Francona Ridge: The Iceman Cometh

Spanky and I did the Falling Waters/OBP loop (Pics Here):

  • The monorail is developing nicely
  • Trail is bare on F.W. in patches in the deciduous forest low down, but where there's cover, it's hard ice until a little elevation is gained.  
  • Snow is as deep as its ever been up in the conifers.  Off trail, snowshoes aren't necessary at this point - soft snow on firm re-frozen base.
  • The ridge is an icy hell.  Crampons everywhere.  Chose micro-spikes on the ridge.  Crampons necessary from Lafayette summit all the way back to car.  Only exceptions were a few burned out south-facing spots up high in the ledges, totaling about 100ft.  Down low in the woods, lots of bare spots - but sporadic.
  • Windy as hell.  Had a hard time breathing on the Lafayette descent.  Had to drop and hold onto the dog when winds got really high.  Felt like sustained over 30.  Hard time walking - wind picked up snow off windslab - felt like sleet.

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