2019 "Snaps" Around Gracier National Park...plus

Glacier presents some great photographic opportunities, talk about it here.

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Re: 2019 "Snaps" Around Gracier National Park...plus

Postby davidwayne » Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:26 pm

Happy Birthday, Pete!! :D

Even though you said you struggled some on the XC skiing, you were out there and doing it! In GNP! I envy you so many times that you are able to experience the wonders of that place, even in less than ideal conditions. Thanks for letting us far away lovers of GNP experience it through you.
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Re: 2019 "Snaps" Around Gracier National Park...plus

Postby PeteE » Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:20 pm

davidwayne wrote:Happy Birthday, Pete!! :D

Even though you said you struggled some on the XC skiing, you were out there and doing it! In GNP! I envy you so many times that you are able to experience the wonders of that place, even in less than ideal conditions. Thanks for letting us far away lovers of GNP experience it through you.


Hey David!
You know...It's when I get a post like yours that I'm reminded of just how lucky I am to live here next to GNP. There have been so many days when I just decided to pop over to the park to see what's going on. That's a incredible privilege when you think about it more than 4 seconds. It becomes easy to take it for granted.

And ah yes :) "less than ideal conditions"....
Given that JayW, ND, and others from the midwest will snicker :)
The relatively harsh conditions of late here in NW Montana are fascinating for an old Florida/Virginia boy like me.

I know that when daylight comes tomorrow morning that despite the below zero temperature and howling wind, my crow friends will be waiting silently in the aspens for their breakfast. I wonder at their ability to not just "survive", but actually thrive in such an environment. Indeed all of the creatures manage to do so.
I find that just sooooo fascinating....as I do ALL of nature.

And so for me, I enjoy getting out in the harsh weather to see first hand how my animal friends cope. There's always something to be learned.
Driving through the parking lot to REI this morning I noticed a flock of crows sitting on the piled up snow, all facing into the bitter cold wind and blowing snow. They fluff up their feathers to trap air and sit on their legs and feet to conserve body heat. It seems to futile to me, but clearly it works for them; they all do it.

So yeah, winter is harsh, but I still enjoy being out in it even though I complain from time to time 8)
Yesterday I remember stopping at some point and noticing the near absolute silence, the only sounds were the whisper of the wind and a woodpecker hammering away in the distance.
Maybe corny but I highly recommend that experience.

later and thanks David

pete :wink:
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Re: 2019 "Snaps" Around Gracier National Park...plus

Postby PeteE » Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:53 pm

teapot57 wrote:Happy birthday, Pete!

:arrow: :| :arrow: :| :arrow:

Winter has finally arrived. I’m an amateur XC skier, but when skiing in the cold I prefer to wear those mitts with a split in them, so you have two fingers that stay together. They provide the best of both gloves (dexterity) and mittens (warmth).


Hi Tina :) :)

Thanks for the birthday wishes.

Regarding mittens...
I've been doing a lot of reading and talking to the folks at REI.
I've looked at many different types, the ones JayW recommended as well as others.
I've seen the type with the split you mentioned, sometimes referred to as "lobster claw" mittens.
At the end of the day, it's usually a compromise based on what one's needs and priorities are....and price of course 8)

At the moment I'm leaning heavily towards Black Diamonds Mercury Mitts
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LF ... _qh_dp_hza
The online reviews are some of the best. That and several folks at the local REI own and use them for winter sports.
I give a lot of weight to people who actually own and use a product.
You can read the reviews.
I tried them on and inspected them closely. I got a nice birthday present from my angel of a sister, so i'll likely buy them.
It's going to be really cold around here for the near future. I'm not staying indoors for a lack of hand ware! 8)
https://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.p ... H04Zlz-AfJ

As to Jay's point about dressing to match cold vs body heat generated, etc.
I'm on that too. I'm pretty well set there. Snowshoe'ing taught me about that.

I've found a "layering" system that's working pretty well for me so far.
Body wise, I haven't been cold or gotten sweated up so far. It's my hands and at times feet that are the problem.

I'm pretty sure the chemical foot warmers will work for my feet; they have in the past.
Why I didn't use them yesterday, I don't know. Maybe because so far, skiing in temps down to 6F cold feet haven't been a problem at the golf course.

