Attention Hilleberg Owners

9:20 a.m. on March 27, 2013 (EDT)
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"It is important that you really define your needs when choosing a tent. A traditional Hilleberg tent is the toughest light weight tent there is when it comes to longevity and strength."

This quote is from Hilleberg's Question and Answer section from here---

http://hilleberg.se/faq

 

Let's talk about Hilleberg longevity.  From my most recent trip report---

HILLEBERG FLAW
     The biggest long term flaw on the Hilleberg tents is their use of crappy black elastic connectors between the tent fly and the inner tent.  All of my Keron elastic has stretched permanently causing the entire inner to sag and there's one elastic band in particular which is completely useless and excessively stretched to the point where it just hangs uselessly. (see fotog).  It's their biggest weakness but the company doesn't address the problem.  I need to email Hilleberg about it but what can they do?  Keep my tent for a month to sew on new elastic?  No thanks cuz I'm using it all the time.

     Here's a solution:  get rid of the elastic connectors.  Luckily the Keron is big enough inside that even with partially ruined elastic it still offers enough room for 1 person (even though it's a 3 person tent).  This elastic flaw has been present in both my Staikas too and the company's reply is to get sent new elastic and sew them on myself.  Too much of a job for 24 connectors and 48 sew points.  I keep saying it but these black elastic connectors are an engineering failure waiting to happen as elastic deforms over time and stays permanently stretched and longer which ruins the whole purpose of a Hilleberg tent---to have a strong and firm supported inner tent.  What to do?  Buy a new tent?  Naw, too expensive.  

     Go back to the MSR Fury?  Naw.  Do a home repair?  Maybe I will get Hilleberg to mail me a set of elastic and replace the most obviously ruined ones.  At first light I'll inspect them and do a field repair whereby I shorten them by wrapping a re-toggling.  Hilleberg uses excellent materials except for these elastic connectors.  Here the material fails as the whole concept is flawed since elastic is never meant to be permanent or not stretch.  Look at high use rubber bands or the waist in your underwear---they all stay stretched over time and Hilleberg should know this when they decide to use elastic."

END OF RANT


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11:01 a.m. on March 27, 2013 (EDT)
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Tipi, I gave a bit of thought to this when we were discussing this a bit back.

I was thinking that maybe tying knots it the elastic might compensate for this a little as a temporary fix...

11:24 a.m. on March 27, 2013 (EDT)
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Or you could gather or fold it in the middle to shorten it then safety pin it. It really sucks to have to do anything to a tent that expensive tho.

11:26 a.m. on March 27, 2013 (EDT)
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Tying knots is sketchy with elastic as the knots can prove to be very difficult to remove.  Instead, I pull the elastic thru the ring and wrap the toggle elastic around itself many times and re-toggle.  This works pretty good but should not have to be done on an $800 tent.

3:29 p.m. on March 27, 2013 (EDT)
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Tell Hilliberg to step up to the plate and send you a new tent, along with a pre-paid shipping label to send the old one back. Companies like Kelty, whose tents cost a fifth as much would do it without hesitation, Hilliberg can't?

4:10 p.m. on March 27, 2013 (EDT)
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Were I a design engineer tasked with addressing this issue, I might investigate the possibility of adding clips to the inner tent side so that elastic replacements could be sent out and installed with no sewing.

Assuming of course that the elasticity is a design requirement to isolate wind stress to the outer (and stronger) Kerlon fabric and pole/guy-line system.

4:58 p.m. on March 27, 2013 (EDT)
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And maybe this is a form of planned obsolescence aimed at increasing revenue by leading the consumer to purchase a new inner tent? Nah….surely not.

6:10 p.m. on March 27, 2013 (EDT)
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JerseyWreckDiver said:

Tell Hilliberg to step up to the plate and send you a new tent, along with a pre-paid shipping label to send the old one back. Companies like Kelty, whose tents cost a fifth as much would do it without hesitation, Hilliberg can't?

 This is a very good point.  It's something Vigilguy might know---or I could call Hilleberg.  You're right about some company's having outstanding return policies.  I never put Hilleberg to the test.

