Extreme Astronomy

Its 6 ? (-14 ?) outside, wind is light and the sky is clear. The bright winter stars fill the eastern sky, the always striking Pleiades glowing overhead. Yes I am crazy enough to spend all night in this under the stars. But not tonight. With snow on the ground and holiday lights glowing its the worst possible time for light pollution at my place. Lest you think I’m the only unstable person that would be out I direct you to the Yahoo Extreme Astronomy Group.

Tonight I enjoyed the stars while comparing Sorel Conquest boots with older Itasca Iceberg III Pac boots. I wore the Sorels out during the Leonids so I knew they performed well in the mid 20s. But the ground was not snow packed or frozen that night. The Sorels are +1 size for me and feel good hiking about with thick socks. My Itascas are +2 size and feel big, like having clown shoes on. But for warmth they are the one. Despite the Sorel’s -40 ? rating they only have 400g thinsulate and are no match for the Itasca’s realistic -20 ? rating with its 1200g thinsulate and removable felt boot liner. Only thing better than these would be the Cabela Inferno?2000 Pac Boots.

Winter features the brightest stars of the night sky and wonderful deepsky objects. It also has some extremely cold conditions so it takes careful planning and dependable gear to enjoy it.