Monday, February 27, 2012

Sat&Sun Feb. 25&26, 2012

SAT & SUN FEBRUARY 25&26, 2012

Cold and very windy 10-40 mph high on Old Rag on Saturday.    Cool but calm on Sunday.  Both days were clear.

In the next picture notice that Old Rag Mountain is clear of any white stuff.


If you look down and too the right of the gate to Old Rag Farm you will notice that there are daffodils and  crocuses blooming.

Both days saw quite a few cars parking at what I affectionately call Old Rag International Parking.


Along the Saddle Trail where the mountain slopes are shaded from the Sun for a good part of the day there was still ice to be seen.

A picture of Sunset Walls from the Saddle Trail.


This first video is taken from the Saddle Trail just above the CCC stairs.

The music in the background is from HEM performing their version of the song The Cuckoo


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A quick video from the summit on Sunday.
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I have a lot of mountain acquaintances.   One of them, Wendy Griffith wanted to hike Old Rag on this day and gave me a call to see if I might be able to meet up with her near the summit so as to be able to walk out with her late in the day.   She was pretty sure it would be getting dark before she finished her hike out and she thought having company on the way out would be safer.    As it turned out we accidentally missed each other and she ended up walking out mostly on her own but she has done a great job writing up the story on her blog so I have linked it below.

http://wendygriffithministries.com/2012/02/my-guardian-angel-and-my-scary-hike-down-the-mountain/


The following picture is of a blowdown just up from the start of the Ridge Trail.  It is super easy to step over!

This blowdown was located about a half mile down from the start of the rock scramble and about a tenth of a mile above Bar Tender's Spring on the Ridge Trail

This huge blowdown about 4 feet in diameter was located about a half mile down Weakley Hollow fire road from the intersection of Weakley Hollow Fire Road, Old Rag Fire Road, and Berryhollow Fire Road AKA Post Office(PO) Junction.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Presidents Day Weekend

Saturday Presidents Day Weekend


The parking lot was three quarters full.  Lots of folks on the mountain.  Temperature high on the mountain was in the 40's.    It must have been bring your babies hiking day because I think I saw at least 8 different parties with kids under two.  The weather had been warm leading up to the weekend and virtually all the snow and ice were gone.      It was a fairly warm slightly sunny day.     There were no blowdowns and the trail was just slightly muddy.    Down in the hollow we spotted daffodils that looked like they would be blooming by next week.     A little after dark we talked to a couple of climbers in the Berryhollow parking lot.   They said that the weather had been warm enough for the rock climbing to be good in the sun.  




My significant other was visiting  from Texas and she insisted on a picture.   After a few with me making funny faces or poses I acquiesced to at least one regular one.

My very dear college friend, Louise and significant-other/ special lady friend from Texas.

For those interested the following are links concerning use of significant other and other like titles.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Significant_other

http://ask.metafilter.com/190813/Shes-not-my-ladyfriend



One of the more interesting things Louise been able to do in her life was be a shepherdess in Wyoming.   She spent a lot of time high in the Big Horns living in  sheep wagon, with her only regular company being her flock, her dog,  and her horse.  

If you have never seen a sheep wagon check out the following link:


Monday, February 13, 2012

Sat&Sun Feb. 11&12 Cold, Clear, Windy, Snow

Saturday & Sunday February 11&12,   2012

There was snow during the 36 hours preceding Saturday afternoon which was cold clear and very windy above 2,500 feet.
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Looking towards Etlan and Culpepper from the first false summit R20.
The next two videos provide a little insight on the wind conditions.     Down in the hollows the air was still but up on the ridgeline the winds never dropped below about 20 miles per hour and were gusting to 50 miles per hour at times.   These winds and temperatures in the low twenties created a different weather reality.   Winter's cold kisses, hugs and chilly embrace.   While refreshing,  potentially deadly dangerous.  No problem if you can keep moving, have the right clothing layers or knowledge of how to improvise in the backcountry.  

With the very rare exception of those that came here from planet Krypton we are all still human. 

Stuff happens!!!

If you find yourself;  lightly clothed, ill equipped for hunkering down, not having a mentality for improvisation and sustaining an injury like a (broken hip, leg or ankle) then.... Death may have finally figured out how to sell you that ticket for your last adventure on earth. 

If it is COLD AND WINDY pay close attention to Death's tells.  He is probably not bluffing.    If you are at the table and you do not know who the sucker is.....its probably you!

I say, Plan Ahead and Be Prepared!   

Make Death wait and work hard for his winnings.   I do not normally advocate cheating but in this case I say, cheat Death if you have to!   Choose Life!   If I am at the table I will help... go all in with the smile of the Cheshire Cat.  It will be fun!    If despite all Team Life's best efforts .....stuff happens.... then we will get up from the table and dance that last dance with grace, style and class and hope we see ya all again.   "I will never know by living only my dying will tell"  Blood Sweat and Tears'  And When I Die
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It was mesmerizing beautiful watching the high winds carry a whirling kaleidoscope of spin drift up over Skyline Wall.  
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Despite all the talk about DEATH the real reason to hike Old Rag is to celebrate LIFE!   Check out this upbeat song by Givers called:

UP UP UP 

You have got to watch it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0vzHSPmTfE

A new generation of human optimism proves you can not keep a good species down! 
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GO Human DNA GO!



Down in Weakley Hollow there was no snow on the ground.

Just a quarter mile up the road.   SNOW!

Another half mile and it was a Winter Wonderland.


This picture does not due it justice but the sparkling lights of Culpepper were wondrous.


Because of the high winds there were,
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LOTS OF BLOWDOWNS!

The following two pictures are for the hard working trail maintenance folks.    The first picture was taken about a quarter mile up the trail from Old Rag Shelter and the last picture was from about 100 yards up from the gate at Berryhollow Parking Lot.