A Cold and Snowy Weekend at Pinkham!

Good Morning from Pinkham Notch! We had an incredibly cold and snowy weekend, which made a lot of climbers, hikers and skiers incredibly happy. This morning was the first time I had seen blue skies in a few days, as the summits have been very snowy and windy. The picture above is a great view looking into Huntington Ravine, with the prominent feature in the middle of the ravine, Central Gully, which is a very a popular ice climb.

We were even able to make homemade snow at Pinkham! All you need is the proper sub-zero temperatures and some boiling water and you get instant snow! If you do try this, make sure to have gloves and proper clothing on, and to throw into the winds and not against, do not do without proper adult supervision!


The reddish hue as seen above on the mountain is called 'alpenglow' derived from the German word; Alpengl├╝hen. This is an optical phenomenon where a horizontal red glowing band is observed on the horizon opposite to the sun. This effect occurs when the Sun is just below the horizon, due to not having a direct path for the light to reach the mountain. Instead, light reflects off airborne snow, water, or ice particles low in the atmosphere. The picture above on the right is taken this morning at Pinkham looking South.

A friend and I decided to stay below treeline this weekend due to the cold temperatures and high winds and did a hike up to Lila's Ledge. The picture above is the view looking south on the ledge, and to the bottom right is the view of Wildcat Mountain, their opening day was this past Saturday! 


The trails to Lila's Ledge, as with many of the trails at this time of the year, has ice with patches of snow; making traction necessary, such as microspikes, for a safe and enjoyable hike! We also ventured off to Lost Pond which is a great afternoon hike. The pond is starting to freeze over, about 1-3 inches of solid ice in spots; making for a great skating destination once we get a few more inches of ice! Again, traction is necessary, especially for frozen bridge sections.

  As we continue to get cold temperatures and snow, there will more opportunity for skiers and climbers to do more recreating in the White Mountains! Always make sure to be prepared before you venture out for the day.  A great resource to get the mountain weather forecast is through our Conditions page which includes trail conditions for our AMC Destinations, as well as the Mt. Washington Observatory Weather Forecast page. The United States Forest Service Snow Rangers are now gearing up to head out to access Avalanche Dangers and their updates are critical to those heading to the ravines and gullies. As of now there is a general warning for potential pockets of instability as well as ice fall. With the upcoming forecast of snow this holiday week come base camp with us at any of our lodges! We offer ski and stay packages at our Joe Dodge Lodge and the Highland Center. 

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 9:00 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.

See you out on the trails!

Danielle J.
Backcountry Information Specialist
AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center
(603) 466-8116


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