Weather for the week of March 19th

The week of March 19th began on Sunday with a sunny and warm day with highs in the low 40’s. On Monday the skies should be partly sunny with highs in the low 40’s. The highs on Tuesday will be in the mid 40’s with clouds in the morning giving way to sunny skies. On Wednesday it will be much colder with highs in the mid 20’s under partly cloudy skies. Winds in the tens will drop the wind chill to temperatures in the teens. The sun should come out on Thursday but the highs will still be in the mid 30’s. Friday may see some ice in the morning but the temperatures will rise to 40 degrees. The day will be cloudy with possible showers in the afternoon. Saturday the temperatures will rise into the mid 50’s with a change of rain showers most of the day. 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 a good idea to continue bringing along the spikes or crampons since the melting and refreezing can cause spectacular areas of ice on the trails. Snowshoes may 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!

Frick Pond: Flynn and Big Rock Trails

FlynnBigRockMar2017_15camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhike On Sunday, March 19th I had planned to go to Frick Pond again and break out some more trails. I knew this would be a sort of futile effort since the temperatures during the week would reduce the amount of snow drastically. I still though it would be fun. Cindy had a meeting after church but said she wanted to go with me. I drove home and Sheila and I waited for her to get home. Cindy returned at about 1:30 PM and we got ready to head out. I decided to dress a little more lightly tan on the previous few trips as the temperature was hovering around 40 degrees. I was concerned that the higher temperatures would melt the snow and make it even more difficult to hike but decided to try it anyway. My plan was to hike up the Flynn Trail and down the Big Rock Trail. At Times Square we would hike the Logger’s Loop back to the Quick Lake Trail and the parking area. As of Saturday the Flynn Trail was untouched and I expected it to be that way when we arrived. Sheila was ready to go ay any time and Cindy got herself dressed as we left Livingston Manor just before 2:00 PM. After driving out the DeBruce Road and up the Mongaup Pond Road we arrived at the Frick pond trailhead parking area at 2:10 PM and got ready to hike. Continue reading

Frick Pond Loop

FrickLoopMar2017_13camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhike On Saturday, March 18th I wanted to get in a slightly longer hike than I had over the passed few days. There was still a lot of snow on the ground from the over two feet that fell on Tuesday and Wednesday. I though that by this time the lots at Frick Pond should be plowed so I decided to go there. Sheila was ready as always and Cindy also wanted to go. The temperature when I got up at 6:00 AM was 10 degrees but it began to rise and was just below 30 degrees when we left the house at 10:15 AM and headed out to Frick Pond. Sheila was happy to be in the backseat as we headed out the DeBruce Road. After about six miles I turned left on Mongaup road and headed toward Frick Pond. At the fork in the road I stayed left on Beech Mountain Road. At the trailhead we found both lots were well plowed but no other cars were parked when we pulled in at 10:30 AM. I let Sheila out of the car while we put on my snowshoes. There was a broken trail from the smaller lot out the woods road toward Frick Pond but I did not know how far it went. My plan was to hike around the pond using the Quick Lake, Big Rock and Logger’s Loop Trails. I knew this would be quite a challenge if the trail was not broken as neither Cindy nor Sheila can break trail for too long. Continue reading

Weather for the week of March 12th

The week of March 12th began on Sunday with a sunny and warm day with highs in the low 40’s. On Monday the skies started out sunny but grew overcast throughout the day with highs reaching only into the mid 30’s. The weather on Tuesday brought a blizzard with continuous snow driven by winds. The total snowfall through Wednesday morning was over 30 inches and the high temperatures never reached above freezing with wind chills making it much colder. On Wednesday the snow continued through the morning and finally ended in the early afternoon. Temperatures continued to hover in the low 30’s. Thursday’s weather brought higher temperatures reaching almost 40 degrees but with some wind that continued to blow the snow. On Friday the temperatures rose slightly and there was some sun with highs in the mid 40’s. Saturday there was more sun and temperatures rose into the high 40’s. The higher temperatures began to consolidate the snow. 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. The recent snow makes snowshoes mandatory in most areas and the snow will remain for a longer time at higher elevations. It is also a good idea to continue bringing along the spikes or crampons since the melting and refreezing can cause spectacular areas of ice on the trails. 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!

