Hi. I’d like to ask for advice on sleeping bags for a Sept Palisades trip that may include carrying it on a climb to bivy.
What bag do you normally choose for such a trip, say camping at Iceberg Lake in early Sept, or Finger Lake, or Palisades Glacier/Gayley Camp and carrying it up a route such as the Swiss Arete on Sill or that long arete of Lone Pine Peak?
These are what I’m currently considering: Marmot Helium 15F Montbell UL Super Spiral #1 15F Mountain Hardware Phantom 15F
Western Mountaineering Ultralite 20F Feathered Friends Hummingbird 20F
Marmot Hydrogen 30F Montbell UL Super Spiral #3 30F
I’m somewhat of a cold sleeper but generally sleep in my 1 lb synth parka with a hood (old GoLite Coal) that I typically carry anyway.
I’ve been at Palisades Glacier before when my water froze overnight at 12K feet, and I was a little chilly but did OK in my synth bag + parka combo. The quilt/bag has about 1.5-1.75 inches of loft (made it myself using Primaloft insulation), ~40 oz. Not sure what “temp rating” this would make it, maybe 30degF? OK, that’s about right according to this: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin ... ement.html
Thanks for any advice and appreciate any thoughts. I have enough experience there that I should know the answer already, but I’m having a tough time because I’d like it to be as light as possible but still want it to be comfortable and safely warm. And the prices! Don’t want to make a poor choice for $400+.
(And congratulations to Bob and the others on another successful Sierra Challenge!)
I'm not familiar with the history of temps for that elevation for Sept, but I'm sure you could dig them up. In addition, you probably know a lot depends on the weather...could be all over the place. I like this website - gives a pretty good idea of what you'll find around that level
I take my summerlite 32 degree bag down to 20 with the setup you're talking about (3/4 length z-lite over a flaked rope over snow below). A hot nalgene doesn't hurt. They longer I do this, the more I look for ways to save weight/bulk by using the clothes I already have, etc to make my sleep system more efficient. I'd say the 20 degree bag is the biggest bag you'd want to rock, but that's just me. Not sure if you're carrying a bivy sack as well, as you know that adds a few degrees.
That GoLite is tempting given the weight, loft, and price! The bag I’m replacing is similar, a half-way open quilt with the pad as the bottom, but I find it’s a bit drafty b/c of how much I toss and turn when sleeping out. (Partly why I got the NeoAir, for the full-length comfort. I envy those that can sleep hard for 8 hours on ¼” Evazote on top of rocks.) Anyway, that’s why I was thinking to move to a mummy.
Do you find the GoLite quilt to stay tucked even when you turn?
Thanks for the weather site. I think you’re right that 15F bags will be too warm, especially for the more common use I’ll make of it (10K-12K Sierra summer/early fall backpacking, typically with a tarptent).
I should have also mentioned that I use a Thermarest NeoAir reg pad with a 1/8” thick closed cell pad (from Gossamer Gear). A hot Nalgene is a good idea, but I don’t carry those anymore (too heavy!). I haven’t tested my Platy equivalent with boiling water come to think of it, but we will be melting snow (if we can find any this year), so I should check that.
I was hoping not to take a bivy, except for an emergency 2-trash-bags-taped-together one. If it looks unstable and likely to rain, we’ll not get on the route. If not bivying, we’ll have a tent. But with the possible winds, that may be a mistake as high wind could probably easily shred the plastic bivy I’ve made. (I’m considering the Mountain Hardware Conduit SL bivy; I don’t own a bivy sack currently.)
We were once at Iceberg Lake in Sept and had winds strong enough to bend the tent poles of an SD Orion. Had the tent sidewall smacking all the way across and against us for most of the night, crazy. Accidentally launched a stuffsack nearly all the way across Iceberg in the morning; lucky to get the stove lit.
Thanks for the advice. I ordered that GoLite quilt (20F, 23 oz, $200) and a MH Conduit SL bivy (available from Sierra Trading Post; was <$60 with a emailed discount). I'll use that with my hood from my coat, a NeoAir, and 1/8" closed cell pad. pad ($14, 2.6 oz) http://gossamergear.com/sleeping/1-8.html