It's not over yet!

March is here and with spring just around the corner, the temperatures are on the rise.  This, I think, is causing people to flood into Crawford Notch to try and get what might be their last bit of winter hiking and skiing in.  Our parking lot at the Highland Center has been packed and cars parked off the side of the road. I was hard pressed to find a spot when I came in for work especially this past weekend.  The vernal equinox is March 20th, which signifies that were officially in spring.  Being a lover of the plant world, I have to say I can’t wait to see some flowers but I’m still not ready for winter to be over but I’m here to tell you just that, that it isn’t over just yet!

Temperatures here have been steadily in the mid-thirties all week long but the consistent few inches of snow each day has kept the trails nicely covered.  The slight, steady breeze has kept the snow good and firm and most of the trails in Crawford Notch are packed out nicely.  Earlier this in the week we were plagued with the wet, heavy, mash potato snow which made snowshoeing and skiing quite challenging.  I guided a few small hikes those days and found the snow was sticking to the bottom of my snowshoes and bogging me down as I hiked on. 

In the middle of the week we were experiencing blizzard like conditions with high wind speed and white out conditions.  Some were expecting a foot of snow during the storm but I think the majority of it blew away.  This created some awesome snow drifts around the center which keep just piling higher and higher it seems.  After the storm, the temperatures cooled just a little but enough that the snow would harden over and make the snow perfect.  The past few days the snow hasn’t stuck to my snowshoes at all and it hasn’t been unfavorably cold. The forecast was also calling for rain the past few days but it hasn’t happened yet (knock on wood), and has only been snowing.  

The consistent snowfall didn’t just improve the hiking and skiing trails but it’s also been great conditions for snow shelter building here at the Highland Center.  Remember those snow drifts I mentioned earlier?  Well those drifts had a ton of snow plowed onto them when the walkway was being cleared which made for an excellent sow cave.  We offer snow shelter building as a guided activity here at the Highland center among many other guided programs like the Nordic ski tours and Skins and Skulls.   Snow shelter building has to be one of my favorite winter activities here as its cool to see where your ideas for a shelter design might take you; a nice cozy cave dug out or intricate tunnel systems that lead to a hidden chamber. 
Ocsar and Bernie (matching blue suits) with thir older brother Lucas and mother Clare joined us for a few hours of snow shelter building.
This week to come looks a lot like this past week with temperatures in the low to mid-thirties and snow almost every day in the forecast.  Winter isn’t over yet folks but spring is lurking so come by to get some winter excursions out of your system while getting is good.  Happy hiking! 

                                                                       Mitra Karimian,
                                                                      Adventure Guide

For more information on activities and reservations at the Highland Center please call us at (603)-278-HIKE

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