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 Going above treeline for the first time 
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Flatfoot
Flatfoot

Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:02 pm
Posts: 5
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 Going above treeline for the first time
I'm somewhat new to Winter hiking and have done around 10 4000 footers already (I've done them all in the warmer seasons) but I've never gone above treeline on a winter hike. I'm planning on doing Monroe, Washington, and hopefully Jefferson before the winter officially ends. What do people carry thats different when going above treeline? I'm mainly concerned with staying warm and traction.


Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:43 am
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Sovereign Woodsman
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Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:10 pm
Posts: 2364
Location: Natick, MA
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Full crampons for those peaks would be the only thing I would add over what I typically carry in winter (several mid layers, a shell, facemask, goggles, etc. You want to be able to cover ALL skin if it is windy, and windproof layers are good). And depending on the coverage, the crampons may not even be necessary, good snow cover=snowshoes, thin cover and no boilerplate might mean light traction. It really depends on the day.

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Sat Feb 22, 2014 2:15 pm
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Mountain Maestro
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Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:22 pm
Posts: 485
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A big thing I need to take care to remember is sun protection. Good sunglasses and sunscreen frequently reapplied can be critical on bluebird late winter days. Regarding warmth and traction I don't really do anything different versus below treeline. Maybe I would make a point to bring wind layers but they come with we below treeline much of the time.


Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:14 am
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Sovereign Woodsman
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Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:56 pm
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Location: Canaan, NH
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I will agree with the others and say appropriate traction for the day, a good wind blocking layer and the ability to cover all skin.

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Sun Feb 23, 2014 5:43 pm
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Hiking Forums Are My Crack
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Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:37 pm
Posts: 7137
Location: Exeter, NH
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Staying warm is no different than below treeline unless it's windy, then obviously wind proof layers is a must. Sunscreen is a good one too. You'll get toasted on a sunny day without it. Goggles to if it's windy with blowing snow. And the full crampon is probably a must, and personally I'd bring an ice axe, but that's just me. There's a whole lot more you can do with it than self arrest. Bivy sack maybe? Even if it's just the cheap SOL one.

This is the time of year when the warmer days like this weekend and the cold nights/days mixed in make for really icy and slick conditions and a simple trip can mean a slide of hundreds of feet just about anywhere. Without knowing too much about your experience that seems like an ambitious list there. Good luck.


Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:26 pm
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