View Full Version : ice forecasts? (specifically for Welch/Dickey & Baldfaces)

10-05-2006, 08:05 AM
any advice on forecasting ice formation / disappearance now that the temps are dipping below freezing in the mtns?

I'm trying to plan a trip either to Welch/Dickey or the Baldface Circle this wkend, looks like nice & sunny weather with very cold mornings. how worried should I be about the ledges?

10-05-2006, 08:44 AM
I edited this to take away my initial response and add a response from more seasoned experts- the Mount Washington Observatory-

The front that passed the summits overnight is moving out to sea this morning with high pressure building in behind it. As the front passed, winds shifted northwest and temperatures cooled considerably. The high pressure will continue to build into the weekend allowing the atmosphere to dry out breaking the summit out of the fog during the day today. Skies above the summit will start as partly cloudy but will eventually give way to mostly clear conditions overnight. These clear conditions will continue overnight into tomorrow allowing the moon and sun to shine brightly. As the high builds in, winds will continue to die down. Temperatures will not warm significantly despite the high though so things will stay quite cold and icy on the summit. So be prepared for freezing conditions if planning to summit any New Hampshire peaks to take in the fall foliage in the valleys below the next two days.

- the peaks you are referring to are not that high but based on this read referring to NH peaks who knows...

10-05-2006, 10:17 AM
My forecast?

Sometimes it will be icy, sometimes it won't. Ice in the morning with melting during the day will also be common (particularly if it is sunny).

I just carry insteps/stabilicers and don't worry about it.


10-05-2006, 11:21 AM
Fog or morning clouds in higher summits spoken of appears to result in rime ice formation on higher rock-pile summits like Presi's. If it's wooded summit at 4000' I'd venture to say it probably not much problem. On lower summits like Welch-Dickey shouldn't be much of problem if at all. Depends on how early you get up. If any forms on lower ledgy summits it will melt more quickly etc. If you got traction aids bring them along. If on arriving you can see summit and appears frosted, bring em along.

Bob Kittredge
10-05-2006, 02:06 PM
I think it's time to chuck a pair of Stabilicers, Yaktrax or instep crampons into the pack and leave them there until next June.

10-05-2006, 02:16 PM
Welch and Dickey are facing the sun most of the time, so ice shouldn't be a problem...plus they're not even 3000 feet. Rime has only been a problem above 4,000 ft i think. As far the Baldfaces, I think they have easterly facing slopes, conducive for an early melt if there is any ice on the rocks. I would't worry. I'm doin Garfield Sat and didn't even think about an ice problem. Enjoy the foliage.


10-06-2006, 07:04 AM
Just got back from three days at Crag - forecast/weather (wind/rain/t-storms) kept us off the high peaks - did not go higher than Adams 4 and t-storm junction - but, so no snow on the peaks in the area when it was clear and the temps were bottoming out around 40-45 at night - Washington may have been colder.

10-10-2006, 07:25 AM
Baldfaces were fine on saturday (slightly wet in one or two spots towards the bottom of the ledges).

any feedback on NH4K hazardousness in mid-late fall? a friend of mine is starting the 4Ks and trying to be opportunistic. I'm trying to think of ones to suggest that are more immune to ice/snow hazards. At this point the Presis/Franconia Ridge are out for me (iffy & not worth the effort when the plants are gone for the season :( ), but at least I remember these as being doable with little/no ledge:


and these are probably out due to steepness/ledginess:

these being questionable, doable w/ Stabilicers perhaps (I remember the trail being somewhat slabby in sections of switchbacks):

I can't remember the footing on Moosilauke.
(Owls Head, Bonds, Isolation out for lack of daylight)

any other comments/feedback?

edit: I forgot Hale (do-able, I think?) and Tom/Field/Willey (I barebooted Tom/Field on a partially snowy April day so those are probably ok, not sure about Willey from the north)