Wandering Daisy wrote:I too am mainly a "hunker down" proponent, EXCEPT in the Fall. I have done enough winter backpacking/mountaineering to have a high degree of respect for snow. Had I awoken to a foot you I would not have gone anywhere; but if the snow had just started and is lightly falling, so I could reach the trail from my off-trail location. I could have waited out the storm and taken the same route down to the trial the next day in better weather (but that is 20/20 hindsight). However, given how cold it was at 8600 feet (Sphinx Creek at trail), I am glad I was not at 11,000 feet (Big Brewer Lake)! Either day going out, Sphinx Pass would not have been safe so I was heading down to the Avalanche Pass trail, regardless.
And I guess you could classify me as the "lean and hungry" type. I am always hungry and eat a lot. Thankfully I did have lots of fuel. I took one of those huge fuel cannisters which lasts 10-11 days. The medium cannister only lasts me 6-7 days. And since I did not catch many fish (two small ones to be exact) my rations were pretty low.
But you are absolutely right, that if dry and warm, staying put keeps you dry and warm, for a few days, provided that your tent does not collapse with snow or start to leak or you do not run out of food or fuel.
I agree with everything you said. I've seen fuel canisters with the pin valve stuck open because of the cold (As recently as Sunday before last.) Tried screwing it back in for the women at the camp next to us. Just resulted in freezer burns on 3 fingers. If you're on a tank, your fuel goes from 6-7 days to zero.