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What's the coldest temp you'll climb in?
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Jan 23, 2013
With a cold snap hitting much of the U.S. it got me wondering about people's tolerance for the cold. So, what's the coldest you're WILLING to climb rock in? Ice? What's the coldest you've ever climbed in (willing or not)? KevinF
From Granby, CT
Joined Mar 9, 2010
4 points
Jan 23, 2013
If there's no wind and it's sunny, I'll climb rock down into the low 20s.

Wind really kills it though. If it's breezy, I won't go much below 35.
MorganH
Joined Sep 14, 2010
187 points
Jan 23, 2013
Bocan
It doesn't matter the temp...it's when I can't hold onto the rock due to the cold that I'll stop climbing. Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Joined Feb 15, 2006
927 points
Jan 23, 2013
Traverse by HWY 41 Cave
Upper 30's in the sun, no wind
Mid 40-50 if its windy. Wind is the deal breaker usually.
As long as I can feel my hands or warm them up between climbs/pitches.
William Domhart
From Ventucky, CA
Joined Sep 22, 2011
9 points
Jan 23, 2013
on top of the RNWF June 2012
I've ice climbed in -15 without windchill, it wasn't that awesome. Keenan Waeschle
From Bozeman, MT
Joined Feb 8, 2010
217 points
Jan 23, 2013
Bolton, VT
I've bouldered in the low-mid 20's many times, not bad...
Rope climbed in the high 30 which kind of sucks...
Ice probably around 0 or a little less with wind chill, not too fun..
Nick Votto
Joined Jul 27, 2008
276 points
Jan 23, 2013
Axes glistening in the sun
I've climbed ice well below zero, but can't do rock below 50's. "H"
From Manitou Springs
Joined Feb 13, 2006
59 points
Jan 23, 2013
i've done trad in the upper 20's with shade and wind, overhanging sport in the 20's/10's with snow... the key is to keep your hand warm, throw a handwarmer or two in your chalk bag and you're fine stropsa
From Tempe, AZ
Joined Mar 29, 2012
6 points
 
Administrator
Jan 23, 2013
El Chorro
Bouldering in ridiculously cold weather is fun if you're prepared and it's dry without wind.

Cragging can be great too as long as you're dressed right and the rock is not too cold. For me that is the main problem - when the holds are too cold. But sun and no wind can keep things manageable into the 20s.
Ryan Williams
From London (sort of)
Joined May 10, 2009
1,468 points
Jan 23, 2013
Did the approach to an ice route near Banff by -40F (measured) (happens to be also -40C), but did not even get the gear out of the packs.

Started up a route in the Ghost valley by -30F (approximate) once. Did a few moves (bullet hard ice as you might guess), then tried to place a screw but could not get it in at all!! Climbed back down and bailed.

These days, I don;t really want to get out for ice is it's much below 10F in town... it's simply not that much fun when it's too cold.
Eric and Lucie
From Boulder, CO
Joined Oct 14, 2004
153 points
Jan 23, 2013
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I think it turns out that I've climbed in about -8 at the Ouray Festival one day. So, I guess that's the lowest I'll go. Fricken cold. Cale Hoopes
From Sammamish, WA
Joined Nov 23, 2012
10 points
Jan 23, 2013
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "...
I quit climbing ice because I am not tolerant of cold, if that's a hint.
As for rock, over 32 and a high for the day of 40-45 can get me out to a sunny crag. I'll climb easy routes in colder - about down to freezing. Did all of Frogland in the snow once. Do flatirons at sunup in subfreezing with some regularity, as a scramble is more aerobic and I don't freeze my self (or fingers) and so I don't mind.

