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Climbing in the cold
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mother_sheep


Nov 15, 2006, 2:10 PM
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Re: [serac] Climbing in the cold [In reply to]
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Big lunches take too long to eat and pull blood to your stomache away from your fingers.
In reply to:

Is this true? I eat huge greasy meals before going out climbing in the winter because I've heard that you're body will generate more heat during the digestion process.

I climb on rock in the winer on sunny, calm days. 40 degrees or below I'm climbing ice or mountaineering.


Partner philbox
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Nov 15, 2006, 2:25 PM
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Re: [mother_sheep] Climbing in the cold [In reply to]
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Well here in South East Queensland it gets quite cool too. It sometimes gets down to the point where I have to put a jumper on over my T shirt, oh the horror. The weather turns cool and dry and the sun pretty much stays out in a clear sky all winter. Climbing is perfect.

On the other hand I went down to Tasmania in summer and climbed on the soaring cracked flutes of Ben Lomond and had to endure very cold weather where I had to layer up. It was freezing at night, I had every stitch of clothes on that I brought along on the trip. I guess Tasmanias proximity to Antarctica will do that.


cjsimpso


Nov 15, 2006, 6:46 PM
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Re: [philbox] Climbing in the cold [In reply to]
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Slap on a So.Ill. beanie (two if it is REALLY cold), rip off that t-shirt, and let the pebble wrestling begin!




But seriously, Below 40 or so is bouldering weather for me, where I can warm up between climbs by running around or doing some jumping jacks.


serac


Nov 16, 2006, 3:07 PM
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Re: [mother_sheep] Climbing in the cold [In reply to]
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A good hearty greasy breakfast absolutely great. By the time you get to the crag the big digesting is done. I was talking about lunch at the crag. Sitting still in the cold getting cold and then trying to climb.

I imagine all the blood coming in from your extremities would probably drive up your core temperature So you might technically be warmer if someone took your temperature but I don't think it is going to help your fingers get more blood.


jeep914x4


Nov 16, 2006, 3:14 PM
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Re: [serac] Climbing in the cold [In reply to]
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I read on the intraweb that you could tape the chemical hand warmers to your wrist where the blood flows and it would keep your hands warm. I've never tried it but it makes sense.

Back of the kneck works great and I wear gloves between climbs.

Also, you can't seal up those chemical heat warmers... they work by being exposed to air!


perionychium


Nov 16, 2006, 4:03 PM
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Re: [coolklimber] Climbing in the cold [In reply to]
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Take one of those hot packs you use in your glove, and put it in your chalk bag.

I second this. I put hand warmers in my chalk bag and it's a little bit of bliss each time I chalk up.

Additionally, I climb as long as my fingers won't freeze off (figure I'll quit below 20F). But, being in New England, the granite rock tends to be rather sharp.


chouca


Nov 16, 2006, 4:17 PM
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Re: [david_smithrock] Climbing in the cold [In reply to]
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Getting your core warm is super important for warm fingers, which is why it's nice to be the first to climb after the approach hike. Try to get a good warmup on pumpy terrain if possible, as well.

I second that. Warm softshells also make cold climbing almost comfortable. I like bringing down overmitts along for quick warm-ups, and there is also a wrist warmer many Front Range climbers used for winter redpointing. I also heard someone raving about a wrist gaiter type-mitt once.


gunkiemike


Nov 16, 2006, 5:10 PM
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Re: [ja1484] Climbing in the cold [In reply to]
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Good man. I was about to say, I usually pop one of these in my chalk bag on cold days and keep a couple spares on me if it's a particularly long or time consuming pitch. The second has several spares in the pack so as to restock at belays.

When I read this, I'm thinking, "That doesn't make sense. The hand warmers stay hot for HOURS. Why do they need to bring so many?"

In reply to:
A word of warning: Buy some self-sealing laminate from your local office supplies store and seal these babies up with a layer before you use them. Had a friend punch a hole in one once and his chalk bag was a disgusting paste pit for the rest of the trip.

Then it clicked - this guy was using the liquid hot packs. (A supersaturated solution of sodium acetate, for the geeks out there). These put out a small amount of warmth for a minute or two. Totally not worth the hassle for cold weather climbing.

Get the dry types. They are thin, flexible and powerful.


ja1484


Nov 16, 2006, 5:15 PM
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Re: [gunkiemike] Climbing in the cold [In reply to]
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Then it clicked - this guy was using the liquid hot packs. (A supersaturated solution of sodium acetate, for the geeks out there). These put out a small amount of warmth for a minute or two. Totally not worth the hassle for cold weather climbing.

