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cold fingers

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Re: cold fingers

Postby Pablohoney » Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:39 pm

Have you seen a doc to see if there is an underlying issue?

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/raynau ... se/DS00433
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Re: cold fingers

Postby Teresa Gergen » Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:54 pm

If your fingers turn white, even just in spots, it's Raynaud's. Take 10 mg nifedipine about 15-20 min. before heading into the cold. But I have to wear $200 mittens too - not gloves, and I don't ice climb. Depending on how severe the Raynaud's is, maybe you could get by with gloves. The nifedipine makes a noticeable difference for me. If it's Raynaud's, it will get worse over time as you age, and each time you let your fingers freeze, it will get worse. Mine is bad enough that my fingers will freeze in the dairy aisle at the grocery store, or, as you say, sometimes just sitting in a heated room.
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Re: cold fingers

Postby Pablohoney » Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:04 pm

Plus with the nifedipine you're ready for high altitude:)
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Re: cold fingers

Postby Damien Gildea » Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:45 am

I had a South Pole client years ago who had Raynaud's but did not tell us until he was in Antarctica :-)

He eventually had to leave because his hands were too cold - we didn't actually let him get as far as frostnip - but in the later stages we did give him Nifedipine and that seemed to help some. If you used it regularly, or had other blood or health issues, you should consult your doctor about it. It's a real drug, it has effects.

In another category for circulation are things like Gingko Biloba and garlic supplements. GB does give some people hot flushes, but it's true efficacy is still being debated - for AMS included. Garlic can't hurt, but really may not be effective, and has to be taken in high, strong doses of quality product to have the intended effect. I tried GB on a couple of Antarctic expeditions but could not really tell a difference - but then I wasn't getting cold fingers to start with anyway.
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Re: cold fingers

Postby Vitaliy M. » Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:41 am

I feel your pain Anita. My fingers get cold fast! And it does not matter what gloves I wear usually. Even with gloves that work for majority of my friends I get cold.
While ice climbing I usually have just enough time to complete the pitch and than go through the painful process of warming my hands up at the belay station. And that is during temps that are usually above 15F. It is good I live in CA.
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Re: cold fingers

Postby mrchad9 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:59 am

Thanks for posting this anita- I have the same issues. No discoloration, but my fingertips tend to get cold. After a trip to Shasta in rough conditions last year it took 3-4 months to get all the feeling back.

I'll probably try these drugs mentioned, as I don't want to have future issues. But I've also found it helps if you wear extra layers up top, like one too many. If I'm sweating slightly due to all my jackets and layers then my hands usually fare a little better, even if not how they should be.
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Re: cold fingers

Postby ywardhorner » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:03 am

Mittens with chemical heat packs inside work best for me, though it's pretty hard to ice-climb in them. Sometimes I wear a mitten shell over a fleece glove on my left hand and my regular glove (Black Diamond Ice Glove) on my right hand, for messing with screws (since I'm right-handed). The mitten is OK if I'm only hanging on to a tool.
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Re: cold fingers

Postby Dane1 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:25 am

Good info above.

Best way to warm up your hands ice climbing is go leashless and with a thin glove while climbing. Mittens on while belaying or standing around and with heat packs. Leashless warmer? Sounds silly I know. But being able to drop your arms at every occasion, shake and not having a wrist sling cutting the circulation at the wrist will really help make your hands warmer.
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Re: cold fingers

Postby DukeJH » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:00 pm

I have cold sensitive feet. I have found that by increasing the thickness (insulating value) of layers on my legs that my feet stay warmer. I guess it's possible that blood cools as it flows through a less insulated arm or leg to a hand or foot.
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Re: cold fingers

Postby asmrz » Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:10 pm

Some glove manufacturers now make climbing and skiing gloves which include zippered compartments for heat packs. These compartments are on top of the glove between your wrist and the first set of knuckles. My wife Penelope bought a pair of climbing gloves at REI about a month ago and (even though I was very skeptical) found them very warm when the packets are zippered into the gloves. The heat packets last 7 hours and Pen says they keep her (always cold) fingers nice and warm.
Just FYI.
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Re: cold fingers

Postby pvnisher » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:48 pm

Put the chem heatpack in a little cloth sack (or sacrifice a bit of scrap fleece) and use athletic tape to keep it on the back of your hands. If your gloves aren't too tight they'll fit fine, and the tape keeps them from sliding around or coming off when you change from gloves to mitts.
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Re: cold fingers

Postby robertjoy » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:36 pm

Many years ago I prepared for my first winter climb of Mt Hood by buying a pair of super-thick winter gloves. My fingers still got painfully cold. My next step was to slside little heat-packs inside the gloves: palms warm, fingers still cold. Finally, I bought (expensive) over-mitts with moderately thick fleece liners. These were a BIG improvement, as the digits could cuddle and keep each other warm. And, if necessary, a heat-pack was very effective in keeping the fingers comfortable. Now I take mitten shells/liners along as backup on any hike or mountain climb if the temp is below 40 degrees. Of course there is a dexterity problem, but that is solved by wearing thin liner gloves inside the regular mitt liners. When putting on snow-shoes, eating lunch, etc this protects from wind chill for a few minutes anyway.
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Re: cold fingers

Postby Sierra Ledge Rat » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:48 pm

If you don't have any underlying medical problems that affect your circulation, then the solution is....

.....hydration. Aggressive hydration.
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Re: cold fingers

Postby artrock23 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:23 am

Sierra Ledge Rat wrote:If you don't have any underlying medical problems that affect your circulation, then the solution is....

.....hydration. Aggressive hydration.

Really? Explain, please.
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Re: cold fingers

Postby Sierra Ledge Rat » Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:11 am

artrock23 wrote:Really? Explain, please.



The high, cold mountain environment is very dry. The work is hard. Lots of heavy breathing. Tremendous amounts of moisture are lost to the atmosphere from the lungs. It's a real pain-in-the-ass to melt snow for water. No one drinks enough. Everyone walks around dehydrated.

Dehydration means that the periphery of the body is poorly perfused with blood, relatively speaking. Fingers and toes get cold.

Staying well hydrated means that your extremities will be better perfused - and assuming that you keep your core and extremities insulated - a perfused extremity is a warmer extremity.

If your core gets cold then your body will shunt blood away from your extremities - and your fingers and toes will get cold. So you've got to keep the core warm, too.

Failure to insulate your extremities will also permit your body heat to be radiated to the environment - so you've got to keep that warm extremity insulated.

It's all very dynamic and there are multiple co-dependent factors. But overall, proper hydration is really key to staying warm. A thermos filled with hot water is worth it's weight in gold.

I just did a quick Google search on the role of dehydration in hypothermia:




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