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Big Wall Index => Big Wall Forum => Topic started by: Danish on September 15, 2013, 02:12:08 pm

Title: Stoves and the importance of warm food?
Post by: Danish on September 15, 2013, 02:12:08 pm
With intentions of saving weight, my climbing partner and I were talking about leaving the stove, fuel, cooking gear, etc out for an attempt of the RNWF. We're relatively new to big wall climbing.

We've never gone on a climbing trip without that stuff, so we have no point of reference as to how important it may be...
I do know we both need coffee in the morning, and that the beef stroganoff we recently had at the Dinner Ledge was...memorable. I guess I just want to know whether or not people think warm food and coffee, etc is psychologically important enough to keep moving with high spirits.

Does anyone with experience with both sides of this have any reflections?

Title: Re: Stoves and the importance of warm food?
Post by: johnmac on September 15, 2013, 04:22:08 pm
If it is just one night I don't bother, but any longer I live to have hot food (dehy) and coffee!
Title: Re: Stoves and the importance of warm food?
Post by: Gagner on September 15, 2013, 05:17:00 pm
I always try to go light, though equally as important compact.  Unless I'm on an expedition, I rarely, if ever take a stove.  My mantra is everything I carry up has to be carried down - and space, as well as weight is always at a premium.  In 35+ walls in the valley I've taken one once.  If you plan to be up during a stormy spell that's a different story all together.

Now I know plenty of people that do take stoves, but I figure I can live without one for the 5-6 days that I'm going to be on a wall.  Take chocolate covered espresso beans for the morning - almost as good as coffee, unless it's hot and they melt.....

Title: Re: Stoves and the importance of warm food?
Post by: Raaf on September 15, 2013, 10:43:24 pm
I'm a coffee drinker (i.e. require caffeine to maintain proper body chemistry) and have done wall routes with and without a stove (mostly without). I would lean toward not bringing it.

When you don't have a stove for coffee you can stave off the dreaded caffeine withdrawal symptoms with energy drinks, Mountain Dew, ibuprofen, and like Gagner said--espresso beans. The canned Starbucks double-shots have served me well as a breakfast beverage. For warm meals, I've had good luck with the MRE heater units. (Credit goes to Garbonzo/Moof for the MRE supplies) They get super hot when activated, and will bring something like a Trader Joes "tasty bites" meal to a nice warm temp.

When you do bring a stove--of course it's awesome to have that hot cup of coffee in the morning. And your planning expands to include dehydrated meal options, since you'll have boiling water. But particularly in the morning it slows down your departure because you end up lounging around longer nursing the coffee process. And as others have said, it's more weight and bulk in the bag.

All of this assumes you're going in the usual seasons where it's a bit cold at night, reasonable in the day. May June, Sept October. I think it's pretty clear that a stove would be appropriate in the Nov. to April months.
Title: Re: Stoves and the importance of warm food?
Post by: Caz on September 16, 2013, 01:36:37 am
Ditch the stove. Maybe if you're on a wall for 4 plus days. But with a approach like HD, it's not worth the 1 or 2 cups of joe. Skully turned me onto the chocolate covered espresso beans and I used to live on Rock Star energy drinks, but I avoid caffein now. You're gonna suffer anyway, you'll get over the missing coffee. As far as hot meals, chances are you're not really going to want to cook anyway. You come up with some crazy ass meals while you're on the wall. A partner of mine took a foil packet of flavored tuna fish, put taco bell hot sauce in it along with cheese whiz and topped it off with artichoke hearts. It sounds nasty but that's all we had left and it tasted awesome!

Title: Re: Stoves and the importance of warm food?
Post by: csproul on September 17, 2013, 09:26:08 am
It's the won't be hauling (you won't be hauling, right?), and it should be one night on the wall max, so ditch the stove. Keep the weight low, get up it fast(er), and get back down to the valley floor for some real food. Maybe take one if  you're bivying at the base the night before (hot food the night before and coffee the morning you take off), but don't take it up the climb.
Title: Re: Stoves and the importance of warm food?
Post by: Danish on October 03, 2013, 06:26:13 pm
Yeah, I was thinking that leaving the stove would be a better option.

To those of you who were talking about espresso beans:
Not sure if you're familiar with Starbucks Via instant coffee, but it's actually pretty good coffee. If you're into iced/not-hot coffee, it's a great way to supplement. I usually don't like Starbucks and I hate to advertise for them, but it's the only instant coffee that does coffee justice (it may have been because we.

To csprowl (and others with advice) if you're suggesting hauling as laughable on RNWF, can you offer some insight into what you usually do?

You got me this how you would attempt without hauling:
Fix to pitch 3 --> sleep --> shoot to Sandy --> bivy --> top out.


My climbing partner and I think it to be inconceivable (queue Princess Bride) that we can do this with one night on the wall, but I'm gaining confidence...

Honestly, is there simply a level of testes we're just going to need to acquire?

Edit: Spelling
Title: Re: Stoves and the importance of warm food?
Post by: johnmac on October 04, 2013, 12:02:44 pm
Triple check the weather forecast before you go ... Go with one pack. Lead in blocks. Take a down jacket and a pad to sit on. Take extra batteries. Treat it as a long day climb with an overnight bivy.
Title: Re: Stoves and the importance of warm food?
Post by: Chad on October 04, 2013, 12:46:57 pm
I never did the RNWF, but I can tell you that among friends who have been there: those that went fast and light, sent it. Those who went with too much stuff got punished and either bailed or took a long time. Some bivied on Big Sandy and some succeeded in a day. For some, it also meant a chilly bivy on the summit, but they said it was definitely worth it. Also, those who did the "death slabs" approach had a higher success rate. One party I know of that did it, the second wanted to free climb a lot and not just follow on jumars. So, in some places the leader was able to simultaneously leg-haul the small haul bag and belay the second on a auto-locking belay device. (This gives you an idea of how much your pack should weigh). One advice that sounded very useful was to bring a bit of surgical tubing to siphon water from the spring.

Here is a link to some beta, if you want, from Mark Kroese

Also, I agree that the Starbucks VIA are pretty good. However, be careful when you buy them. People sometimes steal the packets out of the packaging by pushing in on the box from below, so it is possible to end up with an empty box or a partial.
Title: Re: Stoves and the importance of warm food?
Post by: lambone on October 04, 2013, 04:35:14 pm
On El Cap routes I bring a Jetboil and VIA Coffee packs. I will also make some oatmeal sometimes. Dinners I usualy just do cold stuff.
Wouldn't even consider it for the RNWFHD
Title: Re: Stoves and the importance of warm food?
Post by: cobbledik on October 04, 2013, 08:56:10 pm
Sticks is salami, dried mango, and mint cookies; send.