Eeek. Next week I'm set to travel to Tahoe for five days for the "Snow Basics" course by Mountain Education. Normally I avoid the cold... and the snow... and the wet... but given that I'll likely be heading north from Kennedy Meadows into the southern Sierra around the first of June, I need to brush up on some skills. I'm not a skier or done anything like this before, so it's a new world.
And it's not quite the snow camping and hiking I'm worried about; it's more about the gear, particularly for the trip next week. The cold weather camping gear is all this weird semi-foreign language: what exactly are snow boots? Glove liners? Ax leash? A base layer--and should I choose a lightweight or a heavyweight base layer? What does lightweight mean?
Even the gear that I know how to use is suspect--that 20 degree sleeping bag and lightweight pad, will they be sufficient? Are my socks warm enough? Gloves--what about gloves??? Snow pants. I have no idea how to buy 'snow pants'.
Fortunately, today, REI has started their Winter Clearance, with a $20 card for spending $100 or more, which I'm sure I'll do. That $20 gift card is sure tempting too--it'll make buying those $20 carbon fiber tent stakes a bit less painful as well when the time comes.
REI ahoy... again!