So tomorrow, I'll brave the winter storm and head into the Kalispell REI and get some mittens.
When the wind abates, I'll get back out there and see how they work!
"Aimee" :mrgreen: at REI put some cold temp wax on my skis. So I'll see what that does for me as well.

Yeeeeeeeeeeehawwww!
:arrow: :arrow: :arrow: :arrow:

later
pete :wink:

Here is the video from yesterday.
8 minutes
https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-tfk ... 6-1920.mp4
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Re: 2019 "Snaps" Around Gracier National Park...plus

Postby MG Ron » Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:05 pm

Hi Pete-
First of all Happy Birthday!

I wanted to recommend these mittens
http://stores.clamoutdoors.com/icearmor ... -mitt.html

I like to be outdoors in the winter even though I live in the Twin Cities but I was always frustrated about my hands getting cold. So this year I invested in these for about $50 and absolutely love them. In fact, this morning I ran in a 5K race where the temp was -11 degrees (windchill minus 25!) and I actually had to take the mitts off for a few minutes because my hands were too warm. I am a tall guy like you so I got the 2XL size and they work great, room for my hands to move around.

I always enjoy your posts and pics-
MGRon
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Re: 2019 "Snaps" Around Gracier National Park...plus

Postby Deb1741 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:00 pm

Happy Late Birthday Pete! :arrow: :arrow: :arrow:

We share the same birthday month so I should have known your birthday was coming up. I don't post on here very much anymore but still read it about once a week or so. My 60th birthday is coming up very soon and I'm still dealing with complications from my double knee replacement gone bad (this summer will be 2 years since the replacements). It's depressing thinking that I might never get back to the level of hiking that I was doing the year before the surgery but I keep plugging along.

I love the fact that you're still getting out there hiking and now cross-country skiing. I loved doing that when my grandson and I did a winter trip to Old Faithful one February. I always wanted to buy some skis to start doing it more often but it would be a hour drive to go to Red Lodge just to find decent terrain to ski so I gave up on the notion.

Please keep posting your wonderful pics. I'm living vicariously through your adventures.

Deb
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Re: 2019 "Snaps" Around Gracier National Park...plus

Postby Jay w » Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:08 pm

Pete,

Looked at the video and stopped it a few times to look at the gloves. I assume I saw your "liners" which are the same ones Julie uses in her mittens. To be specific, the mittens I use are:

https://gearwest.com/lill-sport-camp-mitten/

I also have a couple pair from Toko that I don't like as well. My skiing gloves are Toko/Yoko, but I have some Swix gloves that are not nearly as nice (but a bit cheaper--they suck actually). The Black Diamonds appear to be a very warm mitten, whereas the lill' sports are more like what we in MN call a "chopper," where it's a shell that you line with a polypro or whatever you prefer for the correct warmth. Compared to a chopper, it's much more flexible and better built, but certainly not as warm as what you're looking at.

We had a big race today (Vasaloppet). It was -26F overnight and warmed up to -4F for the race, where it stayed for an hour, and then made it to 0F near the finish of my race. Without wind, that's a pretty tolerable temp for ski racing, but everyone was talking about how it was a cold race. I've never needed 2 pair of wind briefs, but I could have used them today. :D I had an "extra" thin layer on my feet and an extra poly polypro vest, but after the race, my clothes smelled like I hung them on the line...better than after washing them. (I didn't sweat at all.) Twenty five years ago, I raced a shorter race at this temp and didn't wear long underwear (just lycra bottoms). Oh, to have young circulation again. BTW, I started with some jogging in Sorel boots with my full warmups + a down jacket. Then skiing in the same, then got rid of the down jacket, continued the warmup, then to the car to warm up the boots, change hat and gloves and headed for the start line. Just an FYI.

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Re: 2019 "Snaps" Around Gracier National Park...plus

Postby PeteE » Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:27 pm

Wow!! I need to catch up here.

MG Ron :

Thanks for the mitten suggestion.
The trouble is I went to Kalispell REI this morning and bought the Black Diamond Mercury's.
That said, if for some reason they don't work for me, I'll revisit your suggestion and that of JayW's as well.

