Sovsäck till Aconcagua

Marmot CWM EQ -40F Sleeping BagI received an email from a reader named Frank who wondered about sleeping bags so I thought I would answer him through the blog.

    ”Hello, sitting here reading your post with interest because I will eventually go to Aconcagua in January. One of the things that need to be purchased is a new sleeping bag and it would be interesting to know what you have and what their comfort temperature are. / Frank ‘

What I have read to be recommended for Aconcagua a sleeping bag with -20 ° C as a comfort, but have also seen packing lists with both higher and lower comfort limits.

Anneli Wester who has been on Aconcagua twice (2009 and 2010) gave the following answer when I asked her about the temperature on Aconcagua:

    ”The coldest temperature I had, was about -22 at night, often around -18, – 20 in camp Colera (same as camp Berlin). In the other camps it was about 5 degrees lower per camp as coldest.”

What makes the choice of sleeping bag even more difficult is that it is summer in Argentina in January, and Mendoza then has temperatures of 20-30 ° C. This requires the bag to be used from 20 ° C to -20 ° C. This makes a whole zipper sleeping bag a requirement.

Another option is to have two sleeping bags, one thin and one thicker and so it is easy to regulate the heat as needed. Staring with the thin, then switching to the thicker one and finally use both. If you are already owners of two sleeping bags, which together provide a comfortable temperature of about -20 ° C, it is a cheap and good option.

When it comes down / synthetic Naturkompaniet has a good article, in which the following can be read:

    ”A down sleeping bag gives you the most heat per gram fill. If your priority is low weight and small volume, choose a down sleeping bag. Keep in mind that down requires a little extra care in handling. The down is sensitive to moisture and insulation is not as good when it has become wet. It is important to keep your down sleeping bag clean and dry. “

My experienced with the synthetic winter sleeping bags is that they are so incredibly bulky, so it goes away just for that reason, but also heat per gram is an important factor in this context. All of us have down sleeping bags (I myself have replaced all of my sleeping bags to down).

Winter sleeping bags in general and in particular winter down sleeping bags are very expensive, especially in Sweden. As all outdoor equipment, it’s a lot cheaper in the U.S, and you can save a considerable sum to take the opportunity to buy one when you’re there or if you have any friends who are there (thank Øystein).

There is another very affordable option if you cannot get to the U.S. Roberts.pl. Roberts describes himself as follows:
“ROBERT’S OUTDOOR EQUIPMENT specializes in production of down filled underwear and down sleeping bags filled with natural down, goose down or duck down. Down sleeping bags – for summer and winter, oneseason and multi-season, tourist, outdoor and climbing, trekking and expedition, Himalayan and polar, hunting, survival and army.”

Both Mattias and Victor will have Robert’s sleeping bags on Aconcagua and I and Stefan have summer / 3 season bag from there. As you can read in the table below, Roberts very affordable and match the U.S. prices well and crushes the Swedish prices. Another major advantage of Roberts is that they make sleeping bags after ordering Thus they are custom made after your length and you can choose the color of each piece of cloth amongst other things. I slept in my three seasons at Svellnosbreen round trip and am super happy, high quality and many good solutions.

Roberts LHOTSE

Our choice of sleeping bags has been influenced by the thought of using it on other expeditions and winter tour in Scandinavia, therefore the warmer sleeping bags than we might need.
 

Here is a list on what I think is important when buying a sleeping bag to Aconcagua.

  • Choose a down sleeping bag
  • Choose one with a comfort -20 ° C if it is just meant to Aconcagua
  • Choose one with a comfort at -30 ° C or lower if you are planning other ascents / tours
  • Buy from the U.S. or Roberts
  • Choose one with the right size so you do not warm up a lot of extra air
  • Buy one with whole zipper

 

Name Model Weight Comf. Min. Extreme Price Sweden Price paid
Tobias Marmot CWM EQ -40F Sleeping Bag 2066g -40*     6 799 4 247
Victor Roberts LHOTSE 1100 700 cuin 1850g -28 -35 -49   3 064
Stefan Marmot Lithium 1330g -7.6 -14 -34.6 5 495  
Mattias Roberts LHOTSE 1100 800 cuin 1850g -35 -42 -57   4 032

*designed to deliver restful sleep, down to -40°C

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Underställ till Aconcagua

I’ve done some research on underwear before Aconcagua and looked at different materials, manufacturers and models. I have come to the following conclusions:

  • That it’s Merino wool / Wool terry you should go for.
  • That Icebreaker is best (but expensive).
  • That the warmest is terry where Woolpower is the best.
  • Having synthetic underwear below or flecee destroys much of the good qualities of a wool underwear.   
  • That the model Zip Turtleneck is the best, both warmest and easiest to regulate the heat.
  • That rather have two extra thin wool sweater than a fleece on Aconcagua.
  • On Aconcagua, it is clearly best with a little tighter underwear. Not fluffy next to the skin.

This means that I will use my old synthetic clothing on the acclimatization trip and investing in new Merino wool and Wool terry set for Aconcagua.

