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!