May 14, 2012 at 9:18 pm #1289917
Ok, so here is my question/scenario.
A guide is taking a group of us to climb Mount Baker and Mount Rainier this summer here in Washington State. Now, I have hiked 1000's of miles in my life, but done no mountaineering. So, my question is, has anyone done any serious mountaineering with a GoLite Shangra-La 3-person pyramid tent. I also own a Black Diamond Mega-Light pyramid as well. While it is made from a heavier silnylon, it lacks guy lines. I have a floor with this tent as well.
I know pyramid tents are good for snow/rain, however, I am not familiar with them in higher winds. I have guy lines and snow anchors and stakes.
Obviously, I can lower the apex of the tent and can dig into the snow/ice for wind protection… however, my guide/friend is a little concerned about the wind factor.
What do you all think? Am I nuts to take one of those pyramid style shelters on Rainier?May 14, 2012 at 9:39 pm #1877763
drowning in spamMember
@leaftyeLocale: SoCalMay 14, 2012 at 10:06 pm #1877769
I'm pretty sure that's what Andrew Skurka used in his Alaska expedition… so I would say that it can handle those conditions. I've also seen a few videos of that tent being used in a alpine climbing expedition. I think it's on Go-Lite's site?May 15, 2012 at 9:04 am #1877883
Thanks for the responses…. I obviously missed that link/chat. Thanks again.May 15, 2012 at 9:09 am #1877885
Joe ClementBPL Member
I'll try to think of where I saw it, but I looked at a Denali climb report the other day where they used the Shangri-La 3. Or maybe it was just a video of an avalanche, and there were some in base camp.May 15, 2012 at 9:19 am #1877891
A guy in another forum has had his Shangri-la 5 out in 100+ mph documented winds. It did well.May 15, 2012 at 9:48 am #1877905
"A guy in another forum has had his Shangri-la 5 out in 100+ mph documented winds. It did well."
I have no doubt that you read that but I don't think many honestly understand what 100mph winds feel like. Sorry, but I don't believe this person's statement. For those winds a low profile, poled, 4 season shelter would be needed and even then, one would have to double or triple anchor the pegs and poles with additional guylines, rocks, or small automobiles.May 15, 2012 at 9:57 am #1877911
I actually do believe him. I don't think that he is one to exaggerate.
I have the 3 and 5 and though I haven't experienced 100 mph winds in mine, I've had some pretty danged strong winds. We added extra guylines and it performed better than I had expected.May 15, 2012 at 10:03 am #1877915
I have this tent and while I had no way of tracking the wind speed, it was an incredible wind storm and I would guess gusts got up to above 50 MPH easy. I had to adjust the tension straps a couple of times a day, but the tent held up great. I can recomend this tent with no issues at all.May 15, 2012 at 10:10 am #1877918
drowning in spamMember
"I'll try to think of where I saw it, but I looked at a Denali climb report the other day where they used the Shangri-La 3. Or maybe it was just a video of an avalanche, and there were some in base camp."
Why do I even bother postingMay 15, 2012 at 10:57 am #1877932
Herbert SitzBPL Member
@hesLocale: Pacific NW
Someone said Andrew Skurka used a Shangri La on his Alaska trip. His tent was same yellow color as Shanrgi La's, but it was actually a MLD Solomid:
You can see a picture here:
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=32367May 15, 2012 at 3:10 pm #1877982
whitenoise .BPL Member
Eric, you should be fine. If you get to pick your weekend when you'd like to be up there, as in choosing the best weather, you're guaranteed to be fine. Muir can see high winds, but typically not during the standard summer climbing months. I've seen a few people use the Beta/MegaMids and SL2/SL3 up there. And they're used extensively on Denali at base camp.May 15, 2012 at 8:55 pm #1878091
I think I will be fine. Like Sean said, as long as the weather is not "howling" with winds, etc. I ought to be good. It is always that balance between being light -vs- being stupid. I have a good 0' down bag, insulated pad, warm clothes… I would just hate to hear that "rip" sound in the middle of the night and I am laying there thinking, "dang-it (or some other exclamation of profanity), why did I not carry the extra few pounds and take an F'in expedition tent" as I am becoming a human snow-man…
Any other insight would be appreciated!
Papa SherpaMay 15, 2012 at 8:56 pm #1878094
Cheers.May 16, 2012 at 8:14 am #1878192
Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
NWHikers.net would be an excellent resource for this question, with a lot of local climbers and guides.May 16, 2012 at 11:47 am #1878258
@redpointLocale: British Columbia
Having climbed both several times, I think you'll be fine on Baker. You'll camp at either The Black Buttes or on/near the Heliotrope Ridge. Either location should be OK for a lightweight shelter.
Rainier on the other hand is a different beast. I assume that you'll be camping at Camp Muir. The wind can really whip through there. I can't imagine that pyramid type tents are much good in wind compared to a proper mountaineering tent. Generally, people set-up camp, climb around 12am and then come back down and break camp. I'd suggest that you drop your tent and toss a few big rocks on top of the canopy or safely stow it. Alternatively, I've seen people just use bivy bags up there too. If you're really concerned, you could rent a tent. The thing is, you're not going to get snow , but you could get some really high winds. I remember back a few years ago, the climbing rangers were concerned about my friend's four-pole Moss tent and told him to 'flatten' and put rocks on top before climbing.
Baker is a fantastic mountain for learning about mountaineering, but Rainier is a huge step-up with giant features as hazards. Be careful up there and have fun.May 16, 2012 at 12:00 pm #1878264
@redpointLocale: British Columbia
I agree with David on this one, seems like BS to me. The surface area on a Shangri-la 5 is huge and completely unsupported.
I had a 5 pole North Face mountaineering tent fail [three broken poles and a ripped fly] on Mt. Washington, NH in sustained 100 mph winds. Though it got me through the night. It was well set into the side of the mountain and anchored with 7 anchors [snow pickets and mtn axes]. The sides of the tent were deformed under wind loads almost to the floor. If tents like the Shangri-la 5 were so amazing in high winds, mountaineers wouldn't bother with the weight of a proper mountaineering tent. 100 mph winds are horrific, most houses would sustain major damage. 100 mph winds are super serious, the unprepared could easier lose their life … I was scared out of my mind.Aug 20, 2012 at 5:15 pm #1904321
The tent worked just fine on Rainier. The winds were realatively calm (less than 25mph) and so we slept comfortably at Camp Sherman. I would not suggest that the tent be used in much higher winds than 30-35mph. For that ~ a true mountaineering tent would be recommended.
Papa SherpaAug 20, 2012 at 9:14 pm #1904408
Franco DarioliBPL Member
RE 100mph winds…
I read that original report too.
That wind speed was recorded at a somewhat nearby weather station and guessed to be about the same or higher where he was.
Problem is that without an anemometer most people (including me…) could not accurately tell wind speed over 30-40 mph at best.
A 50% wind speed increase feels to us like a 100% increase and that is why we read about certain dubious claims.
Just found this clip :
Yes at 100mph trees fall down and houses lose roofs, an unprotected mid using the standard pole is not going to stand up to that.
(behind a wall I can stand with one foot against 100mph winds …)
Note what happens at 60-70mph with gusts at (?) ( from 1:10 into the clip…)
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