Round Top Figure 8s

RoundTopFigure8sMar2017_07camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhike On Thursday, March 16th I wanted to get out for the third day in a row to take advantage of the over two feet of snow that had fallen from Tuesday into Wednesday. I thought about going to Frick Pond but was not sure the lot would be plowed or that I could make much headway by myself. I decided to go up on Round Top and hike the upper trail which was not yet broken out. I though this might be reasonable since the other parts of the trail were already set which would make the overall hike easier. I got my gear together and headed out of the house with Sheila at 11:00 AM. After putting on the snowshoes, I put Sheila on her leash and started out the driveway and across the street. No snow was falling but the wind was blowing a little and the air temperatures was about 28 degrees. We crossed the street and fought our way over the bank left by the snowplows. Looking across the small field I could not see any track from the day before as the wind had caused the snow to drift and fill it completely. After walking through the field to the base of the cemetery hill, I was able to pick up my track up the hill and the going was much easier. Continue reading

Round Top Snowshoe

RoundTopSnowshoeMar2017_18camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhike On Wednesday, March 15th I had planned to hike the loop on Round Top using snowshoes to combat the over two feet of snow that had fallen the day before. I had hiked to the lookout during the storm on Tuesday and found that breaking a track through the snow by myself was exhausting. I had contacted two friends who said they wanted to go and I was hopeful that having four people, Cindy said she wanted to go also, and one dog would make the going easier and we could break the trail around the entire lower loop. The plan was to meet at my house at 9:00 AM. An early morning ambulance call in Willowemoc left be exhausted so I wasn’t unhappy when one of my friends asked to postpone the hike until 11:00 AM. I got some rest and when I came downstairs there was a text from the other person say8ing they had other things to do. Soon the person who asked for the postponement called and cancelled their participation. I was disappointed since I knew I would be breaking the trail alone and was not sure I could get all the way around the loop. Cindy and I got our gear ready and dressed warmly as the temperature was 18 degrees and the wind was blowing snow across the yard. Sheila was ecstatic to get in two days in a row as we headed out the driveway to Round Top. Continue reading

Round Top Lookout

RoundTopLookoutMar2017_18camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhike On Tuesday, March 14th the weather forecast was calling for a blizzard with at least two feet of snow in Livingston Manor! When I got up at 6:00 AM we were well on our way to meeting or exceeding that forecast. I went out to begin to clear some of the snow and found my two neighbors already working on getting the driveway clear so that I could respond on an ambulance call when it came. I took some pictures of the snow and joined in the effort to clear the driveway and liberate our cars. By noon after several hours of work, most of the driveway was clear and I could move my car. I had promised Sheila we would go outside but I was too tired to go for a hike. When I went back into the house, there was Sheila waiting to go out. She didn’t seem to understand broken promises so I got a pair of snowshoes from the cellar and put my camera in the pack. We went outside and Sheila immediately started bounding through the snow which was up to her back in most places. I got a leash out of my car, put Sheila on the leash, donned my snowshoes and headed out the driveway to Round Top. The rate of snowfall seemed to be more than an inch an hour but the roads were pretty well plowed although the snow continued to accumulate. The air temperature was 20 degrees but there was some wind that cut through my clothing. Continue reading

Huggins Lake

HugginsLakeMar2017_09camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhike On Sunday, March 12th I decided I wanted to get out to hike locally after church. I usually take it easy on Sunday afternoon but track practice has started and a major snow storm is forecast to move in for Tuesday and Wednesday. I decided to go to Huggins Lake after looking at a route at Mongaup Pond which was over 8 miles. I decided to leave that one for later. Huggins Lake is not my favorite but I chose it for its shorter length, under 4 miles, and for the fact that it was not Frick Pond or Trout Pond. I headed out a little before 1:30 PM with Sheila in the backseat. I have come to the realization that she would like to be out everyday and we had not hiked since Thursday! I drove up the Beaverkill Road and down the Campsite Road to find the covered bridge STILL closed. I detoured to the steel bridge at Craigie Claire and then drove out Berry Brook Road to the trailhead. Along the way I noticed that Dundas Castle was clearly visible from the road and thought about taking pictures on the way back. We arrived at the road to the parking area to find it snow covered and very rough. I chose to chance it and easily made it to the small lot parking at 1:45 PM. Continue reading

Frick Pond: Loggers Loop Big Rock Trail

LoggersLoopBigRockMar2017_15camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhike On Thursday, March 9th I had planned to stay inside due to the high wind advisory. The wind did seem substantial when I was driving to my men’s Bible study at 6:15 AM and seemed unabated on the way home at 7:30 AM. After I arrived home, I went downtown to get some breakfast and by the time I returned the wind had died down some with just a few gusts. I convinced myself that I would feel better if I went out to hike and Sheila seemed to support that decision. I got my gear together having decided to head to the Frick Pond area and left the house at about 9:15 AM. 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. Although the temperature in the morning as in the low 30’s I knew it would warm up throughout the day as the sun came out. I decided to wear my Mammut hoody and warmer Columbia Titanium pants. The hoody has lots of zippers to help regulate temperature. I wore a baselayer on top but decided to forego tights under the pants. I had my spikes in my pack but knew I probably would not need them as there was little snow or ice left. Sheila was happy to be going anywhere and crouched in the back seat with her head on the console. Continue reading

Weather for the week of March 5th

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!