N e w s
The week of February 19th began on Sunday with a sunny and unseasonably warm day. The temperatures rose into the mid 50's exceeding the forecast of mid 40's. By Monday the temperatures had dropped a little with highs reaching the low to mid 40's in places. The skies were blue without any clouds and the sun was shining brightly. On Tuesday the highs will be in the low 40's with some sun giving way to clouds in the afternoon. On Wednesday the clouds will move out and the highs will reach 50. By Thursday the temperatures will rise into the low 60's but the day will be cloudy. A little rain will move in by Friday with cloudy skies and temperatures in the high 50's. The rain may continue on Saturday with highs again reaching the mid 50's. 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!
Monday: January 2nd: Loggers Loop Loop
I take hundreds and sometimes thousands of pictures each year. It is hard for me to "throw out" pictures so most of them end up in my online albums. Some of these pictures are better than others and I am trying to be more selective. For the past four years I have looked at ALL of the pictures for the year and selected some to publish in print. Various websites such as Winkflash, Blurb and Zazzle provide this service. I always wait until there is a sale of 50% off or more! Below are links to the PDF copies of these books.
Sullivan County and the areas bordering it have many different trails for visitors to hike. Some trail are hiking trails that can be difficult for beginners. Over trails can be found in local parks and offer a much more relaxed experience. There area also some rail trails for walkers to explore. I have created a website called Sullivan County Hiker to highlight some of the trails available. The site has a list of all the trails on the home page. There are also pictures of different areas. In each area there are:
- Trail descriptions for an easy, moderate and difficult hikes
- Trail maps for the area
- Distances for the hikes
- Latitude and longitude for each trailhead and parking area
- The reason the hike was given its difficulty rating
I often use Silky saws to clear blowdowns from trails and they work very well. Recently I have been trying out various premium axes to see how well they perform in removing some larger blowdowns. I have concentrated mostly on higher end premium axes both those made in America and those produced abroad in Sweden, Germany. Austria, New Zealand and Latvia. These axes when used properly are a good choice for felling and sectioning most large blowdowns and some smaller ones.
It is time again to think about carrying traction devices! Not all traction devices are created equal under all conditions. Some are better on snow while others excel in icy conditions. Even on ice different traction devices will operate differently depending on the amount of ice. CAUTION: The Yak Xtremes are NOT appropriate for hiking unless it is on ice on flat terrain. There are at least two design flaws which make the these devices fail in actual hiking conditions. Do NOT depend on these devices! Click here for a complete explanation.
- Instep crampons
- Full crampons
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