Sunday, January 4, 2009

Staying warm and safe at -8 (F) and a windchill of -40(F)

Speaking of freezing solid a face mask is a winter hiking essential if you’re going up high on the mountains. Goggles, as in ski goggles, are essential, too, as winds over 80 and 90 mph drive snow crystals into your eyes even if you are wearing protective glasses (I took my goggles off to take this picture). I always carry extra mittens, hat, windproof, a light merino wool pullover, a headlamp with spare batteries and crampons. I usually take hiking poles or an ice axe but not always. It depends on the route I'm taking. I try to think in terms of a higher level of safety when I'm winter hiking even when I am traveling fast and light and know the terrain by heart.

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