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WImping out in the cold


Original Post
ebmudder · · Bronx, NY · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 50

I was supposed to go to the 'Gunks this past Sat., but the forecast was 17 degrees at 9 am and a high of 37 by midafternoon. I did not go because I couldn't imagine climbing when it was below 20 degrees (and it was a long drive just to get skunked).  I've climbed in the 50s and maybe once in the upper 40s (with gloves and handwarmers at belays), but a long pitch with sub-20 temps seems like a separate realm of suffering. 

How do you do it without your hands freezing? I would give it a try if I had a few insights. I presume if it's sunny the rock will be warmer than the surrounding air, but still...

Morgan Patterson · · CT · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 8,767

Go to S/SW facing cliffs that are in the sun and heat up throughout the entire day...

Will Maness · · Raleigh, NC · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 0

Hand warmers in the chalk bag, keep your shoes inside your down jacket when belaying, warming up appropriately before each climb...those are a few different tactics.  Generally, you can get away with freezing temps if you are at a south-facing cliff with no clouds and little wind.  Granted, sometimes you might just have to suffer some screaming barfies...the things we do to climb!

ebmudder · · Bronx, NY · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 50
Will Maness wrote:

Hand warmers in the chalk bag, keep your shoes inside your down jacket when belaying, warming up appropriately before each climb...those are a few different tactics.  Generally, you can get away with freezing temps if you are at a south-facing cliff with no clouds and little wind.  Granted, sometimes you might just have to suffer some screaming barfies...the things we do to climb!

Thanks WIll...I am familiar with those techniques, but I just can't imagine pulling one move when it's that cold.

Michael Diep · · vienna, va · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 0

I was there this weekend and had no issues with my hands.  I used the petzl lightweight belay gloves half the time and did not use hand warmers.  My partner was complaining about hands freezing the first day but found it to be ok on Sunday with hand warmers.  

High E was finally empty enough to get on....

ebmudder · · Bronx, NY · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 50
Morgan Patterson wrote:

Go to S/SW facing cliffs that are in the sun and heat up throughout the entire day...

Thanks Morgan...I suppose I could have just waited until noon...but I was thinking more of how do you climb when it's not sunny and the temps are below freezing all day? Maybe it's just a sufferfest and I need to man up...or I can just stay home :)

ebmudder · · Bronx, NY · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 50
Michael Diep wrote:

I was there this weekend and had no issues with my hands.  I used the petzl lightweight belay gloves half the time and did not use hand warmers.  My partner was complaining about hands freezing the first day but found it to be ok on Sunday with hand warmers.  

High E was finally empty enough to get on....

Thanks Michael...were you climbing with the belay gloves on? Or just keeping your hands warm when not actively climbing?

Tim Lutz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 5

use your toxic masculinity to warm yourself

Michael Diep · · vienna, va · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 0
ebmudder wrote:

Thanks Michael...were you climbing with the belay gloves on? Or just keeping your hands warm when not actively climbing?

Just during the belays.  Even though my hands didn't get uncomfortable, they definitely lose some feeling if you're idle for a bit.  Higher chance of dropping things.  I dropped my shoe at the base of one climb and some slings when racking up at a different climb before I realized what was happening.  My partner dropped a locker when setting up his anchor.

Creed A · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 775

Using "p*ssying out" in your title implies that women are weak, and that not "going for it" is a female trait. Those stereotypes aren't accurate. I would appreciate it if you change the title. 

Mike Fox 1 · · Greenwood, ME · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

Was in the dack's this past weekend, up around champlain and Poke O'. Daytime temps Friday were around 7-12. Cold as hell in the shade, but anything S facing was actually pretty nice. 

Morgan Patterson · · CT · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 8,767
ebmudder wrote:

but I was thinking more of how do you climb when it's not sunny and the temps are below freezing all day? Maybe it's just a sufferfest and I need to man up...or I can just stay home :)

or GO skiing!!

Pnelson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 160

I wish folks would stop using the word p**sy to describe something that is weak.  Those things pass babies and can take constant pounding.  If you're going to describe something that is all weak and wussy, use some body part that, I dunno, can't stand the cold, and shrivels up whenever it gets flicked even a little.

Anyway, if you're scroting out in the cold, try handwarmers in your chalkbag, a propane heater at the bottom of the cliff, or go bouldering.  I usually route climb down to 35 in the sun, boulder down to 25.  If the sun goes, I go too.

ebmudder · · Bronx, NY · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 50
Morgan Patterson wrote:

or GO skiing!!

it's on my agenda, but not sure if any mountains are open yet in the Catskills.

ebmudder · · Bronx, NY · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 50
Creed A wrote:

Using "p*ssying out" in your title implies that women are weak, and that not "going for it" is a female trait. Those stereotypes aren't accurate. I would appreciate it if you change the title. 

LOL...should I change it to "S*ssying out"? Or maybe "Gender Neutral Fear of Cold" ?

mediocre · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 0
ebmudder wrote:

LOL...should I change it to "S*ssying out"? Or maybe "Gender Neutral Fear of Cold" ?

You don’t have to be a dick about it.

David Kerkeslager · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 55

I was up in Peterskill the weekend you wimped out on. Most of the East Cliff and the Bunk Bed section of the West Cliff have a good orientation for getting sun all day. I got a lot of good climbs in and had a fun time. My climbing partner was somewhat less enthusiastic.

ebmudder · · Bronx, NY · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 50
mediocre wrote:

You don’t have to be a dick about it.

I see what you did there...just don't get your panties in a knot about it!

ebmudder · · Bronx, NY · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 50
David Kerkeslager wrote:

I was up in Peterskill the weekend you wimped out on. Most of the East Cliff and the Bunk Bed section of the West Cliff have a good orientation for getting sun all day. I got a lot of good climbs in and had a fun time. My climbing partner was somewhat less enthusiastic.

Thanks David...I will try to woman-up next time and get over it.

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
ebmudder wrote:

...but I was thinking more of how do you climb when it's not sunny and the temps are below freezing all day? 

I don't. 

Probably did so a few times in college, but became much smarter after that. 

Shepido · · CO · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 50
ebmudder wrote:

.....but a long pitch with sub-20 temps seems like a separate realm of suffering. 

How do you do it without your hands freezing? I would give it a try if I had a few insights. I presume if it's sunny the rock will be warmer than the surrounding air, but still...

I don't honestly know if you do (not have your hands freeze). Watching the film on Tommy and Alex doing the Fitzroy Traverse  - I think they climbed a lot of that in gloves. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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