Get the dry types. They are thin, flexible and powerful.

Have to give those a shot. The liquid deals typically last for about a half hour, so we go through a good batch of em per trip.


zuegma


Nov 16, 2006, 5:47 PM
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Re: [ja1484] Climbing in the cold [In reply to]
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I have never climbed in the cold yet. I have wrestling matches and practices and no time for climbing although you might want to try a pair of those gloves where you can remove the fingers. take a look a the golves in the link and you'll see. that way your hands remain warm while you climb but you still have the ability to use the tips of your finges. http://www.onlygloves.com/...gloves&tid=exact


ja1484


Nov 16, 2006, 8:39 PM
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Re: [zuegma] Climbing in the cold [In reply to]
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I have never climbed in the cold yet. I have wrestling matches and practices and no time for climbing although you might want to try a pair of those gloves where you can remove the fingers. take a look a the golves in the link and you'll see. that way your hands remain warm while you climb but you still have the ability to use the tips of your finges. http://www.onlygloves.com/...gloves&tid=exact

No thanks. Kinda kills the ability to use a lot of holds.


localshredder


Nov 16, 2006, 8:54 PM
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Re: [ja1484] Climbing in the cold [In reply to]
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1. Wear a down Jacket.
2. Put yur shoes in your arm pits until you climb.
3. Get one of those Coleman Infrared heaters, Not the catalytic type. Warm your hands up with the heater before you climb. The trick is to wear some sort of insulated belay glove when you are warming up your hands and the gloves will retain the heat in one hand while you warm up the other.

This works really well for me. I have been using the underarmor cold gear under a long sleeve shirt and that seems to keep me warmer than a polypro or some type of similar top.


on_belay_hombre


Nov 17, 2006, 10:01 AM
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Re: [localshredder] Climbing in the cold [In reply to]
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I have done a fair amount of cold-weather climbing and here is what I have found:

- Dry hand wamers ($1 for 2-pack at sierra trading post right now) for climbing shoes and chalk bag is very helpful.

- Larger shoes in the winter and wear wool socks. Your usual small shoes will restrict blood flow and you wont even notice how cold your feet are until you take off the shoes and get hot aches as the blood rushes back to those poor toes!

- I often practice my gear placement with aid climbing in the winter. You can bundle up and wear gloves!

- Easier multipitch can be more pleasant using the metolius leather belay gloves (fingerless). In the gunks I climbed 5.6 with these with snow on the cliff and it helped keep the core of the hand warm and although slightly restricting, was worth it in the end.

- If your a belayer it is very easy to get cold due to the lack of moving. A Down puffy jacket is AWESOME and you can bring one to exchange between belayers.

- Ive seen a lot of tricks to keep shoes warm. My favorite is to carry a bladder of hot water in my pack with the shoes right next to it. They warm up on approach and are nice and toasty when you are ready to climb.

- Traversing is a great warm up.

- Climbing on sun-basking cliff makes a HUGE difference...and gives you a warm fuzzy feeling.

I really like the idea of down booties...gotta get me a pair of those!


tomcat


Nov 17, 2006, 10:43 AM
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Re: [on_belay_hombre] Climbing in the cold [In reply to]
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One thing my partner and I discovered years ago climbing in the cold at Skytop was that if we suffered out the first round of screaming barfies,then warmed our hands,they did not return for the rest of the day.(the barfies).Anybody else notice this?


the_climber


Nov 17, 2006, 10:48 AM
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Re: [tomcat] Climbing in the cold [In reply to]
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In reply to:
One thing my partner and I discovered years ago climbing in the cold at Skytop was that if we suffered out the first round of screaming barfies,then warmed our hands,they did not return for the rest of the day.(the barfies).Anybody else notice this?

Usually that is the case, but not always. It really depends on the conditions, ie. how wet and how cold. Anything -15C and above I would say yes you are right with few exceptions. I've seen people and have myself had the barfies more than three times on one pitch in sub -25C temps on dry pillars.

I hate the barfies!


on_belay_hombre


Nov 17, 2006, 10:55 AM
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Re: [the_climber] Climbing in the cold [In reply to]
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barfies = hot aches??

Please enlighten...


the_climber


Nov 17, 2006, 11:08 AM
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Re: [on_belay_hombre] Climbing in the cold [In reply to]
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In reply to:
barfies = hot aches??

Please enlighten...

OK, here it goes:

Barfies is short for Screaming Barfies.
Similar to hot aches, but more intense.