6:14 p.m. on March 27, 2013 (EDT)
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Patman said:

Were I a design engineer tasked with addressing this issue, I might investigate the possibility of adding clips to the inner tent side so that elastic replacements could be sent out and installed with no sewing.

Assuming of course that the elasticity is a design requirement to isolate wind stress to the outer (and stronger) Kerlon fabric and pole/guy-line system.

 Clips would help a lot except that the elastic connects at two points on the canopy making a single clip unworkable. 

I'd like to see all the elastic deep-sixed and replaced with non-stretch permanent webbing (like they use around the bottom of the floor and at peak points on top).  But as you say, non-stretch webbing would isolate wind stress more on the canopy as the fly deforms.

7:44 p.m. on March 27, 2013 (EDT)
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Tipi, not sure if ya read my Soulo review but when I first got it I found myself doing unintentional snow angels randomly on trail during setup.

I contacted Hille and received a response from Petra asking me to send the tent in.

So I did.

A short time later I received a package on my porch and inside was a brand new Soulo with tags attached along with a letter from Petra stating that there was a mistake in the stitching on the corners of the inner.

So I will say for a fact that they stand behind their products.

As I said in the review "I would have been happy with a replacement inner" but they sent me a brand new 2012 model with the beefier(more glove friendly) zipper toggles.

As far as I am concerned they went above and beyond for me.

I remember rob5073 had a good experience with them as well.

12:27 p.m. on March 28, 2013 (EDT)
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I did have great customer service but mine paled in comparison to Tipi's issue.  I'd bet Petra would be willing to fix it though.  Maybe they would replace the entire inner? You need to contact them.

1:23 p.m. on March 28, 2013 (EDT)
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Okay boys, I sent off an email with the picture and said---

Dear Hilleberg---

I've been using my Keron 3 since 2009 and now after 4 years of use the black elastic connectors have all permanently stretched allowing the inner canopy to shrink and get smaller.  This has also happened on both of my Staikas.  See below fotog for an example.

It seems to be an engineered failure as elastic may not be the best material to use for this application due to its short longevity.  So, will you guys replace an inner tent with this failure or will I have to send in the inner for repair?  The reason I ask is because I use the Keron every month for around 2 weeks. And to do a home repair with new elastic would mean doing 48 separate sew-points---not something I'm interested in or have the time to do.

Thanks, Tipi Walter

Let's see what happens.  They'll probably want me to send in my tent for repair which won't happen anytime soon since April is coming up.  And then May and June.  Oh, and there's July and August too.

4:19 p.m. on March 28, 2013 (EDT)
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Walter you hit the nail hard.... You almost answered your own problem. As a gas welder I have gone thru a number of cheap junk welders googles elastics. and got sick of needing new ones in such short order.

So it dawned on me to use  old long johns waist elastics and I do, but haven't killed the first one yet.....

What i don't know is how sound the dead elastics are now, in as much can they still be used with say a dob of barge cement to hold new elastics and then be hand sewn a little bit.

Don't discount used or new articles of feminine undergarments either since the ladies are always tied up in elastics, which may come closer in the size you need or may be even stronger and lighter in weight than oem.

I like your idea, of toggles too.... I see you have sent an email in ...

I hope they work with you and also improve quality. 

I have this same thing going on with a Kelty Vortex II tent foot print, but who cares about that on a cheap foot print.

I have a like warranty issue with my koflach boots in this repair gear room too.

I am working out some details for 2nds, used or dirty liners. but am also not setting back and doing nothing and have torn the bad soles right off the liner boots and am testing assorted other pads and foams foot bed liners.

7:32 p.m. on March 28, 2013 (EDT)
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I just may have to go on a panty raid.  First I'll let the women of Hilleberg see what they can come up with.