In other words "it depends."
Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Joined Jan 1, 2001
23,493 points
Jan 23, 2013
Magic Ed
I no longer climb if it's below 60 degrees. Ed Wright
Joined May 14, 2006
332 points
Jan 23, 2013
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
Rock,,,sunny in the 40's. Ice? My circulation has gotten so bad in fingers and toes I get cold in the teens now. Should be able to last a few hours in ice at 10 degrees. Have done about 20 below in mid 80's during that coldest spell we ever had here in Chicago area. Woodchuck ATC
Joined Nov 29, 2007
3,090 points
Jan 23, 2013
Following up a new route out in the Mojave Desert....
stropsa wrote:
i've done trad in the upper 20's with shade and wind, overhanging sport in the 20's/10's with snow... the key is to keep your hand warm, throw a handwarmer or two in your chalk bag and you're fine


Same. Too bad we didn't think of the handwarmers before that trip. That was the ONLY time I've been to the Pit and didn't have to wait in line for Slate...

20s isn't too bad if it's sunny and you have a way to warm your hands... when it slipped into the 10s, and the wind/snow came, that's when it got a little dicey.
Davis Stevenson
From Flagstaff, Arizona
Joined Dec 5, 2010
26 points
Jan 24, 2013
Profile Icon
P.S. From my testing, the best hand warmers are easily the HEAT FACTORY ones. They kick ass over the crappy Grabber ones that REI loves.

amazon.com/Heat-Factory-Premiu...
Cale Hoopes
From Sammamish, WA
Joined Nov 23, 2012
10 points
 
Jan 24, 2013
Mean Green P2
I've climbed quite comfortably in -20 Canadian a few times quite happily. Ice gets much more difficult at that temperature though. I am sure I have rock climbed at below freezing, but I don't remember when exactly. I'd climb in colder conditions of the occasion presented itself though. Last time I climbed in -20C without gloves and I was comfortable as long as I was moving. jack s.
From Kamloops, BC
Joined Jan 11, 2011
12 points
Jan 24, 2013
Warming up
Sport climbing in single digit temps on New Years Day this year in Iowa. It was so cold on my warmup that little pebbles in some of the pockets were freezing to the sweat on my palms! Joe Stark
From Iowa
Joined Oct 1, 2010
377 points
Jan 24, 2013
Lost in the Sun pitch 2
20's outside isnt bad. You` just gotta watch out the icy top outs
Travis Dustin
From Hollis, NH
Joined Jan 8, 2012
1,614 points
Jan 24, 2013
Just below the chockstone on Alexander's chimney
Been at vail a few times when it was -25 to -30F. No amount of "jumping jacks"during belay made that day worth it lol. seth0687
From Fort Collins
Joined Nov 20, 2007
392 points
Jan 24, 2013
the frozen topout during a winter ascent
I lead high exposure just after new years and it was about 15 degrees that day. So far that's the coldest I've climbed in. Nick Zmyewski
From Newark, Delaware
Joined Jun 2, 2011
132 points
Administrator
Jan 24, 2013
Day Lily.
A lot of you climb (free climb?) in cold temps. Bare handed, 3/4 finger gloves (just tips exposed) or full glove? The Stoned Master
From Pennsylvania
Joined Dec 5, 2012
3,586 points
Administrator
Jan 24, 2013
A Very Not Snowy Christmas...
There are certain walls in CT that when it's 20 deg in the shade the rock and walls heat up into the 60's... it's the dark basalt traprock. Morgan Patterson
Joined Oct 13, 2009
8,415 points
Jan 24, 2013
Free Solo up hitchcock gully WI3
around -20 F. Just gotta not stop moving. superkick
From West Hartford, CT
Joined Aug 23, 2011
31 points
 
Jan 24, 2013
the frozen topout during a winter ascent
I have a pair of 3/4 gloves (tips exposed) that also have a mitten flap attached, so I have alot of flexibility in how much finger I want exposed. Nick Zmyewski
From Newark, Delaware
Joined Jun 2, 2011
132 points
Jan 24, 2013
I've climbed I've at -40 before. That's a different kind of 'fun'. Steve M
From MN
Joined Aug 2, 2011
92 points


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