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Re: Will it be too cold to backpack Ansel Adams (Thousand Island Lake area) last weekend of Sept?

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I figured it wouldn't be THAT cold yet, but then I saw this weather report:

http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lon=-119.18316750396764&lat=37.72173787504177#.Wbmtish96Uk

That seems quite cold to me. I'm a fairly new backpacker, and the coldest I've ever endured was in Emigrant last year mid October, when night time temps were forecasted in the upper 30s. That felt quite cold, and that was with a fire. Fires AFAIK aren't permitted right now in Ansel.

I'm not worried about freezing to death out there, but just wondering if these conditions will make the trip too uncomfortable. My bag's rated 37/27. Obviously if it snows I'm out, but is it normal for that area to be this cold in late September?
Well, it is not likely to be this cold:


OTOH it won't be as warm as daytime July 1.


I'm not sure what the 37/27 rating means. I've started using a 20deg F bag most of the time, and a 0 deg bag for winter and early spring ski trips. I used to use a 32 deg quilt, but wasn't quite warm enough even in summer. Your mileage will vary.



Do what you love.
May not have been likely, but perhaps it was just that cold. Brrr. Tried to hike Mt Tallac, got snowed out at Cathedral Lake, next morning hiking partners spent several minutes cleaning a couple inches of snow off the car.



Do what you love.
We were at Echo Lake this weekend about the same elevation at TIL, and it was just about freezing at dawn. I would expect it to get colder now, not warmer.



Balzaccom

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I consider any above-freezing temperature to be normal in the High Sierra. Getting out of that tent in the morning can be bracing, but you warm up eventually. A lot depends on how you dress. Socks, sweater(s) tucked into pants, scarf, hat, gloves. A lot also depends on what you do. Sitting around a fire doing nothing is a good way to drop your metabolic rate. Granted, there's a lot of nighttime in October and even in late September, but even then you can go for a little nighttime walk (with or without lights) or climb to a good vantage point to watch the sunrise.
Late September can often be nice but isn't guaranteed to be so. I have a 40, 20, and a 0 degree bag - I expect the 20 to be required.

Ursa Minor: newer bags are now often given two temperature ratings, the higher one tends to be the one for women, the lower one for men, though the actual distinction is warmer versus colder sleepers.
Ahhh. Makes sense. Thanks!



Do what you love.
By the way, these low temperatures in that forecast (low 30s, 29) aren't even out of line for, say, early July or late August - nights have just been absurdly warm so far this year in the Sierra. Those highs are more like late September.
Quote
Ngomaam
I figured it wouldn't be THAT cold yet, but then I saw this weather report:

Looks balmy to me and perfect hiking weather in 50s. Should be a non-issue while you are moving unless it's windy/snowing. I would also check the hourly forecast (scroll down the page to bottom right corner).

For night time sleeping, you can always use 1 or 2 hot water (nalgene) bottle system in addition to other things. For evenings, side hiking trips can keep you busy.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/13/2017 10:35PM by nwhkr.
In my snowcamping training, I learned to put hot water bottles in my sleeping bag when going to bed. I don't really recommend this method. The bottles are very cozy at first, but they can discourage you from layering up properly, and get cold by early morning when you need them most. You also have to be very careful when filling them to not scald yourself and to seal them tightly. And don't use single-wall steel bottles -- too conductive.

Putting on layers can make you cold at first, if the clothes themselves are cold or if you have to undress to do it. A small bottle of hot water in your bag can help with this initial coldness... but you could also just drink it.
Possibly as important as your bag: what sort of sleeping pad are you using?

I bring a big down puffy jacket at this time of year. Makes a great pillow and you can put it on while sleeping if needed.
Good point, @jeffrey. Another snowcamping trick: use two pads.
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