Update on the WHITE Mountains!

It's been a winter wonderland here in the White Mountains! Between Sunday night and Monday morning the summits received just under an inch of snow!  In the valleys it can be sunny and warm but can be a completely different environment on the summits. This is the time of the year to break out your winter gear including gloves, hats, and warm layers! Crampons are not needed for these conditions although some form of extra traction such as Yak-Tracks or Microspikes can be helpful for some! 
The photo to the left is taken from one of the croo at Madison Hut (elevation 4800').

Another prominent feature you will see in the summits is rime ice. Rime ice forms from water droplets within a fog bank freezing due to cold temperatures. The summit is in the fog 300 out of 365 days a year, so this is a common sight!
The picture of rime ice to the right is taken by one of our Lakes of the Clouds (elevation 5012') hut croo.
Due to these foggy conditions it is not only important to have warm clothes, but also waterproof clothes so that you and your gear will stay dry.
We always suggest to dress 'like an onion' meaning to have a moisture-wicking base layer, a middle warm layer such as a fleece and a wind/waterproof outer layer to keep you as warm and dry as possible! This way you can also change out layers depending on your comfort level so that you don't get too warm or too cold.

These pictures to the left and bottom were taken from the Hermit Lake Shelter caretaker (elevation 3877'). Although there currently are not icy conditions today, the mountains are always subject to change! As you can see in the lower elevation pictures the foliage is very vibrant as well. With the cold conditions it really brought out the colors!

With the continuing changing weather we will be updating the trail conditions, so stay tuned! Before you head out for your hike it is always good to check the White Mountain Summits Forecast from the Mount Washington Observatory, as this is our main source for weather information.
For any general questions, conditions information, or trail advice, please feel free to contact us here at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center front desk.  We are available by phone at (603) 466-2721 every day from 6:30 AM to 10:00 PM or by email at amcpinkhaminfo@outdoors.org. To make reservations at AMC Lodges and Huts, please call (603)466-2727 available Monday through Saturday 9am-5pm.

Happy Hiking!

Danielle J.
Backcountry Information Specialist
Pinkham Notch Visitors Center

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