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MaineJayhawk

NNE Autumn 2013 Thread

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Raining steadily in town but snowing up at 2,000ft. Very clear visibility change between the rain (good visibility) and snow (milky white) at around that elevation with fog further up.

I'm surprised BTV has pretty much had chance POPs this entire event, with accumulating snowfall and now steady light rain this afternoon/evening. Radar looks like more than a 40-50% chance.

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took a ride up to Stowe around 5:30 in the afternoon.  As described, milky clouds could be seen in the upper elevations, but rain consistently up Rt 108.

 

As usual, on 108 the rain got thick after passing the Matterhorn.  By Stowe Cross Country Center, it seem to really "hit" the windshield with something more than rain.  By the Toll House/Inn at Stowe, it was thick flakes all the way up to the Notch turn out.   Today it (finally) occurred to me why the lowest lifts are at the Toll House elevation- at least today, it didn't seem like a coincidence that's where it starts to snow...

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took a ride up to Stowe around 5:30 in the afternoon. As described, milky clouds could be seen in the upper elevations, but rain consistently up Rt 108.

As usual, on 108 the rain got thick after passing the Matterhorn. By Stowe Cross Country Center, it seem to really "hit" the windshield with something more than rain. By the Toll House/Inn at Stowe, it was thick flakes all the way up to the Notch turn out. Today it (finally) occurred to me why the lowest lifts are at the Toll House elevation- at least today, it didn't seem like a coincidence that's where it starts to snow...

That's always where the big change is...1200-1300ft at the base of the Toll Road. Any elevation event it always seems to change over there on Harlow Hill.

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Well, we definitely got to witness Mt. Mansfield flexing the snowfall muscles today - despite the fact that we know this mountain’s ability to reel in snow, it just never gets old.  I’d certainly been contemplating some turns, but after catching Powderfreak’s comment about how it was dumping at the ski area, and then checking the web cams myself to see snow falling hard and fast at the base, that sealed the deal.  My older son has been chomping at the bit for some skiing, so he joined me and we headed out in the early afternoon.  Temperatures were in the low 40s F in the valleys, and the precipitation was generally light rain.  The Worcester Range was visible to the east, white with new snow, but off to the west, a white haze hung over the spine of the Greens and we could see that it was definitely still snowing up there.  The precipitation remained rain as we headed up the Mountain Road, but at ~900’ elevation near Northern Lights Lodge, we started to see leftover snow accumulations along the sides of the road.  The snow on the ground continued to build, and by the time we pulled into Stowe’s Midway Lot at ~1,600’, we found 2-4” of snow on the ground up on the grassy slopes above.  The temperature had only dropped to 38 F, but the precipitation had changed fully over to a light snow comprised of small flakes.

 

Here are the depths we observed on our ascent of the Gondola side of the resort:

 

1,600’: 2-4”

2,000’: 4-6”

2,500’: 6-8”

3,000’: 8-10”

3,600’: 10-12”+

 

It was around 4:30 P.M. when we hit the top of the Gondola at ~3,600’, and the snow was coming down with some good intensity.  It wasn’t quite inch an hour snowfall since the flakes were still fairly small, but it felt like it was somewhere between ½ and 1 inch/hr and it was quite impressive.  We took shelter under the Cliff House to gear up for the descent because of the intensity of the snowfall, but there was almost no wind, so it was nice to hang out and watch the flakes pour down.  With the late hour, thick clouds, and hefty snowfall, it had that dusky feel of December in the north.  Ty and I discussed how it just as easily could have been December with all the snow, and although it isn’t quite December, the skiing wasn’t half bad, especially for October:

 

26OCT13C.jpg

 

That more intense snowfall was with us on the entire descent, and the freezing line had gone down as well.  Back at the car, heavy wet snow was falling, and the temperature was down to 35 F, three degrees below where it had been when we’d arrived.  It was the sort of precipitation that soaked you very quickly once you were out of your Gore-Tex:

 

26OCT13B.jpg

 

The precipitation eventually changed back to rain as we dropped into the valleys, but it was raining quite hard at times.  There had already been some additional snow accumulations down to lower elevations by the time we were leaving – the snow in some of the lower elevations actually looked better than it had on the way up due to some new covering.  Although it looks like the precipitation tapered off at some point this evening, there may be some more to come since it’s starting to appear upstream on the radar now.

