stove for winter whitney trip


Original Post
neils · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 0

I am going to whitney in a couple of weeks for a 4 night trip. I own a whisperlite and a regular classic primus canister stove. I was thinking cleaning and flying and dealing with the white gas stove might be a PIA. I can rent a stove when I get there...or I was thinking about getting something like an MSR WIndpro II where I can invert the canister to be effective in the cold.

Figure on the temps going down to 0-5 F. Inverted canister or white gas? If white gas should I rent or would I be ok if I clean my stove and fuel bottle and check it in baggage. I've read TSA guidelines on it and I am technically allowed to do it - but I have heard folks say they have had issues. Plus dealing with white gas is kind of a PIA.

Thoughts? Seems to be that something like a Windpro II might be the lightest and easiest and if you subtract the rental cost its not that bad of a deal.

Craig Childre · · Lubbock, Texas · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 4,945

Never been a fan of the canisters. Stove of preference is the Optimus Nova. I ran the predecessor for years with zero issues... till a car ran over it. I grew up using Sveas, which the Nova is patterned after.

IJMayer · · Bellingham, WA · Joined Jan 2011 · Points: 90

what about renting a reactor? high elevation cold climbing is what they were made for.

Mannamedstan Smith · · Carpinteria, CA · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 20

4 days at those temps with the amount of snow this season, I would take the Whisperlite. I have multiple whisperlites and if you tune them up a little before you put them in your pack, they seem to never fail. I have gotten it out to find shitty O rings, but I should have checked it prior to packing it, my bad.

I have used the inverted canister thinking it would help efficiency, but it still chugged the gas in the cold. I have both sizes of windburners and they are killer but I dont think I would want to carry any extra canisters, when I know I can get through with only 1 can on the whisperlite. Its maybe lighter, but I just dont like dealing with the canisters and carrying empty shit even downhill pisses me off. I generally am taking the Windburners on strike missions normally only 1 night or 2. I didnt find the Windpro to perform all that much better than the windburner, actually ended up selling it.

How high are you gonna post up? The O-ring on my smaller windburner froze and cracked somewhere on the hike from portal to iceberg early last April. Worked fine in the parking lot.

Have fun stay cold

mark felber · · Wheat Ridge, CO · Joined Jul 2005 · Points: 28

Before you take a white gas stove, check the individual airline's rules along with the TSA rules. In the past some airlines have gone beyond TSA regs with white gas stoves. Have a copy of the rules with you.

Craig Childre · · Lubbock, Texas · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 4,945

Never been pressed to do so... I would like to point out, while the Optimus works best burning white gas... it can also run off jet fuel, pump gas, Diesel, and kerosene.

neils · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 0

I am doing a trip with AAI - they will rent me a stove but I am not exactly sure which model - the guide says he uses a Jetboil canister of some kind

C Brooks · · Fresno, CA · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 461

A canister stove will work fine if you keep the fuel out of the snow. Get a piece of styrofoam put the canister on that, will work fine in 0-5F temps

EWilliams · · Truckee, CA · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 0

+1 for MSR canister stoves. The reactor is a Beast! Cold weather and wind can't touch it. Forget insulating the canister with foam. Use a lightweight Tupperware dish or MSR deep dish bowl and put a small amount of water in it with the canister. Way more efficient. White gas stoves are great but better for extended trips and base camps.

But if you choose to take your white gas stove it's not a big deal provided you check it. Just clean it out prior to flying.

neils · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 0

does turning the canister upside down really make a big difference? I saw a comment upthread that suggested not so much. Curious about others experience.

C Brooks · · Fresno, CA · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 461

FYI - I have used the Windburner on Whitney, and Shasta in the winter. as well as Rainier in the early spring. No issues. It also melts snow WAY faster than a white gas stove, and I ended up using far less fuel than my partner who wanted to use his white gas stove (although it was not a XRG)

Jeremy B. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2013 · Points: 0
neils wrote:does turning the canister upside down really make a big difference? I saw a comment upthread that suggested not so much. Curious about others experience.
In freezing temps with a 4-season mix at 20% propane, using it inverted will mean the mix will stay at 20% propane as you burn it. Conversely, using it upright will mean the propane preferentially burns off, and so halfway through you might have only a 7% propane mix, and eventually none. The boiling point of the mix increases as the percentage of propane falls, and your stove will lose pressure as that happens.

High altitude will only partially offset the problem of the colder temperatures. If you use the bowl of water method, don't use hot water (it being liquid is sufficient). The general safety rule is to never let the canister become too hot to comfortably hold with your hand.
amockalypsenow · · San Diego · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 330

Been up there in winter a couple times and had no issues using my jetboil.

neils · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 0

Thanks all for the input. Still checking to see what I can rent. The reactor looks really good. I wonder how much better the various intrgrated canister systems (reactor, wind burner, sol, flash, etc) would be if they had an inverted canister like the jetboil joule. It's too large and heavy for what I want but I find it strange that more of the systems don't have inverted canister.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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