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Spent a night at around 9000ft on the Grand Mesa this last Wednesday, November 24th. I checked the weather at a couple of websites ahead of time, and came out with an average of -7 for a low for the night. I chose to bring my 15F-rated Marmot Helium.
I had a warm night on the mountain. I woke up once, to urinate, at around 2am. Checking the thermometer next to my head registered -12F. My night as spent was the result of a combination of factors...
I was inside a relatively smallish, two-person double-wall tent. A Hilleberg Allak. Camp was on top of about 12" of snow, in a small clearing at the edge of an Aspen stand.
My pad system comprised of a long-length Thermarest Prolite Plus on top of a full-length 3/8" CCF on top of a 3/4-length 1/4" Evazote pad. Total R-value of around 6.0. I also brought along and used a Western Mountaineering Cloudrest down pillow.
Inside the bag, on top I wore the an Ice Breaker 220wt merino wool LS top under a Eddie Bauer First Ascent Downlight Vest under a Patagonia Nano-Puff pullover; on bottom, Patagonia Capilene 3 tights under Lowe Alpine Sierra Lite softshells, under M65 side-button pant liners. 3 pairs of wool socks in adjusted sizes on my feet. An R1 balaclava under a Mountain Hardwear 100wt fleece beanie on my head. Mountain Hardwear Power Stretch liner gloves.
I brought a Patagonia R2 fleece along that I didn't wear, so I ended up draping that over my feet. I stayed toasty warm all night long, as much as 27 degrees below the rating of my bag. My Helium is the 2007 model, with 850 fill, a Pertex Quantum shell, and a half-zip.
It was bitterly cold up there, with a stiff wind of around 20mph. I could not be outside my sleeping bag for long once the sun went down. My layers would have kept me fine moving, but at rest they were overpowered. I'll need to bring my Marmot Iceland jacket along for the next trip up there.
btw: for those headed to the Grand Mesa, the Kannah Creek trail is spectacular, especially with snow...