Sunday, November 10, 2013

Nights 311-313 - Tent Troubles!

Hi and welcome back!

Thursday night: 37 degrees
Friday morning: 35 degrees 
Friday night: 37 degrees
Saturday morning: 20 degrees
Saturday night: 37 degrees
Sunday morning: 26 degrees

I'm posting a few nights in one post because I have so much to talk about!

First of all, the answer to the trivia question was 5.9+.  I first heard this question in a discussion  from one of my SuperTopo emails.  Somebody posted a comment asking how high on the Yosemite Decimal Scale (YDS) mountain goats can climb.  Somebody else replied that he had seen one of Galen Rowell's pictures of a mountain goat climbing a 5.9+ wall!  This isn't the picture, but it shows just how good they are.

Not Good

Friday was really windy here, and when I came home from school I saw that the Polaris was in bad shape.  As I got closer to it, I realized that one of the poles had broken, and the sharp ends poked through the fly and started a big rip.

The pole had broken at a point that had a bend (which was supposed to be there), but that meant we couldn't even put a splint on it.  The rip in the fly was big and right above where my head would be.  With the Polaris being an older tent that Sierra Designs only made for a year or two, I'm not sure I will be able to get a replacement fly and pole.  I've heard that REI makes custom poles, but I don't know if they can make one with a bend in it.  We're going to see what we can do, though.  The Polaris is too nice to give up on so easily.

Vector on the Right
We still had to figure out a solution quickly, though.  I usually bivouac on the weekends anyway, so Friday night I slept in the bivvy/shelter I made.

On Saturday we went to the L.L. Bean store in Center Valley (near Allentown).  We've been thinking about getting a tent that's big enough for the whole family, and this was the perfect time.

We spent a lot of time with Beth and Matt at L.L. Bean.  They showed us a bunch of tents (4-person, 6-person, 3-season, 4-season, etc.), and they even let us set them up in the store to see what we liked.  We decided on the Vector XL, which is a 3-season, 4-person tent.

When we got home on Saturday, we pitched the tent next to the Polaris, and it was literally three times the size.  Even though the floor space is only about twice the size, it's about six feet at the peak, versus about three and a half feet in the Polaris.  The Vector weighs 18 pounds, which is more than twice as much as the Polaris (and three times the weight of my Alps), but it's not a backpacking tent, so weight doesn't matter.

It's been really windy and cold the last few days.  We're actually supposed to get a little snow on Tuesday!

In my next post I'll tell you about my first few nights in the Vector.  I can say that last night was strange spending the night in such a big tent!

Thanks for reading!


  1. Have you heard of a camera called go pro? It would be great for your next big hike. Just saw a news article on it.

  2. Hi Mrs. Gerber! I know the GoPro VERY well. Mark Smiley uses one for a lot of his filming (we used it in Yosemite), and I was looking at one at L.L. Bean on Sunday after we picked out the new tent. I would love to get one, but they're almost $300, and that's too much for me to afford by myself!

  3. I told your mom that it would have been awesome for you to stream your climb live to your class! I'm sure you can think of a way to earn the rest of the money that you need. Good luck!

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