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 Weekend ideas for bone chilling coldness 
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 Weekend ideas for bone chilling coldness
Warning: diatribe about weather to ensue
I've been looking forward to this weekend all winter. Presidents day weekend is the best 3-day hiking weekend of the year. Even in low snow years, there's usually enough on the ground by this point to merit a worthy hiking adventure. But now we're talking about highs of 8 on Sat and 4 on Sun... and that's in the valleys. I've seen forecasts of -40 on Washington, and that's without wind chill.

What do you guys do when you get a beautiful weekend, but horrible cold?
Do you stick to shorter hikes with less above-treeline?
Or do you stay home?

Or do you put mind over matter and do a death march to the top of Lafayette to see how good your North Face gear really is?

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Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:05 am
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 Re: Weekend ideas for bone chilling coldness
The cold never really keeps me in (although -40 would for sure) but severe wind chills would keep me below treeline for the most part, or at lower elevation hikes. I do my share of winter backpacking in cold temps like that, especially at night, and as long as you are moving in single digits it's not that bad. Somewhere like Acadia (yes it's a longer drive) could give you a lot of spectacular shorter, exposed hikes but warm up breaks in the car in between if need be. Hike the mountains with ski lodges on top to warm up?? Or grab all that gear we've all filled the closets with and put it to good use. If it's not too windy it's kind of fun to actually need all that crap once in a while.


Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:35 am
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 Re: Weekend ideas for bone chilling coldness
For me, that depends upon lots of factors. One of the most important is - how long have you been winter hiking? It's a distinct activity, and only you will know your cold tolerance. Another factor is - where do you live? Much of my adult life I lived in VT, and the climate was the NH equivalent of "above the Notches" so I was acclimated to the same temps at any trailhead as I was in my backyard. Now I live in Manchester, NH - a veritable banana belt - so the trailhead temps are automatically 5-10 degrees colder than what I'm used to, so I have to factor that in when making decisions. Another is the wind. Personally, I can handle trailhead temps in the minus single digits if there's no wind, and the forecast is for a sunny day with temps moderating to above zero or single temps. That's my lower limit, and I've had to adjust that as I've gotten older. (I once did Hale with trailhead temps around -25F at the start. We damn near froze to death as a group, but were OK and got out safely. Trouble is that at those temps there's absolutely NO margin for error.)

Right now, Weather Underground has the following forecast for Lincoln, NH

"Saturday 50 % Precip. / < 1in 8 | -11 °F
Mainly cloudy with snow showers around in the morning. Morning high of 7F with temps falling to near -5. Winds NW at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of snow 50%."

"Sunday 10 % Precip. / 0in 5 | -10 °F
Partly cloudy. High around 5F. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph."

So, with trailhead temps at -11F on Saturday, and -10F on Sunday, and winds in the 10-20 mile range, that would be out of my comfort zone.

But, Monday? Yowsah! Might be a Presi Day!! Prepare for a Mental Health Day...


Last edited by Kevin Rooney on Thu Feb 11, 2016 12:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:38 am
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 Re: Weekend ideas for bone chilling coldness
Kevin Rooney wrote:

But, Monday? Yowsah! Might be a Presi Day!! Prepare for a Mental Health Day...


Thanks for the feedback. BTW - it's good to see you posting more often in here. Your regular contributions have been missed.

Monday is shaping up to be the best of them. I'm one of those lucky few that have the day off for President's Day.

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Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:45 am
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 Re: Weekend ideas for bone chilling coldness
This weekend we are sticking to the tree's (yes probably literally). I tend to do bushwhacks more when its colder.

Greg

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Thu Feb 11, 2016 10:48 am
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 Re: Weekend ideas for bone chilling coldness
iagreewithjamie wrote:
Kevin Rooney wrote:

But, Monday? Yowsah! Might be a Presi Day!! Prepare for a Mental Health Day...


Thanks for the feedback. BTW - it's good to see you posting more often in here. Your regular contributions have been missed.

Monday is shaping up to be the best of them. I'm one of those lucky few that have the day off for President's Day.


Thanks for the kind words. Will be off the grid after tomorrow as am headed to Africa to do Kili with an old friend, followed by a safari when our wives join us, including a visit to a Masai village. Truly one of those "once in a lifetime" trips. Will post pics of FB, and put link to the album on this BB, probably about mid-March.


Thu Feb 11, 2016 12:12 pm
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 Re: Weekend ideas for bone chilling coldness
iagreewithjamie wrote:

Monday is shaping up to be the best of them. I'm one of those lucky few that have the day off for President's Day.


My absolute worst drive, by a long shot, was on the Monday of a Presidents Weekend. Although I didn't do it, it was definitely a Presi. day. The Hookset tolls on 93 (no speed lane then and possibly no EZ-Pass at all) were backed up to somewhere between exit 17 & 18. 2 hours to do the approximately 25 miles. :evil:

I've pretty much given up heading home later than 10:00 AM on a long holiday weekend. If I'm staying up there I almost always take the Tuesday after off and do Saturday to Tuesday rather than Friday to Monday.

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Thu Feb 11, 2016 12:32 pm
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 Re: Weekend ideas for bone chilling coldness
I told myself it's too cold for hiking to be fun, so I had planned on catching up on some projects at home. But, as a single parent, my "days off" are somewhat limited so I might try to force myself outside.

Long drives are out of the questions, since those projects at home still have to get done. Horse Hill Nature Preserve is very close by, but it's also the least impressive bit of woods you'll ever find.

