Date: Sunday, December 10, 2000
Trails: Elbow Trail, Appalachian Trail, Paradise Lane, Undermountain Trail
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Conditions: About an inch or so of snow from top to bottom with just a little more in Sages & a little bit of ice on the South facing ledges of Everett. A couple of ice spots in Sages. Special Required Equipment:No technical gear required, some wind blocking materials nice to have on the ridge walk on Race. Fleece & shells or wind-bloc fleece & gloves & hats only. Headlamps carried & if we had been any slower or later would have needed them. Not enough ice to warrant putting crampons on but an active weather forecast for the next week may change that for any hikers going out on 12/16 & 12/17.
Comments: We started at 8:45 & finished right when it got too dark to see without a headlamp. It took us about 45 minutes up Elbow trail which starts right behind Berkshire School & is the least used trail from Route 41 that gives you access to the AT. We saw only six other people all day, two North of Everett, two at Race Brook & AT junction & two in Sages that were planning a trip that was going to bring them back to Undermountain well after dark. Temps in the low 20’s with occasional gust which brought wind-chill to near zero but most of the time the wind was constant but pretty light. The ridge walk on Race was great. Ceiling was high enough so we could see Greylock & local peaks with some views on Everett of Catskills before the clouds obscured them when we were on Race. One of the reason I like Race so much is that the summit area is very similar to scrub covered & bare peaks in NH but instead of stunted fir trees near treeline, the stunted trees on Race are Pine (I don’t know if red or white) which is rare to see on peaks this bare as they are usually higher & in the fir tree zone. With all the rain, sleet & possible snow this week, I wouldn’t put too much stock in these conditions existing next weekend.
Submitted by Mike Paggioli
Thu, 11 Dec 2000