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What's the coldest temp you'll climb in?
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By KevinF
From Granby, CT
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)?


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By MorganH
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.


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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
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.


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By William Domhart
From Ventucky, CA
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.


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By Keenan Waeschle
From Bozeman, MT
Jan 23, 2013
on top of the RNWF <br />June 2012

I've ice climbed in -15 without windchill, it wasn't that awesome.


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By Nick Votto
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..


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By "H"
From Manitou Springs
Jan 23, 2013
Axes glistening in the sun

I've climbed ice well below zero, but can't do rock below 50's.


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By stropsa
From Tempe, AZ
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


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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
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.


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By Eric and Lucie
From Boulder, CO
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.


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By Cale Hoopes
From Sammamish, WA
Jan 23, 2013
Profile Icon

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.


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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Jan 23, 2013
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "Alan Nelson's Bulging Belly" (5.10, X) on the Lost and Found Flatiron. Belayer is Mark Ruocco. Photo by Bill Wright, 10/06.

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."


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By Ed Wright
Jan 23, 2013
Magic Ed

I no longer climb if it's below 60 degrees.


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By Woodchuck ATC
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.


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By Davis Stevenson
From Flagstaff, Arizona
Jan 23, 2013
Following up a new route out in the Mojave Desert.  Info coming soon maybe?  Fun 5.10 hands and fingers.

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.


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By Cale Hoopes
From Sammamish, WA
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.

www.amazon.com/Heat-Factory-Premium-Hand-Warmer/dp/B001OPMFK>>>


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By jack s.
From Kamloops, BC
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.


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By Joe Stark
From Iowa
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!


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By Travis Dustin
From Hollis, NH
Jan 24, 2013
NH

20's outside isnt bad. You` just gotta watch out the icy top outs


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By seth0687
From Fort Collins
Jan 24, 2013
Leading the first ice pitch of the NW Gully-Thatchtop

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.


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By Nick Zmyewski
From Newark, Delaware
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.


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By The Stoned Master
From Millerstown, PA
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?


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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Jan 24, 2013
Stoked...

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.


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By superkick
From West Hartford, CT
Jan 24, 2013
Free Solo up hitchcock gully WI3

around -20 F. Just gotta not stop moving.


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By Nick Zmyewski
From Newark, Delaware
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.


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By Steve M
From MN
Jan 24, 2013

I've climbed I've at -40 before. That's a different kind of 'fun'.


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