Cold, Times, and Closing
2013-09-16 23:49:37.000 – Ryan Knapp, Weather Observer/Meteorologist
Lakes of the Clouds Hut and Mt. Monroe yesterday.
As the transition from summer to fall continues, there are a few things that visitors should be aware of if climbing, driving, etc to the summits of New Hampshire. First is the weather and daylight hours. While we may still get some fair weather days ahead, in general things will continue to get colder and more winter like on the higher summits. Hikers to the 4000+ footers of New Hampshire should look at a forecast prior to heading out. It could be our Higher Summits Forecast, NWS Outdoor Recreation Forecast or something automated like you would find on weather.com or accuweather.com for instance. Hikers should also keep in mind that available daylight to hike in is getting shorter. This means our sunrises are getting later and our sunsets are getting earlier. When we started the month, the summit had 13 hours 26 minutes of available daylight and when we end the month, we will have 11 hours and 59 minutes of daylight. While still plenty of time in a day to do a long day hike, the main point to take away is pack a headlamp just in case and start hitting the trails earlier than you would in July.
The next thing to be aware of has to deal with shorter daylight hours, and that is the second round of Fall 2013 operating hours is now in effect. At the summit, this means NH State Park’s Sherman Adams Building will now operate from 8:30 am EDT until 5:00 pm EDT. According to NH State Parks website, the Tip Top House Historic Site is now closed for the season. For the Mount Washington Auto Road, their new operating hours will be 8:00 am EDT until 5:00 pm EDT. The Cog Railway will continue to operate 8:15 am EDT until 3:30 pm EDT until this Saturday when they operate from 8:15 am EDT until 4:30 pm EDT. These are the times published on their sites (which are all linked to above), however, all of their operating dates and times are subject to change without notice; especially during events of inclement weather. So, visitors should call the various agencies ahead of time to ensure they are operating on any given day. All of their contact information can also be found in the links above.
Lastly, two of Appalachian Mountain Club’s New Hampshire huts, Lakes of the Clouds Hut to our south and Madison Spring Hut to our north, will be closing for the season. Both huts are listed as closing on Sunday, September 22. In case you don’t have a calendar at the ready, that is this coming weekend. So, if you were planning to stay in them this year, you may want to reserve and head up in the coming days before time runs out. And their closing means they will no longer be available for water, toilets, temporary shelter from the weather, etc. So keep this in mind if you normally use them for these types of services on your way up/down the mountain(s).
Ryan Knapp, Weather Observer/Meteorologist