Sunday, December 19, 2010


Saturday December 18, 2010

Saturday was overcast, temps in the 20's and no precipitation. I cut my Saturday short and did not go Sunday so that I could bake for and then attend a cookie swapping party.

This will be the first time making and baking cookies for me. I am reminded that during my teens the younger Gilmore brothers nicknamed me Cookie Monster. Not exactly sure where the nickname came from but it seemed to stick for a few years.

As I sit here writing and waiting for my next batch of cookies to finish there is a wonderful blue sky here in Woodbridge Virginia and I have a strong desire to be out on Old Rag working on one of my Old Rag winter project lists. Top on the list is mapping where I get cell phone reception and where I do not. I will share this information on a future blog once I have a chance to collect it and double check.

The next shot is taken from the spot near the winery that I take pictures to compare seasonal changes. The amount of snow is the obvious change for this week.

The parking lot had more cars than last week. It is getting into that time of year when you probably want to have a shovel in your car just in case you need to shovel a parking space. It is always a good habit to park your car facing out and downhill. This way your battery is easily accessible and you are less likely to be blocked in by cars who park after you.

Here is a shot of the large blowdown from two weeks ago. It was fixed last week but I am just getting a shot of it this week.

The Weakley Hollow Fire Road had about an inch of snow. If you had cross country skis you probably could have skied on it if you were willing to scrape over a rock now and again.
Wilderness First Aid Not Just Useful On The Mountain
My WFA training has been coming in handy at the skating rink the last couple of days. There was a twenty year old young man who fell and badly injured his shoulder two days ago. Then last night there was a another young male who fell and really bonked his left temple area. He suffered about a three minute loss of consciousness, was dazed and could not find his feet or understand who, what, where or when for about ten minutes. There were no signs of clear fluid in his ears or noise. After about fifteen minutes his orientation had came back and he started developing a large bump on the side of his head. The big bad symptom was that his left eye was unilaterally fixed and dilated. I and the rink management both suggested that 911 be called but his party insisted on self transport to the Reston hospital ER which was only about a mile away. Just before they were about to leave I overheard their conversation which indicated they might be considering blowing off the trip to the hospital. I had to step in and try and impress them that it was really important for them to have their friend looked at by doctors at the ER as soon as possible. In my opinion the amount of time he had loss of consciousness warranted an ER visit without any additional symptoms but I told his party that the unilateral blown left eye was a huge concern and required prompt diagnosis at the ER. I hope they took my advice.


  1. Bob,
    A cell phone reception plot for the mtn could be very useful. While you are at it, it might be nice to get a team together with phones from the three or four top carriers to see if there is much difference. With ATT, I only get a signal from the false summit to the actual summit most likely hitting a tower to the east. Text is usually more reliable than voice.

  2. Hi Bob,

    What are conditions looking like right now in terms of ice and amount of snow? I'm planning to hike on Friday. Thanks!


  3. Chris,

    I work near Dulles Airport and live in Woodbridge so the best I can do for you is last weeks post. The DC area has seen its snow melt away this week. The Shenandoah National Park Big Meadow web cam seems to be operational and it looks like Big Meadow's snow is gone as well.
    If you go to the SNP web site then "Plan Your Visit" then "Things To Know Before You Come" then "Weather" then "Park Forecast Above 2000 FT" you should get a pretty good idea of what the weather will be like high on Old Rag. When in doubt I always carry my micro-spikes and either wear or do not wear them based on conditions encoutered. The current forecast calls for Sunny and highs in the upper 20's.

    Should be a great day. You might even get some sunset colors 16:50 which are harder to come by in the winter months than the rest of the year. While it will still be pretty full the moon will not even be rising until around 21:00.

    Enjoy Be Safe

  4. Chris,
    Correction the web-cam I was looking at had a November date. The web-cam picture with a December 23, 2010 date looks to be showing a fair amount of snow still so I would assume that Old Rag's trails have a lot of pack snow and ice.