Most of us are reluctant to welcome winter, because we know with winter conditions, we are limited to when and what our outdoor adventures can be. Especially, if you just recently fell in love with climbing 14ers, winter can feel like a low blow, but you can actually summit 14ers during the winter months! Read more below for basic winter 14er information and how to get a waterproof sign!
Pick Your 14er
Many 14ers can be climbed during the winter, such as Quandary Peak, Mt. Bierstadt, Mt Elbert, and others! The key to picking the right 14er for your winter adventure is to keep up to date on closures due to weather conditions, as well as the ever-changing mountain weather. You also must take into consideration not only the level of difficulty of the 14er you would be attempting, but also how you would do attempting one with all the needed gear.
Much of the gear you would need for a regular summer climb is what you should pack with you for a winter climb, except for with winter climbs, having quality gear that works reliably is pertinent! Winter climbs are more dangerous and less forgiving of mistakes, and of faulty gear. Be sure to consult an experienced guide before heading out!
Make sure your shoes have proper traction and consider buying ice cleats for extra traction or other footwear made particularly for traction in snow and icy conditions. Your footwear can make the difference between having a good time and a possible broken bone when climbing a 14er in the winter.
If you don’t wear head protection during your summer climbs, you must have it for your winter climbs. Because snow and ice can greatly compromise your traction, you must protect your head, especially if you decide to risk hiking by yourself.
Layers are even more crucial as well when hiking during the winter, especially strategic layers, meaing clothes that will not only keep you warm, but will also wick away sweat. Once your are wet, even from sweat, it can be a hard process to get warm again, especially at extreme altitudes during the winter.
Freeze Resistant Gear
When packing, be sure to pack food that will withstand the temperatures, as well as invest in a water container that will keep your water from freezing. Many water bladder manufactures make sleeves and other accessories to keep your water bladders from freezing. The investment will be worth it!
Be sure to bring a first aid kit along with you as well as other safety gear. The means to stay warm, such as a space blanket, are great additions to any pack; not only are space blankets lightweight, but also more effective than any other blanket’s material.
Watch Out for Avalanches
Most know to watch out for avalanches during the winter months, but a reminder never hurt anyone! Avalanches can happen at anytime when there is enough snow and something to disturb it; they can be fatal to anyone caught in one, not only because of the rocks, ice and debris that will come with it, but also because of the possibility of being buried. Be sure to check for the possibility for an avalanche before you attempt a climb!
Get a Terra Slate Sign
Lastly, if you are going to attempt a challenge such as a 14er during the winter, you have to snap a picture! Be sure to get a waterproof sign printed by Terra Slate for your picture to commemorate the occasion! We have high-quality signs that will withstand elements, so the proof that you climbed that mountain won’t be lost! Get your sign today!