They are called the "Screaming Barfies" because they hurt so bad you don't know it you want to scream or barf. I have seen both happen.

With a combination of the cold and having your hands over your head there is a reduction in blood flow to your hands. This reduction in blood flow to your hand can be accelerated by wet gloves, water speeds up the process for obvious reasons, and leashes which can be to tight around your wrists. Add to this the 'pump' that we get from climbing and you have the powers at be that create the barfies.

They start when your hands begin to warm, increased blood flow. Often times it is better to keep your hands cold untill you are say cliped into the anchors. You could describe the pain as what it would feel like if you submersed your hands into boiling acid.

Hope that helps.


(This post was edited by the_climber on Nov 17, 2006, 11:09 AM)


zealotnoob


Nov 17, 2006, 11:28 AM
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Re: [the_climber] Climbing in the cold [In reply to]
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What an apt term for them...I've experienced these after the first run on the ski slope after having left my boots in the car overnight...havn't repeated that mistake since.


on_belay_hombre


Nov 17, 2006, 11:29 AM
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Re: [the_climber] Climbing in the cold [In reply to]
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Yes that does help. And I have experienced this pain many times, but just called it hot aches which doesnt come close to doing it justice...

...screaming barfies is perfect! In a miserable kind of way...

I have heard as well that it is better to keep the extremity cold until you know it will be warm for awhile. I think this is due to the fact that the barfies are the predecessor to frostbite and that it is more harmful to warm the extremity up and let it get cold again...but i dont know this for a fact, just what I heard.

for the record I have both screamed and gotten very close to spewing due to the lovely (now appropriately named) barfies...

thanks for the info!


franko


Nov 17, 2006, 12:14 PM
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Re: [zealotnoob] Climbing in the cold [In reply to]
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The trick is to keep your core temp up. If you do, your body will continue to pump blood to your extremities & keep your fingers & toes warm.

The Canadian Army has done experiments with electric
heated vests where they proved that bare hands can stay warm in temps well below 0 degrees C if the core is kept warm. They want their soldiers to be able to work barehanded in the Arctic if necessary, thus the research. So a good, warm vest should be the foundation of whatever else you wear such as a windshell, etc.

The body pumps a lot of blood to the brain, which is poorly insulated & thus a good radiator. As the cooled blood returns to the core, the body responds by cutting flow to the other extremities. For climbing a balaclava is better that just a hat because you can lose a lot of heat from your neck if it's bare. If it's really cold, pull a warm hat over the balaclava.


peterpan


Nov 17, 2006, 6:23 PM
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Re: [zealotnoob] Climbing in the cold [In reply to]
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Climbing on cold rock, no fun. Elasticity and performance are all gone. Sweating up a mountain with skis through deep snow for a great descent thereafter, yes that's great.


devilstower10


Nov 19, 2006, 6:43 PM
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Re: [qulith] Climbing in the cold [In reply to]
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In reply to:
In reply to:
Joking aside, many outdoor gear shops have pocket hand warmers which stay warm for hours and are great for warming up your hands in between climbs. It's basically a little pouch of something that you break to have a chemical reaction and then you just leave the pouch in your pocket.

Better yet throw it in your chalk bag.

now there's an Idea! Me and my dad just went climbing today when it was supposed to be 46 degrees F but the rock wasn't in the sun. by the time I was done with the crack my hands were numb, I think my dad said his were numb when he was up there to. The chalk bag was a little warmer than the air and rock which was nice.


devilstower10


Nov 19, 2006, 6:53 PM
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Re: [svilnit] Climbing in the cold [In reply to]
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Ehh... When it gets too cold to climb it's just natures way of saying "It's time to heal up some of those injuries you sustained from climbing all summer."

that I can agree with.


kman


Nov 21, 2006, 9:13 AM
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Re: [devilstower10] Climbing in the cold [In reply to]
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4. hat. i mean a real hat, not a thin weak-ass beanie you wear during the summer and think youre cool.

You mean "toque" eh Cool


kman


Nov 21, 2006, 9:17 AM
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Re: [on_belay_hombre] Climbing in the cold [In reply to]
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I have heard as well that it is better to keep the extremity cold until you know it will be warm for awhile. I think this is due to the fact that the barfies are the predecessor to frostbite and that it is more harmful to warm the extremity up and let it get cold again...but i dont know this for a fact, just what I heard.

That's only if you already have a cold injury (frostbite). If you only have cold hands then by all means warm them up. If your hands are cold and you purposely keep them cold then you are asking for it. Warm them up where possible so that you don't get cold injuries in the first place. Ya dig?

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