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!