Monday, April 18, 2016
Saturday April 16, 2016
Lots of Crowds, Training, Outreach,
Helped Getting An Injured Hiker Out.
LIFE IS GOOD!
"HAPPY AS A MONKEY IN A MONKEY TREE"
Besides being a picture of the new PATC Trail Patrol person I was training this picture is there for the PATC or NPS trail maintenance folks to plan their trip to fix this blowdown. Hikers can pretty easily weave their way through it until it gets fixed.
A better picture of my student.
Old Rag was crazy busy with main lot full and 200 cars in the neighbors lot. The video shows the line at the start of the scramble at around noon Saturday.
Stuff happens. This hiker slipped and badly hurt her lower right leg. She could not weight it.
TRAIN TO BE READY WHEN STUFF HAPPENS
Many thanks to Shenandoah Mountain Guides, The Old Rag Mountain Stewards, SOLO, Emergency Response Training, LNT, NOLS, Outward Bound and Red Cross, Adirondack Mountain Club for all the Wilderness First Aid training I have received over the years! Please support our wonderful outdoor education resources by taking classes with them. I am fairly sure that it is very hard to get too much training.
The SNP staff was somewhat tied up with two forest fires and a missing hiker. It was decided that while the patient could not put weight on her leg that she could make some progress under her own power.
SNP Ranger help arrived good Samaritans from the very beginning. SNP Rangers and good Samaritans are awesome!
Some of the trip out was happy.
By butt scooting about a half mile in the scramble, using crutches for about a mile on the trail and then being carried piggyback by her male companion for the last mile of the trail the impromptu team finished a successful day around 2AM Sunday morning. YAH TEAM!
TENT CATERPILLAR RESEARCH LEADS TO A GREAT RESOURCE
CAPITAL NATURALIST BLOG
Nethers had lots of tent caterpillars showing. Researching them I found this great blog called Capital Naturalist follow the link below to read a great post about Eastern Tent Caterpillars and then maybe enjoy some of the other great posts done by this blogger.
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Weekend of April 9-10, 2016
I got asked about an ice formation. The person asking the question showed me a picture of ice needles. During the shoulder seasons when we have temperatures swinging from above to freezing to below freezing Old Rag can host the formation of some interesting types of ice. Many of these forms of ice relate to the diurnal (daily) cycle of warming and cooling. Hoar frost, rime ice, needle ice, ribbon ice, hair ice, pebble ice and ice flowers come to mind. There is an excellent post on these beautiful formations that can be found at: http://my.ilstu.edu/~jrcarter/ice/
there are great pictures and great information about how some of the more rarely seen of these formations come into existence.
Old Rag often gets needle ice and here is a picture from the section of Dr. James R Carter's posts about ice formations which can be gotten to via the above link.
Dr. James R. Carter, Professor Emeritus
Illinois State University, Normal IL 61790-4400
Much more rare are ice flower and ice ribbon formations:
All the above pictures are from
Dr. James R. Carter, Professor Emeritus Geography-Geology Department
Illinois State University's blog postings reached via the following link:
Sunset over Skyline Drive from Old Rag.
Summit of Old Rag
The Sapsuckers went to work on this tree.
My first 2016 sighting of Bluets on the Old Rag Saddle Trail.
Please be aware that the Old Rag summit areas are unique micro-biomes. Some of the species residing here have been greatly impacted and the NPS is trying to protect/mange the summit areas so as to contain and perhaps reverse some of the damage. The lesser summit which I have very seldom seen anyone visit has been closed to all public use. The main summit area continues to be open for public use with some areas roped off to protect plants from being trampled. The good news is that the main summit has a lot of hard durable granite and can absorb large numbers of visitors pretty well.
As I was leaving late Sunday night I saw that someone left their trash out for morning pick up. Sorry folks but Old Rag is not serviced by a trash collection service. I figured I would go ahead and carry it out but when I checked on it I found that it only had a 35-50 lb back of playground sand inside the trash back so I left it there. If you are looking for ways to add extra weight to your pack by carrying gravel, sand, pea stone, bricks, nails, cement, than please carry it out. If for some reason you really only want to carry it up the mountain and not back out than please consider using water. A couple of gallon jugs should add about fifteen pounds of water. If you use clean tap water and it is a hot day I am sure you will have lots of folks willing to fill up on water. If no one wants your water than it will not hurt anything if you just dump it out.
