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Mountains and Alcohol

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So, this is the first year that I've ever taken a flask into the mountains (well, at least had one available). I've never been that enthusiastic about drinking, but I've found that a wee shnifter during snowboarding or at a high camp can be super nice!

 

Anyone else?

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So, this is the first year that I've ever taken a flask into the mountains (well, at least had one available). I've never been that enthusiastic about drinking, but I've found that a wee shnifter during snowboarding or at a high camp can be super nice!

 

Anyone else?

 

I enjoy a small amount of cognac or whiskey at base camp (one little airplane bottle full)

 

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Never. firstly I started drinking when I was 38. and secondly

I never had the energy to carry the extra weight.

 

In my gut feelings, I just can't see how the Mountains and Alcohol can mix.

 

Well not exactly. When our family goes on our yearly ski vacation drinks at the Condo are manditory. but that is not packing in a flask of hooch.

 

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"Wine is a more complex substance than one might think, and, above two thousand metres, and at close to zero degrees centigrade, it displays interesting behavioral anomalies. It changes flavor, loses the bite of alcohol, and regains the mildness of the grape from which it comes. One can take it in heavy doses without any undesired effects. In fact, it eliminates fatigue, loosens and warms the limbs, and leads to a fanciful mood. It is no longer a luxury or a vice but a metabolic necessity, like water on the plains. It is a well-known fact that vines grow better on a slope: could there be a connection?"

 

-- Primo Levi

 

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Remember that alcohol won't freeze. There's a rumor that if it's really cold out and you take a big swig, you can get frostbite _inside_ your throat. I dunno if it's ever really happened, though.

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Remember that alcohol won't freeze. There's a rumor that if it's really cold out and you take a big swig, you can get frostbite _inside_ your throat. I dunno if it's ever really happened, though.

 

Not true... it will freeze... the temperatures have to be colder.

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.... and secondly

I never had the energy to carry the extra weight.

 

In my gut feelings, I just can't see how the Mountains and Alcohol can mix.

 

 

Don't sweat the extra weight....buy offsets...example

 

Swapping out 15 of your old 50-gram biners for 31-gram trango superflys will more than accomodate the weight of a small hip flask of Southern Comfort.

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Remember that alcohol won't freeze. There's a rumor that if it's really cold out and you take a big swig, you can get frostbite _inside_ your throat. I dunno if it's ever really happened, though.

 

Not true... it will freeze... the temperatures have to be colder.

 

I've got practical experience with some aspects of this. On a ski trip to the Canadian Rockies a few years back I left some Old Stock beers in the van. It was colder than snot, and after a 4 day trip we returned to the van. I was excited about beer waiting for me, but that proved futile when I tried to open one.

:noway:

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Remember that alcohol won't freeze. There's a rumor that if it's really cold out and you take a big swig, you can get frostbite _inside_ your throat. I dunno if it's ever really happened, though.

 

Not true... it will freeze... the temperatures have to be colder.

 

I've got practical experience with some aspects of this. On a ski trip to the Canadian Rockies a few years back I left some Old Stock beers in the van. It was colder than snot, and after a 4 day trip we returned to the van. I was excited about beer waiting for me, but that proved futile when I tried to open one.

:noway:

At least the beer did not explode, like they do when you forget you put one in the freezer for a quick chill.

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When I was younger, I would not only pack a small flask into the back country, but also a 24 oz can of beer for each day. The weight did not matter much as the beer tasted soooo good at the end of a long day in the Wind Rivers or some other such mountains. I even managed to sneak a 12 pack into one of my buddies packs for an overnighter, yet his pack was still about a third of the weight of mine.

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When I was younger, I would not only pack a small flask into the back country, but also a 24 oz can of beer for each day. The weight did not matter much as the beer tasted soooo good at the end of a long day in the Wind Rivers or some other such mountains. I even managed to sneak a 12 pack into one of my buddies packs for an overnighter, yet his pack was still about a third of the weight of mine.

 

 

Last year I was hiking down from Mt. Pugh on a day hike on a hot day in August. We ran into two guys coming up the final stretch to Stujack that looked way out of place... big old pot bellies, jeans and ripped t-shirts, work boots... looked like a couple of hicks. The one guy had an ice cold can of beer in his hand... we could tell this because it was 'sweating'. Anyways, they stopped us to ask how far to the top of Mt. Forgotten... and we turned them around and pointed it out, and told them what trail they were on. The dudes were way lit. They thanked us and I asked about the beer. The guy was hauling a cooler with a half-rack in his pack. They then continued up towards Pugh. At least they were getting out! :brew:

 

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I forget what year it was from, but I remember reading an Accidents in North American Mountaineering report about this dude solo climbing in Yosemite and ranting to nearby climbers that, "Old English 800 makes you climb way sicker," or something like that. I believe buddy ended up in the hospital.

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Alcohol will freeze on a climbing trip in the Cascades? I suppose it depends on how much alcohol, and how cold. For what it's worth, the summit temp on Rainier is forecast to be about 10 F today.

 

Pure ethanol's freezing point is -175 F. Admittedly, beer (~6% alcohol) will freeze pretty warm (25 F), but I don't think you're putting beer in a flask. Absolut vodka is about 100 proof, so would freeze at -25 F, which is starting to get chilly, I think. I don't know if that's cold enough for cold injuries on contact with your throat, though.

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Once I met a guy hiking up the Garibaldi Lake trail who was portaging a canoe, with a 12 pack of Pilsner in each hand.

 

He was a fisherman though, not a climber.

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Absolut vodka is about 100 proof, so would freeze at -25 F, which is starting to get chilly, I think. I don't know if that's cold enough for cold injuries on contact with your throat, though.

 

Absolut = 80 proof

 

The sourdoughs in the Yukon carried hipflasks for a reason. Russia has problems with cold injuries and Vodka.

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i am never a fan of carrying more weight than i have to. however nothing is so awsome at the grasslands on a cold nnight than a bottle of hot damn or gold schologer. not so much to get drunk but just becuase it gives the impression of of drinking something really warm. it is great around the camp fire with friends.

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A bottle of Chimay blue label after a day of rock climbing. A mandatory can of rainier on said summit (it's a bit hard to drink that beast at 6 am--but it can be done). Or mountain margaritas (snow, cheap tequila (gotta uphold the climbing dirtbag status), and lemon koolaide powder), mmm.

 

The Deschutes Brewery lets you take your empty gallon jug of water you sucked down in the Smith heat, and fill it with delecious beer to make the perfect dirtbag growler.

 

 

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