Weather for the week of March 5th

The week of March 5th began on Sunday with a sunny and warm day with highs in the high 40’s. On Monday the skies turned cloudy with only a little sun and highs in the low 40’s. The wind was blowing but not very strongly. On Tuesday early morning rain began to freeze on the roads causing most schools to delay. The temperatures rose but the rain showers continued throughout the day. The highs reached the mid 40’s. By Wednesday the rain had moved out and the sun appeared pushing the highs into the low to mid 40’s. The wind did pick up some in the afternoon with a forecast for higher winds overnight and on Thursday. Wednesday night and Thursday morning the winds howled reaching sustained velocities of 20 mph with gusts pushing 40 mph at times. Thursday the temperatures again rose into the mid 40’s but the wind continued to blow making it seem much colder. The forecast called for several inches of snow Thursday night into Friday morning with highs only reaching into the low 30’s and snow tapering off by noon. Saturday the temperatures will only be in the high teens and sustained winds of nearly 20 mph will make it feel like almost 0 degrees!  When the weather conditions are constantly changing, be sure you are dressed appropriately in clothing which will wick away moisture to keep you from developing a chill in colder temperatures. Clothes that have pit zips are great and layering with non-cotton materials are a must for the varying temperatures. Keeping hydrated in cooler weather can sometimes be tricky as you do not feel as thirsty but hydrating properly will allow you to hike longer and in greater comfort. It is also time to start bringing along the spikes or crampons since the melting and refreezing can cause spectacular areas of ice on the trails. Snowshoes will be useful especially at higher elevations where snow has accumulated to greater depths and melts more slowly. Be sure to carry water with you as local water sources can be unreliable and may be contaminated. Once you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated! Remember, the weather forecast is only a prediction and always contains percentages. Be prepared and have a plan for the most likely and least likely forecast! Are you prepared to stay out overnight on a trail? Conditions in the morning can change drastically by afternoon. Conditions at the trailhead do not always reflect the conditions on the peaks! Variable trail and weather conditions are a hallmark of these mountains. BE CAREFUL AND BE PREPARED!

Long Pond Figure 8

LongPondFigure8Mar2017_19camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Monday, Mar 6th I wanted to get in a longer hike close to home before the first spring track practice in the afternoon. Since I had been at Trout Pond and Frick Pond recently, I decided to go to Long Pond and repeat a hike I had done only once before. My intention was to hike a figure 8 loop to extend the mileage and take in some spots I had not visited in some time. I wanted to walk as fast as I could and only take a few pictures along the way. I got Sheila in the car with my gear and headed out DeBruce Road for about 8 miles to Flugertown Road where I made a left. I parked in the lot a short distance up the road on the right. It was 10:15 AM and the temperature was only in the mid 30’s with a slight breeze. I had decided to dress warmly with a baselayer both top and bottom. I had a light hat and gloves and wore my Mammut hoody. I opted to wear my Keen Glarus boots which are not insulated and I had not brought any gaiters. I had my spikes in my pack but did not expect to use them. When I parked and looked around, I was surprised to see some snow banks and a layer of ice on the trail. Continue reading

Beech Mountain Boy Scout Camp

BeechMtBSACampMar2017_04camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Thursday, March 2nd I was scheduled to hike with my brother-in-law Jeff and son Kurt. Jeff wanted to hike to the site of the old Beech Mountain Boy Scout Camp near Hodge Pond. He attended the camp in the 1960’s as a member of the Boy Scout troop in Monticello. I had been to the site several times and knew there were a few building still standing. When I got up at 5:30 AM, the wind was blowing at least 20 mph and I almost contacted Jeff and Kurt to offer to postpone the hike. I decided against calling them and waited to see if they contacted me. When I returned from my church men’s group at 8:00 AM, neither Jeff nor Kurt had called so I knew we would be hiking. Kurt did text me later and say he would be delayed to about 10:00 AM so when Jeff arrived at 9:30 AM we sat down to talk. Kurt showed up just after 10:00 AM and we got all our gear together and loaded my car to start out the DebRuce Road. The temperature was right around 30 degrees but the wind made it feel MUCH colder. Continue reading