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Nice report, J.Spin!  That last picture looks like something out of the Pacific NW.  Just pounding precipitation that definitely looks to soak one almost immediately. 

 

Snow level came up pretty high last night between 2,500-3,000ft it seems...the freezing level is up there around 3,000ft at this point now.

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Two weeks ago I climbed Mt Chocorua on a day that was forecast to be sunny. It wasn't. It was foggy and visibility was 200' or less. Not a day for a viewgasm that Chocorua offers. So, I figured to try again. The forecast was for partly sunny skies and winds under 10 mph. Go time.

I used the same trails as last time (in fact, I had used this route three other times - each time was foggy). I ascended Carter Ledge, which features a wide expanse of open ledge with terrific views to the north, east and south.

post-254-0-84118900-1382903233_thumb.jpg

As I was climbing a cliff on Middle Sister, I noticed a patch of snow in the scrub. Earlier I had checked the overnight obs from IZG because I knew there was a chance of frozen stuff at elevation, but IZG had reported nothing. Anyway, I excitedly snapped a pic of that snow patch. Of course, there was more of that the further I went along.

post-254-0-49167500-1382903253_thumb.jpg

I made my way over the Sisters and to the summit of Chocorua. Whereas last time was evidently Everybody And Their Brother Day at Chocorua, this time there was far fewer peeps on the summit cone. I measured a temp of 34F and a wind of 8mph producing a wind chill of 23F, so a bit brisk but hell it's the mountains at Halloween.

I watched a snow shower over at Mt Carrigain and hoped to have it come my way.

post-254-0-72637900-1382903269_thumb.jpg

A snow shower did come as I was on my descent. Nothing like Freak and J.Spin have over in VTville, but it's always a thrill to see those first flakes. Another terrific day in the Whites :)

post-254-0-73904300-1382903284_thumb.jpg

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Two weeks ago I climbed Mt Chocorua on a day that was forecast to be sunny. It wasn't. It was foggy and visibility was 200' or less. Not a day for a viewgasm that Chocorua offers. So, I figured to try again. The forecast was for partly sunny skies and winds under 10 mph. Go time.

I used the same trails as last time (in fact, I had used this route three other times - each time was foggy). I ascended Carter Ledge, which features a wide expanse of open ledge with terrific views to the north, east and south.

attachicon.gif2013-10-27 11.33.52-1.jpg

As I was climbing a cliff on Middle Sister, I noticed a patch of snow in the scrub. Earlier I had checked the overnight obs from IZG because I knew there was a chance of frozen stuff at elevation, but IZG had reported nothing. Anyway, I excitedly snapped a pic of that snow patch. Of course, there was more of that the further I went along.

attachicon.gif2013-10-27 12.09.36-1.jpg

I made my way over the Sisters and to the summit of Chocorua. Whereas last time was evidently Everybody And Their Brother Day at Chocorua, this time there was far fewer peeps on the summit cone. I measured a temp of 34F and a wind of 8mph producing a wind chill of 23F, so a bit brisk but hell it's the mountains at Halloween.

I watched a snow shower over at Mt Carrigain and hoped to have it come my way.

attachicon.gif2013-10-27 12.50.57-1.jpg

A snow shower did come as I was on my descent. Nothing like Freak and J.Spin have over in VTville, but it's always a thrill to see those first flakes. Another terrific day in the Whites :)

attachicon.gif2013-10-27 13.04.24-1.jpg

 

 

Nice shots, Eric--looks like a good day!

 

44.3/29

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Two weeks ago I climbed Mt Chocorua on a day that was forecast to be sunny. It wasn't. It was foggy and visibility was 200' or less. Not a day for a viewgasm that Chocorua offers. So, I figured to try again. The forecast was for partly sunny skies and winds under 10 mph. Go time.

