Weather for the week of March 4

The week of March 4th begins with a cool and overcast Sunday with times of sun and highs staying in the low 30’s in most areas. Monday will be partly sunny with highs in the mid-30’s. Tuesday will start off with some sun but clouds will move in throughout the day with the highs reaching into the high 30’s. On Wednesday looks for snow to move in and continue on and off through the day with amounts between 3 and 6 inches. The highs on Wednesday will be in the high 20’s. Some sun will return on Thursday but it will be rather cloudy with highs in the mid 30’s. Snow showers are possible on Friday with highs in the mid 30’s. On Saturday there will be some sun and a few clouds with highs reaching into the high 30’s. Microspikes or crampons are now a “mandatory” item on many trails and, certainly, on the 35’s as freezing and melting creates ice flows. Snowshoes should be considered especially at higher elevations but may be unnecessary as the snow melts in the warm temperatures. 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!

Round Top Loop Snowshoe

camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Saturday, March 3rd I wanted to get out to hike in the 18 inches of snow that had fallen on Friday. The snow started early Friday morning and just kept coming! Initially it was heavy and wet but became “drier” and fluffier later in the day. At times the snow fell at around 2 inches and hour. I waited around all day for our ambulance corps to be called to motorcycle accidents but, thankfully, no calls came. We didn’t get a call until the snow almost stopped and that was for a medical condition. On Saturday morning it was still below freezing and I knew I had to get out in snowshoes. I knew that the back roads would be in poor condition and that the railheads would not be plowed. Cindy and I decided to head across the street and hike a loop on Round Top. By the time we got ready to go it was after 11:00 AM. It was around 30 degrees but actually felt warmer. I did not bother with tights under my Columbia Omniheat Pants but put on a baselayer on top under my Mammut pullover. As always I put Mon my Mammut Ultimate hoody and wore a hat and gloves. I wore my Salomon B52 winter boots and put on OR Crocodile gaiters to deal with the deep snow. Both Cindy and I wore our Tubbs Alp Flex VTR snowshoes. They are a little smaller than some and have the BOA binding system. I knew I wouldn’t need the flotation since the snow depth was only 6 to 10 inches. The BOA system uses a dial to tighten a thin but strong wire and seems to evenly tighten the binding around the foot. Sheila was happy to be going out in the snow as she loves to run and jump through it. She is mostly Yellow Lab but also has some Siberian Husky. Her longer coat keeps her warm in all but the coldest weather. We went outside, put on our snowshoes and I put Sheila on her leash. We headed out the driveway at 11:30 AM and crossed the street. Continue reading

Alder Lake toward Big Pond

camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Wednesday, February 28th, I wanted to go for a hike on a beautiful day with the forecast for sunny skies and highs in the 50’s! Lisa from Morgan Outdoors in Livingston Manor had contacted me the night before and asked about going for a hike and I thought the walk from Alder Lake to Big Pond and back would be nice. We wanted to survey the condition of the trail to see what work would have to be done in the spring. I have adopted this section of trail for the FLTC and did several days worth of work last spring. When I got up in the morning, the temperature was only 25 degrees but the sun was out. I decided to dress warmly despite the forecast. I elected to put on a full baselayer with tights under my Columbia Omniheat pants and a long-sleeved top under a Mammut pullover. I always wear my Mammut Ultimate hoody and I put on a heavier hat and gloves. I knew we would not need snowshoes and I also decided against gaiters. I wore my Keen Glarus hiking boots since I did not feel I would need insulation but I did put my spikes in the pack. Just before 8:00 AM I put my gear in the trunk and Sheila in the backseat. Sheila was obviously happy to go as I drove out Old Route 17 to the Beaverkill Road. I turned right and drove up Johnson Mountain to Lisa’s house arriving at exactly 8:00 AM. Lisa was ready to go and and we started toward Alder Lake under sunny skies. Sheila was happy to be hiking and greeted Lisa enthusiastically. Continue reading

Dry Brook Ridge (Hill Road)

camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Monday, February 26th, I had some time to hike on what was forecast to be a beautiful, sunny day with highs near 50 degrees. I have about a two week break from track practice as we transition from indoor track to spring track which gives me most of the day to hike and make up for a very poor showing in February! I decided to wait until later in the day to get started as the morning was foggy with an overcast sky.I got my gear together and got dressed to leave the house at just before 11:00 AM so that I could begin a hike from Hill Road near Margaretville to the Penguin Rocks lookout on Dry Brook Ridge. It was already in the high 30’s and I knew it would get warmer as I hiked. I also did not expect much snow along the route due to the recent warm weather and rain. I decided I did not need tights underneath my Colombia Titanium Omniheat pants. On top I had a light synthetic baselayer with a my Mammut crew neck shirt on top. As always I had my Mammut Hoody as my top layer. I wore a hat and gloves as I could always take them off if I was too warm but could not put them on if I did not have them with me! I knew I would not need snowshoes but I put my Microspikes in my pack just in case I needed some traction. I decided not to wear gaiters or insulated boots. I put on my Keen Glarus hiking boots which are all leather and reasonably war,. All the while I was getting ready, Sheila was hovering around me making sure I did not forget her. When I left the house, the skies were still overcast and there was a little breeze which out a bite in the air. Continue reading

Weather for the week of February 25th

The week of February 25th began with a cool and overcast Sunday with highs staying just below 40 degrees in most areas. Rain showers were spotty in the area throughout the day. Monday it will be partly sunny and milder with highs in the mid-40’s. Tuesday the highs will reach almost 50 degrees with plenty of sun. Wednesday will be mild with sunny intervals and highs in the low 50’s. Thursday will start out partly sunny but rain will move in during the afternoon. The highs will be in the high 40’s. Rain will continue through most of Friday with highs in the low 40’s. By Saturday the rain will move out but the day will be overcast with low clouds and highs in the high 30’s. Microspikes or crampons are now a “mandatory” item on many trails and, certainly, on the 35’s as freezing and melting creates ice flows. Snowshoes should be considered especially at higher elevations but may be unnecessary as the snow melts in the warm temperatures. 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!

