Layering for Tetons in Early August

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by eggzlot, Mar 12, 2017.

  1. eggzlot

    eggzlot Member

    Messages:
    17
    Hi All

    You were all very helpful in helping me and my friends secure a permit for the Tetons in August. We are going to do Paintbrush/Cascade loop.

    What I have to pick from (not bringing everything!!)
    1 - S/S Merino Wool Tshirt (lightweight)
    1 - L/S Merino Wool 1/4 neck zip up (mid weight)
    1 - Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody - Primaloft 100g with windproof shell
    1 - Patagonia Acensionist Jacket - Its a little big on me but likely useable - good for rain coverage, not sure if it will supply any help with wind?
    1 - LL Bean Trail Model Polartec Fleece Vest
    1 - Eddie Bauer Stormdown Stormlight Vest
    1 - PrAna Zion Stretch Pants
    Several variations of synthetic/merino wool socks
    1 - windstopper fleece gloves
    1 - North Face Soft Shell - does not seem packing friendly since it does not really compress much
    1 - EMS fleece/jacket - its mostly heavy fleece with some soft shell mixed in around under arms and chest area. Does not really pack down small nor is it light weight and is big on me so would rather leave at home

    Reserved for sleeping
    1 - L/S Merino Wool shirt (mid weight)
    1 - Smartwool long underwear pants
    I have a 35 degree down bag with a self inflating pad for under it.

    I know I do not need all of these layers, just listing what I already own that will likely fit me. One thing I do not have is a full fleece jacket/pull over. Some reports suggest something like a Patagonia R1, but then some say unless you are sitting around that is too hot and you'll sweat like crazy. For this type of trip, what specific temps could I expect and plan for? Is a fleece pull over better suited for this weather vs a fleece (or down) vest? Most forums I found when searching were for climbers who did stand around a lot to belay and tie rope so that is different than say backpacking when you are mostly moving for 5-8 hours a day then sitting still at night in camp. If not an R1, anything lighter or would either vest work?

    Also thoughts on a Wind Shirt/Jacket? Could I use the Acensionist Jacket to help with wind and rain or should I look at a Marmot DriClime or something along those lines?

    Anything else I need to consider? I was trying to find a good list online but was mostly finding stuff by retailers so who knows if they inflate what is needed to sell more products. And it is also tough with their descriptions of hard v soft shells, rain jackets, wind shirts, fleece, etc. If I followed those instructions I'd have 8 layers or more.

    Also I live in the Northeast so things reusable around here for 3 season hiking is great. Usually my trips consist of day hikes, so if weather is bad I just bail :-( But I would like to get into longer treks so investing in some layers may be worthwhile if needed.

    updated: found out some of the models of the patagonia jackets.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2017
  2. Outdoor_Fool

    Outdoor_Fool Member

    Messages:
    384
    Location:
    Fairbanks, AK
    I just checked some historical weather data for the Moose, WY area. The highs in mid-August are typically in the mid- 80’s and the lows are in the 40’s. Subtract 10-15 degrees from this for the higher altitude you will be at and you have a general idea of what to expect temps-wise. Also, you can expect some severe thunderstorms with hail in the afternoon. The temperature can drop substantially during these storms.

    Before your trip, check out this website for local weather forecast. http://www.mountainweather.com/

    My strategy is to have the insulation I think I can be comfortable in, and then another layer in case the temps are cooler than expected. Considering this, the first 3 items on your list stand out as great items to bring along, as does the EB Stormdown vest. I would also consider lightweight long underwear pants. For my Sept/Oct trips to Yellowstone, I bring a warm (300 wt) fleece jacket and a water-resistant down jacket as a spare. I usually see temps down around freezing at night and have had no problems staying warm while sitting around camp.

    My clothing list:

    Weatherproof jacket and pants (hard shell). If you are staying on the trail, something lightweight like Marmot Precip works fine. (search this website for great opinions on different rain gear)

    1 fleece jacket, 1 down jacket

    1 fleece pants

    Light- or mid-weight synthetic or merino wool/silk long underwear (2-3 tops, 1 bottom) The # of tops depends on trip length.

