Saturday, May 4, 2013

Bartram Trail- Osage to Rabun again

There is a yet another type of rain-- it is the windy, torrential, incessant rain.  Weather for flirting with hypothermia.  Weather for making you question why you stay out there. 
From Osage Mountain Overlook, I did an out and back along the Bartram Trail up to Rabun Bald.  Abundant creeks were swollen with water, and rugged rock outcrops offered sheltered refuges for snack breaks.  The climb up Rabun had the highest concentration of catsby's trillium I've seen.  Unfortunately, the rain didn't let up enough for me to pull out my camera, even to snap shots of all the tree foam.

Fog enveloped the summit of Rabun Bald, but I climbed the tower anyway just to feel the full force of the howling wind.   Horizontal rain flew under my rainhat and ripped the snaps of my poncho open before I retreated to lower ground.

I stayed warm and avoided hypothermia by wearing super-warm, non-breathable rainpants and a FroggToggs poncho, and by paying more attention to thermoregulation and employing Advanced Rain Hiker Techniques:

-Adjusted hiking speed and layers to regulate my temperature.  Added a raincoat under the poncho when I got cold.  Ventilated the poncho by hiking with my hands on my hips when I got warm. 

-Skipped using poles.  My hands stayed in my pockets and under my poncho tucked against the warmth of my torso as much as possible so they never got cold.

-I carefully monitored myself for the "umbles" and signs of disorientation.  Because hypothermia is difficult to self-diagnose, I came up with questions to ask myself at frequent intervals:
    -Are you toasty-cosy warm, or just sort-of warm? 
    -How many minutes has it been since your last snack and bathroom stop?
    -Name three things that you love about hiking in the rain? 

When I got cranky or couldn't think of answers, I stopped for a quick snack or to add layers.  I was really pleased I managed to stay pretty comfortable most of the time.
My feet were happy when I changed into dry socks on the ride home.

1 comment:

  1. "employing Advanced Rain Hiker Techniques:"
    you're certainly getting to test these highly specialized techniques this year, glad you stayed warm.