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Critter Hampton

Surviving the Snow for Beginners

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I volunteer in a small mountain community providing information to tourist about trails and conditions. We get lots of visitors who are absolutely set on heading up into the snow with very little gear or knowledge so I am putting this list together. Surviving in the Snow for Beginners

 

I have posted it in various forums and social media but I haven't gotten a response. Only people sharing it, but no comments on the shares either. Maybe everyone is just being nice or waiting to see what others say. I am looking for feed back and I don't care if someone has something negative to say about it.

 

Edited by Critter Hampton

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i thought the defining characteristic of newbs was they don't know how to read? :)

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Be sure to teach them to keep those damn slowshoes off the skin track.

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During winter months the NW Avalanche Center provides more information about avy risks. In most cases NOAA posts warning when things get bad but not regular info.

 

Knowing how to read a map is more important in the snow since the main trail or easiest route isn't always marked or obvious.

 

Setting a turn around time is a good thing to do especially in the winter when it gets dark earlier.

 

Past that I'd agree with Pete. Don't trash skin tracks with slowshoes.

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I added to the list.

 

16) Setting a turn around time is a good thing to do especially in the winter when it gets dark earlier. -Feck

 

17) It has also been suggested that knowing how to read a map is more important in the snow since the main trail or easiest route isn't always marked or obvious. As a beginner you are probably not an excellent map reader so you should be on a well marked trail or a logging road. See Rules #1D and #1F. However, you may not know you need a map and skills until it's too late. If you are following a map make sure everyone in the group can follow the map and show them things like turns, ridges, landmarks, ect., in case you need to send them for help. Map reading is the first skill you and your team need to work on developing. I hope to soon make a video or something highlighting basic must-knows.

 

For the skin tracks tip I would suggest that beginners walk right up them for navigation and easier stepping. I'm telling noobs they should not worry about those fancy pants hot shots.

 

Thank you for tips and the expert knowledge.

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I have posted it in various forums and social media but I haven't gotten a response.

 

Well, by all means keep spamming it until you do.

 

2264585_700b.jpg

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For the skin tracks tip I would suggest that beginners walk right up them for navigation and easier stepping. I'm telling noobs they should not worry about those fancy pants hot shots.

 

You can follow a skin track without walking in the track and ruining it. It's basic backcountry courtesy. Telling newbs to ignore it will be setting them up for some interesting (sometimes not-so-nice) confrontations.

 

Please don't tell people to post-hole in skin tracks in the name of easy navigation...

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something about personal maintenance, which is even more critical in the winter as everything is difficult

1. body fuel. gotta keep the furnace stoked with proper food. no place for a diet. eat something hourly.

 

2. hydration. dry air and hard exertion can dehydrate one quick. sip water often. (or munch on clean snow if temps are moderate

 

3. core temp. alter the clothing to keep the core temp in that narrow range of "just right". below sweating and above shivers.

 

4. exertion levels. works along with core temp but being able to keep the work capacity up for the expected time frame. don't burn out too early. Keep some juice in the tank so that you can hustle when you need to, such as minimize exposure to hazards.

 

5. solar protection. not that big an issue in winter as there is not that much skin exposed but whatever is needs a dab of sunscreen.

 

6. keeping aware of what is going on around. not really a personal maintenance thing, but keep aware of changing weather conditions, changing snow conditions, changing avalanche conditions, ect. things change quick and if you blindly go along, you can easily step into a dangerous situation. take the time to look around. be critical of things you see. while I like to think of myself as a "glass half full" guy, be that "glass half empty" guy. Posthole tracks can fill in quick with wind blown snow, if that is your only marker to return trip back.

Don't let a group mentality keep you from being critical of what you see or think.

 

7. start out with short distance trips and work longer with more fitness and experience. luckily you don't have to go far before things get pretty awesome.

 

 

 

Edited by genepires

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why is this in spray? you might have better responses in the climbing forum. or the newb forum.

 

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If you don't put your fucking snowshoes on the skintrack you won't get killed by an irate skier and will therefore survive until you do inevitably do something else stupid like stand under a cornice in the heat of the day, which seems to me to be the sort of thing a snowshoer would do.

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Come to think of it, since when is Hoodsport a mountain community? Pretty sure it's right on the water and not in the mountains.

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Come to think of it, since when is Hoodsport a mountain community?

...asks the irate skier who lives in a fake Bavarian village. :lmao:

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I'm not the irate skier you need to be careful of. Personally, if I see a snowshoer in the skintrack I will politely educate them as to why it is bad form. I was just giving a "snow survival tip."

 

Your Leavenworth fetish is too funny. Why don't you share with us which suburb you live in so we can make fun of it. Just to be fair and all.

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Hoodsport may be on the water, but they're at the mouth of the Dosewallips and folks there seem to identify pretty heavily with the mountains right at their backs. They'd also really like some more outdoorsy tourist dollars to come their way, its a pretty tough place to make a living, and the partial closure of the Dosewallips road has had a negative impact.

 

Critter likely posted in Spray because he thought he was off topic, not that he's looking to be roasted by the locals here. Not snowshoeing up the skin track is a serious piece of mountain etiquette though, and he should definitely include that in his guidelines. Its a simple matter of consideration, and folks new to the snow will likely have no idea how their actions impact other's enjoyment.

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From what little I know about Hoodsport you're either marketing to windsurfers or truckers pulling off the highway. Kind of makes sense they'd like to get folks skiing, climbing or hiking on Hood to stop by for a meal by the river after fun in the mountains.

 

Not snowshoeing on skin tracks is similar in some respects to not stepping on a nearby climbing teams rope at the crag or hogging a route all day. Also consider frequent requests to leave your dog at home when coming to the crag ;)

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Kurt,HoodsPORT not Hood RIVER, we're talking about the one on the Hood Canal, not the Columbia River. Hood River's economy is fat city by comparison.

 

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Kurt,HoodsPORT not Hood RIVER, we're talking about the one on the Hood Canal, not the Columbia River. Hood River's economy is fat city by comparison.

Off, Hoodsport not Brinnon, although I'm sure your points all apply :crosseye:

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if i had a dollar for every time i intentionally tracked up some yuppies ski-line i could retire today and spend the rest of my life swimming laps in an olympic sized pool of dom perignon :)

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I'm not the irate skier you need to be careful of. Personally, if I see a snowshoer in the skintrack I will politely educate them as to why it is bad form. I was just giving a "snow survival tip."

Glad you only want to educate now. We can just ignore you. Still, you sounded like a pretty angry fella in your original post:

If you don't put your fucking snowshoes on the skintrack you won't get killed by an irate skier and will therefore survive until you do inevitably do something else stupid like stand under a cornice in the heat of the day, which seems to me to be the sort of thing a snowshoer would do.

Just because I lay down a skin track doesn't mean I own it--or the mountain upon which it sits. Snowshoers have just as much right to economize their physical output as they move through taxing terrain as the rest of us. This isn't to say common courtesy is dead--but the issue isn't worth initiating a confrontation. Pete, don't be surprised if your efforts to "educate" others earns you a middle finger--often.

 

:thumbsup: to Ivan.

 

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Well what's your point then? It's common courtesy to not schralp the skintrack. Please don't do it. Thanks.

 

Also, friend, last I checked this is Spray, so stop taking it so literal and/or serious.

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That said, I've sure seen snowshoers do a lot of stupid dangerous stuff in the backcountry. To be fair, I've sure seen skiers do a lot of dumb stuff too. Of course, I've never been involved in any such escapades though ;)

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