9:41 p.m. on March 28, 2013 (EDT)
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I suppose that could make a whole new meaning to Hillieberg :-)

4:31 p.m. on March 30, 2013 (EDT)
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They should have three clips, two semi-permanent (such as the key holder clips in some hiking pants pockets) and one as-is (ring and bar) to fit onto the fly. The entire elastic would then have the semi-permanent clips at each end, the bar in the middle, and be available as an accessory in the shops that sell Hilleberg.

Helsport outer-first-pitching tents have the sewn-in elastic as well, with a similar attachment system, but with the clips that I describe as semi-permanent. Helsport also have adjustable webbing straps between the inner and outer at certain points---perhaps this is a way of taking the strain off the elastics or just for tensioning?


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8:49 a.m. on April 1, 2013 (EDT)
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Tipi Walter said:

JerseyWreckDiver said:

Tell Hilliberg to step up to the plate and send you a new tent, along with a pre-paid shipping label to send the old one back. Companies like Kelty, whose tents cost a fifth as much would do it without hesitation, Hilliberg can't?

 This is a very good point.  It's something Vigilguy might know---or I could call Hilleberg.  You're right about some company's having outstanding return policies.  I never put Hilleberg to the test.

 

I am confident that Petra will take care of things for you, Tipi Walter.  They have first class customer service in my ten years of being a retailer for them. 

9:09 a.m. on April 1, 2013 (EDT)
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I am sure Petra will fix things up for Tipi one way or another. If for no other reason than he's likely introduced more people in the southeast to the awesome Hilleberg brand than has been done by any other means :) 

9:40 a.m. on April 1, 2013 (EDT)
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You guys are so far right as my email got a response and tentatively (pun here) the news is good.  I'll keep you posted as events unfold.

Pathloser---Your pic does not look like the elastic setup they use on the Hillebergs unless they changed the design in the last couple years.  The gate clips (your example) vs the toggle/ring could be an improvement as often when setting up a couple of the toggle connectors come lose and have to be re-inserted.

9:59 a.m. on April 1, 2013 (EDT)
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Tipi, the photo is of a Helsport tent from a German website. The gate clips (better word) just hook onto the elastic 'D'. But look at the small belt buckle at the top right, that might be to take excess weight off the elastics.

Whatever clips are used, an elastic with connectors at the ends and some kind of clip in the middle would not add much weight, methinks, and would make the elastic part easily replaceable. I have seen some interesting ways of attaching an inner on the new Lightwave tents, though not up close, so there's more than one way to skin a cat, as usual.

11:40 a.m. on April 1, 2013 (EDT)
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Pathloser---The belt buckle you mention in you pic on the top right is similar to the Hilleberg top connector except Hilleberg's not elastic but permanent webbing which keeps the inner tent always at the same height since it doesn't stretch.

Problem is, in your example, are replacing the other elastic bands as like with Hilleberg they are sewn in at two points onto the yellow canopy.  So replacing these, which are elastic, will require re-sewing at two points for every elastic connector, not a fun job.

But it does seem crazy to replace a whole inner tent just because a small amount of elastic is ruined.

1:18 p.m. on April 1, 2013 (EDT)
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That's interesting, Tipi---our Nallo (Mark I, Swedish) does not have any buckle or non-elastics connecting the inner to the outer, so I presumed all Hillebergs had just elastic for connecting material.

I also see that Patman has already mentioned the essence of the problem, which is that the elastics need to be 'clippable' so they can be replaced.

I have used the black elastic from the sewing shops to replace chest straps and make some belt strap keepers but I have no idea whether that material is the same as they use to make high-end tents; after all, if you need silicone elastic instead of rubber for low temps, it might not be the same.

I agree with some of the comments above, in that you are a non-paid, effective ambassador for Hilleberg, and that some are "more equal than others", so they should do the right thing and set a precedent for serious users who encounter the same.

12:16 a.m. on April 2, 2013 (EDT)
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So why not go back to the MSR Fury?  It is a rather nice option.  What makes the Hilleberg the better choice?

6:45 a.m. on April 2, 2013 (EDT)
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Tipi, I found the perfect tent yesterday. Hille posted this on their FB feed as a "Today only! Check out our limited edition special Keron 4 GT version, The Beverlyhilleberger!"


