/ Interesting gear blog post

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
Taurig - on 24 Dec 2012
I've finished all my Christmas wrapping and am now bumming around on the internet. Saw this blog post on the ice climbing Japan site, and thought a few of the ideas might spark some discussion.

http://iceclimbingjapan.com/2012/12/23/climbing-mythology/

There's a few thoughts on there that I think go against the conventional wisdom of most UKCers. What do you think?
highclimber - on 24 Dec 2012
In reply to Taurig: There's nothing on that particular page that stands out as 'controversial', though anything is possible on UKC.
AdrianC - on 24 Dec 2012
In reply to Taurig: Other than the "no hood" idea (wonder if the writer has been to Scotland) there are some good ideas there but nothing too radical.
Dave 88 - on 24 Dec 2012
In reply to Taurig:

I'm pretty sure that's Ice Solo's blog.
KellyKettle - on 24 Dec 2012
In reply to AdrianC: His assumption that we're all wearing closed cell foam helmets is flawed too; Other than his distaste for hoods (he's definately not been to wales), it all broadly makes sense.

I also value the crampon patches on my buffalo sallopettes, whilst most fabrics have moved on some, pertex IS fragile.
Taurig - on 24 Dec 2012
In reply to highclimber:
> (In reply to Taurig) There's nothing on that particular page that stands out as 'controversial', though anything is possible on UKC.

Nah, not controversial as such, just ideas that, I thought, went against the grain of conventional thinking. I suppose the fact the post is titled 'Climbing Mythology' probably helped give me that impression.

- I think the light is right 'myth' is a valid point; I don't feel I have the experience and skills to head into the hills in winter with a 15 litre rucksack, and I think you have to consider whether what works for the top guns in Patagonia really makes sense for bumbling around the Mamores in January.
- If I remember rightly, the rise of the internal gaiter prompted TobyA of this parish to make a video praising the humble external (?) gaiter. In my admittedly limited winter experience I have found internals to work well, but I doubt that counts for much.
- Crampon patches are more often than not cited as a plus point on legwear; again I like them simply for the added abrasion resistance and not necessarily just for crampon damage, but maybe over several days on an exped the water held in them makes a difference.
- I've seen a lot of people on here suggest something like an R1 hoody as a winter baselayer, the post suggests that might not work as well as expected.
- Hoods, well, I'd be interested in hearing how I could do without one, I quite like mine!
- Stuff sacks; I was considering going for the multiple stuff sack approach to make stuff easier to find. Plus it would fill my bag more efficiently I think, as my liner is narrower diameter than my rucksack.

In all honesty I don't operate at a level where I think these ideas would really apply to me, but I thought there was a few interesting points, and it's a break from the frequent 'What nick are the Norries in?' threads. ;)
needvert on 25 Dec 2012
I'll be one of the ones who use too many stuff sacks.

The notion of not using one for my tent had never occurred to me, I've always taken tents in their stuff sacks, they arrive in a stuff sack at the store, they live in one at home, in my pack, they come out of their stuff sacks only out of necessity to pitch or dry.

BRB rethinking world outlook.
needvert on 25 Dec 2012
On the note of heat lost through head....

It baffles me how people can believe such wildly high numbers.

Recently had a senior manager trying to tell me you lost 90% of your body heat through your head. Do people even think as to the consequence of that? Thank f*cking god that guy isn't in charge of sleeping bag design, can you imagine a bag with 900 grams of insulation in the hood and 100 in the rest.



Morgan Woods - on 25 Dec 2012
In reply to Taurig: internal gaitors "don't work".......orly?
jonnie3430 - on 25 Dec 2012
In reply to Taurig:
> (In reply to highclimber)
> [...]
>
> Nah, not controversial as such, just ideas that, I thought, went against the grain of conventional thinking.

Conventional thinking is just what the majority understands to be the norm in the "average situation," if you never change your set up for different conditions then you will end up with the wrong stuff or too much of it.

Outdoor users have a long memory as well that doesn't always keep up with equipment so conventional thinking is often a few years out of date. (Probably because we are all geeks, did a lot of research before we bought and want to share the conclusions they came to, even if the conclusion is several years old and gear has moved on.) For example DMM flys are STILL recommended on UKC, they probably were the best axe the average person could get when people were using wrist leashes. PHD Zeta jackets are another. Brilliant when they came out, but jackets with better hoods are now available.
>
> - I think the light is right 'myth' is a valid point;

The light is right myth generally comes from people that know exactly what they are doing and the area they are doing it in; as soon as you introduce more unknowns the kit you take increases. If someone has spent a week of daily bumbling about the Mamores, you'd expect their bag to have less kit in it at the end of the week as they thin out stuff they don't need.

> - I have found internals to work well, but I doubt that counts for much.

In deep snow, especially with a hard crust, the trouser leg will get hiked up and filled with snow trapped between the gaiter and outer trouser, unless the internal gaiter is tied down it'll pull up. I really like the stretchy little 4 inch high gaiters you can get that makes it look like you have tracksuit bottoms on, but they don't work well on trousers with internal gaiters and crampon patches!

> - Crampon patches

They also stop you tucking your trousers in built in gaiters etc..

> - I've seen a lot of people on here suggest something like an R1 hoody as a winter baselayer,

Horses for courses! I love my R1 as it stop spindrift down the neck on snowy winter routes (I use a thick base layer under it too,) and I don't need to do swappy swappy with a helmet and hat in pocket. If you are on ice all day, or walking you may find that you don't need this.

