/ Camping above 4000m

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Stujbro - on 18 Aug 2012

Im setting out to climb the Weissmies and/or the Bishorn/Weisshorn this September and am planning on camping above 4000m as close to the summits as possible, (i know this wont be possible on the weisshorn).

Has anyone camped this high before on those summits and have any advice for pitching the tent (Black Diamond Firstlight). I have snow stakes but i suspect the ground will be too frozen so im thinking ice axes and snow shovel to stake out the tent??

JLS on 18 Aug 2012
In reply to Stujbro:

Yikes, wouldn't be me! I'd be too worried about the wind picking up.
Talius Brute on 18 Aug 2012 - client-86-26-34-204.cht-bng-11.adsl.virginmedia.com
In reply to Stujbro:

Dig out the snow and pitch it in a hole with a bit of a wall around it. If it's straight on ice and you are really worried about the wind then you can use a screw to clip yourself in, though I very much doubt you'd need to.
MikeLell - on 18 Aug 2012
In reply to Stujbro: Supermarket carrier bags filled with snow and then buried make very good tent anchors.
steveej - on 18 Aug 2012
In reply to Stujbro: pegs for guylines can be buried horizontally. Take a shovel and build walls around the tent to protect it from the wind.
erph - on 25 Aug 2012
On bishorn, the little plateau just uder the summt might make a good spot. Be sure of the weather forecast!
A snow shovel will be very usefull.
Pitch your tent in the right direction and build a wall on rhe wind side. Leave at least one meter hetween this wall and your tent, because snow will pile up there.
You can use walking sticks, piolet, skis, ... as pegs. Depending on conditions, just plant them in thesnow, or make a dead-man-anchor with them. Normal pegs will be useless, and special snow pegs are expensive and too haevy.
Gas stoves only work to about minus 15 celsius grades, if coulder you will need another system for your morning coffee (dont burn down your tent!).
Stuff like this can make for great moments, but remember that adventures make great stories, but they are not always pure fun at the time you are living them
Have fun anyway!!
Al Evans on 25 Aug 2012
In reply to erph: I'm sure we used gas with a propane/butane mix down to much colder than -15C. At worst you can put the cylinders in your pit to warm them up before breakfasr.
Aeneas - on 25 Aug 2012
In reply to Al Evans: Putting the gas cylinder inside my sleeping bag overnight does it for me. Certainly gives it enough go for a jetboil's worth of coffee at 3am
erph - on 25 Aug 2012
In reply to Al Evans:
-15 is when the liquid stops becoming gas. There are tricks to go a bit colder then that, like holding the gas canister upside down, a stove with a preheating-tube, etc. Or indeed trying to prevent the gas from cooling down too much
panz - on 10 Sep 2012
In reply to erph: petrol is more efficient at high altitudes, the trick is how not to pour it into the kettle instead of water
Trangia on 10 Sep 2012
In reply to erph:

Another tick is to balance the gas cylinder on top of the pan so that rising heat also heats the cylinder. Obviously only possible with a tube feed. And for obvious reasons be careful!

I generally prefer a petrol stove at altitude.
ezzpbee - on 11 Sep 2012
In reply to Stujbro: place a small round gel handwarmer under the gas canister to warm it up

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