How cold is too cold?

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Goatguy, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. Goatguy

    Goatguy Member

    This coming weekend looks like it's going to be pretty damn cold. Where do you draw the line? What's the worst weather you've ever climbed in?
  2. Bill Kirby

    Bill Kirby Active Member

    Did Roaring Brook Falls when it was -20 years ago. The ice wasn’t as hard as you would think. My friend, Justin, who was guiding me at that time, still brings up he wanted to strangle me for going out that day.

    An ice climbing trip four years ago I took a gym partner on the highs were -14, -9, 0 and 28 the last day. We weren’t out for long but it was still good times. My partner had a great time. I think he actually enjoyed the whole experience.

    The coldest day hands down was Icefields Pkwy AB, Canada. My wife and I’s hair and eye brows froze. Don’t remember the temps but remember my lighter wouldn’t light a cigarette.

    That said, I’m in Baltimore and plan to stay here until mid week next week. My Phantom 6000s climb ice really well and I’m fat so zero is usually where I draw the line. The wind is where I really draw the line. It’s one thing if it’s cold it’s another when it’s cold and windy. Ive turned around way more due to wind than temperatures.
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  3. Crag

    Crag Member

    -6F was the coldest temp to start for me over the years but I don't live in the NE. Last Sunday it was about 0F when we started. Ice was dry and brittle in spots but also kind of sticky. Got lucky as the wind was not of any real concern. When the wind picks up that's when I begin to suffer.
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  4. neiceadmin

    neiceadmin Doug Millen Staff Member

    Back in the 80's we would start climbing at -10 to -20 below all the time at the Lake. I find the real question is the sun shine and how much wind. -10 with snow and wind is way different than -10, sunny with no wind.
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  5. wild bill

    wild bill Member

    Many years ago( at least 15 +yrs ago)
    We were climbing all day in the daks, epic cold day. That night they had the emergency cold warnings out -30 without windchill. After thawing and tuning up in the car;) (always keep lighter next to body)we decided it a good idea to hike into marcydam at night and spend another night( we had crashed in the snow the night before). After running laps around the lean-to in the morning to keep our feet from freezing even though boots were kept at the bottom of our bags, we climbed the Trap Dike. After the crux section we turned back because of dangerous snow conditions.
    First time up the Dike it was. One strong memory that stands out was the sound of everything that night hiking in.
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  6. rockanice

    rockanice Member

    Once upon a time, not too, too far back, my partner and I were eating breakfast early across from the Cyclery In Lake Placid. It was cold, but within the the comfort of the warm diner, we hatched a plan to just hit Multiplication Gully. As a weekend warrior, you don't always get to pick your battles, and usually it takes a hurricane to unravel the best laid plans for an ADK roadtrip. Can't waste the hours driven up and also the debt to your wife for abandoning her yet again for a weekend away. No Free Lunch as they say, so off we went. We watched the temps drop to - 17 as we drove out to the climb and, yes, the wind makes a big difference on a cloudy day. Hiking up we were very surprised to hear someone already hacking away up the first pitch. As cold as it was, we were not expecting other people to be as stupid as we were ! Never underestimate. With all the ice dropping from that team, though, we had to wait, so we adopted a campaign to keep warm. We put in laps of walking back down, tagging the road and then slogging back up to the packs. Like a shark, we kept moving. Eventually, the other team yielded, we climbed and then just at the top, we could see water trickling through, persistent even in the sub-zero weather- Just another one of the amazing little things you see along the way.
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