Looking at sunset over Skyline Drive. Hawksbill on the left of the sun.
Looking in the same direction from the last view point just above CCC stairs on the Saddle Trail.
Monday, April 4, 2016
Weekend of April 2-3, 2016
Spring is in the air.
Notice the green leaves on the trees at the foot of Old Rag.
The seasonal Rangers are starting back to work. Stephanie is new to the Old Rag contact station.
I saw my first Tiger Swallowtail of 2016.
The Red Buds were blooming. I had an old timer tell me that when Red Buds bloom it is a good sign that the snakes will be exiting their hibernaculum.
My first bear sighting of 2016.
Old Rag from Weakley Fire Road.
Thursday, February 25, 2016
ON THE LAST WEEKEND IN FEBRUARY
ICY CONDITIONS ARE LIKELY
FORECAST FOR SNP ABOVE 2,000 FEET:
SXUS41 KLWX 251730
FORECAST FOR SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK ABOVE 2000 FEET
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
1230 PM EST THU FEB 25 2016
...WIND ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM EST THIS EVENING...
.THIS AFTERNOON...MOSTLY CLOUDY. ISOLATED RAIN SHOWERS. HIGHS IN THE
UPPER 30S. TEMPERATURES STEADY OR SLOWLY FALLING IN THE AFTERNOON.
.TONIGHT...MOSTLY CLOUDY. LOWS IN THE LOWER 20S. WINDY.
.FRIDAY...SUNNY. HIGHS IN THE LOWER 30S. BREEZY.
.FRIDAY NIGHT...COLD. PARTLY CLOUDY IN THE EVENING...THEN BECOMING
MOSTLY CLOUDY. LOWS AROUND 19.
.SATURDAY...PARTLY CLOUDY IN THE MORNING...THEN CLEARING. HIGHS IN
THE UPPER 30S.
.SUNDAY...MOSTLY CLEAR. LOWS IN THE LOWER 30S. HIGHS IN THE MID 50S.
.MONDAY...PARTLY CLOUDY. LOWS IN THE LOWER 40S. HIGHS IN THE LOWER
Monday, February 22, 2016
HEY NEWBIES TO SNP AND SHOULDER SEASON OR WINTER COLD WEATHER HIKING. PLEASE CONSIDER CARRYING MICRO-TRACTION EQUIPMENT (YAKTRAX, MICROSPIKES). ALSO PLEASE CARRY ENOUGH WARM GEAR SO YOU CAN STAY WARM FOR SEVERAL HOURS IF YOU SUSTAIN AN INJURY THAT CAUSES YOU TO BE UNABLE TO WALK. BE ADVENTURESOME. HAVE A GOOD TIME BUT PLEASE DO NOT SET YOURSELF UP FOR THE CASCADE OF A BROKEN ANKLE LEADING TO SERIOUS HYPOTHERMIA BECASUSE OF YOUR LACK OF PREPARING FOR THE RISKS. JUST BECAUSE THE SUBURBS HAVE NO SNOW AND 60 DEGREE WEATHER DURING THE DAY DOES NOT MEAN HIGHER ELEVATIONS MAY NOT HAVE ICE AND LOW 40 DEGREE TEMPERATURES!
Washington temperatures were in the 60's so of course Old Rag had a full parking lot. There were lots of folks starting out prepared for their Spring like hike who found they had to turn around at the first false summit because there was lots of ice coating the scrambles rocks. In the parking lot I saw lots of folks starting in shorts. Most had sneakers on but some had sandals and one had flip flops.
The classic large group bridge shot.
Signs of Springs approach.
This group of three coming down the saddle trail was typical of those that I saw. Keep in mind I only saw the 20-30 percent of the hikers who did not turn back.
The following video gives a slight idea of what it is like to negotiate icy trails without micro traction devices on your feet.
IT WAS LUCKY THERE WAS NO NEED FOR A MEDICAL RESPONSE ON THIS DAY.
Sunset from just below summit.
Dusk from summit
Moonlit rocks from summit.