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Food for Winter Alpine Hikes/Climbs

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:38 pm
by Mindy
I tend to not want to eat anything when it is cold and windy, and for the most part, wait until I am back at the car. The food I bring tastes horrible, like it morphs into something different in the cold alpine. I need to change this though, I know, for obvious reasons regarding energy, but for also simply enjoying the adventure more.

What do you bring to eat and drink for winter alpine hikes/climbs?

Thanks!

Re: Food for Winter Alpine Hikes/Climbs

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:22 pm
by dskoon
Hey, Mindy, what kind of food are you bringing that tastes so disgusting?
I definitely know how the cold can warp/morp something that would otherwise be edible into something resembling hard cardboard, etc.

My suggestion is to look for foods that you really like and that you think will hold up to the cold, and give them a try, rather than relying on
Cliff bars, or whatever, that tend to turn into frozen blocks. Pbj's tend to handle the cold alright, and they almost taste better to me in colder
conditions. . . Nuts, cheese and crackers, etc, also seem to hold up fine, and are great for stopping and nibbling on. Oranges, slices of apple, etc,
also give that quick burst of sugar and will be fine in the cold.

Depends a bit on what you're doing, how long you're out and how cold it is, etc, but, sometimes it's nice in those conditions to carry a small,
thin thermos of tea or hot chocolate; nothing like sipping something warm and delicious at a cold rest stop. I've been know to eat a Snickers bar
during skiing, as they also provide a ton of energy and taste good, (albeit a bit hard), partially frozen.
Experiment! You'll find something that works for you.

Good luck!

Re: Food for Winter Alpine Hikes/Climbs

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:35 pm
by Mindy
Thanks dskoon! PBJ's, I like that one :)

Re: Food for Winter Alpine Hikes/Climbs

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:36 pm
by dskoon
Mindy wrote:Thanks dskoon! PBJ's, I like that one :)



They are good!

Re: Food for Winter Alpine Hikes/Climbs

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:24 pm
by nartreb
A thermos of hot drinks is *crucial* in really cold weather.
Food with high water content will freeze solid. Even a cliff bar or Snickers bar is too much water. The smaller sizes of Snickers will be OK, but don't bring the big ones. A clif bar will be edible if you break it lengthwise in advance of your trip (you can do it without opening the package). You can try dried fruit (pack it carefully so the pieces don't stick together), but don't bring a whole apple or orange on a trip of any length when the temperature is near zero farenheit.
Food with very high fat content always tastes good in winter, and resists turning into a popsicle. I like to carry a dry, hard salami (very hard to find in the US!) and a medium-texture cheese (like swiss); they resist freezing pretty well but I usually slice them beforehand anyway, both as insurance against freezing and to save myself a few minutes of sitting around fiddling with a knife while my fingers freeze.
PB&J works pretty well - even better with hot chocolate!

Re: Food for Winter Alpine Hikes/Climbs

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:52 pm
by JHH60
+1 on a thermos of hot drink and salami. I like green tea as it's relatively thirst quenching, but cocoa is comforting and has more energy content. Molinari dry salami is made in the Bay Area and is tasty and works well; outside CA I think you can buy it on the web. Crackers or crisp bread can provide some carbs and taste good with cheese or salami. Dried bananas are high in sugar and have little enough water that they won't freeze. As Nartreb noted, high fat, low water foods don't easily freeze, are tasty and pack a lot of energy; aside from salami I find beef jerky, peanuts and other nuts, moderately hard cheese (like cheddar) and chocolate bars (or M&Ms) work well. In my experience, Power Bars are particularly hard to chew in sub-freezing temps, and Clif bars get pretty hard as well, but if you stick them inside your layers so they don't freeze they become edible. A good solid hot breakfast, if you can get it, helps keep the fires burning all day (and there's nothing like burping up the flavor of biscuits and sausage gravy when you're ice climbing. :oops: ).

Re: Food for Winter Alpine Hikes/Climbs

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 2:08 am
by aglane
Borden's condensed mincemeat a good alternative to Clif bars and the like, high in calories and complex flavors.

Re: Food for Winter Alpine Hikes/Climbs

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 4:30 am
by moonspots
Mindy wrote:I tend to not want to eat anything ...
What do you bring to eat and drink for winter alpine hikes/climbs?
Thanks!


I like Pistachios, almonds and dried fruit, or fruit rollups. Clif bars are "ok", blocks are good.

Re: Food for Winter Alpine Hikes/Climbs

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 4:37 am
by colinr
The mountains are food for the soul, but adventures are more enjoyable when you stay fueled out there; thanks for the tips!


Re: Food for Winter Alpine Hikes/Climbs

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 6:05 am
by mrchad9
Good thread (but for SeanReedy's typical off topic posts).

I've recently taken to bringing shelled pumpkin seeds on my outings. Whole Food has them with a bit of chilli powder and they taste great. Bonus is the high calorie content and they are healthy too. PBJs are great... I usually use blackberry jelly for something a little different. I love chocolate coconut granola bars too.

Re: Food for Winter Alpine Hikes/Climbs

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 6:21 am
by colinr
Sounds like Chad needs some whisky.

I like chocolate, as well as several of the suggestions already posted; I prefer dark chocolate and tend to purchase it in bars (at Trader Joe's).

Re: Food for Winter Alpine Hikes/Climbs

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 6:57 am
by mrchad9
They sell it too cheap not to buy...

Image

Re: Food for Winter Alpine Hikes/Climbs

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:33 pm
by mconnell
Thermos is too heavy to carry any further than my car. I usually carry chocolate and/or peanut M&M's, a couple of granola bars, nuts, and a few Gu packets for long winter days. Add something with calories to water and I'm good to go. I usually avoid taking anything I can't eat while moving, especially if I'm solo, since I don't like taking many breaks. On technical climbs, this also means I can easily eat at the belay.

Re: Food for Winter Alpine Hikes/Climbs

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:00 pm
by ywardhorner
I lose my interest in eating when it's cold and when I'm above 11k it's a real torture to eat anything. I've found these things that work:

Ensures (yep, the stuff for geriatrics/invalids). It will get slushy/half-frozen eventually and it's relatively heavy but it's saved me a bunch of times. Easier for me to drink than chew my nutrition when my appetite is gone. Don't have to stop long to suck one down either.

Jelly Beans make a nice sugar drip

I can always pour Hammer Gel down my throat -- I keep it in small flasks in an inside pocket (otherwise it does start to freeze and get hard to squeeze out)

Home-made raspberry-cream cheese brownies w/ nuts -- mmmmmmm --- taste good half-frozen and tons of calories.

best,
Yvette

Re: Food for Winter Alpine Hikes/Climbs

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 9:32 pm
by ScottyP
mconnell wrote:Thermos is too heavy to carry any further than my car. I usually carry chocolate and/or peanut M&M's, a couple of granola bars, nuts, and a few Gu packets for long winter days. Add something with calories to water and I'm good to go. I usually avoid taking anything I can't eat while moving, especially if I'm solo, since I don't like taking many breaks. On technical climbs, this also means I can easily eat at the belay.



Hmm, I'm carrying a thermos to the summit of Vinson in two weeks and have always carried on on Denali, Shasta, Aconcagua etc... Too heavy? Really ?