(as posted on Hiking Upward)
For all of you researching this site in preparation for a hike this weekend, Nov 5-6. The trails in the shadows and on the NW side of the mountain are very treacherous with packed snow and ice. While the daytime temperatures have been rising above freezing, the longer nights are well below 32.
The result is midwinter trail conditions.... with the very high visitation that always occurs in Fall. Old Rag has been and will be colder than wherever you are coming from.
As you are aware, or should be if you are not, a slip and fall in the scramble can have very significant consequences. Ice and snow exacerbate those slippery conditions. .. and a fall can result not only in a physical injury but a long cold wait for help.. Remember those who respond to accidents also have to deal with the ice and snow.
Please, if you are planning a circuit hike of Old Rag this weekend, bring along traction devices for your feet.. NOT crampons.. but something along the way of Kahtoola Micro-spikes... Dress in layers, bring water and a high energy snack, and as always, use your best judgment.. give yourself permission to have a really nice day.. If you are not 100% comfortable when you begin moving past the first false summit to start the scramble.. then by all means enjoy the first false summit and head back down the Ridge Trail...
We hope you have a memorable and safe hiking day on Old Rag!