Monday, January 30, 2012

Sunday 1/29/2012 Wonderful Day On The Mountain

Wonderful Day On The Mountain

Public Service Warning:   The portable outhouses that used to be located in the upper lot were not there this weekend.   The ones in the parking lot where you park your car are still there.
If  you .are careful and choose wisely there are days in winter when the sky is blue, the air is crisp, and the trails are mostly clear of ice and snow.    Sunday 1/29/2012 was one of days.  It seemed to put everyone I met in a great mood.

I had several long and very connected conversations.   

Sometimes those I encounter are deeply experienced worldly mountaineers who love to use Old Rag in preparation for Rainer, Denali, Matterhorn, Grand Teton......   At other times it might be an older couple in their 70's who are enjoying the enchantment of an elderly mountain which has existed through thousands of human lifetimes.    At other times I might encounter a happy family visiting Old Rag for their first time.   

There are times when I am a little disappointed with the visitors I meet on the mountain. One of the special rewards of my winter hikes is that I am seldom disappointed with the visitors I meet. Winter and harsh conditions seem to bring out the gems of the hiking community.

Old Rag from Revercombs Junction
Lumbering on Old Rag's border.  

With the exception of small patches of ice at R29, on the parts of the chute, and about a tenth of a mile below Byrds Nest Shelter on the Saddle Trail the trails were dry and clear of any ice or snow.    Any ice on the mountain was easy to avoid.     That said, always keep in mind that conditions can change radically in just a few hours time during the winter.

Looking towards Culpepper from the first false summit.   R20

Looking east from the slab just above the chute.

Sunset from the summit.

A quick video from the top of Skyline aka PATC Wall. 

A quick video from the  summit.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday 1/22/2012 Old Rag Conditions

Seneca Rocks and Blackwater Falls WV

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Old Rag Under Moonlight

Sorry folks I have not had time to get my blog post writings done.   Hopefully next week...
In the meantime someone posted a comment asking for conditions.    I usually will say something about conditions in my writing especially when there are winter conditions.  

Always keep in mind that in the winter conditions can radically change in just a few hours.   You can go from bare dry rock to  everything being coated in a quarter inch of ice in just a few hours.

Last weekend there was almost no ice or snow on Old Rag.   I always carry my micro-spikes at least in the car and often on my pack just in case.    Just because the ground is devoid of any snow down in the parking lot does not mean there will not be significant ice up on the mountain.

Bearsfence and Old Rag

Hawksbill and Stoneyman