2 Wool boxer short Aclima Warmwool Shorts M’s
1 Wool boxer long Aclima Warmwool Boxer Shorts Long
1 Wool sweater Smartwoll TML light
1 Wool underwear top Icebreaker M’s Mondo Zip 200
1 Wool underwear bottom Icebreaker M’s Leggings 200
1 Wool terry top Woolpower Zip turtleneck 200 g
1 Wool terry bottom Woolpower Long john 200 g
1 Trekking Shirt Icebreaker M’s LS Atlas 150

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Svellnosbreen runt – 7 toppar över 2000 meter

Group picture at the top of the large Tverråtinden 2309 m.

- If you miss a single time you are done, then you don’t do anything more. You do not even become a cripple lying in a wheelchair and being force-fed throughout the life, you are just gets a wet spot … in Norway.

- But beside that has it been a good trip?

- Totally fantastic! It has been really, really fun and really, really scary.

A conversation between Mattias and Øystein on top of Galdhøpiggen

Friday 9 of September, Team Lajt together with the two Norwegian mountain goats, Øystein and Geir leaves Oslo for a weekend in Jotunheimen. The goal is to go around Svellnosbreen, a classic ridge traverse with some of Norway’s (Scandinavia’s), highest peaks. There are a total of 12 peaks over 2000 meters.

Our car with Tobias, Victor and Mattias arrive after nightfall on Friday evening to Spiterstulen. The other car has already been her an hour, so we meet both a raised Lapp cot and finished dinner. We eat with gusto and share the common equipment before it was time to go to bed. We must be up early tomorrow.

The alarm rings at 5:00 and it is pitch black outside, I feel the lack of sleep throughout the body and thinks for a second to remain in my new warm sleeping bag, but quickly I had second thoughts and crawl out. We are eating breakfast and quickly pack the last equipment. Less than an hour later, we are heading out in the dark.

Mattias tie himself up before climbing up on Tverråtinden M.

The Norwegians holds a fast pace in the darkness and I have a little hard to keep up, with my heavy backpack filled with 60m rope and other equipment. Pretty soon we arrive at the glacier edge and we have two possible routes up the Tverråtinden M 2302m. Either, walk over the glacier, up the hill and then up the back or to climb the face. We choose the latter. We noticed quickly that the climb was not easy with the damp moss and with backpacks and hiking boots, we do not feel confident to free solo climb up. We decide “better safe than sorry” and brings up the rope and wedges. The climb is going well but we lose a lot of time to secure us. Too much time is lost and well on top, we realize that we are two hours behind schedule. Maybe we would have chosen the easier way up, but that would not have been as much fun.

We continue on the ridge and rapidly reach the western Tverråtind, 2288 m and Big Tverråtind, 2309 m. Once at the Big Tverråtinden it’s time for the tour first rappel (turns out to be the only). We can easily find your anchor is composed of various strands, which are around cavities in the rock, it all feels reliable. We are eager to get down when we are several hours after the plan and are thinking not so careful about where we should are heading. Geir is first out and lower himself down to the first plateau. Once down, it is much rope left so he decides to go further down to the next plateau. The rest of us follow soon after, but once down, we find no new anchor. We have gone down too far, we should have stopped on the first plateau. We still have a few feet of rope left, but the goal is very far to the side of us, will we have enough rope? We start something that may resemble a scene from Cliffhanger. We literally run on the wall to reach the trail. The entire operation goes under the circumstances smooth. But once everyone is down, we discover that the rope have gotten stuck and are impossible to pull down. We are considering for a second to just leave it hanging on the wall. But we change ourselves and Øystein begins to climb up a bit, the same road that we came from and succeed in getting loose the rope.

We are once again on the road, but now even more behind schedule and with some quick estimate, we realize that unless we change the route, we stand on Galdhøpiggen peak no earlier than 21 and from there it is at least three hours down to camp, then in the dark. We are considering going down the glacier and follow it down, but no one has the urge to go back already. We came up with another plan. We can cross the glacier and skip Tverråtindan, 2207 m, Ymelstinden, 2304 m and Storgjuvtinden, 2344 m. Instead, go up on the ridge between Storgjuvtinden and Galdhøpiggen to continue up to Galdhøpiggen peak.

All tied up in ropes on his way over the glacier.

Said and done. We put on the crampons and tie ourselves up in ropes and goes with focused steps over the glacier. We manage to cross the glacier without any major problems. The road up to the ridge is steep and full of very loose stones, but we are fighting our way up and about an hour later we are at the crest.

Now start walking and climbing to the top Galdhøpiggen, Norway, Scandinavia and Northern Europe’s highest mountain. The road to the top is hard and is mostly scrambling. At times it is very exposed to several hundred meters down just next to you. The climb is not difficult but the view does it’s on the psyche. One can see also that we are higher now, a lot more of new snow from the night remains, it makes it slippery and difficult to see the surface.

When we finally reach the summit of Galdhøpiggen, the clock had become a little after 18 and we are tired but happy and do not have a huge desire to take the final two peaks on the way down. So we start walking the long way down.

21.30 we are down at the tent, then we have basically been walking and climbing in 15.5 hours and climbed seven peaks over 2000 meters. It was not quite as planned but we are happy anyway. After a shower and some dinner, we all fall asleep quickly and begin to dream of new mountains and expeditions.

Tobias sleeps well in his new sleeping bag from Roberts after 15.5 hours of hiking / climbing.

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