The plan was to go backpacking at Mount Rogers, a plan that was ultimate done in by it’s inspiration
A winter trip to the highest, most exposed part of Virginia during one of the snowiest winters in recent memory? Epic! But then the area got an additional foot of snow last week on top of an existing foot (sending drifts up over six feet from their original four, according to an advisory posted on the Web site for Grayson Highlands State Park, which adjoins Rogers). Even more snow was forecast overnight. Then a backpacking colleague pointed out that what blazes there are at Mount Rogers (mostly on rocks, since trees are scarce in spots) would likely be covered. Finally, my partner for the trip backed out.read more
This weekend’s theme for action: Water, in its various forms.
At first blush (a blush suggestive of hypothermia?), the notion of taking a 4-hour kayak trip in 30-degree weather might seem daft. But then, this particular trip is on Belews Lake, which the sponsoring Piedmont Environmental Center notes, “being a power plant lake [Duke Energy] where water is used to cool energy-producing turbines, the heated water … is much warmer than ambient air temperatures. The result is a three-foot deep blanket of warm air — perfect for the kayaker!”read more
Just when it looked like December’s excellent cross-country skiing conditions in North Carolina’s high country was a once-in-an-every-five-years-or-so occurrence, it looks like Mother Nature might be staging an encore starting this weekend.
Weather.com and Weather Underground both see snow starting in the Boone area Friday and lasting at least through Wednesday of next week. The omnipotent Ray’s Weather, the definitive source for mountain weather, is likewise suggesting snow for the next week, and says some higher elevations could get a foot or more alone out of the system moving through today and Saturday. Along with the snow: dang cold temperatures, possibly not getting out of the 20s for much of the next week.read more
I meant to Sunday, but we were too busy having fun in our own backyard (a backyard that extends to include a forest at the end of our cul de sac). I meant to Monday, but after a one-hour bout of physical therapy (hip flexor) in the morning and another hour at the gym with the personal trainer (who was intent on dispensing copious amounts of holiday joy), I was too pooped. So this morning, knowing the snow wasn’t likely to last much longer, the 16-year-old and I packed up the skinny skis and headed to Umstead State Park, the Triangle’s Nordic center every decade or so when there’s sufficient snow.read more
I’ve been following the schizophrenic Christmas weather forecasts as closely as anyone. In part, because I love a white Christmas and haven’t seen one since the Denver blizzard of ’82. I’m also keeping a close watch to see whether I should dig out the cross-country skis (in the event of 6 inches or more), the sled (a minimum of 3 inches), or the hiking boots (a photogenic dusting).read more