Pack Monadnock Overnighter 1/28-1/29/12

This winter has been getting the best of me and I’m pretty melancholy so I figured maybe a night outside might put everything back in order.  After spending the day in Peterborough with Emily I got the idea of spending the night on Pack.  I texted Paul and he was interested in meeting me up there.  When I got to the parking lot Paul’s car was there already so I got to hike up the road on my own.  I like hiking in the dark alone.
The hike up the road was a little spooky because at times the trees would start to shed the coating of ice they had on them from the ice storm the day before and the sound of breaking branches and falling ice sounded just like an animal was crashing through the woods, it would get my adrenaline flowing everytime.  I got to the summit around 9PM. It was definitely too windy to sleep up in the tower so I slept in the shelter on a picnic table.  The wind was howling all night long. The angle of the wind was blowing into the shelter just enough to make it a little cold at times, even with my -20 sleeping bag. Paul had a Bivy Sack so he fared much better.  At one point in the night a squall came in and  I woke up to the little stings of snow flakes landing on my face.  I love that feeling of waking up to snow flakes on your face.  Another thing that made it hard to sleep was; there was constantly crashing sounds from the ice breaking off the trees and sometimes landing on the metal roof of the shelter.  At one point there was a super loud bang in the middle of the night that startled me out of a dead sleep and I let out an embarassing Yelp.  We woke up at 5:30 packed up and hiked out and went to Milford for breakfast.  I shot a little video of the trip. Click on the pic below to play it The sunrise on the drive to Milford was pretty amazing.  It was worth pulling over to take a pic. My other pics from the trip: Our accomodations

 

Up in the Tower Sunrise on the way to Milford

Thin Cover 1/21/12

Went up to our local backcountry ski spot with Jeremy and Jules to have some fun.  We expected dust on crust conditions but instead found dust on frozen ground conditions. The crusty snow from last week that is underneath the recent fresh snow in my yard must not have penetrated the canopy of trees up on the mountain, so we had only the powder from yesterdays and today’s small storms with no base.  Conditions were pretty scratchy but we still had a bunch of fun. Hiking up At the top
Jules
Jeremy
Me

There was a new trail that was recently added and Jules got first descent on it.

Pilot Mountain State Park 1/14/2012

Emily and I went down to North Carolina to visit Jake and Jenny.  I was hoping to explore some peaks while down in NC but didn’t have a lot of time to take off for an adventure.  I got a great tip from Amicus on Views From the Top to go check out Pilot Mountain.  On Saturday Jake and I made the 2 hour drive to Pilot Mountain and went for a little hike around the peak. Pilot Mountain State Park
Our first glimpse of Pilot Mountain from the highway The access road brings you to within ½ of a mile of the summit.  From there it is a relatively easy hike to the little pinnacle and the big Pinnacle of the mountain.  A little more strenuous of a hike would have been more fun, but the 1.1 miles around the mountain was all the work out I was going to get on this trip. We first went up to the little pinnacle which had nice views of the main peak. And a good place to do My Favorite Trick I didn’t do a lot of research on this place before going, and I was disappointed to find out when we got there that there was not a route to the top of the big pinnacle.  I think they don’t want people up there because this peak is important for raptors that are migrating.  We didn’t see any raptors while we were there, just lots of vultures circling above.  There were “no climbing” signs everywhere so I just did a little scrambling not “climbing” I found a less technical route that I know I could have climbed up, but didn’t think I could safely down climb so I only went about 20 feet up it before coming back down.

There were lots of neat features in the ledges around the mountain which made me curious how it was formed? Jake This was a very unique peak and it was fun to visit even though you are not allowed to climb up to the summit.

Mt Monadnock 1/2/12

Jeremy picked me up at 6 and we headed to Monadnock.  The roads between home and Jaffrey were super slick with black ice.  Twice we came around corners and went into a skid.  A little stunt driving by Jeremy and we avoided taking a swim with his truck in the Piscatoaqua River.  We got to the old toll road just as the dawn was breaking so there was no need for our headlamps. We made quick work of the toll road making it to the old halfway house site in 20 minutes.
Trail conditions were a mix of rock and ice on the white arrow trail.  About 1/4 way up the trail we ran into Paul on his way down from his sunrise on the summit hike.

As we ascended above treeline conditions got a little more tricky with a light coating of rime on the rock slabs that wasnt always visible.  We both had traction with us but route finding was kind of fun so my m-spikes stayed in my pack. (wheres waldo)
There was even a litlle snow patch, we should have brang our skis to make a few turns The summit was pretty chili with the winds at over 30 mph We were alone at the summit until right before we left when a couple more people showed up. It also started to snow a liitle right before we left.  The slick descent was even more tricky than the ascent but we still left our traction in our packs and were able to avoid becoming human plinko chips.  The whole trip took us about 3 hours and 15 minutes.  My battery died on my gps near the top on the way down so the track is incomplete but shows the whole White Arrow Trail’s Path