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sklag

"Oh shit mitts"

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Need to get some what does everybody on here use?

More importantly, does dexterity or removable liner matter?

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when it gets really cold I stick my hands down the front of my pants. Mitts are fer sissies.

 

Any mitt is going to climb like shit, I'd go for warmth over dexterity, to a point. Size 'em big and wear fleece liners so you can pull them off and not get frost nip while putting on crampons or other dexterous tasks (like sticking your hands down the front of your pants).

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I have a pair of Marmot Expedition Primaloft mitts. I have yet to use them yet, even after three Alaska Range trips and multiple winter ascents of Rainier. My old Lowe Alpine Primaloft insulated gloves have been plenty warm for my cold weather climbs.

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I use OR alti mitts on all cold trips and love them. After painfully rethawing my fingers after a chilly April approach six or so years back, I decided it was time to solve that problem for good - and, with the Altis, I did. When it gets chilly, there's really no substitute for a solid pair of mitts.

 

The down liners are great for skiing in the cold. You hardly know they're there.

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mittens are dead easy to make if you can operate a sewing machine. for my two Denali trips I used a pair of "pile" (you'd use "fleece" these days)mittens that I made for myself, with gore-tex shell mitts (cordura palms)made to fit over the pile mitts. with the glove options we have available these days, I haven't NEEDED mittens in the lower forty-eight or BC/Alberta for thirty years...

 

my got-to-rig for 0-F & below these days is a shell-and-liner combination by Granite Gear. they fit even my great ham-hands generously enough to accommodate a light liner inside the fleece inner glove, making a three-layer-total. I've even tried them with a dry-tooling style glove inside the fleece, and found them acceptable below 0-F.

 

or - you could spend $150 or so at any of the big-name mountain clothing manufacturers, and get a pair or mittens you'll probably never use outside the Himalaya, Arctic, or Antarctic...

 

and if it's THAT cold, you can pretty much forget about dexterity - your hands will be either warm (and so bundled up as to be pretty much useless for anything more than holding an ice-axe or trekking pole), or they'll be too cold to operate after about thirty seconds exposed in a thin glove (less if you go down to skin). You could probably operate a belay if it's pretty simple to rig...

 

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Decent mitts are especially nice if you're a skier.

 

this is the ice climbing forum.

 

I have found that the best way for me to keep my hands warm is quantity. Even in cold temps (below 0 degrees) I end up with perspiration. For a day of climbing I bring along a single pair of fleece liner gloves, for the ski in and out, and 2 or 3 pairs of Punisher type gloves. when they get wet I switch to the next pair. I'm assuming that you'll sweat in really warm mitts and they'll quickly become useless, at least in the temps you're likely to encounter in the lower 48.

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not a chestbeating, but for ice climbing, I rarely felt that I needed mittens for belays for two reasons

1- if you can keep your core warm, then the extremities will keep their blood flow and keep them warm with thin or regular dry gloves. Now keeping the core warm can sometimes by tricky but it is possible if you keep a belay parka swapped between the two climbers as they go up. Multiple gloves (with the previously used pair being dried inside jacket) always keeps the hands coverd with dry gloves.

 

2- if it is so cold that I can't keep warm with just gloves, it is too cold for me. I dislike brittle dinner plating ice. But you are asking about "oh shit mitts" so it sounds like you are climbing in "oh shit its fucking cold" conditions.

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mine are back from the "day"...a pair of cheap goretex shells from Campmor which were about 10$ and far less tech than anything OR made or makes, and a pair of double polartec 300 liners. idea is that if its that freakin cold, don't really need "waterproof" as there is no running water

 

I've only used them occasionally in the last 25 years. back in the day when I would try to go ice climbing in colder than -20C, for example, but I haven't been that silly in a while.

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I've mixed and matched shells and liners so much I really don't even know what I have or what I use... but my current "oh shit mitt" is a set of insulated OR mitts with a pair of primaloft GLOVE liners.... very, very warm, and I can still rip the mit off and use my fingers when I need to. Hard climbing is not possible with them on, but they're "oh shit mitts," not hard climbers. Breaks, belay, descending, unexpected bivy, etc.

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