Tips For Preparing For Winter Climbing Season

  • Steven Brown

down sweat poses a risk of contracting hypothermia? This is when your body loses heat faster than it can produce heat, which causes a dangerously low body temperature. This means that although staying warm and dry is top priority, you also have to think about avoiding overheating too. To lower your risk of this, dressing like an onion so you can peel off layers is best! This is the easiest ay to adjust your temperature safely. Ideally, you want a moisture-wicking base followed by a middle layer of insulating fleece to keep you warm. Avoid cotton as it stays wet and always pack a puffy insulation layer too if you’re going to be staying still for long periods. Don’t forget your weatherproof outer jacket and trousers too!

 

Make sure you’ve got the right footwear

 

As the seasons change, so does the weather. One of the most important pieces of your year-round kit should be the right footwear. You want something that will get you through any weather and our 18 Teeth Ice Climbing Snowshoesare an outdoor necessity for tackling a wide range of uneven terrains. With high-strength 18 claws positioned horizontally, these shoes allow you to walk comfortably and feel safe walking on icy or sandy ground. They also evenly distribute weight providing you with lasting stability. Just what you want!

 

Another option is our 10 Stud Universal Ice Snow Shoe. They have a slightly different design, the unique 10 teeth design ensure the chain doesn’t slip and gives you a better grip. Not to mention they have been tested to remain flexible in temps up to -40°C! They are great in scenarios such as: hiking angled terrain, icy roads and driveways, dangerous sections of trail (ice covered boulders, woods, ice, mud, etc.) If you are into winter trail running, hiking or ice fishing, these shows reduce the expected risk of injury as well.

 

Don’t be afraid to accessorise

 

Invest in a warm weatherproof hat to help control your temperature. You can also layer your socks and gloves with base & wooly layers too. Don’t forget to pack extras in case you get wet. This extends to your climbing gear too, never be afraid to accessorise! Anything that will help you climb better is always a good idea. One time in particular that’s worth packing is our Portable Climbing Grappling Hook Claw. This item is available at a fair price and really aids in snowy and icy climbing.

 

Protect your gear

 

It’s all good and well packing a bunch of gear that will help you perfect that tough climb during more testing weather, but what about protecting the gear itself? If you get caught in the bad weather, you want the actual bag containing your supplies protecting too! So much of our time and energy is (rightfully) spend on planning for worse case scenario and making sure you’re covered in all areas, that this last form of protection can often be forgotten about. Our Climbing Rain Cover Backpack is the perfect accessory for hiking during a range of different, unpredictable, winter weather. Available in a wide range of different colours and shades, we are proud to be able to offer this back in a number of sizes too: 20L, 30L, 35L, 40L, 50L and 60L.

 

Check the weather

 

This may be seem obvious, but never forget to check the weather. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your favourite routes can become long and scary ones if you get stuck in extreme weather. You need to avoid putting yourself in danger and steer clear of strong winds, freezing rain and blizzards. Always check the weather forecast and your trail conditions before setting out. If the weather begins to become unmanageable, turn back immediately as you’ll have less daylight and run the risk of getting stuck.

 

Brush up on your health

 

As we have covered already, extreme cold is bad news for the human body and you run the risk of contracting frostbite and hypothermia. Make sure you research and remind yourself of the warning signs of both of these. If travelling in a group, you should also make sure everyone else is aware of this too. Make sure everyone has accessories like hand-warming packets and a first aid kit in case somebody does get hurt. Never shrug it off and try to be a hero if you’re feeling unwell. Always speak up, it’s better to make it home safe.

 

Other things to remember

 

  • Daylight hours are a lot shorter in the Winter, they really creep up on you! You need to hit the trail early to avoid being out in the dark.
  • Winter hiking also takes twice as longer as Summer hiking, this is because we tend to move slower and also encounter more obstacles. With the previous post in mind, plan accordingly. Even if you think you are over-planning.
  • Another thing to remember is in freezing conditions is that technological devices tend to malfunction in cold temperatures. Always pack extra batteries or battery packs, but when it comes to navigation don’t reply on your phone!
  • If trekking in snow, snowpack can actually hide the trail. This makes it easier for trail markers to get lost. Between this and the high potential of your phone malfunctioning, it’s even more important to stay alert, pay attention and know how to use a map.
  • Exercising during the Winter, especially in extreme conditions, burns more calories. This is why it’s extremely important to stay nourished. Not only will this help refuel you energy-wise, it will also keep you warm too. Every little helps.
  • Hydration is important on any given day, but even more so when you’re hiking in colder weather or extreme weather. Dehydration expedites the onset of hypothermia. It is incredibly important to stay hydrated. Remember if you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.
  • In the Summer months, you typically avoid the sunniest part of the day when hiking. However, in the Winter it’s actually the opposite! You want to try time your hike for when the sun is highest in the sky and the warmest. As soon as the sun drops behind the mountains and trail becomes shady, temperates can drop significantly.

 

Contact My Climbing Gear

 

 If you are looking for more tips and advice designed to make you a better climber, as well as a wide range of name brand climbing gear and apparel, check out My Climbing Gear today!

 

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