JayW :

The glove liners you saw in the video are Manzella liners. I've been buying them for years at Costco when they go on sale.
I wear them(alone) frequently hiking in the cooler months of spring and fall.
I also use them when scrambling around in the rocky areas like ShangriLa to help protect my candy ass hands. 8)
They work ok for me as a glove liner for say, 20F and above...but not so much at zero temps as you saw.

A mistake I made which you alluded to was fiddling around making that video in the parking lot.
I can't operate the camera with heavy gloves on.
But... the time making the video was long enough for my fingers to get cold, and they never recovered. :(

Something else you and MG Ron need to consider is my age, neuropathy(s) from diabetes, and the fact I haven't lived all my life in a cold state like you guys.
And so I believe I need something warmer than you guys who are younger and lived in a cold place much longer.
You folks in the upper mid west in North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin are tough folks :)
The Flathead valley is actually one of the warmer places in Montana...although one doesn't have to venture very far from the valley to get into some truly cold spots.

I wonder what that chatter stud from North Dakota wears for mittens? :mrgreen:
:arrow:

A guy in the shoe dept. told me his wife loves her BD Mercury gloves for skiing, and so did a guy in the ski dept.
So I think they'll work for me,

Sooooo...
Tomorrow, I hope to get out to the golf course to try these new mittens.
The forecast is for another pretty chilly day.

Sunday
Snow likely, mainly after 11am. Mostly cloudy and cold, low -14 with a high near 10.
Wind chill values as low as -32. Northeast wind 5 to 9 mph becoming calm in the morning.
Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.


I think it'll be ok if the wind dies down by mid morning. The snow won't be a big deal if it does come.
The new snow will slow down the trails a little which is OK with me. Trudging UP the hills is a workout.
Although I'm getting to liking the speed of the modest down hill runs now that I have better control ! :)
The edges on these Epochs make turning and stopping FAR easier than my old skies.
I'm self taught so to speak, but I'm getting there slowly but surely. 8)

Aimee put some cold wax on my skies the other day. I'll see if I notice any difference.
All the folks there have been really helpful.

Before I leave tomorrow, I'll do a video review of my BD mittens. I think a video will be more useful than a written review.
And yeah, I'll do it indoors. I ain't gonna do it outside and pre freeze my fingers before skiing!! 8)

Yeeeehaww! Loving it!

later

pete :wink:

PS
The REI people put up 3 of my prints in their "Community Room".
Two bear prints and one of Mr Lincoln.
I thought that was pretty nice.
Last edited by PeteE on Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:48 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: 2019 "Snaps" Around Gracier National Park...plus

Postby PeteE » Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:41 pm

Deb1741 wrote:Happy Late Birthday Pete! :arrow: :arrow: :arrow:

We share the same birthday month so I should have known your birthday was coming up. I don't post on here very much anymore but still read it about once a week or so. My 60th birthday is coming up very soon and I'm still dealing with complications from my double knee replacement gone bad (this summer will be 2 years since the replacements). It's depressing thinking that I might never get back to the level of hiking that I was doing the year before the surgery but I keep plugging along.

Hey Deb!!
Us February born folks are special, aren't we? :)
I sure hope your knee replacement problems get worked out.
So do keep pluggin' along. Never give up hope and good things will come your way!


I love the fact that you're still getting out there hiking and now cross-country skiing. I loved doing that when my grandson and I did a winter trip to Old Faithful one February. I always wanted to buy some skis to start doing it more often but it would be a hour drive to go to Red Lodge just to find decent terrain to ski so I gave up on the notion.

Yeah, fortunately I've been blessed with pretty good health. My lungs are still good despite all the years smoking. And, knock on wood, my legs are still much better than most guys my age. Skiing will help keep me fit through the winter. I'll begin the hiking season in far better shape than in the past.
Plus, I'm hoping XC skiing will allow me to get to places that heretofore I've not been able to go snowshoeing.
I may not get proficient enough this year, but there's always next year---the good Lord willin' 8)


Please keep posting your wonderful pics. I'm living vicariously through your adventures.

Thanks for the compliments! I fully intend to keep on making and posting pictures here...although your grandson Braeden has much better talent.
Is he still doing photography? He really has a great eye for pics.


