and it dries out quickly.
Pids - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to SARS:
I go against convention, wear all of my clothes in the walk in, go fast in the walk in ( and early) to beat the crowds, gear up and stick a hat on to keep warm, then climb all day like that with hat on under my helmet

All my clothes are somewhat minimal to what others wear but it works for me, only emergency clothing is perhaps a goretex if it has not been worn on the walk in ( if it is dry and not blowing a hoolie )

Belay jackets just equal faff and time wasting
Camm - on 03 Nov 2012
In reply to SARS:
I generally start off with just a base layer and even in winter sometimes that's too much, but I find the helly hansen base layers are good at wicking sweat to the surface where it beads and evapuates. Quite amazing after a long run and the top is still reasonably dry bar a load of beaded sweat. Though if I recall correctly this only happens with my merio hellys.

Like others have said you need to start off COLD, you soon warm up, this is basic stuff you learn in scouts ;)
Alex Slipchuk on 03 Nov 2012
In reply to SARS: think mammalian! Only mugs allow themselves to sweat, think of all that moisture you've got to replace by carrying extra water and not forgetting carring a spare top in and a damp one out. Get fit, go light (but safe) and pace yourself. Try not to be the smart arse who races in, dripping with sweat only to expose bare skin to the elements whilst waiting for others who cruise in.
In reply to The Big Man:
> Only mugs allow themselves to sweat,

Sorry, but this is just bollocks. Maybe it's true for your metabolism, but there are plenty of us for who it isn't. If I walk up hill, I sweat. It can be -20 and I'll still sweat. You just need to learn to manage it. Saying "don't sweat" is like saying "only mugs allow themselves to have brown hair"; in fact it's sillier because you can dye your hair another colour if you really want.
dek - on 03 Nov 2012
In reply to The Big Man:
Racing "in" usually means 'uphill'...I've sometimes wondered how fans of Buffalo and other heavy pile/pertex, manage without melting,on the winter approach? Fans seem really dedicated?!
Robert Durran - on 03 Nov 2012
In reply to dek:
> (In reply to The Big Man)
> I've sometimes wondered how fans of Buffalo and other heavy pile/pertex, manage without melting,on the winter approach?

By taking it off?
dek - on 03 Nov 2012
In reply to Robert Durran:
Doh!.....
Mostly I see folk walk in from the car wearing them,it does look rather bulky for an already busy winter sac?!
( I'm trying to convince myself I should get one!)
SARS on 03 Nov 2012
In reply to TobyA:

Agree somewhat with your sentiments. It's not as if I'm running on the walk-ins and I still sweat regardless. And I so quite.a bit of cardio so I don't think it's my fitness either.

To summarize, the main advice seems to be what I do already, change base layers at the bottom of the crag. It definitely works - but not always pleasant in Scottish weather.
In reply to dek: Used to take my Buffalo off normally for walk'ins, at least for the steep early bits, but if you undo all the zips a lot of air can get in!
SFM - on 03 Nov 2012
In reply to SARS:

I've found that just wearing a Vapour Rise means that you're pretty much dry when you reach the bottom of the route. Still find the changing into a base layer for the day a bit bracing. If it' not too windy then an R1 fleece next to skin does the same job.
Heike - on 04 Nov 2012
In reply to SARS:
Might not be pleasant, but the changing only lasts 3 minutes and the nice feeling after lasts for ages. So, it must be worthwhile to overcome your inner schweinehund.
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Flashy - on 04 Nov 2012
In reply to Fultonius:
> (In reply to SARS) What do you actually wear?
>
> I'm rarely in more than a base layer. If you're not shivering when you leave the car, and taking about 30 minutes to warm up, then you're wearing too much. Man up, wear less.

I usually take this approach, but it has backfired when changing tops and putting on waterproofs has taken 45 minutes because we're so frozen (even after walking in at our fastest pace!)

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