Trout Pond Loop (Counterclockwise)

TroutCounterFeb2017_26camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Monday, February 27th I wanted to get out for a slightly longer hike since the forecast for the next few days included some rain. I decided that I would go to Trout Pond as I had not been there in some time. I wore a baselayer up top but decided I didn’t need tights since the forecast was for temperatures into the high 40’s. I did take a light pair of gloves and a hat. I wore my Keen Glarus boots as I did not think I would Ned the insulation of the Saloon Nytro boots. I wrapped myself in my Mammut hoody and headed out the door right around 11:00 AM. Sheila as always was ready to get going and bounded out of the door behind me leaping into the backseat as soon as I opened the door. I headed north and west on Route 17 toward Roscoe. Sheila could hardly contain herself in the back seat as she really loves hiking. I got of at exit 94 and headed north toward Downsville on Route 206. I turned left onto Morton Hill Road and drove to the intersection with Russell Brook Road. I turned around and parked on the side of the road to avoid parking in the large open space which is marked as private property. Continue reading

Weather for the week of February 26th

The week of February 26th began on Sunday with an overcast and cool day with highs in the mid 30’s. On Monday the skies will be cloudy with some sun and highs in the high 40’s. The forecast for Tuesday is for a cloudy morning giving way to afternoon showers with highs in the low 50’s. The rain will stay around for Wednesday with cloudy skies and showers for most of the day. The highs will rise into the mid 60’s. By Thursday the temperatures will drop into the high 30’s with partly sunny skies and highs reaching into the high 30’s. There may be some snow showers during the day. The temperature will drop further on Friday onto the low 30’s. There will be some sun but a possibility of more snow showers. The forecast for Saturday is for highs in the low 30’s with some sun and clouds. When the weather conditions are constantly changing, be sure you are dressed appropriately in clothing which will wick away moisture to keep you from developing a chill in colder temperatures. Clothes that have pit zips are great and layering with non-cotton materials are a must for the varying temperatures. Keeping hydrated in cooler weather can sometimes be tricky as you do not feel as thirsty but hydrating properly will allow you to hike longer and in greater comfort. It is also time to start bringing along the spikes or crampons since the melting and refreezing can cause spectacular areas of ice on the trails. Snowshoes will be useful especially at higher elevations where snow has accumulated to greater depths and melts more slowly. Be sure to carry water with you as local water sources can be unreliable and may be contaminated. Once you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated! Remember, the weather forecast is only a prediction and always contains percentages. Be prepared and have a plan for the most likely and least likely forecast! Are you prepared to stay out overnight on a trail? Conditions in the morning can change drastically by afternoon. Conditions at the trailhead do not always reflect the conditions on the peaks! Variable trail and weather conditions are a hallmark of these mountains. BE CAREFUL AND BE PREPARED!

Round Top Figure 8

gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Saturday, February 25th I was prepared to go out for a short walk for a third day in a row. The sun was out and the temperatures by late morning were pushing into the 60’s. I asked Cindy if she wanted to go across the street and hike on Round Top and she agreed. We were both trying to recover from a cold that had plagued her for several weeks. We decided to head across the street to Round Top with Sheila around 11:00 AM. I decided to forego the pack since most of the snow was gone and what was left behind wasn’t very pretty. I did not put on a baselayer and wore a lighter Columbia long-sleeved shirt under a light windbreaker. My Nytro boots were wet from the previous days slog around Hodge and Frick Ponds and I didn’t really need the insulation nay way. I put on my Keen Glarus boots and decided not to wear gaiters. Cindy and I both grabbed a set of poles but knew we would not need snowshoes or spikes. I put Sheila on her leash and started out the driveway and across the street. Continue reading

