Thursday, January 3, 2008

January Notebook

While I miss the summer terribly, there are benefits to the winter. Over the past 10 days, the northeast has endured a chain of storms that have blown in from the Midwest, gained strength over the eastern seaboard and dumped a swath of heavy snow from the Ohio valley into upstate New York. This is considered to be a classic Nor’easter pattern of storm development and this season has seen a steady diet of these powerful storms. This particular weather pattern usually targets upstate New York for the heaviest precip. Right now, the weather station mounted to the back of the house reads 3 degrees. While I hate the gray skies and lack of color, I accept the cold. My personal theory is that if you choose to live in the northeast; there isn’t much of a basis for complaining about the winter weather.

Last night, a friend and I snowshoed eight miles of virgin powder. My secret stash of trails is always a great fix for quality snowshoe terrain. * [For purposes of anonymity, I call these trails the The Race Track. Locals only, Brah.] The sky was sharp and clear. Radational cooling chilled temps to the low single digits and the wind made it all feel that much colder. On the coldest night of the year, we hiked for well over three hours. Chemical heat packs under layers of fleece and gore-tex kept the arctic air at bay making for an almost comfortable excursion. Felt great to be outside. The reductionist in me tends to see the winter as series of portages between heated boxes. I have never dealt well with being locked down for long periods of time. Winter is a wait. The numbers don't lie. The next warm day is months off.

Not much in the way of new photography to post. I am in the midst of numerous writing and media development projects. Planning a minor road trip tomorrow in search of some ice climbing to shoot. The cold temperatures of the past few days are the perfect incubator for strong, plastic ice. I am sure it's possible to find some climbers who've shelved their day jobs on a Friday for some crampons and ice tools.

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