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Winter Hiking

EMS Level 1 Avalanche Course

Avalanche Forecast: Tuckerman Ravine

If you do any backcountry skiing, ice climbing, snowshoeing, or mountaineering, I recommend that you take an Avalanche Rescue and Forecasting course. I took a great 3-day certification class from the Eastern Mountain Sports Climbing School this past weekend, and found it very worthwhile for planning safer winter routes and …

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How to Build Snow Shelters

Quinzee Snow Shelter

Building snow shelters is an important winter skill which can be used in emergency situations in the backcountry. Snow is a great insulator and works by preventing warm trapped in its crystalline structure from escaping. But more importantly perhaps, is that snow and snow structures provide a very effective barrier …

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Neoprene Winter Glove Idea

Neoprene Hiking Gloves

Lightweight Winter Glove Woes I’ve been having a real problem this winter dialing in my lightweight winter gloves. I sweat a lot when climbing up peaks or breaking trail and I have a tendency to soak out lightweight polypro or gore windstopper gloves. I can easily go through two pairs …

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Is Solo Winter Hiking Safe?

Ambition Can Blur Decision-Making in Winter

I was reminded of the dangers of solo winter hiking while climbing Mt Avalon (3, 442 ft) in Crawford Notch. There’s a balance between ambition and self-preservation that one needs to be cognizant of if you hike in the mountains or any remote area in winter. Mt Avalon isn’t normally …

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Glacier Skills and Crevasse Rescue

I’m scheduled to take a Glacier Skills and Crevasse Rescue class at the EMS Climbing School in North Conway, next week. This class is designed to prepare east coast climbers who are heading out west to climb bigger peaks like Mt Rainier. I’ve been told that the EMS course focuses …

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Ice Climbing Gear 101

Ice Climbing at Frankenstein Cliffs, White Mountains

If you’re a Gear Junkie, then Ice Climbing and high angle mountaineering may just be your kind of sport. The sheer amount of new gear you need to get started is dazzling, and  can be confusing. It’s one thing to take an ice climbing class at Eastern Mountain Sports or …

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EMS Climbing School: Mountaineering 201

Silver Cascade Waterfall in Crawford Notch Mountaineering 201 I was back up in the White Mountains last week to take the second Mountaineering Class in the EMS Climbing School's winter curriculum and I had another great experience. This time, I climbed 700 feet up the waterfall at the head of …

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Review of EMS Winter Climbing 101

Ice Climbers Walking near Frankenstein Cliffs

I took the first mountaineering and ice climbing course offered by EMS, Winter Climbing 101, in their winter climbing school curriculum on Saturday and I had a blast! I learned far more than I expected too, and I had a really good time. We spent most of the day practicing …

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EMS Winter Climbing School

The Alpine Garden, Mt Washington Next week, I'm going to be taking a series of Ice Climbing and Mountaineering Classes offered by the EMS Climbing School in North Conway, New Hampshire, near the foot of Mt Washington. EMS has asked me to do some guest blogging for them about their …

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Scotland in Winter: 5 Minute Mountains

Is work sucking the life out of you today? Well, close your office door, put your headphones on, and set your sights on these fine videos of winter climbing in Scotland produced by TGO magazine. Narrated by Editor-at-Large, Cameron McNeish, these peaks are a fine example of the breathtaking beauty …

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Winter Sleeping Pad Puzzle?

I am stumped. I am trying to design a lighter weight sleeping pad system that can stand up to -15 (F) winter temperatures in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Today, I use an 27 oz. Exped Downmat 7 that has an R-value of 5.9. It's filled with down, but …

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Snowshoeing in Trail Runners

I did a long hike approach snowshoe (7.2 miles round trip) over the weekend to the base of North Hancock, including 16 water crossings. We still have snow on the ground, but I figured that doing the crossings wearing my Inov-8 trail runners, merino wool liners, and gore-tex socks would …

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Defining a Winter Packing System

We finally have significant snowfall in the White Mountains and I've got a two night camping and hiking trip scheduled this weekend. All I have to do now is to figure out how to get all of this gear (there's still more in the car) into and onto my winter …

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