Deb


All the best and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

pete :wink:
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Re: 2019 "Snaps" Around Gracier National Park...plus

Postby McKee80 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:05 am

I like the clouds in the second one, and I agree with others about the last one. Experimenting around with pictures is fun, especially if you have that scenery to take pictures of!
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Re: 2019 "Snaps" Around Gracier National Park...plus

Postby Jay w » Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:36 am

Pete, I know about the age thing. That's why I mentioned racing years ago with much less clothing. The high schoolers run around in these light jackets in frickin' nasty cold. Oh to be young. Also, the diabetes and nerve problems make it really difficult, almost impossible for some.

So here's a shot post race. This is the 35km skate race (there's also a 56 km skate and 42 classic).

Image

MB was the woman's winner and frost bit her eyes. She could.n't see at the end and it's because those glasses don't fit tight enough. Others also complained about their eyes. BTW, she had tape on here cheeks too and pulled it off for the photo. She also a training partner, and our training group kicks A in the short race...not me, but the others. So there's a couple more tips. Tape for the face and tight fitting sunglasses. I used moleskin (since I had it). I need to get some of the face tape made for this. Some use Vaseline, but it's messy. If it's a little warmer, some of the heavy lotions work. (Yeah, surprising, but true.)

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Re: 2019 "Snaps" Around Gracier National Park...plus

Postby ND » Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:58 pm

I wonder what that chatter stud from North Dakota wears for mittens? :mrgreen:


I have a basketful of gloves I can choose from when needed. None of them are scientific or specially formulated for cold. I think the last ones I bought were from Scheels for $5. I was a little upset a couple of nights ago when I had to snowblow my driveway. Mittens are best and I could only find one of the pair. When my hands get cold I have to run inside for a couple of minutes to warm them up.

From my experience the best way to keep my hands and feet warm are to stay inside during the winter. :lol:

I don't mess around with skis, snowmobiles, or walking the dog in winter.

Just the basics, man! Auto start the truck, run to the truck, drive to my destination, and run to the nearest building. lol

So there you have it. I'm no mountain man. If I had been born in pioneer days I would have had the leakiest cabin, a shortage of firewood, no fur coats, and not enough food to make it through the winter.

However, in summer I'm a very tough guy!

Well, except for a mild fear of snakes. :shock:

BTW- my dog is a bigger baby than me in the cold.

hahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!
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Re: 2019 "Snaps" Around Gracier National Park...plus

Postby PeteE » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:27 pm

It's warmed up to 2F and no/little wind....so I'm out of here. 8)
Pics, video, and gear report later

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Re: 2019 "Snaps" Around Gracier National Park...plus

Postby Ear Mountain » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:23 pm

We got up to -5 this morning also WITH NO WIND! The lack of wind is unbelievable. So I got outside as well. Finally cleared the front walk, front porch and the s[pts on my driveway that needed it. That pretty much cooled me off enough that I came back inside.
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Re: 2019 "Snaps" Around Gracier National Park...plus

Postby PeteE » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:24 pm

Still somewhat chilly here and getting more snow every day through mid week, and maybe beyond. :shock:
When the snow finally stops, I'll get out to the park for some pictures.
This time I want to go out to the North Fork area and Polebridge.

New mittens work really well. :arrow:
Review here.
viewtopic.php?f=14&p=106992#p106992

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Re: 2019 "Snaps" Around Gracier National Park...plus

Postby Ear Mountain » Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:53 am

Jay w wrote:Pete, I know about the age thing. That's why I mentioned racing years ago with much less clothing. The high schoolers run around in these light jackets in frickin' nasty cold. Oh to be young. Also, the diabetes and nerve problems make it really difficult, almost impossible for some.

So here's a shot post race. This is the 35km skate race (there's also a 56 km skate and 42 classic).

MB was the woman's winner and frost bit her eyes. She could.n't see at the end and it's because those glasses don't fit tight enough. Others also complained about their eyes. BTW, she had tape on here cheeks too and pulled it off for the photo. She also a training partner, and our training group kicks A in the short race...not me, but the others. So there's a couple more tips. Tape for the face and tight fitting sunglasses. I used moleskin (since I had it). I need to get some of the face tape made for this. Some use Vaseline, but it's messy. If it's a little warmer, some of the heavy lotions work. (Yeah, surprising, but true.)
Jay


Hi Jay,
Skiing the Birkie this year? I hear the course got a bunch of snow recently.
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