Winter weather is here!
During the colder months be especially mindful that it gets dark early, and temperatures drop quckly at dusk.
Don't brave ridgeline trails unless you are experienced in winter alpine conditions and fully prepared for the weather with all necessary gear.
Minimum Gear Necessary for Winter Weather Hiking:
1. Ice Traction- Microspikes
2. Extra Water
3. Extra Food
4. Extra Clothing Layers (synthetic fabrics, wool, or silk- no
Please make sure to check the local weather conditions before your hike. Since we don't have our own weather station, we check raysweather.com, and look at a nearby spot with comparable elevation, such as Sugar Mountain Top or Seven Devils. http://averyweather.com/Forecast/Sugar+Mountain+Top
Ice and snow persist at higher elevations throughout winter. Snow and ice on ridgeline.
Temperature fluctuations at lower elevations can make trails both icy and muddy. If hiking the lower Profile Trail, remember: GET MUDDY! Stay on the trail and do not walk around wet spots, as this creates more damage to the natural resources. There is a boot scraper and boot brush for you just as you get off the Profile Trail.
Both rain and melting snow can make the Profile Trail stream crossing at mile 1.5 hazardous due to high water. Rangers recommend turning around if the water line is above boulders in crossing.
Hiking above Profile View on the Profile Trail and Flat Rock View on the Daniel Boone Scout Trail is not recommended for inexperienced or unequipped hikers. High winds, cold temperatures and unseen ice are all trail hazards that should be taken seriously.
KNOW YOUR LIMITS. This includes current physical ability, level of experience in winter alpine conditions, what kind of gear you have, and overall preparedness. Weather and temperatures can change dramatically and rapidly and you do not want to get caught unprepared. Do not hike beyond your experience.