Tipi-s-new-tent.jpg

  (photo courtesy of Hilleberg the Tentmaker via FB feed)


Maybe they will surprise you and send you one of these limited edition "beauties" as a replacement?

I can just see the trip reports now. ;)

8:41 a.m. on April 2, 2013 (EDT)
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Oh Well Now, I just might have to git me one O' them ;-) LOL

9:30 a.m. on April 2, 2013 (EDT)
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We worked out a deal and they will be sending me this---


2501921380_534fa23620.jpg

I'm willing to carry a 50 lb tent and now will have room for all my stuff.

9:35 a.m. on April 2, 2013 (EDT)
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alan said:

So why not go back to the MSR Fury?  It is a rather nice option.  What makes the Hilleberg the better choice?

 The Fury is a great 4 season tent and has enough guyouts to withstand pretty much anything.  Negatories?

**  Thin floor vs Hilleberg, 40 denier vs 100 denier.  Big difference.

**  There are two doors on the Fury, the inner tent door and the vestibule door.  Both are below head level so getting in and out is a problem as is sitting up at the door to eat, etc.  The top entrances are too dang low.

**  Flame retardant stink in the Fury, no such chems used with the Hilleberg.

**  Fury vestibule fly zipper does not have zipper flap so in a heavy rain the zip leaks water into the vestibule.  Stupid oversight.

10:20 a.m. on April 2, 2013 (EDT)
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We worked out a deal and they will be sending me this---


2501921380_534fa23620.jpg

I'm willing to carry a 50 lb tent and now will have room for all my stuff.

 

Are you going to open up your own AT shelter service?

Does it come with an intercom system?

1:19 p.m. on April 2, 2013 (EDT)
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that's a windtunnel tent! put a Ferrari in that sucker!

9:38 p.m. on April 2, 2013 (EDT)
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That does remind me of Edmunds Col Shelter. Don't go there for the shelter as it is gone.

9:56 a.m. on April 3, 2013 (EDT)
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alan said:

So why not go back to the MSR Fury?  It is a rather nice option.  What makes the Hilleberg the better choice?

 I used to own the Moss version (Superdome?)of the Fury a long time ago.  Bombproof tent.  Heavy though, due to the materials used back then.  Wished I hadn't sold it, and am amazed at what they go for on EBay.

I love the floor material of the Hillebergs.  Incredibly durable stuff.  Plus, it is SO nice to have the exoskeleton design, where I don't have to fight with a rainfly during a windy storm.

Just ordered a Tan Nammatj 3GT for me and it arrives today. Killer tent for the Wind River Range.

12:56 p.m. on April 3, 2013 (EDT)
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vigilguy said:

alan said:

So why not go back to the MSR Fury?  It is a rather nice option.  What makes the Hilleberg the better choice?

 I used to own the Moss version (Superdome?)of the Fury a long time ago.  Bombproof tent.  Heavy though, due to the materials used back then.  Wished I hadn't sold it, and am amazed at what they go for on EBay.

I love the floor material of the Hillebergs.  Incredibly durable stuff.  Plus, it is SO nice to have the exoskeleton design, where I don't have to fight with a rainfly during a windy storm.

Just ordered a Tan Nammatj 3GT for me and it arrives today. Killer tent for the Wind River Range.

 Except for the slanting foot endwall which we discussed at length on previous threads, the Nammatj is a great little tent.  Unfortunately when I got mine way back in 2005 or before, Hilleberg sold them with 9mm poles and so during a hellish peg-pulling windstorm one of the poles bent---but fixed by re-bending. (Notice I had to place rocks on all the stakes).  Now of course the Kerlon 1800's come with 10mm poles.  Here's the Nammatj in that windstorm---


54-21%20%20My%20Tent%20on%20the%20Bob%20

3:07 p.m. on April 3, 2013 (EDT)
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Quite the wind storm!

Have you ever "double-poled" any of your Hilleberg's? I'll have to try that sometime and see what difference it makes in high winds.

