This morning was our second group hike of the season at Kennesaw Mountain , one of the best places to train on hills near Atlanta. This is also one of the coldest days this winter, the thermometer in my car was hovering around 24 degrees F with strong winds, making the wind chill feel like 10 - 15 degrees F! I thought I was prepared with my layers of clothes, gloves, hat and wicking long underwear, but it was absolutely bone chilling out there until we started up the mountain.
I was asked to be toward the front of the pack to make sure people knew how far to go on the hike before turning around. We decided to head across to Little Kennesaw Mountain, about 3.5 miles round trip. Once we got on the trail I warmed up quickly, even becoming warm enough to unzip my jacket and take off my gloves at one point. Today was my quickest ascent of Kennesaw ever! I was ecstatic a few weeks ago to get up the mile trail from the visitor's center to the top of the mountain in 24 minutes, last year I was hiking it in 30+ minutes. This morning I got to the top in 21 minutes! I was quite surprised since I had Lucy slow me down to make a deposit on the side of the trail!
Once I got to the top and started downhill again I was getting cold quickly. By the time the group reached the top of Little Kennesaw, I was quite cold again. It was then that we began to notice water vapor from our breath or sweat coming through my hat was forming ice! The mouthpiece on my hydration bladder also had ice forming on it. Clearly its time to get back on the trail and head home. What does frostbite feel like, anyway? ;-)
I'm not sure what possessed me to go hike in the cold twice this weekend — I did Kennesaw in the cold yesterday, too — but it was fun to get out to Kennesaw when there were so few other people on the trail. I'm sure we'll be back to Kennesaw again many times over the next few months, but I sure hope the weather turns warmer sometime soon!