HI everyone -
I've had a number of questions (both here and directly) about the Sunday Hike #1 at Old Rag given the weather forecast.
The hike is ON (rain or shine - but likely rain, possibly early freezing rain).
This is a great opportunity to dial-in your cold/rain gear in less than ideal weather conditions, so we'll take full advantage of what Mother Nature has to throw at us. We'll also use it to discuss the pace needed to move through the mountains while keeping your heart rate in check, a fundamental element of successful alpinism.
Couple of strongly suggested items for those that are joining:
1. Baselayers. Think about base layers (if you'd need them). The temperatures range from 20s-40s, but in wet conditions. For me, I'm unlikely to do a base layer since we'll be moving over a couple thousand feet of elevation.
2. Hard shells, for both upper and lower body. Upper body for sure. If you have pit vents in your upper body hard shells, even better. You'll want to dump heat as we move.
3. Gaiters. To keep your legs dry/warm.
4. Gloves. If you have synthetics that are water resistant, even better.
5. Trekking poles. Never leave home without them (at least I don't).
6. Hat. Something that's synthetic/wicks moisture.
7. Extra layers. You'll want extra layers to start to dial-in your layering system (upper body, lower body, socks). Given the rain, strongly recommend against anything down and stick to synthetics. At minimum, bring an extra jacket to put on when we stop for a break. Remember - no cotton (it absorbs water and doesn't wick worth a d**m). Wool or synthetics.
7. Microspikes/yaktrax. There may be residual snow/ice, so proper gear on your boots is critical. Mountaineering crampons are not needed.
8. Food/water. Recommend 2L of water and lunch/trail snacks. We'll stop about every hour for a few minutes, but will keep going to stay on time.
Our goal will be to move about 1,000 vertical feet every hour (or 250ft every 15 minutes). As this is a training hike, we'll talk about efficient movement in the mountains in less than ideal conditions - and actually practice in real time. :)
On carpools, I can't personally help with that on Sunday (sorry about that). If folks need a carpool partner, I'd keep an eye out on the listserve to see if folks are available.