Crazy is the order of the day. With Sub zero temps forecast and sustained winds of 100 plus miles per hour the weather is crazy.
With every parking lot from Randolph through to Pinkham Notch loaded with cars, traffic on the trails is crazy.
Lines at the information desk and phones ringing off the hook with hikers, skiers and climbers looking for up to date information before their backcountry trip, the day here at the visitor center is crazy.
With craziness surrounding us, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this might be a good time to stay away from the northern white mountains, but that is not necessarily what we would suggest since there is still plenty of untracked terrain out there and places where you can escape the crowds.
The results of the storm that left us with over two feet of snow is still evident and if you have the inclination and energy to search out those hidden gems of trails you can find both solitude and untracked snow. All indications are that the ‘trunk’ trails – Valley Way/Airline, Lowe’s path, 19 Mile brook, Tuckerman Ravine Trail, Imp and Carter Moriah Trail, etc., are getting the bulk of the traffic. Likewise, it’s logical to assume that major trails to the four thousand footers are similarly well travelled but that still leaves plenty of open space for you. Also, while the skiing in the back country is still a mixed bag with alternating powder, windslab, wind scoured, crust and sastrugi, we’ve had good experiences this week on the Sherburne which has excellent top to bottom coverage. Others have had great fun in the Gulf of Slides so BC skiing is out there in the more popular spots and elsewhere -- but I’m not saying where…
Looking ahead, temperatures are expected to moderate and plenty of sun is in the forecast for the coming days and that should be ample encouragement to get you up here and into the outdoors. This time of the year, the sun does its job very well and with a length of day approaching 11 hours we’ll have sap flowing very soon.
Remember, check conditions before you head into any of the ravines, http://www.mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org/ and check the weather forecast at http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/summit_forecast.php Armed with good information and a well stocked pack there is no reason to stay home during this wonderful season.
AMC Trails Desk