    2 pair ragg wool socks and liners

    1 hat, 1 pair gloves & liners

    Of course, we’re all different so what works for me doesn’t work for everyone. I don’t mind carrying an extra pound or so knowing I’ll be warm. Hopefully others will chime in with their ideas to help you out.
     
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  3. genez

    genez mostly lurking

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    You just need to be prepared for any weather conditions - If you can, bring all your gear to the trailhead and tweak the gear you pack according to the weather when you get there and the forecast.

    FYI I'm 2/2 for snow in the Teton high country - in July and September.

    My go to top layers for any high country trip: merino ss and ls shirts (lightweight), Patagonia R1 hoody, lightweight Windstopper softshell, 2L or 3L hardshell and a down puffy.

    I'm a huge fan of the Prana stretch Zion pants and have several pairs. Great choice. - I may or may not wear merino long bottoms depending on temps. I bring rain pants if its going to rain or am on an extended trip.

    Gloves - I'd recommend a light liner glove or a lightweight waterproof glove, just in case.
    I always bring a light liner glove and a beanie on every trip.
     
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  4. LarryBoy

    LarryBoy Hiker Trash

    Messages:
    512
    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    Aw man, clothing is so personal. Some people (like me) are shorts and short sleeves hikers, other hike in long sleeves or pants (or both). The fortunate thing is that you really don't have to guess. For the daytime, just bring what you'd bring if you were gonna summit one of the Presidentials; weather in the Tetons is similar temperature-wise and storms in the Tetons can occasionally lay a vicious licking to you (albeit not as bad as the Presies). In terms of nights, I'd expect lows between 30 and 50; just go camp out in the backyard a couple times and figure out what you need to be warm.
     
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  5. eggzlot

    eggzlot Member

    Messages:
    17
    Thanks all - I know layering is personal since some people run hot v cold, etc. But its daunting online to read about hard shells and soft shells and hybrid shells and wind jackets or a wind shirt. Then fleece of various thicknesses, etc. It can confuse someone big time. And then to decide what layer goes on what to make sure it all fits and cut proportionally correct since different manufactures cut different.

    Funny only time I tried the Presidential Range was about 12 years ago in early may - was a miserable trip with weather and I tend to block it out! And that was car camping and each day doing a long hike.

    I am an avid day hiker, so its easy to prepare since I can look at the weather before I head out and bring an extra layer. I have not had to prepare for 3 days in the backcountry before, nor do I want to buy a new wardrobe! So I am trying to see what I got laying around and what would be practical. And in the past when I've went camping, a car was not more than 1-2 miles away so could always pick up something additional if needed.

    I am leaning towards:
    Wearing:
    S/S Merino Lightweight shirt
    Prana Zion Stretch

    Packing:
    L/S Midweight 1/4 zip merino for hiking
    Patagonia Houdini (using the 25% REI Clearance sale I got one at half price since this one color was already reduced in price)
    100 weight Polar-tec fleece I have at home (forgot that from the original list)
    EB storm down vest
    Patagonia Micro Puffy
    Frogg Toggs Rain Suit (left that off my list but I dug it out of the closet)
    Fleece pants (TBD)

    Sleeping:
    light or mid weight baselayer pants (synthetic)
    midweight baselayer shirt (synthetic)

    I am leaving out the Patagonia Acensionist jacket - its a nice piece but I believe it is classified as a soft shell and though it has held me in light rain, if it gets bad up there it may not be sufficient. I was hoping to just bring that to help with rain/wind but thinking the Toggs/Houdini may be a more flexible combo. I'll test some of this stuff out if we stop having blizzards here and can get to spring already!
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
  6. LarryBoy

    LarryBoy Hiker Trash

    Messages:
    512
    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    Paralysis by analysis huh? To me it looks like you have two similar-functioning pieces of equipment - the patagucci puffy and the down vest. Do you get very cold very fast? If not, I might think that two puffy layers might be overkill.

