The week of December 17th began with clouds and a forecast for highs in the high 20’s. Monday will be rather cloudy but highs will reach into the high 30’s. On Tuesday expect more clouds with some sun and highs in the low 40’s. Wednesday will bring some sun but also some wind with high temperatures in the low 30’s. The wind chill will make the temperature feel more like the low 20’s. For the first day if of winter, Thursday will be mostly sunny but the highs will stay in the low 30’s. Friday will be cloudy all day but the highs will reach into the high 30’s. Saturday will see some clouds and sun with the temperatures staying in the mid 30’s. Microspikes are now a “mandatory” item on many trails and, certainly, on the 35’s. A further accumulation of snow in some areas will make snowshoes a good choice. When the weather conditions are constantly changing , be sure you are dressed appropriately in clothing which will wick away moisture to prevent it from accumulating in your clothing which can bring about hypothermia. Layering should be with non-cotton materials as cotton tends to hold moisture. Keeping hydrated is important no matter the temperatures since hydrating properly will allow you to hike longer and in greater comfort. Be sure to carry plenty of 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!