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Mitten suggestions?
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magoojd


Jan 16, 2011, 6:16 PM
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Mitten suggestions?
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I'm taking a one-day ice climbing lesson at the Gunks or Catskills and I know I need a quality pair of gloves or mittens before I go. I prefer mittens because of the extra warmth, and I'm basing my decision more for long term goals rather than my lesson.

To be honest, this may be a one time event. I've always wanted to try ice climbing, but I'm planning my purchase more for how it will keep my hands warm while skiing and hiking in the Catskills. I know some people prefer gloves for the added dexterity, but I know I want mittens in the long run.

I'm debating between the BD Mercury Mittens and REI taped mitten shells with a separate wool mitten for insulation.

I have no experience on ice, so I'd appreciate any feedback that anyone could offer.


rocknice2


Jan 16, 2011, 6:51 PM
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Re: [magoojd] Mitten suggestions? [In reply to]
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I use thick warm gloves to belay or anytime I'm not climbing. I then switch to a thinner pair of gloves to climb with.

Can't really recommend any mittens. Don't use them.

For climbing a lightweight liner and a pair of wind-stopper gloves work very well. Unless the ice is running with water.
Always keep your thinner climbing gloves inside your jacket to keep them warm.

There are better climbing gloves than plain wind-stoppers but seeing as it's a one time thing these glove are useful for other things.

Actually I bring 3 pairs of gloves with me for climbing. Just in case they get wet.
You can never have enough gloves for winter activities.


brokesomeribs


Jan 16, 2011, 7:56 PM
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Re: [magoojd] Mitten suggestions? [In reply to]
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You don't want mittens for ice climbing. Really.

Many people (myself included) climb in cheap insulated work gloves. Kincos are the gold standard. They cost about $13. I carry 3 pairs of gloves with me and switch them out every pitch, with the wet pairs inside my clothing right up against my skin to dry them out.

My advice: Get the Mercury mittens (cause they're awesome, just not for climbing) and also 1 or 2 pairs of cheap gloves. Climb in the gloves, then wear the mittens when you're standing around.


coastal_climber


Jan 16, 2011, 11:11 PM
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Re: [brokesomeribs] Mitten suggestions? [In reply to]
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Fuck mittens. It will take one session of trying to unclip a biner and you will burn them on the spot. get gloves.


shoo


Jan 17, 2011, 6:59 AM
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Re: [magoojd] Mitten suggestions? [In reply to]
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Unless it's crazy cold (i.e. into the low single digits or colder) you wi hate your life trying to climb in mittens. You will have next to no dexterity, and your hands will sweat and freeze later. However, mitts are great for standing around and belaying top-rope. I and several of my climbing buddies use the BD Mercury mitts. 75% of the time, they stay in my pack, but for the 25% of days, they are pretty damn wonderful.

If you are looking for a climbing glove, you want all the dexterity you can get. Most prefer a thin to medium thickness, leather palmed glove. I always have two pairs of gloves with me of different thicknesses and warmth. I'll climb in the thinner one if conditions allow or until it gets soaked.

Smart use of your hands will also massively improve warmth, even with very thin gloves. Periodically shaking out to return blood to your hands and avoiding over gripping will help keep you comfortable and dry.


Edited to add: If you're looking for one glove that does it all, BD's Legend gloves are pretty damn incredible. They're definitely on the slightly too warm and bulky side for most, but in terms of versatility, you don't get much better than this. These are my standard glove when belaying or standing around, but they're also super dexterous and pretty sweet for top-roped climbing or when the temps drop.

They're also the only glove I've ever owned that stayed bone dry no matter what I did to them. The goretex lining is WAAAAAY more breathable than the BDry insert. After a couple of years of abuse, the leather has finally worn down enough that it's starting to soak up water on the outside, but I'm pretty sure some sno-seal will that care of that.


(This post was edited by shoo on Jan 17, 2011, 7:11 AM)


dr_feelgood


Jan 18, 2011, 1:58 PM
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Re: [shoo] Mitten suggestions? [In reply to]
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Better suggestion. Don't even bother starting ice climbing. Too many people are doing it already. kthxbai


magoojd


Jan 20, 2011, 8:02 PM
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Re: [dr_feelgood] Mitten suggestions? [In reply to]
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Thanks for all (most) of the feedback. Despite compelling arguments, I'm going with the REI taped mittens that I'll wear with a wicking layer and an insulating layer. I understood going into this that gloves would be preferable for ice, but again, it's probably something I'll only try once, and mittens are my best option in the long run. I looked into the Kincos, and I might pick up a pair for the day. Thanks for the idea.

Aside from that, thank you for the warm welcome into the ice climbing community.


rhythm164


Jan 20, 2011, 10:18 PM
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I've had the Mercury Mitts for about 3 years and wouldn't even consider anything else, they're one of my favorite pieces of gear, but not for ice.

I wouldn't wear mitts ice climbing, but if you're thinking it's going to be a one day thing you'll probably be fine. If you want to get into it though, you'll find them a total hinderance and you'll likely be in a pair of gloves before the end of your first season.


magoojd


Jan 21, 2011, 10:47 AM
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Thank you for the feedback!


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