Tim had spent the past year in Spain so my 84th summit of Mt Monadnock was my 1st time hiking with Tim in over a year. Conditions were beautiful for a hike up the White Arrow Trail. It was sunny and calm below treeline and windy and cold up top with clear views. Traction was pretty essential for any area that wasn’t exposed to wind and sun, the section of trail between the halfway house and treeline was pretty much all ice in the tread way. But once above tree line bare boots on rock worked just fine.
Sunday morning we woke up to an inch of crusty ice on everything at home. I assumed that the hill got ice too, but when I took my dog out for a walk I was surprised. Up on the mountain less than a mile away from my house boot top powder covered everything. It was an unexpected treat. I have mostly been skiing lately and this was actually my first time on a snowboard since going down Left Gully last spring, so my first too turns were a little tentative but then I got my legs back.
We received about 8″ of wet and heavy snow last night, and a lot of the snow stuck to the trees. The woods seemed to have less snow in them on the mountain than I had in my backyard. But I decided to make some turns anyway. The skin up was nice but the ski down was pretty brutal. I picked my way through the trees and thicket and introduced my skis edges and bases to many rocks.
I wore the Gopro and shot a little video. Thanks for watching.
Friday 12/23 I hiked Mt Monadnock for my 83rd time. The weather was perfect. The skies were blue and the temperature was mild enough that you could get away with wearing only a light coat. I went up the White Arrow Trail. My microspikes were necessary after the halfway house. The trail between the Halfway House Site and the tree line was mostly water ice, and from tree line to the summit was mostly rock and ice. About ¾ of the way up the mountain I ran into an old friend that I hadn’t seen in a while. Random meetups are always fun, and it was nice to see Molly.
Normally I like to hike to get away from people, but when you hike Monadnock at the peak of fall foliage there is no expectation of solitude. The people watching is almost as good as the leaf peeping.
I hiked up the Dublin Trail and made pretty good time. The last time I took this trail I was barefoot, but today I wore trail runners. I’ve noticed that in general, the people who use the Dublin Trail are a little more prepared for hiking than the people you might see on the White Dot Trail.
The views were a bit hazy but still pretty today, the clouds even started to sprinkle down rain on a few occasions, but nothing substantial enough to need a rain coat. The summit was pretty busy so I didn’t stay for long. Just long enough to snap a selfie of my 82nd summit of Monadnock. Apparently my brain forgot to tell my face that I was happy to be at the top.
This has been “The summer that never was” for me and the outdoors. Between multiple sports injuries and added responsibilities I have not gotten out much. After a lot of rest and a lot of Physical Therapy I am finally ready to start getting active again. Chad had asked me about going for a hike a few weeks back, Chad had not hiked any of the NH 4000 footers yet, and my favorite mountain to take people up for there first of the NH 48 is Osceola. This was my 6th time up Osceola but fortunately I had not gone in August yet so I was able to fill in 2 cells on my Grid with this hike because we ended up bagging East Osceola too. Chad did great with his hike and I was happy that I didn’t re-injure my Achilles or my knee. When we got to the top Chad took a panoramic shot. I got in it twice by running around behind him as he panned
Views were great. A little hazy, but still beautiful
Things were going good at the top so we decided to add an excursion to the East Peak out and back. The East Peak lacks the beauty of the Main Peak but it counts the same on the list.
The climb through the chimney is always fun.
After Summiting the East Peak for Chad’s 2nd New Hampshire 4000 footer we backtracked over the main summit and headed down. Only 46 more to go for Chad’s List!
I was unable to run The Goffstown Gallop this year. This is my favorite race of all the races I run primarily because it goes right by my house, and secondly it is the course I train on the most, so I kind of feel like its my home field. I couldn’t run this year due to injuring my knee and tearing the meniscus while forgetting that I’m 40 now and jumping on my son’s trampoline. The recovery has been slow and mornings are really painful. Usually it takes until about 9AM before my knee loosens up to move freely.
I had my race application filled out and on the counter in case miraculously my knee got better overnight, but I had no such luck. I’m normally completely fine just pushing through pain as long as I’m not doing more damage so I woke up Saturday and took a little jog to see if I should just go for it, but I could not get it to loosen up and I could not convince myself that I wasn’t going to set my recovery back another month if I ran the 5.2 miles. I was especially concerned about the damage I might do on the long downhill part of the run coming back in to town.
So since I couldn’t run, I went out on the course and took pictures and cheered the runners on.
There are over 100 pictures of the race and runners in the attached link to Flickr. If there’s a picture of you that you like feel free to take an electronic copy Flickr allows you to download any size. If there’s a picture of you in this public album that you don’t like and would like removed please let me know and I will take it down.
I headed up north on Friday for my annual late April pilgrimage to Tuckerman Ravine. Although it has been a very lean snow year in New Hampshire and Tuckerman Ravine was less filled in than usual, the colder than normal April has sustained the snow that we did have and even added a little more. Last Tuesday we had received several inches of snow in northern New Hampshire and additionally some of that snow had been transported by the northwest winds into Left Gully. Left Gully was skiable from the top of the head wall to the ravine exit.
On the way up, consistent snow cover began at the last crossover to the Sherburne Trail on the hiking trail. Since I knew I would be carrying my board for most of the trip I took along my resort board and boots instead of my backcountry splitboard setup. I love the performance of my real board so much better than my splitboard.
There were very few tracks yet as I ascended the gully. As the sun warmed the snow it got softer and softer as I climbed. The unconsolidated top layer was tough to climb with my soft boots on because it just wanted to slough away on the harder bed surface below when I put my weight on it. Even with microspikes on it was tough to get traction. I was wishing I had worn hard boots to kick steps. It wasn’t avalanche type slab but very sloughy slab. Even on the descent I had to be careful not to sideslip too much because it would just set off huge sloughs of wet snow and I wanted to preserve the surface for others as best I could. I took a couple runs and then headed home to enjoy the rest of the day with my family.
The Ravine with Left Gully looking like the best option
I was able to go for a little hike outside the city limits in an area of Driftwood on Onion Creek. This was actually in a restricted area that I was permitted to be in. A few pictures of the prairie and creek I enjoyed.:
Lots of cactus, and apparently this is what their oak trees look like:
I got out for a little ski today. I’ve been out snowboarding several times this year but this was the first time this season I put skis on. We had about 2 inches of ice as a base on the local mountain in the spots where the snow had made it through the trees on Saturday. But for most of the mountain there was less than an inch of crusty snow covering the rocks and roots before last nights storm. This morning we woke up to 3 inches of pretty fluffy powder and strong winds. I hiked up the local mountain as high as there was still snow and the wind had not scoured it away. I didn’t want to totally destroy my AT skis, so I used a pair of skis I found at the dump last year. As I clipped in I realized I had adjusted the bindings on these beater “rock skis” to my other boots last spring. The bindings were barely gripping. I probably had a DIN of about 3 as I knocked the skis against a nearby tree to see how well they would stay on.
Happily they stayed on all the way down as I tried be as light on my feet as possible for the survival turns in the dust on crust. About half way through the video you can see I hit an area where the wind had deposited a little more snow and it was actually pretty fun for a few turns. I kind of love these kinds of crappy little sessions even though they are not ideal they are exciting and memorable. Emily bought me a new GoPro for our 20th anniversary last fall and this was the first time I got a chance to try out the helmet cam, so I made a little video https://youtu.be/2VAsdkc7S_Y