New England Winter Wx

Question for all you New England paddlers who go out year-round.

How has this winter’s extreme weather affected your paddling?

Do you still go out in the bone chilling cold and what about all the blizzards, ice, etc?

I havn’t been out since New Years Day. I’ll tell ya it isn’t the cold, it’s the ice. Then Sing will tell me the Atlantic, 40 minutes east of me, is pretty much ice free. I know he’s out there all winter.

I’m hoping for my season opener Saturday.

We’ll see.

Water temp measured in outer
Boston Harbor today was 36. It’s gone down 2 degrees this week - Usually ocean water temp would be starting to creep back towards the 40s by now.

It’s still dry suit weather and the extreme cold is certainly going to delay the advent of wet suit season for us three season paddlers!

More This Year Because of "Weather…"
given my focus has been a lot on surfing this past season, the storm after storm of this winter (actually since the fall) has given me more opportunities to surf and really ramp up the knowledge base for me this year.

I’ve been out when the air temps were in the teens but not combined with winds of 10 plus knots. I’ve been out in the air temps of 30’s with winds 20 knots plus. Bottom line, I don’t really want to be out when either the air or wind chill temps will mean 0 degrees or less. It’s a given that I am going to be wet from all the rolling. So, I set a limit on what I think I can tolerate in terms of getting chilled from wet gear.

Surfing is pretty high intensity output if you are really out there to maximize the rides. So, generally I am pretty warm til I get off the water.


I’ve gone out less this
winter than in years past, but not so much because of the weather–more because I’ve been cross-training. I learned to cross-country ski, and I’ve been swimming and skateboarding quite a bit too. I hate to admit this, but carving a skateboard down a gently hilly street feels almost as good to me as kayaking–the only other sport that’s ever come close.


I’m heading up to New Hampshire next week for my first attempt at winter mountaineering. I’m taking a basic mountaineering class at Eastern Mountain Sports…with a scheduled attempt to climb Mount Washington. Looking at the weather I’m not sure if the guide will say yeah or nay though. When I looked yesterday the winds were 85 gusting to 90 and the windchill was -56F!!

I’m staying in North Conway at the White Mountain Hotel…it will be my first time climbing in serious winter conditions…so it should be interesting. I’m outfitted to the extreme!

I’m actually typing this in the lobby of the FBO here at Boston International airport…I flew a trip out to Bermuda this evening and brought the patient into BOS. Standing out on the ramp in the winds unloading the patient was a lesson in frigid cold winds! Brrr.!

I don’t know how you guys do it all winter! :slight_smile:


That "Perfect Ride…"
skateboarding, snowboarding, downhill skiing, like surfing, are about that perfect ride where you have the sense of flying. You move in concert with the vehicle and medium over which you ride. A perfect ride gives a sense of timelessness. This is the essence of the stoke.


Work had crushed my paddling
I’m putting in about 70 hours a week this year and when you are used to about 20 it’s a violent shift.

Fortunately there is an XC skiable area within a one minute walk from my front door or I’d be growing mold like a mole.

I’m neve been paddling in air temps below about 20. It’s not my gettin cold (drysit, dryglovws and a couple of hoods prevent that) it’s ice on the boat and paddle. Maybe Magoo will chime in!

Good luck climbing & be careful!

– Last Updated: Mar-11-05 8:35 AM EST –

I don't paddle in the winter for two reasons:
1.) I don't own a dry suit.
2.) All the lakes and rivers here are generally frozen solid from Nov through March.

Besides, up here winter means skiing. I live just 30 minutes east of Mt. Washington, and do most of my xc skiing at the Bretton Woods Nordic Center, which is right at the base of Mt Washington. It's still very much winter up here, with another 10-20 inches of snow expected this weekend.

From the obsevatory: "Mount Washington presents the most severe combinations of wind, cold, icing and storminess available anywhere in the world where people are on hand to take measurements. The summit lies in the path of the principal storm tracks and air mass routes affecting the northeastern United States, and it is, because of its elevation, biologically and ecologically similar to the subarctic zone."

Here's a couple of links for you:
Mt. Washington Observatory:

Current Avalanche Conditions are moderate:

Bretton Woods Nordic Center:

~ Arwen ~

Bad weather, but good snow
There have been a lot of weekends with weather too nasty to paddle. The upside is that there has been a lot of snow, even down on the Cape, so X/C skiing has been good. Perhaps it’s time for a new bumper sticker: “Cape Cod - Ski it if you can!” :wink: