This blog is an open format on finalizing our gear. We know National Geographic MAPS software estimates 130 miles, 40k’ of climbing and 41K’ of descent, and we will cross fourteeen Colorado 14,000′ peaks. It also looks like Zach has 2 weeks off, and we may have 3-4 options for caches, and I really can’t ski (with more than 60lbs in my pack).
At this time we expect to start skiing on March 28th, 2010, with hopes of completing it in 2 weeks. A lot of gear decisions are predicated on the feasibility of 3-4 supply caches. Theoretically meaning we will be able to carry as little as 10-15 lbs of food and fuel between resupplies.
Pulling a sled worked well last year skiing across Yellowstone. As well as it could… This trip promises varied snow conditions, scoured ridge lines, bare rock and lots of cross-fall line traversing. I think we should skip sleds and focus on more caches. Fritz and James, you will have to estimate whether the caches will work.
I just sent James his box of goodies, the same as I dropped off with Fritz and Zach. Check out the gear, mark it and make sure it flies. I’d like to ask you to load the National geographic MAPS software http://shop.nationalgeographic.com/ngs/product/maps/mapping-software/colorado-14ers-explorer of the area so we can have a conference Skype this Friday. Once your software is loaded I can send you a file of the drafted route and we can look at it more closely. Once we have narrowed down our best route guess I will drop in a bread crumb trail of waypoint. I’ll print two copies of maybe 10 pages of detailed maps with our route, alternate options and waypoints. NGMaps scored us some waterproof ‘Adventure Paper’ – I’ll put the map on one side and waypoints on the back. Will Friday work for everyone? How about 6:00 PM?
Easton supplied two Si2 Tents with super light carbon poles http://eastonmountainproducts.com/tent/si2-tent. These are very tight, even with the vestibule. Make sure you sleep in them once or twice, ideally in the snow. The vestibule helps but it will be compact. I have about 8 nights in the one in Moab and I’m in.
I would like to avoid buying a synthetic sleeping bag and really like my down jackets and pants. Last year in Yellowstone James and I got really wet near the end and it could have been a bummer if the trip stretched into two weeks. What do you guys think? Sleeping pad is foam full length and 3/4” Thermarest-type pad too?!?
I have a Black Diamond Quantum 65L pack http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en-us/shop/mountain/packs/quantum-65 . I’m fabricating an additional pocket for the back. If we have caches I’m hoping for less than 55lbs total pack weight at a time.
Skis – mine are a bit narrow Movement Red Apples with Dynafit bindings. I think I will run without brakes or leashes – is that too risky? Easton also provided each of us 3 section carbon poles ttp://eastonmountainproducts.com/trekking/ctr-60 . I have a spare bottom section and extra cam locks. I was out last weekend in the LaSals and my skins were very prone (3 yrs old) to caking with snow. We’ll need lots of skin wax and I think I will get a new pair for this trip – mine are looking hairy. SCARPA outfitted me with a pair of their new Mistraeli 4 buckle lightweight boots so I have an extra pair of SCARPA f1s(28s) http://www.backcountry.com/outdoorgear/Scarpa-F1-Race-Alpine-Touring-Boot/SCR0092M.html and the thingy that goes on on the binding for the bellows.
Axes, crampons and rope?? My vote is crampons if anything. I have a bunch of 60-100′ 8mm rope scraps we could use.
Smith has provided a Maze Helmet www.backcountry.com/store/group/39/b87/Smith-Helmets and I/O Goggles for each of us. The helmets are lightweight and carry nicely with goggles inside when not needed.
How many shovels and probes? I have a Tracker avy beacon. Any idea how many batteries will be needed for 2 weeks?
GSI Outdoors provided a great cook set – PINNACLE BASE CAMPER ( http://www.gsioutdoors.com/detail.aspx?c=4&sc2=57&p=50175&lu=%2flist.aspx%3fc%3d4%26sc2%3d57 ). It has two big pots, a fry pan and spatula. We may need a bigger fry pan and spatula to handle all James’s skills. I have 2 older MSR Whisperlite Stoves and enough spare parts to keep them going until the 22nd century. James, will you make the call on what you want me to bring for stoves. Do we need to make new super-light weight PBR stove platforms?
I’m bringing one digital camera, a phone camera, GPS and binos. I’m not sure how much we need to double up on GPS, binos and phones but if one of you have a camera phone with internet capabilities it would be good to have a back up. I have a Brunton 12v solar panel that will afix to my pack to charge anything that has a cigarette lighter charger.
That should get us started. I guess I’ll see you guys next week!! David