he week of December 25th began with sunny a pleasant Christmas day with highs in the 40’s. Monday began with temperatures hovering just around freezing with a forecast for freezing rain and ice later in the day. The forecast proved true as Sullivan County was hit by feeing rain which caused many accidents and closed roads for hours. By Tues day the temperature warmed and there was no moisture in the air. The highs for the day were in the high 30’s with some sun and blue sky. Wednesday was overcast for most of the day with only a few spots of sun and highs in the high 30’s. On Thursday the forecast calls for 2 to 6 inches of snow depending on location and elevation. The snow should stick in most places as the temperatures have kept the ground cold. The highs will be in the mid 30’s. By Friday the temperature will drop with highs in the high 20’s and the chance of some snow showers. Saturday should see temperatures again at around or just below the freezing mark during the day. The skies should be mostly cloudy. 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 fell instead of rain. 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!