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Old 02-13-10, 06:56 PM   #1
Tom Stormcrowe
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My Spring Break Plans: Back Country Mountain Snowshoeing

http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=3473659

IN mid March, we're planning a trip out to Glacier National Park in Montana to go Mountain Snowshoeing in the back country. We'll be 15-20 miles out, in the park itself, so we'll have to be pretty self reliant. Any C&A's in here have any back country experience to share? It's not cycling, but it'll sure burn the calories. What follows is our equipment list.
  1. 2 65 Liter backpacks
  2. 100 feet of rope each
  3. Snowshoes and Poles (Cabella's Snowy Range Shoes, made by Atlas)
  4. Nautica Wind Shells, waterproof
  5. Polarguard vests under, packable
  6. Fleeces
  7. Fleece long underwear and foundation layer
  8. Waterproof wind pants
  9. Goretex Gloves
  10. 3 pairs wool socks, each in the packs
  11. Packcloth waterproof gaiters, tall
  12. Cabella's Sorrel Packer boots for me, or Herman Survivors as an alternate. My wife has some lighter weight packer boots with Thinsulate and a goretex inner boot.
  13. 2 Surveyors compasses
  14. Set of waterproof Topo maps of Glacier each
  15. Avalanche beacon each.
  16. 2 GMRS Radios
  17. We'll rent the snowshovels from Glacier Outdoor Center and I don't think we'll really need ice axes, since we aren't really going to be doing any traverses on steep glacier faces and we can't carry ice axes on Amtrak, anyway.
  18. 2 1 liter Nalgene Bottles each for water
  19. Small backpackers stove, and fuel, to melt snow if we run short on liquids as well as 2 lighters and waterproof matches
  20. Small thermos for hot chocolate at the Overlook looking down on Lake McDonald from the mountaintop. (Good photo opportunity)
  21. Survival bivvy sacks if we get caught out in the back country in a Spring Storm
  22. Glacier sunglasses for the wife and sunscreen for both. I have some very good polarized cycling/ski glasses, already
  23. Flashlights and survival whistles
  24. Video and Still Digicams.

Any suggestions as to anything I missed, those of you that have some back country experience? It's going to be too early for Bears, I do know that. I can't carry bear spray on the train, either, but if needed, I'm sure I can get some there in MT. We'll be staying in Whitefish, by the way, about 45 minutes from the park.
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Old 02-13-10, 10:15 PM   #2
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your doing 22.3 miles in a day? that is pretty ambitious. I snowshoe as much as I can on my Atlas 1025s My wife has been out to Glacier twice, but I have never been. It sounds like a really nice trip.

I personally bring a camalback over the bottles because hydration is very important in the dry cold...and people tend to forget esp if they need to stop and unscrew a bottle. I am not sure if you are like me but sometimes my "good" gloves are too hot while actually snowshoeing so a cheapy pair of fleece ones are nice to compliment the hard core goretex super gloves (you may have liners which work well too)

The gaiters make a ton of difference if it is powdery. Do you know how traveled the trail is? It makes a huge difference in exertion. If it is fresh snow trade off on the front to recover with your partner.

Dont forget food practice with the stove if it is new.

Depending on the weight of your pack and the freshness of the snow opt for the longest shoes you can get my 25s are good, but with a pack i would like bigger.

Poles will be nice with the elevation and to feel out snow drifts and whatnot (older folks seem to like them regardless )

If you are bringing the bivy "in case" a lightweight bag that you both can squeeze into or at least fleece liner might be worth it.(only because of the distance)

tell us more about it, so far it sounds very exciting!
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Old 02-14-10, 08:20 AM   #3
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Looks like fun. You've got a pretty good list, I would add a couple of small things on the 10 essentials list too (knife and first aid kit, for instance).

1. Map
2. Compass (optionally supplemented with a GPS receiver)
3. Sunglasses and sunscreen
4. Extra food and water
5. Extra clothes
6. Headlamp (outdoor)/flashlight
7. First aid kit
8. Fire starter
9. Matches
10. Knife
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Old 02-14-10, 09:05 AM   #4
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We've got 30", since we are planning on a A Cabin to Cabin trek next winter up in either Vt or up in the Porcupine Mts in Minnesota, or if we get real crazy, maybe a showshoe trip up the Iditarod.

Yes' we have poles, as well.

Our stove? Already very familiar with it, since I use it bike touring.

