Thursday, January 19, 2012

Two Short Hikes

Day hikes can be very rewarding during the winter. I just completed two hikes of five miles each. What a better way to start a new year than to take a nice quiet walk in the woods and also what a better way to start getting into shape than to begin hiking during the coldest day of the year. I did just that by taking a five mile hike around the Wintergreen ski resort on new years eve and a five mile circuit hike in January during 22 degree temperature and a 0 degree chill factor. Let me share these hikes with you:

Wintergreen New Year Eves Hike

I was treated to a stay in a condo at the Wintergreen resort ski resort.  Several slopes were open but I preferred to hike on the trails around the resort. Virginia has had an exceptionally warm winter this year with very few snow falls and a mild weather. The ski slopes that were open were maintained with man made snow. I had purchased a new GoPro movie camera and I was eager to try it out.

                      The resort perimeter hiking trail crossed several streams with waterfalls.

Video of the hiking trail waterfall at Wintergreen Ski Resort

Humpback Mountain Cool  Hike

I like to start each years hiking in January. The winter weather becomes a real challenge with freezing temperatures and lots of precipitation. I can usually be on a hiking trail in an hour and a half from my home. The Blueridge Mountains are almost in my back yard with lots of circuit hikes as well as the Appalachian Trail (AT). Sometimes I begin the season with an 8 mile loop of  the Humpback Rocks and the AT trails. I began the hike at 7:30 AM and the temperature was 22 degrees where the car was parked at the base to Humpback Mountain. The wind was so strong that as soon as I opened the door it blew everything that was loose in the car into the woods. I estimated the chill factor to be around  0 degrees. I was prepared for the cold temperatures. I wore hiking boots with a synthetic sock and a wicking wool blended sock on top. I had hiking pants with short gaiters to keep the wind out. A long sleeve synthetic shirt with a down vest was topped off with a hooded wind breaker. A polartec Mountain Hardware over the ears hat and gloves completed my hiking clothes. It snowed off and on during the hike but I never got cold and I wish that I could have hike longer. It was a very enjoyable hike.

On top of Humpback Rocks

A hike to the top of Humpback Rocks.

Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me. Psalm 110:133