Ray Jardine would be spinning in his grave if he saw this, except for the fact that he is still very much alive and hiking. Ray is a leading proponent of Ultralight Backpacking and often covers up to forty miles a day while carrying an eight-pound pack. At the other end of the spectrum, I recently flew with 225 pounds of food and gear, then proceeded to add another 100 or so pounds of food and gas. It was a staggering about of junk and guaranteed that we weren\’t going to be going very far.
The advantage of going ultralight is increased mobility whereas the advantage of ultraheavy is increased comfort for extended periods of time. In the case of skiing a big peak, you may luck out and get perfect conditions right off the bat, but more than likely you are going to have to do some hard tent-time while waiting for the weather and stability to improve and biding your time. In cases like this, its important to be warm, well rested and well fed so that when the time is right, you are ready to go. Eating freeze dried food and waking up every time your partner moves in a tiny little two person tent is okay for a day or so, but it takes its toll after a week or more.
I think I first learned about Ultraheavy camping through Lorne Glick when we brought along frying pans, bacon, cook tents, speakers, triple servings of Costco cheese and all sorts of other stuff on a trip to Mt. Hunter. From where the plane dropped us off, we hauled all of our gear a grand total of about a mile down the glacier on sleds, set up base camp and left it. Of the three weeks we allotted to this trip, the actual climbing and skiing only took 1-2 days, but success was a matter of being able to patiently and comfortably wait for the right days. On this and other subsequent heavy camping trips, I think I have actually gained weight while winter camping. For reference, here is a link to a partial food list on a recent heavy camping trip.
The downside of heavy camping is that it kills your mobility, so it is something that only works in certain situations. But when it works, it is the only way to fly.