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Old 01-27-2021, 03:16 PM   #8
Makwa's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 81
I've found that I'm about 20-25% slower in winter than I am in other seasons. That's comparing like trails to like trails using my GPS tracks. You're results may vary but for me it is a combo of a lot of things:

* Walking on snow & ice in micros or snowshoes is just a hair slower every step than walking on bare ground in hiking boots.
* I'm intentionally a tad more careful ascending and descending tricky spots on the trail where a slip can have you tumbling down a slick bit of ice. Taking your time and exercising caution is a required time suck unfortunately.
* I'm carrying far more weight in my pack (~8-10 extra pounds of gear) and on my person (snowshoes and heavier winter boots on feet and another 5-8 pounds of clothes and accessories) than I do in other seasons. 13-18 more pounds of stuff can slow your pace down.
* And lastly... I'm gonna move a hair slower in winter so I don't bonk or expend all my energy. If that happens in summer it's probably not a huge deal. In colder weather, the consequences could be dire.

The cumulative effect of all of these is a much slower pace. Like I said... your results may vary. Maybe you go all out in every season or carry a light pack even in winter. If that's the case then maybe you'll move along at the same pace as you do in other seasons. But I would plan the day with a time cushion built in. Start earlier than you think you need to and have a turnaround time planned ahead of time. And of course adjust your plan as needed if the hike is more strenuous than you anticipated. Winter conditions can drain you. It sometimes just depends on the day.

Good luck and have fun.
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