I'm thinking about Pack Monadnock. I've hiked it a few times but never made my way over to the summit of North Pack. That trip sounds more appealing, and thus more likely to happen, if I can sled down the auto road.

Would that be insane? Seriously? The steepness, hairpin turns, and probable lack of thick powder kinda sounds dangerous. I know I'm always advocating for folks to challenge the outdoors, but would sledding down the Pack Monadnock Auto Road be considered a death-wish?


Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:12 pm
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 Re: Weekend ideas for bone chilling coldness
BrianL wrote:

I'm thinking about Pack Monadnock. I've hiked it a few times but never made my way over to the summit of North Pack. That trip sounds more appealing, and thus more likely to happen, if I can sled down the auto road.

Would that be insane? Seriously? The steepness, hairpin turns, and probable lack of thick powder kinda sounds dangerous. I know I'm always advocating for folks to challenge the outdoors, but would sledding down the Pack Monadnock Auto Road be considered a death-wish?


The ledges on North Pack offer the best views of the WaPack, IMO. I've done that hike twice in the last month, and love it.

If you really want to sled down an auto-road, I advocate Mt Watatic. Often times, snowmobilers carve a 20 inch wide path that freezes into an awesome luge. You can make that 2.1 mile trip in about 5-10 minutes, and it's exhilarating. Since that auto road isn't in use, many people forget that it's there, and is great in the winter.

The one downside with Pack's rd is that lots of people summit that way in the winter.

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Nothin' on the top but a bucket and a mop,
and an illustrated book about birds.
You see alot up there, but don't be scared:
Who needs actions when you got words?


Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:30 pm
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 Re: Weekend ideas for bone chilling coldness
iagreewithjamie wrote:
The one downside with Pack's rd is that lots of people summit that way in the winter.


Whaaaat??? Why? Is it Yeti season in the Wapack range? Are the trails really that tough in winter, or just not broken out? Or is the auto road just a more forgiving snowshoe track?


Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:44 pm
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 Re: Weekend ideas for bone chilling coldness
Gentlemen - Good luck and be careful with whatever it is you end up doing! Brian L - do be careful on your "downhill excursion!"

Last year someone on VFTT posted that with the cold holiday weekend approaching, they hoped it would not turn out to be a disaster for someone. Unfortunately, their fear became a reality with Kate Matrosova. It doesn't look like it's going to be that windy this time, though.

I was all excited that I had a 2 day weekend coming (Monday off, but I work Saturdays) and had planned to take advantage of this mild winter. I was happy to get snow on Monday. I was NOT happy to see the bone chilling weekend forecast coming up. As some of you know, I am a wimp with these things (But then I get to go all over the hills when it's 95 and the normal folks are parked in front of the AC - a genetic thing with us :lol: ).

This kind of weekend is God's way of telling me "Yeah, you really gotta get busy on your domestic duties!" My housekeeping is even slower than my hiking, so this way I can put a dent in it so I won't have to spend the good (my def of good) days inside!

The more experienced folks above have good ideas about being close to the trees. I would not want to spend the effort to reach treeline, only to be turned around at the top. And by the way, is Monday going to be warmer? I know Tuesday is predicted to be. Good luck and stay safe! And Bon Voyage Kevin!


Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:49 pm
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 Re: Weekend ideas for bone chilling coldness
Granite Guy wrote:
. Somewhere like Acadia (yes it's a longer drive) could give you a lot of spectacular shorter, exposed hikes but warm up breaks in the car in between if need be.


Was thinking about pulling a GG Sunday but those hikes are exposed and depending on what you do it could be right in your face for some time.

Sunday A chance of snow showers before 10am. Partly sunny and cold, with a high near 1. Windy, with a northwest wind 23 to 29 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

It's not so much freezing my ass off I mind. It's driving 4.5 hours to do it. 8)

I'll be hitting some 52WAV Sunday most likely.

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Thu Feb 11, 2016 4:08 pm
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 Re: Weekend ideas for bone chilling coldness
JustJoe wrote:
Granite Guy wrote:
. Somewhere like Acadia (yes it's a longer drive) could give you a lot of spectacular shorter, exposed hikes but warm up breaks in the car in between if need be.


Was thinking about pulling a GG Sunday but those hikes are exposed and depending on what you do it could be right in your face for some time.

Sunday A chance of snow showers before 10am. Partly sunny and cold, with a high near 1. Windy, with a northwest wind 23 to 29 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

It's not so much freezing my ass off I mind. It's driving 4.5 hours to do it. 8)

I'll be hitting some 52WAV Sunday most likely.


Good news Joe. The NWS had increased the high temp to 9 Sunday and Monday up there looks splendid! :D

Sunday
A chance of snow showers before 9am. Partly sunny and cold, with a high near 9. Blustery, with a northwest wind 20 to 23 mph, with gusts as high as 34 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Sunday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 4.

Washington's Birthday
Mostly sunny, with a high near 25.


Thu Feb 11, 2016 6:47 pm
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 Re: Weekend ideas for bone chilling coldness
Windchills of -33 on sunday, no thanks. Im working anyways, but Monday. Took that day off.

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Thu Feb 11, 2016 8:38 pm
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 Re: Weekend ideas for bone chilling coldness
HardcoreIdiot wrote:
Windchills of -33 on sunday, no thanks. Im working anyways, but Monday. Took that day off.


It will be fine where I plan to go.

Sunday Mostly sunny and cold, with a high near 2. Northwest wind 10 to 15 mph.

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Fri Feb 12, 2016 11:16 am
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