Its been a while since I did an OCR race so I signed up for the Spartan Sprint at Fenway last July. I thought it would be good to have something to train for as a goal over the summer. this race includes a lot of grip and hang obstacles which I needed to get back on track with since I haven’t been out climbing rock and ice much over the past few years. I trained pretty hard all summer mostly at a playground that nobody besides my son and me seems to go to and the training paid off. I did the 4 mile course around and around and up and down the stairs and obstacles in 51:35 I only failed one of the obstacles and had to serve a 30 Burpee Penalty. It was on the multi rig rings , I just couldn’t get into a rhythm and fell off on the second to last ring. I was most stoked when I successfully climbed the rope and rang the bell because I though that was going to be the obstacle I failed on.
And of course I had to stop on course a few times to take a selfy with some of my favorite features of Fenway.
Friday the 13th ended up being a great day to hike. Tim Chad and I headed up The Rockpile. Tim and I have climbed this mountain many times together and separately in all seasons and conditions. This was Chads first ascent and the weather was perfect for it. It was windy but unseasonably warm with a bit of an inversion going on making it a little warmer at the top than at the bottom. We hiked up the Tuckerman Ravine Trail and down the Lions Head Trail.
Hermit Lake Caretakers Cabin aka HoJo’s
Connection Cache Tuckerman Ravine
Climbing the Summit Cone
The Northern Presidential Range
Our hike took about 8 hours round trip it was remarkable that I saw no ice anywhere on the hike, I think back to when I climbed this peak 8 years ago on October 12th and things were much different then today. Usually in October the rocks are either covered in water ice below tree line and rime ice above tree line.
October 12, 2009
I enjoy hiking in winter conditions but it was also nice to have a beautiful summerlike day in October. Hopefully next trip up here will be white though.
As Chad and I approached the Presidential Range at 8am Friday morning the mountain summits were all covered in a veil of clouds. Not a very thick one though because you could see the towers poking up through the clouds on Mt Washington. It was forecast to be a nice day so we were hoping that the clouds would burn off and we might get some great views by the time we reached the summit.
We choose the Caps Ridge Trail which is the quickest route up to the 5712ft summit of Mt Jefferson. We enjoyed the sites along the way
At about 4000 ft Elevation we entered into the clouds. And it was pretty windy and chilly from there up to the summit, at one point it started raining and the rocky trail became very slick.
At the summit it was in and out of the clouds with a brief flash of blue sky every now and then. I grabbed a rock for my 48 collection and we headed back down the ridge of caps.
Chad and I hiked Mt Eisenhower on the 4th of July. I expected it to be a busy hiking day since it was a holiday and the weather was forecasted to be beautiful, but it was not too busy on the trails or summit. As we approached the West Side of the Presidential Range you could see that everything above 4000 feet was still in the clouds. We started hiking at 8 am with hopes that by the time we reached the summit the clouds would have moved out or burned off. Bunchberry Flowers were in full bloom along The Edmond’s Path which was pretty and pretty wet and muddy for most of the trail. This was Chad’s second 4000 footer so we took our time on the way up. On the way up I asked someone descending if the summit had cleared out yet and they said no. When we reached the alpine zone it was about 50 degrees the wind was in the 40-50 mph range and overcast but fortunately the cloud ceiling had lifted to above the height of the summit. When we reached the summit the winds were steady in 50 mph range but the views below were clear. The views of the higher peaks to the north were obscured by the clouds. We descended by looping around the south side of the peak to the Crawford Path and back to the col where we rejoined the Edmund’s Path. As we descended the clouds dropped again and it started to sprinkle rain for a bit. It seems like we had caught the best weather window of the day for our time above treeline.
On The Way Up
Last Friday was my 580th Summit of North Uncanoonuc since I started keeping track in 2007. It was also my first time hiking with my 4 month old daughter Acadia. I had to go fast to keep the mosquitoes from landing on her because there was very little wind and it was warm and muggy. At least I was able to keep an eye on things with her in the front pack, and keep them off her. This method will have to do until she gets a little bigger and I can put her in the Kelty pack which has bug netting. We headed up the red dot trail and returned on the blue trail. It was so muggy that the rocks were sweating and wet so i had to watch my footing on the way down so as not to slip with my precious cargo.
Sometimes being lazy pays off. Jeremy and I were on our way up to Gulf of Slides Saturday morning when we saw that Wildcat was open still. In fact it was there last day open for the year and tickets were only $29. We instantly talked ourselves out of hiking up the 2.5 mile trail which we would also have had to hike a large portion out on too. Conditions were great and coverage was from summit to base with only a couple choke points that became fun mud pits by the end of the day. A guy got mad at me on one of my runs because I bombed by him as he stopped right in front of me in the middle of a choke point which was only about 4 feet wide. I laughed at him and told him he should have stayed home if he couldn’t handle thin cover.
Its been a slow winter for me as far as getting out for any adventures. Lots of little quick hikes but nothing epic to post about. Not bad news though because this is due to us having our second child born to us. Our daughter Acadia was born 2/25.
I got out for a quick get away after the storm Wednesday. I recently got new skis and this was my first chance to christen them. I only went skiing for a couple hours at Pats Peak. To my surprise when I checked the snow report the next day there was a picture of me on their website. I like how it came out.
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.