I used the same trails as last time (in fact, I had used this route three other times - each time was foggy). I ascended Carter Ledge, which features a wide expanse of open ledge with terrific views to the north, east and south.

attachicon.gif2013-10-27 11.33.52-1.jpg

As I was climbing a cliff on Middle Sister, I noticed a patch of snow in the scrub. Earlier I had checked the overnight obs from IZG because I knew there was a chance of frozen stuff at elevation, but IZG had reported nothing. Anyway, I excitedly snapped a pic of that snow patch. Of course, there was more of that the further I went along.

attachicon.gif2013-10-27 12.09.36-1.jpg

I made my way over the Sisters and to the summit of Chocorua. Whereas last time was evidently Everybody And Their Brother Day at Chocorua, this time there was far fewer peeps on the summit cone. I measured a temp of 34F and a wind of 8mph producing a wind chill of 23F, so a bit brisk but hell it's the mountains at Halloween.

I watched a snow shower over at Mt Carrigain and hoped to have it come my way.

attachicon.gif2013-10-27 12.50.57-1.jpg

A snow shower did come as I was on my descent. Nothing like Freak and J.Spin have over in VTville, but it's always a thrill to see those first flakes. Another terrific day in the Whites :)

attachicon.gif2013-10-27 13.04.24-1.jpg

 

Great stuff. Thanks for sharing.

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Nice shots, Eric--looks like a good day!

44.3/29

It was a great day! The only thing it lacked was a view of the snow-capped Presidentials - I had the zoom lens ready to rock - but they were in the clouds. Alas. I'll have more opportunities over the next eight months, though ;)

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Pretty nice wake up call. Needed to finish buttoning up and forgot in was the end of October. Clouds are just now starting to lift off the Peak, can see the tram house now. This was from earlier in the day, first time she has revealed herself since Thursday. Straight snow line today.

 

 

IMG_3397.jpg

 

Looking north, eastern Townships, Mont Sutton(L)

 

 

IMG_3396.jpg

 

Walk up to 3K, half a foot or so, wet leaves at 1800. 

 

IMG_3399.jpg

 

house is tight.  woodstove and chimney clean. bring it.

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So nice to have the Borderwx obs back from the Jay area...

Anyway, here's a cell phone pic of Mansfield before the sun went down...I can sleep better knowing it's caked in White up there. I'll admit, most of today I couldn't take my eyes off the mountain...just sitting there all white and mid-winter looking while the valley looks like late-October.

1.6" new today, 10.6" total since Thursday.

1384325_10151652659582382_129016561_n.jp

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We up to the Kanc gazebo this afternoon. We hit some -SHSN at the top and there were patches of snow remaining on the ground. A heavy snow shower just missed us to the SW, but turned the higher summits in that direction white in its wake. It was damn cold with the wind too. I had no thermometer, but the auto road had 34F at 2300' and 30F at 3300' so we must've been a hair below freezing.

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Pretty nice wake up call. Needed to finish buttoning up and forgot in was the end of October. Clouds are just now starting to lift off the Peak, can see the tram house now. This was from earlier in the day, first time she has revealed herself since Thursday. Straight snow line today.

 

 

IMG_3397.jpg

 

Looking north, eastern Townships, Mont Sutton(L)

 

 

IMG_3396.jpg

 

Walk up to 3K, half a foot or so, wet leaves at 1800. 

 

IMG_3399.jpg

 

house is tight.  woodstove and chimney clean. bring it.

 

 

So nice to have the Borderwx obs back from the Jay area...

Anyway, here's a cell phone pic of Mansfield before the sun went down...I can sleep better knowing it's caked in White up there. I'll admit, most of today I couldn't take my eyes off the mountain...just sitting there all white and mid-winter looking while the valley looks like late-October.

1.6" new today, 10.6" total since Thursday.

1384325_10151652659582382_129016561_n.jp

 

Nice shots, guys.  You're really riling up those of us in the southern tropics.

 

41.6/29

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Awesome. That road goes up that high?! That's crazy and it's maintained all winter right?

Yup...maintained all winter, but sometimes closed for bad weather. The peak el on the ride is 2855'.

