Some bonus Snow but lining up for a potentially dangerous three day weekend

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peakbagger

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Snow conditions were looking a bit late march up in the north country prior to last night. a good solid crust had formed over maybe a 12" of snow down in the 1400 foot level. Out on the local trails a lot of wet spots from run off and seasonal streams were becoming apparent. A great time to be going off trail. There was 1 to 3" forecast overnight last night (thursday). I had an appointment in Randolph this AM at 8:30 and most indications were the snow would be over and all cleaned up. Well there is the forecast and then the actual conditions and they were a bit different. I have 6 plus inches of powder in the driveway and the town had just done one pass with a snowplow. US Rt 2 has not been plowed but the hill has been salted so there is one wet track, get out of that and its fishtailing time. Its powdery snow with wind and visibility is poor. Safe speed on RT 2 was probably 35 MPH., I had to meet someone on Durand road in Randolph and half of it had not even been plowed. Another 6" plus. The town plow driver was busy shoveling the sidewalk at town hall after the appointment so I expect the road will be plowed soon. My guess is the higher summits on the west slope are going to get a lot more as this is one of those increasing rare traditional snow storms with a west to east track. These were the dominant type of snow storms that I grew accustomed to when I moved north to the whites in 1987 but in the last few years they are far less the driver of weather with the big storms coming out of the south up the Atlantic and those storms tend to wet or get blocked by the whites so that I am on the low end of the accumulation maps.

This is a start of a three day weekend and I hope those hikers heading north will throw in a pair of snowshoes and full winter gear in the car and use them on the trails that will be drifted in and in areas completely filled in enough that route finding will be big issue. Without snowshoes they are going to be in posthole marathon. Looking at the OBs forecast, its high winds and dangerous wind chills until Sunday. I hope some folks dont try to recreate the Kate M experience :( as it may not be that extreme but enough to get in lot of trouble real quick. No doubt the upper Valley Way will have several feet of powder blow in from Kings Ravine.

Definitely looks like winter again although the next 6 or 7 days look more like late March. These day I am always wondering is the last significant snow of the season?
 
Last year we had a Feb thaw and then in March got hit with a couple significant storms. Seems a temperature rollercoaster is the new norm, although this year we have not had much in the way of any ultra cold snaps.

Oh, and the Cog was plowing its track this AM.
 
From The RMC FB Page:
Trail report as of February 16, 2024:
The weather is looking cold this weekend, with a wind chill advisory from the observatory in effect until Saturday evening (this may be extended).
In the past twenty four hours we have received almost six inches of snow. Above treeline this is blowing around creating white out conditions; it is also drifting up to at least a foot. In some places above treeline the paths may be exposed. The snowpack is very hard and in places is replaced with bare ice. Traction, especially crampons, is very much recommended. Snowshoes may also be necessary depending on the trail.
We have 34 inches of snow at Gray Knob.
Below treeline the snow is piled on top of a rough and uneven walking tread—thanks to recent melting and refreezing, the ground underneath the half a foot or so of fresh powder is occasionally pitted. Be careful where you step. Snowshoes are recommended below treeline.
Please note that trail conditions can change very quickly in the Northern Presidentials. The conditions posted on this page may have changed since they were recorded. Always check local forecasts before you leave the trailhead, and be sure to check out the higher summits forecast on the @mwobs webpage.
 
As I descended from Wildcat towards Carter Notch Hut last Saturday (Feb 10), temps were unseasonably warm in the mid 30s. It really felt like it might just stay that way and turn into Spring at any moment. I got wet from melt off of the trees the day before.

The snow was very unstable. Almost no one had snowshoes, even on that steep part of WRT below the summit. As I went out on 19 Mile, a large group of Scouts was ascending - all of them bare booting, slipping and sliding, postholing. While it's really awesome for the kids/teens to get out, experience winter and stay at a hut, I do wish that their leaders would include in the plan the bringing and wearing of snowshoes, when needed, as it was then.

I wonder if similar groups of kids will be out this weekend, given the cold. Maybe they only come up when it isn't so cold? Also saw Scouts on Kinsmans a couple weeks prior, up from their stay at Lonesome Lake Hut, but again it wasn't that cold.
 
Nice but at times gusty morning on Willard on Sunday the 18th. First time in winter I had to look where to cross the brook at the beginning.. Well packed so traction only needed, about 40% were in snowshoes. Passed by a couple of climbers who came up the ice and some blind hikers and their escorts. Snow looks lower than many years, at least there and through F-Notch.
 
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