Well, it’s cold again. Not the wear-a-mask-or-you’ll-freeze-your-lungs kind of cold. But still pretty cold. My bike commute to teach yoga this morning was a brisk 8 degrees (yes, Fahrenheit) with enough wind to make my 25 minute ride a 35 minute out 20 minute back adventure. As I rode along I was reminded of a dialog I had with legedary mountain climber Conrad Anker when he passed through town promoting his documentary, “The Wildest Dream.”
If you’ve never been to a film screening where the star and/or director is there, it is quite an experience. Quite a frustrating experience that is. You see, given the chance for Q & A with a guy who has been up Mt. Everest and summitted more epic peaks than a Himalayan Sherpa, most of us would ask questions related to climbing, right? Instead, at events like this, film majors will ask the star/director endless questions about camera gear, lenses, angles, and other techie crap that the star is completely oblivious about.
So anyway, I finally get a chance to ask a question. My question: “How the hell do you stay warm up there and use your hands.” It’s a legit question. Anyone can put on $900 of gear from REI and brave out a little cold. But Conrad had to use his hands for climbing up there. He couldn’t just bundle up like Ralphie’s little brother from “A Christmas Story” and hope to stay on his feet. He had to be functional. After a small yet well placed product plug, his answer was simple. Wear more base layers. Not thicker gloves or better liners. More base layers. Interesting.
Apparently the body does a good job of disbursing heat in the most efficient way possible. When the core is wrapped in a dozen layers of clothing, it has to shunt blood to the extremities which, in turn, will help keep them warm. So the next time your running or cycling training partner complains that their gloves aren’t doing them any good and their fingers are cold, tell them to put on another shirt and stick with the gloves they have.