KNife: I always have a Swiss Army KNife, anyway. Anything bigger, I can't carry on the train, even packed, since we're going superlightweight and only taking backpacks, snowshoes and our computer bags since we will both have homework to keep up with over break, anyway.

The Bivvy Bags are Mylar Space Blanket material, and waterproof, and if we get caught out, we'll just dig in to a snow cave and settle in. We're planning on carrying 3 days high energy food anyway and it's freeze dried, so minimal weight penalty. Also, Clif Bars, etc.

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your doing 22.3 miles in a day? that is pretty ambitious. I snowshoe as much as I can on my Atlas 1025s My wife has been out to Glacier twice, but I have never been. It sounds like a really nice trip.

I personally bring a camalback over the bottles because hydration is very important in the dry cold...and people tend to forget esp if they need to stop and unscrew a bottle. I am not sure if you are like me but sometimes my "good" gloves are too hot while actually snowshoeing so a cheapy pair of fleece ones are nice to compliment the hard core goretex super gloves (you may have liners which work well too)

The gaiters make a ton of difference if it is powdery. Do you know how traveled the trail is? It makes a huge difference in exertion. If it is fresh snow trade off on the front to recover with your partner.

Dont forget food practice with the stove if it is new.

Depending on the weight of your pack and the freshness of the snow opt for the longest shoes you can get my 25s are good, but with a pack i would like bigger.

Poles will be nice with the elevation and to feel out snow drifts and whatnot (older folks seem to like them regardless )

If you are bringing the bivy "in case" a lightweight bag that you both can squeeze into or at least fleece liner might be worth it.(only because of the distance)

tell us more about it, so far it sounds very exciting!
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"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

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Old 02-14-10, 09:28 AM   #5
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How about a little ziplock bag with some Toilet Paper, as you may want to blow your nose or something.
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Old 02-14-10, 11:06 AM   #6
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what time are you leaving in the morning...I still can't get over the 22.3 miles with darn near 10,000 feet up and down (down has always been interesting snowshoeing). That would be a 2 day trip for any sane person Not much time to smell the roses and all. How much sun light will you get out there that time of year?

as far as the stove glad it is a staple of your current use. I have had people with wisperlights almosst burn themselves up taking it out for the first time. Make sure it works well in the cold.


I am so jealous it isn't even funny. Though my april backpacking trip to Shenandoah will be nice too Good luck
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Old 02-14-10, 11:32 AM   #7
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sounds like fun
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Old 02-14-10, 12:54 PM   #8
Tom Stormcrowe
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Snot Rockets. TP would be for other purposes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigPolishJimmy View Post
How about a little ziplock bag with some Toilet Paper, as you may want to blow your nose or something.
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Old 02-14-10, 01:00 PM   #9
Tom Stormcrowe
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We're leaving the parking spot right after sunup. We have it routed as 2 loops in case we run long and need to break it up into 2 days, as well. Better safe than sorry. We've also got 3 other loops planned to get to as well for the trip.

As to daylight, right now, they're getting 11 hours sunrise to sunset, and I'm figuring what, about 2 hours less down in the valleys?

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Originally Posted by heckler View Post
what time are you leaving in the morning...I still can't get over the 22.3 miles with darn near 10,000 feet up and down (down has always been interesting snowshoeing). That would be a 2 day trip for any sane person Not much time to smell the roses and all. How much sun light will you get out there that time of year?

as far as the stove glad it is a staple of your current use. I have had people with wisperlights almosst burn themselves up taking it out for the first time. Make sure it works well in the cold.


I am so jealous it isn't even funny. Though my april backpacking trip to Shenandoah will be nice too Good luck
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Old 02-14-10, 05:32 PM   #10
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extra fuel if melting snow for cooking and drinking, if tenting, then snow stakes (flukes) are often forgotten, extra bindings etc for snow shoes. Poles make it better also, folding or some kind of knife as above. small light 2 person tent vs bivy sacks, bears should be hibernating, but I always hate to use the garcia bear machine in spring because of weight, any wolves?.

Candles, holder? chemical heat packs, extra food, head lamps as suggested above, petzl makes em good, spare batteries.

Miles seem high as previously stated. two stoves, primary and backup. insulate bottles or they may freeze.

There are some great trails in yosemite, that start at tuolumne meadows and go to different camps, great place, can backpack or ride mules.

Do you need a sherpa?

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