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What Is Rime Ice?

Also see: Top Winter Hikes | Winter Hike on Roan Mountain | Snow Photos | Photos of Early Winter Mountain Snow | Top 12 Winter Outings in Asheville
Rime Ice

During the winter months, you will often see white on mountaintops or up just one side of a mountain. You may think it's snow, but it could be rime ice formed when water droplets in clouds or fog freeze to the trees. Often, the rime ice forms just on the windward (wind-facing) slope of the mountain as clouds sweep over the ridge.

Wind will work with the moisture and freezing temperatures to form some beautiful scenes and sculptures. In the photo on the right, you can certainly tell which way the wind is blowing! It creates a winter wonderland for hiking. Many times, the rime ice will coat the trees and the ground is dry. But when rime ice is combined with snow cover, it creates a breathtaking walk in the higher elevations near Asheville.

We took these images at Craggy Gardens. Located on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Craggy section of the Parkway is closed much of the winter.

See more photos of rime ice and snow at Roan Mountain, plus get tips for winter hiking.

See our favorite winter hikes in the NC mountains.


Rime Ice Blue Ridge Parkway NC
Rime ice is like icing on top of fall color

Rime Ice Blue Ridge Parkway NC
After two days of clouds sweeping across the ridges during an October winter visit

Fall Color with snow
Rime ice on fall leaves

Fall leaf with rime iceSnow & Fall Color

Roan Mountain Rime Ice
See more photos of rime ice and snow at Roan Mountain, plus get tips for winter hiking.

rime ice
An October appearance of rime ice on the mountaintop contrasts fall color in the valley below.

rime ice

rime ice
The west side of Craggy Pinnacle is covered with rime ice.

rime ice

rime ice fall leaves
Some fall leaves are still hanging on in the 20 degree weather.

rime ice fall leaves

rime ice
Wind direction is evident as the clouds sweep up the mountain side and deposit moisture.

rime ice

rime ice

needle ice
Don't forget to look down as the frozen ground (needle ice) gives a show as well.

needle ice
Needle Ice


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Writing & Photography By Mark File - ©2003-2015 File Investments, Inc - All Rights Reserved