Hodge and Frick Ponds: Big Loop

HodgeFrickFeb2017_26camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Friday, February 24th I decided it was time to get out hiking to make it two days in a row. I was still getting over a cold that had bothered me for over a week and noticed that I was short of breath on my three mile hike on Round Top the day before. I wanted to try a slightly longer hike and thought that the hike to Hodge and Frick Ponds would be a good one. Although I have done this hike many times I had not done it since the snow had fallen. I got up a little later than usual and finished some things around the house before getting ready to leave. The forecast was for sunny skies with highs in the low 60’s but with a chance of ruin around noon. I consulted the radar and it seems that the main part of the incoming storm would pass well north of us. I got my gear ready, put Sheila in the car and left the house a little after 9:30 AM. Given the forecast, I did not put on a baselayer and wore a lighter Mammut pullover instead of the wool I had been wearing for the colder weather. I wore my Salomon Nytro boots which seem to have just the right amount of insulation. I didn’t know how much snow there would be so I wanted the extra grip and height of these boots. Continue reading

Round Top Figure 8s

gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Thursday, February 23rd I awoke to find the temperature already in the low 40’s. I had a few things to take care of in the morning and some basketball games to time in the afternoon. I decided to head across the street to Round Top with Sheila around 11:00 AM when the temperature had risen into the mid 40’s. The day was overcast and the snow was a mess from the high temperatures so I decided to forego the pack. I did not put on a baselayer and wore a lighter Mammut pullover instead of the wool I had been wearing for the colder weather. I wore my Salomon Nytro boots which seem to have just the right amount of insulation. I didn’t know how much snow there would be so I wanted the extra grip and height of these boots. I donned my Mammut hoody although I thought it might be a little too heavy as the sun made the day feel even warmer than the temperature. I grabbed a set of poles but decided against snowshoes or even spikes. I put Sheila on her leash and started out the driveway and across the street. Continue reading

Weather for the week of February 19th

The week of February 19th began on Sunday with a sunny and unseasonably warm day. The temperatures rose into the mid 50’s exceeding the forecast of mid 40’s. By Monday the temperatures had dropped a little with highs reaching the low to mid 40’s in places. The skies were blue without any clouds and the sun was shining brightly. On Tuesday the highs will be in the low 40’s with some sun giving way to clouds in the afternoon. On Wednesday the clouds will move out and the highs will reach 50. By Thursday the temperatures will rise into the low 60’s but the day will be cloudy. A little rain will move in by Friday with cloudy skies and temperatures in the high 50’s. The rain may continue on Saturday with highs again reaching the mid 50’s. When the weather conditions are constantly changing, be sure you are dressed appropriately in clothing which will wick away moisture to keep you from developing a chill in colder temperatures. Clothes that have pit zips are great and layering with non-cotton materials are a must for the varying temperatures. Keeping hydrated in cooler weather can sometimes be tricky as you do not feel as thirsty but hydrating properly will allow you to hike longer and in greater comfort. It is also time to start bringing along the spikes or crampons since the melting and refreezing can cause spectacular areas of ice on the trails. Snowshoes will be useful especially at higher elevations where snow has accumulated to greater depths and melts more slowly. Be sure to carry water with you as local water sources can be unreliable and may be contaminated. Once you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated! Remember, the weather forecast is only a prediction and always contains percentages. Be prepared and have a plan for the most likely and least likely forecast! Are you prepared to stay out overnight on a trail? Conditions in the morning can change drastically by afternoon. Conditions at the trailhead do not always reflect the conditions on the peaks! Variable trail and weather conditions are a hallmark of these mountains. BE CAREFUL AND BE PREPARED!

Frick Pond: Quick Lake Trail and Loggers Loop

QuickLoggersLoopFeb2017_01camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Monday, February 20th, I was ready to get a hike in even though I was still suffering the effects of a cold. I had not been out since the previous Wednesday due to work and family commitments. The weather had changed from over a foot of snow the week before to temperatures in the 50’s which reduced amount of snow and increased the amount if water on the trails. I don’t like these conditions very much but the forecast showed they would be around for the rest of the week! My daughter, Krista, and her husband, Brad, were visiting and Brad decided to go with me. We decided to Rae snowshoes along and make a division about using them at the trail head. Sheila would like to go out everyday and was more than ready to go for a hike. When I looked at the temperature just before 11:00 AM, it was already 38 degrees so I opted for one layer top and bottom and wore my Mammut hoody. We got our gear in the car and headed out the DeBruce Road. I turned left on the Mongaup Pond Road to head toward the Frick Pond trailhead. Continue reading