Not a great start to MLK weekend

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peakbagger

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The current natural snow conditions up in the north country are slim to none. Lots of grousing in the local papers by season pass holders of marginal snow conditions and equipment issues at local ski slopes I have heard of several icy condition injuries. Snowmobiles are several storms away from having adequate snow. No doubt if someone is prepared for icy hiking conditions they will not need to worry about breaking trail. The forecast for tonight into Saturday is bitter cold with high winds and dangerous wind chills. The odds of getting significant snow on Monday but getting to and from the slopes may be problematical due to chance for it changing to rain in southern NH. A Sunday day trip looks reasonable.

The local communities are warning that Covid cases will be ramping up in the area and warning folks to stock up on supplies and expect staffing shortages at businesses. Many restaurants are already short staffed so one of two workers going out from Covid may shut them down or lead to long lines.

When I drove by Appalachia yesterday there were cares parked s some folks are trying to get out, hopefully they are up to speed on the weather coming in this evening as few would be equipped to survive the expected overnight and Saturday conditions.

It does look like a more normal week next week so at least the ski areas should get a bit more terrain open assuming they have enough employees to support it.
 
Definitely been a tough season to date with lack of snow and a lot of extreme weather. I follow a Facebook group about skiing in the Northeast (not for skiing actually but because the moderator is an avid weatherman and does a lot of really detailed forecast planning for the Northeast which I find very useful for hiking) and it has definitely been a poopy party so far this year. I haven't downhill skiied in awhile but it certainly sounds like the Vail group is wrecking a lot of New England resorts. That combined with really bad snow conditions will probably shake out a lot of casual skiiers for several seasons to come. Tough.
 
I have been rock skiing on 8K +/- at Waterville since mid-December on my Nordic Seasons Pass. I definitely would not have shelled out $1 for a trail pass yet this year had I not already paid. And, the only really skiiable terrain has been Tripoli and Livermore Roads, neither of which technically require a pass. So there are hundreds if not thousands of us anxiously awaiting a good dumping over MLK weekend which should open up a few more trails at least.

The claimed base is 2-4". I've skied around open pavement spots, rocks, roots, sand, leaves, and I have definitely further scarred my rock skis. Yes, I am grousing :)

Tim
 
Meanwhile, Monday I have a CT to Philly drive scheduled in the teeth of the storm and then hopefully a hike on NY's Bear Mt. planned that if I can believe one report may require snowshoes as the area may get a foot or more. Was out yesterday in one of the local state pars in CT where there was an inch or two tops and some bare spots. What would have been monorail was more like hard packed ice from slush melting and refreezing.
 
Yah that 11 inches of powder we got in that last storm went South pretty fast. Didn't even get a chance to get out in my snowshoes before it turned to a crusty nuisance.
 
Yeah, the forecast has scuttled our plans for an overnight Bond/Zealand traverse. A buddy and I are still gonna camp out tomorrow night a few miles into Lincoln Woods to test out our cold weather hammock setups. We may grab Owl's Head on Sunday when the weather is milder. But then I'm gonna head home before the storm comes. At least I don't need snowshoes I guess.
 
The Alpine skiing has been quite good at times if your an Alpine Carver. Albeit being local and good timing is part of the formula. Conditions have also been good for ice climbing. The flip side of lower snow levels in the woods is that it makes easier access to the crags and gullies. It’s only Mid January. If this year is like most recent Winters for the last decade between now and the end of March is when we will get most of the white stuff. As local ore goes. You never know what Winter is going to be like until April.
 
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Yeah, the forecast has scuttled our plans for an overnight Bond/Zealand traverse. A buddy and I are still gonna camp out tomorrow night a few miles into Lincoln Woods to test out our cold weather hammock setups. We may grab Owl's Head on Sunday when the weather is milder. But then I'm gonna head home before the storm comes. At least I don't need snowshoes I guess.

I did that last weekend, camped a bit north of Black Pond. If the ski conditions are crap, no one told the Loon patrons. Took 45 minutes to get to Lincoln Woods from exit 32 because of Loon traffic and on Sunday afternoon cars were parked up and down the road at Loon.
 
Me and my dog have loved the lean conditions. It's better for him not being in deep snow and I'm not really a snowshoe lover, love spikes. We've been in the Lakes Region and West of Plymouth on the 52wav.

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NWS Warnings

New Hampshire
Alert summary
...WIND CHILL WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM THIS EVENING TO
1 PM EST SATURDAY...

...WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM LATE SUNDAY NIGHT THROUGH
TUESDAY MORNING...

* WHAT...For the Wind Chill Warning, dangerously cold wind chills
expected. Wind chills 30 to 40 below zero. For the Winter Storm
Watch, several inches of heavy snow possible.

* WHERE...Portions of central and northern New Hampshire and
west central and western Maine.

* WHEN...For the Wind Chill Warning, from 7 PM this evening to 1
PM EST Saturday. For the Winter Storm Watch, from late Sunday
night through Tuesday morning.

* IMPACTS...The dangerously cold wind chills could cause frostbite
on exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes. Plan on slippery
road conditions on Monday.
 
Darn it. I'm seeing rain mixed into my local forecast for Monday. I've kept moving north my whole life just to avoid this crap.
 
It's been a long time since winter was "just snow". It nearly always includes some rain or sleet these days :( Still waiting to actually use my season's pass on a trail that requires it... Even with some rain, 10-12" of snow will surely get a few more trails open and skate groomed. Surely not everything and sure not some of the better trails but more than the Forest Service roads ... I hope.

Heck, it's been 4 or 5 years since there's been enough snow down near Manchester NH to snowshoe locally.

Tim
 
In Southern CT and the Tri-state area, looks like mostly a rain event, (so the low-pressure center will be closer to land) which I am happy about since I'll be in a car on the way to Philadelphia. Tuesday AM maybe a spike event for Bear Mt. which is my preference. I've been out a couple of times in the past two years in CT with snowshoes going right after I finish shoveling. It rarely last more than a day or two. My front yard (north exposure), has a bit of snow cover but no depth. The neighbor across the street (south facing) only has snow banks from where it was plowed. After I get back the Hudson Valley, it should be bare hiking shows again for a bit.

Andrew, looks like you should have been moving south, parts of NC have 10 inches. Jim Cantore is in the storm now, in Asheville
 
Andrew, looks like you should have been moving south, parts of NC have 10 inches. Jim Cantore is in the storm now, in Asheville

I was watching him jealously this morning, guess we live in an upside down world now. We are actually waiting for it to warm a bit before going out for a ski on our trails here at home. I was upset last Saturday that I didn't ski, since there was mixed precip. and warming forecast for Sunday. But it stayed cold Sunday - although misting freezing rain, and then my son & wife appeared outside with their skis on, and I joined them out on our trails and found the conditions and coverage great. To today we managed to gain a rather durable base of about 6 inches comprised of maybe six to eight episodes of snow/sleet/freezing rain/thawing/snow/etc. so it's even enough to cover over a stone wall crossing under deep pines (mostly). Today I'm expecting slot racing in tracks with about a 1/2" friable styro-snow workable over the crusty underlayer.
 
I was watching him jealously this morning, guess we live in an upside down world now. We are actually waiting for it to warm a bit before going out for a ski on our trails here at home. I was upset last Saturday that I didn't ski, since there was mixed precip. and warming forecast for Sunday. But it stayed cold Sunday - although misting freezing rain, and then my son & wife appeared outside with their skis on, and I joined them out on our trails and found the conditions and coverage great. To today we managed to gain a rather durable base of about 6 inches comprised of maybe six to eight episodes of snow/sleet/freezing rain/thawing/snow/etc. so it's even enough to cover over a stone wall crossing under deep pines (mostly). Today I'm expecting slot racing in tracks with about a 1/2" friable styro-snow workable over the crusty underlayer.

Sounds akin to a good tiramisu recipe. Certainly makes the waxing interesting too.
 
With the too-thin-for-BC-skiing snowpack and ski passes blacked out, I headed up South Flat today. Conditions were prime for hiking.

IMG_1784.jpg
 
Careful Andrew. It hurts a lot when you fall with so little snow cover !!

Since the rest of my afternoon included laying on the ground in single digits, while trying to fit new tire chains on my tractor, I was wearing wool overalls while skiing- so had some padding. I do need to be more careful though, as I have the habit of wandering farther into the woods without anything (Cause I'm just 'out back). I was standing at the farthest corner and highest elevation on our network, about to enjoy the run back towards home, and thought "well now this is pretty stupid to have no gear or phone as I could snap or dislocate something right quick, and that 1/2 mile from your house won't seem so close in this cold."

The recipe turned out quite delicious, and I had a hard time not devouring more before forcing myself out from the woods. It was so cold and we pushed the limit of the size of my son's universal bindings, that the plastic snapped, and he and Mom headed home. I felt bad about having so much fun without them.
 
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