I bought the GT as I love the extended vestibule...had the Keron 3GT and it was just too long for me. Figured the Nammatj would give me the luxury of the GT vestibule but cut down on some of the length, and weight.

3:26 p.m. on April 3, 2013 (EDT)
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Ck out Mt Washington NH winds today... It's been in the 90's + range with wind chills in -27 degrees F

Over night I had 45 mph gusts....... still pretty breezy

3:36 p.m. on April 3, 2013 (EDT)
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vigilguy said:

Quite the wind storm!

Have you ever "double-poled" any of your Hilleberg's? I'll have to try that sometime and see what difference it makes in high winds.

I bought the GT as I love the extended vestibule...had the Keron 3GT and it was just too long for me. Figured the Nammatj would give me the luxury of the GT vestibule but cut down on some of the length, and weight.

 Hilleberg mentions double poling but aren't real clear on the matter.  It seems to me if their tents needed double poles they would sell each tent with such.  I'd be an idiot to carry an 8 lb 10 oz tent and THEN carry an extra set of poles. 

Hilleberg needs to come up with some wind stats to indicate when double poles are needed.

3:37 p.m. on April 3, 2013 (EDT)
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Lodge Pole said:

Ck out Mt Washington NH winds today... It's been in the 90's + range with wind chills in -27 degrees F

Over night I had 45 mph gusts....... still pretty breezy

 Is there anyone in the Presidentials pulling long term winter trips with trip reports?  I'd be interested in reading them and seeing what kind of gear they use.  I know there's an ADK forum but I'm reluctant to wade thru all the threads.

4:57 p.m. on April 3, 2013 (EDT)
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Walter not that I am aware of.... I have a application on my system that gives me weather on around 40 local stations. This app is called Ambient Weather. it is a free down load and while i only look at these 40 stations of which Mt Washington is one, this says i can see weather anywhere I want in the world as well..

If you want this application a google search should get it..... I still have the exe in my downloads file, and could e-mail it to you.

I use this a lot every day at different times of the day and can get a forecast as good or better than tv. It has radar too. National, Regional, and local.

I wonder if Trail Space might offer this as a checking point bonus to readers maybe. I have no clue about how that would be legally. But hiking and knowing weather go hand in hand.

If you do find something local here in line with your request i would be interested in knowing.

Also this weather program tells me in a straight line Mt Washington is 27.3 miles from me. (My location is my zip code of Tamworth, so the distance isn't exact)

I have better than (40)10 day trips in that area above tree line in the Northern Residentials and dress about the same in winters. I still have my nose, checks, ears, and all my fingers and toes! The clothing I wear is semi traditional and there isn't much very new.

Used to do it in Limmers and could get cold feet. use Koflach now and so no more cold feet but the liners broke down and i am dealing with that issue here in gear repairs.

I still use old 60-40's unlined and believe these are good but better yet would be North face unlined gortex. I can take up a long space writing about what i think works best, and tell why.

I have googled that area alot too. I find it strange that there is no pictures of the old Log Cabin, the old Gray knob, and the old Craig Camp. I think the perch is still the same, but I know there is no shelter at all at Edmund's Col. That was a steel quonset hut, but has been gone for years and years.

I have reels of slides, but I have no means to convert these in a easy inexpensive way of these winter trips.

7:11 p.m. on April 3, 2013 (EDT)
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Yes, getting film pics and slides/negatives onto a computer can be a hassle although my several year old HP printer can scan negatives and all of my old pics are either scanned negatives or prints.

I kick myself now as most of my backpacking trips in the 1980's and '90's were done without a camera and we had some outstanding trips.

It's funny but the bald I often go backpacking to is called Bob Bald and it's almost exactly the same height as Mt Washington at around 5,240 or 5,260 feet.  Difference is the north jet stream which pounces on your mountain.

Yeah, my Limmers were tough in the winter for various reasons and as you say not very warm.  Plus, when they froze solid (after getting wet) they were hell to put on and use.  I always keep telling myself I'll get a good pair of winter boots but I never do.  The last pair of real winter boots I had were some Sorel packboots back in '82 and while near perfect they were clunkers to hike in.  Now I get by in regular Asolo boots.

