Thursday, January 7, 2010

Winter Expectations

I was recently in California and found the 60 degree weather to be sweltering. In New England, it seems that our bodies adjust to temperatures in the 20's from December to March, which enables us to enjoy the many activities of winter without a concern for the cold and snow around us.

Here's a few of my favorite winter activities

Cross Country skiing
My daughter and I use Fischer Nordic Cruising skis. Our favorite spots to ski are Noanet Woodlands in Dover, Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary in South Natick, and Centennial Reservation in Wellesley.

When it's dry and cold, we'll ski at the Weston ski track which makes snow using Charles River water.

Winter hiking
I've hiked all the 4000 foot New Hampshire peaks in winter. My favorites are the peaks of the Franconia ridge and the peaks of Presidential Range in the White Mountains.

Temps go as low as -20F and winds as high as 70mph. It takes some planning to stay warm!

Ice Climbing
New Hampshire has great locations for ice climbing including the Frankenstein cliffs of Crawford Notch and the ravines/gullies below Mt. Washington.

It's critical to check on avalanche conditions before climbing any of the ravines. I only go out when the avalanche risk is low.

Ice Climbing is physically and mentally challenging. With sharp crampons on your feet and ice picks in your hands, you do not want to fall!

I love the season variation in New England and always look forward to winter.


Anonymous said...

i notice you wear glasses. how do you participate in winter sports with glasses? any tips for keeping dry and fog free and not breaking?

John Halamka said...

You've highlighted an important issue. Anti-fog products are hydrophilic - they attract water. That;s great when the temperature is above 32F. Below 32F, anti-fog products fill your glasses with ice. The answer is to use a hydrophobic product - RainX. I apply RainX Original to my glasses (which are made from high impact/high index plastic). The result is perfect anti-fogging and no ice.