Friday, June 3, 2011
I wanted to test out the Jacks ‘R Better quilt I just bought. I woke up cold twice during the night: once at about 2:00 in the morning when my watch said it was about 37 degrees and again at 5:00 when it was about 34 degrees. JRB rates this Sierra Sniveller quilt at 25 to 30 degrees. I’d say it’s really a 35-degree bag for me because I tend to roll from my left side to my right and doing that sometimes untucks the quilt, letting in cold air. Fortunately, it wasn’t enough of an annoyance to keep me from falling back to sleep quickly on the bed-like luxury of my new Big Agnes pad. It’s an Insulated Air Core, and it’s a big improvement over the lightweight foam pad I used when backpacking last year and the standard Thermarest I use on car camping trips. The two and half inches of padding created by the Big Agnes make all the difference.
The trip wasn’t much of workout or an opportunity to see the sights, but it did a good job of letting me work out the kinks in the new sleep system before my dad comes out for a backpacking and flyfishing trip in a couple weeks. I still need to replace the cheap, emergency bivy sack with something that doesn’t tear easily.
Original destination: Heart Lake at about 11,000 feet elevation, Indian Peaks Wilderness, west of Rollinsville, Colorado. The Boulder Ranger District office advised me that the Indian Peaks Wilderness was way above it’s normal level of snowpack for this time of year.
Destination after calling the Boulder Ranger District: much lower! — On the ranger’s advice I decided to camp in a valley along the Lost Lake/ Devil’s Thumb trail slightly above 9,000 feet, Roosevelt National Forest, west of Nederland, Colo.
Distance hiked: maybe 2 miles roundtrip, if I’m being generous.
Elevation gain: 600 feet (started at about 9000 feet, turned around at about 9600)
Camping elevation: ~9100 feet, ground was dry (snowpack of 3-4 feet was present at about 9600 feet and above)
Temperature range: mid 60’s during day, mid 30’s at night
green wool felt hat
mid-weight wool watch cap
lightweight waterproof bike gloves
Arc Teryx soft shell
North Face synthetic insulated mid layer
long-sleeved Columbia Titanium SPF shirt
short-sleeved synthetic undershirt
one pair synthetic underwear
two pairs socks (definitely needed both pairs even though this was just an over-nighter; first pair and shoes were both very damp from post-holing in snow at 9600 feet)
rain pants (carried, not used)
no rain jacket other than softshell
no long johns (other than a couple minutes hopping around and running in place when I got out of bed, I really did not miss them either)