Wow!! 2015 kicked off with a Bang!
We just concluded our Winter Highlands Workshop in Boone, NC and we had some phenomenal conditions all weekend. Cold conditions the entire week before and several storms moving through the area added a nice base and fresh powder the day before we arrived were all very welcome. We kicked things off at the hotel with a quick introduction and preparation guidelines, making sure that everyone was ready for the low temperatures, big snow drifts and chilly winds. Then we headed to Price Lake to watch the sun set behind Grandfather mountain and later on the Moon, Venus and Mars do the same. 🙂
It was a great casual start to a very fun weekend. The sunset was subtle with beautiful color as the puffy clouds streamed over the frozen lake. At times we heard the ice shifting and it scared us all a bit, as a few daring folks were right on the edge of the lake. In fact with the amount of snow we had none of us really new where the edge of the lake was because the water level was so low. The low temperatures had maintained the ice level and snow pack. Despite the couple of scarey moments no-one had any mishaps and we all enjoyed the sunset and moonrise/moonset.
The forecast for the following day had been all over the place from snow to ice to sleet and had been constantly changing. Our original plan was to get up ontop of it all at Roan Mountain and see if there would be any opening in the clouds for sunrise, but as we gathered at 4am the consensus was decidedly against any break in the clouds. In addition as we started heading that way the snow and ice started coming down in droves. We hadn’t expected that until at least 10am, so we quickly found an open gas station to powow and determine our best course of action. Driving up to Roan mountain in heavy sleet is no fun but driving down again can be downright dangerous. With everyone’s safety in mind we decided to hit our backup spot on the Blue Ridge Parkway at the viaduct and see what kind of light we could get there. We had plenty of time which was a good thing because we had a nice mile long slog through the snow to the best vantage points. It was exhilarating trudging through the foot of snow with more snow falling intermittently. There is something about being on top of the Appalachian Mountains with fresh air and no cars for miles. The sound of the wind blowing through the trees was the only
The above image was captured on the last day at Beacon Heights were we were shrouded in the mist and the light danced in the fog. A splendid way to wrap up a splendid weekend. Three days of cold cold temperatures and one morning of heavy snow on the parkway. At one point it was even -14 degrees while we scouted out routes and vistas in the snow.
We have a whole bunch of images of our new friends having fun in the snow, making snow angels, having snowball fights, spinning out, and even taking a few pictures. 🙂
After such a fantastic winter wonderland and a perfect start to 2015 we are really excited for the next 8 months of adventure.