Posted 04 February 2013 - 11:28 AM
This week is going to be one of those "Perfect Storm" set-ups for awful trail conditions:
-- already frozen ground
-- a thick layer of melting snow on top
-- temperatures well above freezing during the day and then dropping back below or to near freezing at night.
As Sam's article explains, the top layer, down several inches is going to thaw, and the water will remain on top of the semi-frozen layer with nowhere to go until it too can thaw late in the week.
I hiked DeClue last Monday before the latest cold snap, and it was at times like walking in pudding. This will probably be one of the worst times during the year, generally speaking, that you could be on a trail in terms of the potential for damage.
I know it's preaching to the choir here, but please stick to gravel or asphalt.