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Keeping your hands warm in Winter canyons

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Evan Christensen, Nov 21, 2021.

  1. Evan Christensen

    Evan Christensen Evan C

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    Location:
    South Jordan , UT
    I'm getting ready to do Pine Creek this week. Some of us will be in wetsuits and others in drysuits. I expect our feet will stay warm enough in a waterproof sock with a 4mm neo sock over that. I'm not quite sure what to do to keep our hands from freezing up. I did a Jan 1 Black Hole trip a few years back and wore a pair of 5mm neo gloves that worked great. However, adding rappelling into this trip, I expect that rappelling in the neoprene gloves will ruin them.

    Here are a couple of options I have considered:
    1) Wear some PowerGrab gloves and try to keep them dry. Take them off when rappelling into water and stash them in a protected place, putting them back on ASAP. Bring some chemical hand warmers along to use when needed.
    2) Use the neoprene gloves and try not to ruin them.

    Any other options?

    Thanks
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  2. Jolly Green

    Jolly Green

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    Location:
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    I've always liked the surgical or even dishwasher gloves underneath the power grab or atlas thermals. Allows a little bit of water in that stays marginally warmer than your plain gloves while leaving enough dexterity to set ropes and biner blocks. Let's face it, these little things help a little but dipping your hands as little as possible is what saves them more than anything.
  3. Craig

    Craig Feeling My Way

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    I find that thin neoprene or dishwasher gloves under power grab gloves helps. However, it is very important that the gloves are sized to fit close to the skin but not apply any pressure against the skin. Even the slightest constriction seems to cause my hands to get cold. I agree with Jolly Green that you should focus on keeping your hands out of the water whenever possible. You could also bring a few chemical hand warmers for when you start to lose feeling.
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  4. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    What he said.

    I have tried several different neoprene gloves over the years and not found anything acceptable. In general neoprene gloves compromise your grip and feel of the rope - dangerous. Did a cold Heaps once, taking the gloves off for each rappel, putting them back on for the swims. Tedious.

    Substantial flotation in the pack will allow you to swim with your hands out of the water. Slower, but warmer. Dishwasher gloves tucked into the wetsuit or the drysuit wrist seal will leak a little bit - but only if you put them underwater. Do that as little as possible.

    Tom
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  5. townsend

    townsend

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    Location:
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    As a physician assistant, I have assisted in hundreds of surgeries in my past. It doesn't make any sense to me that surgical gloves would perform any useful function in this context. Surgical gloves are designed with two purposes in mind: 1) prevent infection; and 2) provide maximum dexterity for the user. They literally "fit like a glove" so that the surgeon or assistant can perform surgeries. They do not provide any insulation such on par with neoprene gloves.
  6. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    They're a water barrier....to keep water either from your skin, or, the layer that ends up against your skin gets warm like a wetsuit.

    Yeah, dish washing gloves under Atlas thermals. We used neoprene in the winter and they didn't work worth a darn. Even tucked into the dry suit gasket.

    Like Tom mentioned...keep your hands out of the water if possible.

    Ice climbers have been liking the Showa Japanese fishing gloves. Waterproof and reasonable for tool and rope handling. I'd give those a try:

    https://gripped.com/gear/ice-climbers-love-using-these-japanese-fishing-gloves/

    Showa Best 282 Atlas TEMRES Insulated Gloves
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  7. Evan Christensen

    Evan Christensen Evan C

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    Location:
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    The Showa gloves look great but getting them to seal may be a problem.
    Thanks everyone.
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  8. Canyonero

    Canyonero

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    I've been to FreezeFest and it was fun, but every time I see a thread like this I can't help but think "Don't these people know about skiing?"

    Pine Creek is still really fun from May to October. You really don't miss much of the experience by doing it during that time period.
    ratagonia and Bootboy like this.
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