Frick Pond (Quick Lake, Loggers Loop, Big Rock, Flynn)

camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Friday, February 23rd I got a call at 6:00 AM to cover for the middle school nurse which I reluctantly agreed to despite the fact that it killed my plans to go for a longer hike. At 6:03 AM I got another call announcing school was closed due to the impending ice storm which was to arrive by 11:00 AM. I figured this was a message to get out and hike early to be back before the storm hit. I decided to go to Frick Pond and hike some loop there that I had not done in some time. As I got my gear together Sheila seemed to be in complete agreement with my decision as she followed my around as I was dressing. Although the thermometer read right around freezing, the moisture in the air and a slight breeze made it feel much colder. I elected to put on a full baselayer with tights under my Columbia Omniheat pants and a long-sleeved top under a Mammut pullover. L always wear my Mammut Ultimate hoody and I put on a heavier hat and gloves. My plan was to hike the Quick Lake Trail to Iron Wheel Junction. From here we would hike the Logger’s Loop to Times Square an then ascend the Big Rock Trail to The Flynn Trail to get back to the car. There had been some snow the day before but the rain and warm weather during the week had destroyed the snow that was there making snow shoes unnecessary. I put my spikes in my pack not knowing whether there would be enough is to warrant their use. Sheila was happy to be going anywhere and crouched in the back seat with her head on the console. I drove out DeBruce Road just after 8:00 AM and after 6 miles I turned left on Mongaup Road. Continue reading

Weather for the week of February 18th

The week of February 18th began with several inches of snow on the ground for Sunday morning. The temperatures in the morning was in the high 20’s but quickly rose to nearly 40 degrees in most areas under partly sunny skies. On Monday there will be occasional afternoon rains showers under cloudy skies with highs near 40 degrees. Tuesday will be partly sunny with highs nearing 60 degrees. Wednesday will be the warmest day of the week and could set records as the high temperatures may reach the mid 60’s under partly cloudy skies. There may be some showers Wednesday afternoon. By Thursday the temperatures will drop back into the mid 40’s under partly sunny skies with a chance of afternoon showers. There may be a bit of ice on Friday morning but the high temperatures should be above 40. Saturday the high will be in the low 50’s with a chance of drizzle. Microspikes or crampons are now a “mandatory” item on many trails and, certainly, on the 35’s as freezing and melting creates ice flows. Snowshoes should be considered especially at higher elevations but may be unnecessary as the snow melts in the warm temperatures. 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!

Trout Pond Loop (Clockwise)

camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhike On Saturday, February 17th, I was ready to get out for a slightly longer hike that was NOT on Round Top! My son-in-law, Brad, was up for the weekend and I was sure he would want to go along. I did not get back from a track meet the night before Until 1:00 AM and wanted to sleep in the next morning. I was able to stay in bed to almost 9:00 AM and get a little extra sleep. When I got up I ate breakfast and asked Brad if he wanted to go for a hike and he agreed. We waited until a little after noon to get ready to go. The temperature on the back porch was just above freezing so I decided not to wear tights under my Columbia Omniheat pants. I did put on a long-sleeved baselayer underneath my Mammut crew top. I decided to wear my Keen Glarus boots as I did not expected much snow and they hike better than any of my winter boots. I also did not think I would need gaiters either due to the lack of snow. To finish off I put on my Mammut Ultimate hoody, a hat and a pair of gloves. I decided that snowshoes would not be appropriate but we took along a pair of Microspikes for both Brad and I. Continue reading

Round Top Snowshoe Loops

gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Tuesday, February 13th I wanted to get out on a hike but didn’t have much time to spend. I knew the conditions would be poor after the warm weather and rain had eliminated most of the lovely snow that had fallen only a week earlier. I decided just to head across the street and hike on Round Top. Sheila seemed thrilled at the division and couldn’t wait to get going I had a few things to do first and wee did not get started until 11:30 AM. The temperature was much cooler than the day before and was in the high 20’s as I started to get dressed. Looking over at Round Top convinced me to wear snowshoes and I knew I would get warm. As I got dressed I decided to forego a baselayer on the bottom but put on a light, short-sleeved baselayer under my Mammut crew neck shirt. I put on my Mammut Ultimate hoody and wore a hat and a pair of gloves. I donned my Salomon B52 boots and put on gaiters just in case. Sheila would not leave my side as I was getting ready as she wanted to make sure she was going too! I stepped out onto the back porch, put on my snowshoes and headed out the slippery driveway at 11:45 AM. Continue reading

Weather for the week of February 11th

The week of February 11th began with a rainy Sunday. The temperatures started at near freezing but rose into the low 40’s as the rain continued throughout the afternoon. On Monday the clouds will decrease but so will the temperature with highs only in the low 40’s. The wet snow will freeze leaving roadways hazardous in the morning. Clouds will increase on Tuesday but the temperature will remain about the same with highs staying right around freezing. Wednesday will be milder with mixed clouds and sun with highs reaching into the mid 40d’. Rain will again move in on Thursday and the temperatures will continue to climb reaching the low 50’s under cloudy skies. Friday the temperate will drop back into the low 30’s under partly sunny skies. Clouds will roll in for Saturday and the highs will again be in the low 30’s. Microspikes or crampons are now a “mandatory” item on many trails and, certainly, on the 35’s as freezing and melting create ice flows. Snowshoes should be considered especially at higher elevations. 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!