    Frogg Toggs + a windshirt is a combo that has served me well for years (including one particularly nasty storm in those very Tetons). Not sure if you've got a lot of experience with frogg toggs pants, but I probably just tore a seam in your pants by mentioning them. They are very very fragile. I've always cut my FT rain pants into a rain skirt with a pair of scissors - lighter and more breathable than rain pants.
     
  7. eggzlot

    eggzlot Member

    Messages:
    17
    100% Paralysis by analysis!! That is me in a nutshell. I use the Puffy when I compete at BBQ contests and sleep outside (no sleeping bag, just a chair). That plus a fire has kept me alive in 30 degree weather. There is no way I could pull that off with this fleece, its a thin 100g type polar tec fleece. I'd use the fleece in the evening to layer up, or when we start hiking in the morning if its still cool.

    Interesting on the tailoring job - I may size mine up and give that a gander, but I'd call it a rain kilt not a rain skirt!
     
  8. LarryBoy

    LarryBoy Hiker Trash

    Messages:
    512
    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    You can only call it a kilt if you wear it Scottish-style, which, uh... may be best to do outside NPS boundaries :)
     
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  9. Longnok

    Longnok New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Clothing choices are fairly personal. Heck, my wife and I have different systems. Paintbrush & Cascade Canyon can get rather warm in August. It will feel even warmer, relatively speaking, after an early morning start in the cool air. Prepare for the possibility of afternoon storms.

    Rain gear (jacket/pants). Marmot Precip, or something comparable, is fairly lightweight and not bulky when packed. On daytime clothing, that is an "each to his own". You'll warm up quickly, even on a cool morning carrying a pack up Paintbrush and even the much more mellow Cascade Canyon. For camp, a good puffy (not vest) is sufficient when the sun tucks below the ridges to your west--I don't use fleece since it's bulky to pack and weighs more. Highly recommend some kind of knitted hat for the evenings and mornings (this if often forgotten in the Summer and can add up to 10 degrees of warmth). Maybe a quarter-zip long-sleeve for camp, as well. Mid-weight fleece gloves may be a bit much and something lighter (even a liner glove) may be all you need. But, again, if you tend to get cold, go with what works.

    As someone else mentioned, if able, take everything you need with you in the car and, when you get to the trailhead, make the final choices. The one thing I wouldn't leave behind is rainwear, unless you are 100% certain there will be no afternoon buildups. The only higher altitude exposed places will be above Holly Lake-to-Paintbrush Divide-to-Lake Solitude. Then, again, from below Solitude in North Cascade Canyon until you get just over a 1/2 mile from the Middle Fork.

    BTW, if you choose clockwise, I'd highly suggest bypassing the whole Hidden Falls area unless you really want to be in the crowds (there's a bypass trail before the boat dock that will take you above/west of Inspiration Point. Enjoy!
     
    eggzlot likes this.
  10. eggzlot

    eggzlot Member

    Messages:
    17
    Thanks @Longnok and others for the advice. I think I at least know the basics from here and I can test out a few combos during the Spring when I am out in 40-50 type temps to get an idea of what will and will not work. I tend to run a little on the cold side so I'll over prepare. I can take as much stuff to the trailhead that fits into my duffel. I have a duffel bag that my backpack and boots fit in plus a little bit of extra space and I check that bag. If I can stuff in a few extra layers to help pick and choose I'll do that.

    For the trip we are looking to start at Leigh Lake or String Lake Trailhead, first night campsite is at Holly Lake and second night is at North Fork Cascade campsite then back to the original trail head. I haven't looked too in depth yet re: which ranger station to get permit at (if we have a choice that is) and if we should be parking/starting at Leigh Lake or String Lake trail head. on the map they look very close.
     
  11. Longnok

    Longnok New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    If you know your dates, you can submit reservation requests online (there's a $35 fee). https://www.recreation.gov/wildernessAreaDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=72450

    If the specific dates are still in flux, you can to a walk-up permit at the main Visitor Center in Moose (just outside the main pay gate into the park on the South side of the road). If you do that, make it a point to go the day before your planned start, if possible, preferably get to the visitor center before they open so you'll have the best chance to get your preferred campsites. Each time I go, I've never had a problem with walk-up permits (even did that during July 4th week a few years ago but I did go the morning before and waited for them to open up the Visitor Center), but I seem to always time it when it's a very heavy snow year or in early June when it keeps a lot of people out of the backcountry. Keep in mind, the camp areas you want are VERY popular and during peak season. Also, bear canisters are required. The visitor center has them available to check out for free if you don't have your own.
     