> - Hoods, well, I'd be interested in hearing how I could do without one, I quite like mine!

Quite! In miserable weather they make a massive difference.

> - Stuff sacks;

I don't bother with a stuff sack unless I think it'll rain. Snow will stay snowy until you get to the car (day trips,) on longer ones waterproofing sleeping bags and warm kit is all you need. The tent is always strapped on the outside of the bag in it's stuff sack to keep it together and prevent wear and tent getting wet. Why put a tent in a bag when it means that the bag is bigger and heavier than you want it to be on tech stuff?
>
> In all honesty I don't operate at a level where I think these ideas would really apply to me,

They may apply, and they may not, everyone is different and has different kit so an individual approach is always required.
neuromancer - on 25 Dec 2012
In reply to Taurig:
stuff sacks have nothing to snag and move against each other smoothly. you use them to make sorting and finding and removing and repackaging easier not to protect stuff (unless it's down).

hoods useless? he may as well say waterproof shells are completely useless, how well do you think a shell does with a massive vertical facing hole to the rain? guess he's never been to Wales.
neilnt - on 25 Dec 2012
In reply to Taurig:

Light is right - depends on what is meant by this. It can either mean choosing equipment that weighs less, which I find to be a good thing, or taking nothing with you which can backfire quite quickly.

Heat loss through the head - is it 50% or 9%, well like most things it depends doesn't it.

If you are naked then I would say the 9% value is likely to be right for an average person (full head of hair "normal" body fat % (whatever that is)). However if the hair is wet then heat loss from the head will increase compared to the rest of the body which dries quicker.

If you are talking about a clothed person standing around in the cold without a helmet, hat or hood on then 50% could be right as well. If they are wearing a down suit & expedition boots on a cold day then it could be much more heat loss occuring from the head and face, maybe as much as 90%?

If someone thinks that putting a hat on, on a cold day will keep them warm even if they are almost naked then they will find out pretty soon that it won't. I haven't seen may people trying to Ice climb in shorts. Is it a problem other places?


Crampon patches - don't have anything against them personally, I think they also came from the ski industry so that the ski edges don't mess up your trousers.

Internal Gaiters - I've used them in the past and they worked fine for me. This year I'm trying the cord under the boot trick to see if it's any better.

Upperbody training - "climbing anything is all about upper body strength" and there was me thinking I had to work on my technique.

Baselayers - Keep them dry to stay warm - can't argue with that one.

Hoods - I used to use softshell tops without hoods now I will never buy another soft shell or belay jacket for Ice climbing which doesn't have a hood. It is way easier to keep yourself warm under different temperatures on a day out in the mountains in winter putting your hood up and down. Also helps more when snow is falling than anything else.

Stuff sacks in a rucksack - Agree fully here - way better without all those little bags. I still use a bag for crampons and for screws so that other stuff doesn't get holes in it though.

Just my thoughts on the points raised by the Climbing Mythology Artical


Neil



In reply to Taurig:

> - If I remember rightly, the rise of the internal gaiter prompted TobyA of this parish to make a video praising the humble external (?) gaiter.

Yep! :-) Had some compression issues though so you can't read the titles very well. http://www.vimeo.com/17714497

And it was more against all the hard dudes a few years ago saying all you needed was some elastic from your softshell troos under your boots and nothing else. Maybe I just fall in more bogs or wade through knee deep soggy snow than they do, but I think gaiters and great and stop you spiking your troos when walking or climbing!
machine - on 25 Dec 2012
In reply to Taurig: each to their own, scotish winter with no hood, chilly.
Robert Durran - on 25 Dec 2012
In reply to Taurig:

I would never buy anything without a hood and I'm not convinced by the no gaiter thing. Agree completely with all the rest though. The trick with stuff sacks is to put stuff in big ones (the small ones are just to make things look compact in the shop) and then squash them up into the sack.
TonyG - on 26 Dec 2012
In reply to neilnt:
The point about crampon patches is probably aimed more at multi-day backcountry trips... It only really becomes a major problem at the end of a day of being out in snow, when it's time to get in your sleepng bag and you've got a patch of kevlar on your trousers with a layer of frozen snow stuck to it... Not a major problem if you've only got to sleep out for a single night, but if you've got another couple of nights out ahead of you, then a bunch of melting snow inside your down bag represents a serious compromise.

Remember also that the article was written here in Japan, where there is always lots of snow on alpine routes, and the interesting ones tend to be more than a day away from the road, which means several nights out. I can only really think of one winter venue out here that has the equivalent short and easy approach from a car park and a hut at the bottom of it, like the N Face of Ben Nevis, (Akadake Kousen, for those who know Japanese climbing). If you want to climb something interesting on a mountain like Kaikoma, you're looking at slogging almost 2000m of ascent up an involved ridge, then dropping 500m into a valley that has no other access to it in winter, just to get to the start of the ice, and topping out around 3000m the next day with the whole mountain to descend again just to get you back to the road... On such a trip having a dry uncompromised sleeping bag becomes more important than avoiding the odd nick in your trousers (which can be sorted anyway with a bit of glue when you get home)...

This thread has the potential to generate some really useful ideas, nice one Taurig (and Ed, for the original material!) :)
needvert on 26 Dec 2012
On the hood thing, probably important to differentiate between a hood on what.

The hood bit struck me as coming from an insulation perspective, so it may well be focused towards insulative layers with hoods. Can't imagine my hardshell without a hood being a successful idea.

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.