BTW, I have a great picture of 3 time AT thruhiker Dorothy Laker standing my the Edmund Col shelter when it was still standing.  I'll have to go find it and scan it.

10:49 p.m. on April 3, 2013 (EDT)
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I wonder if you might happen to have a pic Albert Dow took... I had one as  a post card. It was of a bull moose on the summit cone with Lakes in the Clouds hut in the back ground. 

He was a rescue searcher that was killed looking fir 2 PA hikers years ago. Yankee magazine ran article on those 2 making them look like survivor heroes. last year i found out one of them is at MIT working ergo robotic prosthetics, so maybe it's not all bad.

I knew Albert from his working at IME in N Conway.

Pre plastic winter double boots were horrible affairs usually around 6 pounds each. But these plastic boots have their fair share of problems too. I forget the brand name of my first pair and they were used once. Going up was great, coming down they ate my shins raw. They never made it home, and were dropped off at consignment at Ragged Mountain cheap.

Not happy with the Koflach but they are getting more custom work before they go for sale.  I will want new winter boots that take step in spikes but i don't know what yet. Before i do that i will need to bump off a armored car... geeze these prices.. I mean for what these boots cost i could level the mountain cheaper.

You have a mt bigger than Mt Washington called Mt Mitchell right? If I recall that is on the Blue Ridge, but looks like a high meadow not a rock pile.

12:32 a.m. on April 4, 2013 (EDT)
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Like Mt Washington, our Mt Mitchell (6,684 feet) is pretty much wrecked by the human tendency to ruin a mountain by cutting a road to the top.  It's in the Black Mt range.

12:55 a.m. on April 4, 2013 (EDT)
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It's a wild night on the mt still.... My weather app has  +3 F, Humidity 100%, wind NW at 89 gusting to 98 mph, wind chill - 33 below.

Nothing like that where I am I have +29 and dropping slow. N Sandwich is 5.96 miles as the crow flies and they have +30.7 F, Humidity 53%, wind WNW at 9 gusting to 20 mph wind chill +23.

If I wasn't in and hadn't been at odd chores til after 10 PM I would be out testing the tent and assorted other old sleeping bags tonight. 

Warmer raw cold isn't my thing. I prefer +10 and colder, for the drier air. Summer air is about non-existent for me. I can't breath that air well.

1:19 p.m. on April 9, 2013 (EDT)
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vigilguy said:

Quite the wind storm!

Have you ever "double-poled" any of your Hilleberg's? I'll have to try that sometime and see what difference it makes in high winds.

I bought the GT as I love the extended vestibule...had the Keron 3GT and it was just too long for me. Figured the Nammatj would give me the luxury of the GT vestibule but cut down on some of the length, and weight.

 Just how would one go about double poling this type of tent? Could the same be done with a Bibler /Black Diamond Bomb Shelter tent?

It may appear evident that the real question is would you follow the same lines the first set of poles to, or would a 2nd set of poles follow some other line?

1:31 p.m. on April 9, 2013 (EDT)
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Hillebergs are designed for pole doubling with wider sleeves and big enough end cups to hold the two pole ends.  It's not something I ever want to have to do.  Or even really know about.

2:04 p.m. on April 9, 2013 (EDT)
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Well Walter if you ever want to put it to the test i know there the jet engine pad is on the north west summit shoulder of Mt Washington is. :-)

 In a couple of weeks time we could just about shred any tents made by man. Why who knows in a tent any tent the 2 if us camped there might fly low tech too. It gets a tad breezy there.

I know at 125 MPH wind i can't stand up anymore, and need a 3 point move with a axe and then move one foot, get real steady and move the next foot. Then move the axe.... There is no option for errors..

With lesser winds where you can move it still blows ice/snow rhyme, and is like being inside a sandblaster.

They say only a fool would be out in that and i tend to agree, but then I did walk smack into a weather man too but just once. Scared both of us. 

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