  12. eggzlot

    eggzlot Member

    Messages:
    17
    Thanks for the tips! Others in this forum pointed me in that direction of the permit system a few months ago so we picked up one early on in the process so we are set. For the canisters is it 1 per 2 people, 1 per person, etc? Never used one before so curious.
     
  13. LarryBoy

    LarryBoy Hiker Trash

    Messages:
    512
    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    Six days is a lot of food to get in one cannister. Otoh, you really only have to get four days in because you'll eat your first day of food before getting to camp #1. The cans are free at the place ou pick up your permit. Get two, try and cram all of your food into one. If you can ft it, great, if not, you'll each have to carry one.
     
  14. Absarokanaut

    Absarokanaut Member

    Messages:
    381
    We had 10" of snow on the First of August 1976 in the Teton Wilderness. In mid August 2009 I had 4" hiking the South Summit of the Northeast Pinnacle Butte. 7" of snow 4th of July at the Ranch 1988.
     
  15. eggzlot

    eggzlot Member

    Messages:
    17
    Yikes - if we are near 7-10'' of snow we'll pick another route or just call it off and do something else. Sad but true, we will not be prepared for that kind of weather.

    at @LarryBoy - its a 3 day/2 night trip so using your logical we'll have eaten lunch/dinner for day 1 so just 2 days of food. Was thinking 1 canister per 2 people. we have 6 people, and 3 2 person tents. so logical was one person carries the tent outside their pack and one person carries the canister. at least that is how my friend explained it to me :)
     
  16. Longnok

    Longnok New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Don't let a little snow in August make you change your mind. It would melt out quickly on the off-chance it did snow. I can guarantee you won't have this going up Paintbrush Divide... :) And, we actually went up hard left onto steeper terrain to bypass that long traverse and the cornice that blocked the trail proper. The snow was solid from below Holly lake, btw...[​IMG]
     
  17. Absarokanaut

    Absarokanaut Member

    Messages:
    381
    Trying not to sound like a posterior orifice here but with all due respect you better be prepared for that kind of weather. Yeah, odds are it will be glorious, but I don't care where you go in the Rockies if you aren't prepared for extremes any time of year you're just not prepared, period. Please pack right and don't go for any of the ultralight bull!@#$ that will fail. Like anywhere else we're not appreciative of people that put our friends with SAR at risk needlessly.
     
  18. Venchka

    Venchka Member

    Messages:
    181
    Amen Brother! Be safe.
    Wayne


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  19. LarryBoy

    LarryBoy Hiker Trash

    Messages:
    512
    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    Preparedness has nothing to do with being lightweight or not. You can carry sixty pounds and still not have the experience, skills, or gear to cope with a cold rain. But the greater point stands - whatever you do, make sure your gear is tested in tough conditions prior to going on the trip. Nothing worse than unpacking your tent and having no idea how to set it up while it's sleeting, or discovering that your rain jacket has several large holes in it.
     
  20. Longnok

    Longnok New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Exactly! And, I don't remember anyone on this thread saying don't be prepared. And, "lightweight" definitely doesn't mean careless or unprepared. Take the right gear, know how to use it, and be able to set it up and use it in the worst conditions. Understand local mountain weather patterns because the Tetons is different than the Wind Rivers than the San Juans than the Unitas than Sierras than the Cascades, et al. Test and inspect all your gear before each trip. My wife and I get looks and comments all the time on the trail, since we're not dressed like we walked out of a Columbia store or REI. What isn't known is experience levels, what is in our packs (bombproof tents, head-to-toe rainwear, warm layers, etc.). We're thankful to have a lot of experience in mountain ultras (100 mile) as it gives us the ability to self evacuate since we're used to continously moving for 24+ hours. Always, be safe!

    Hike your own hike!
     
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