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Yup...maintained all winter, but sometimes closed for bad weather. The peak el on the ride is 2855'.

That's sick...such a weenie elevation to be able to drive to. Highest road in the northeast probably outside of the various summit roads on Whiteface, Mansfield and MWN.

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That's sick...such a weenie elevation to be able to drive to. Highest road in the northeast probably outside of the various summit roads on Whiteface, Mansfield and MWN.

It's a cool place and only about an hour from here. I went up there for a minor elevation event once and drove from rain in Lincoln to 3-5" of glop at the 2800' gazebo in a few minutes. That's no big deal for you since you see it on a daily basis, but it's nice to have a place like that around here.

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Nice report, J.Spin!  That last picture looks like something out of the Pacific NW.  Just pounding precipitation that definitely looks to soak one almost immediately.

 

Snow level came up pretty high last night between 2,500-3,000ft it seems...the freezing level is up there around 3,000ft at this point now.

 

 

Thanks PF, yeah, we were definitely ready to warm up with some hearty food after just a few minutes out in that pounding wet snow, and both of us were absolutely imbibing the heat from the seat heaters in the car on the way home.  The whole family headed back for some turns yesterday, and with respect to those rising snow levels, you could certainly see the changes in the snow on the ground, with the snow melting back in the lowest elevations.  I put the following in my trip report from yesterday:

 

“Warmer temperatures overnight had definitely melted out some of the lower elevation snows; whereas yesterday we found the first signs of snow around 900’, today they were up around 1,300’ near the Toll House slopes.  Snow had melted back a bit at the Midway Lot as well, and we had to walk a couple hundred feet up toward Perry Merrill before we could put on our skins.”

 

While the warmth and rain had put a notable hit in the snow near the base, on average we did actually encounter a slight increase in depths as we headed up in elevation.  That snow was really pounding down when we left on Saturday at the end of the day as I showed in that picture, and presumably the increases we saw in snow depth were from that inch or so that fell Saturday night.  We stopped our ascent at 3,200’ yesterday, but here’s what we found in terms of depths (first value is for Saturday, and after the arrow is what we found on Sunday):

 

Elevation:  Sat à Sun

1,600’: 2-4” à 0-2”

2,000’: 4-6” à 4-7”

2,500’: 6-8” à 7-9”

3,000’: 8-10” à 9-11”

3,600’: 10-12”+ à 11”+ (3,200’)

 

I think the quality of the turns was down a touch yesterday, in part due to the fact that the snow was fresher on Saturday and even more was coming down, but even on Sunday there was still plenty of great snow up high:

 

27OCT13A.jpg

 

27OCT13B.jpg

 

It’s really hard to complain as far as October turns go.

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Yup...maintained all winter, but sometimes closed for bad weather. The peak el on the ride is 2855'.

 

Whjile my folks were living in Woodsville, NH (they've both passed, 20-25 yr ago), the Kanc was part of our westward commute from Gardiner, Maine - we'd do HIE/Gorham and then thru the Rt 219 woods on the way home.  One December trip we hit a major snowsquall as we climbed the east side - an equally wx-obsessed friend said nearby Wildcat got 4" in an hour.  Our Cavalier wagon with studs and aggressive-tread snows was the best 2WD vehicle I've ever driven (except for using chains), and we were very glad of that, and also that the squall dumped little west of the pass.

 

GYX forecasting teens tonight - time to mulch the carrots I overwinter.

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A few bouts of graupel in town this afternoon. All snow and graupel up at 1500ft at the office. Consistent snow-on-ground line has risen up to around 1800ft, though there's still patches left down into the base area at 1500ft.

I was out at the 1550ft measuring plot in the woods and this was the ground cover...about 3 hours away from being snow free lol.

Here's a view from the base area...

Wasn't all that inspired to go skiing today with the lower mountain looking diminished....but the snow showers that kept moving through made it seem a little more like winter

At home, only had 0.03" of liquid as of early this morning, but have picked up an additional 0.08" worth of orographic showers this morning into early afternoon.

Should be a cold night, forecast low is 20F.

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