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
Wind Blown Chad Arriving At The Summit
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.
On The Trail
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.
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.
Monadnock Summit #83
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!
As I packed my backpack for an overnighter on Moosilauke I thought to myself, wow you don’t need much stuff for summer backpacking. Its been a while since I did an overnighter that I wasn’t carrying winter gear, or winter gear plus backcountry skiing gear. I got so caught up in doing big mileage days that I just pack light for, that its been a while since I just took a day to enjoy a mountain and spend the night in its woods.
I took my time getting out the door friday morning and got up to the trailhead for Beaver Brook at about 10:30 friday morning. I hiked up to the shelter and dropped off my pad and sleeping bag. There were a couple of north bound thru hikers hanging out and a southbounder who had spent the night there. I ended up talking with them for a bit before heading off to the summit. On the way up to the summit I heard someone ask me “ hey, are you Jan?” as I passed by. It was Rodney, a highschool clasmate from 20 years ago, he and his two sons were out for a hike. I hung out with Rod for a little bit before heading to the top. I hung out on the top for quite a while, the views were absolutely amazing, the weather was warm and there was no wind. It was fun to be there on such a nice day and watch thruhikers reach the top and get their first real view of The Whites, none of them were dissapointed with the view of friday.
Beaver Brook Trail
As I left the summit I experienced a little natural phenomenon that was really cool. Even though there was no wind I could here the grass blowing really loud, I looked off the side of the trail and about 50 feet away there was spot about 20 feet in diameter that there was a mini twister going on. I walked over to it, and I stepped into it. The winds instantly felt like they were in the 40mph range, I was able step out of it and watch it slowly move away. I now wish I had thought to video it, I could have sent it to Ginger Zee
I hiked down to the shelter and took it easy for the rest of the day and did some reading. To my surprise no one else showed up and the only company I had for the night was a little brown mouse. Everytime I saw him I would quote the Gruffalo and say “Where are you going to little brown mouse?”
Beaver Brook Shelter
“Where are you going to, little brown mouse?
Come for a feast in my logpile house.”
With no wind being alone in the woods get a little creepy, but also beautiful because you can hear every little twig break and every little animal scurry. The night never got as cold as was forecasted which was a little unfortunate because the mosquitos never went away, in fact they got worse to the point that at about 3AM I got sick of being bit and packed up. I headed down in the dark, and then slept in the back of my car until 6:30. Then I went to Pegs for Breakfast.
But before I left Kinsman Notch I took a little stroll over to the beaver pond to see if there was any wildlife around, unfortunately the only wildlife was a group of camping bikers. But the view of the mountain reflecting off the Pond was amazing, I just took this with my phone, I wished I had a better Camera with me for this one:
Yesterday I Climbed Mount Washington Twice. Once from each side. I started out at 7AM at Marshfield Station and Climbed the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail to Lake of the Clouds and signed the log, The cloud ceiling was just about 100 feet higher than the hut so I headed in to the clouds and proceeded up Crawford Path to the Summit at 9:13, Clicked a quick Summit picture and then headed down the Tuckerman Ravine Trail through Tuckerman Ravine. Just below the water fall it started to sprinkle rain and by the time I reached the ravine floor it was raining, just below the Connection Avalanche Cache a full on squall hit, with gust strong enough to knock you off your feet and sheets of driving rain. I found a good size overhanging rock to huddle under with my rain gear on for about 20 minutes until the storm passed. Once back on my feet again I made it to Pinkham Notch Visitor Center at 11:40, I went over and touched Rt. 16 to make my second ascent official. I went into the Visitor Center to fill my water bottle and ask if I could check the radar, because my smartphone doesn’t get service on the east side of the mountain, and I was curious how close the predicted thunderstorms were getting to the area. After letting me check the radar on his computer, the AMC trail information guy told me it probably wasn’t a good day for a hike. I told him I actually already hiked the mountain once and now I have to go back over again because my car was on the other side. He looked at me totally confused and concerned, I think he thought I came down the wrong side by mistake. I thought it would be funny to just let him keep thinking that, and didn’t bother explaining further, and just thanked him for use of his internet. The hike back up the lower Tuckerman Ravine Trail to Hermit Lake was by far most tedious part of the hike, but the sun was shining and there was blue sky in spots for the first time that day which lifted my spirits. I followed the Tuckerman Ravine Trail back up to the summit. I would have liked to mix up the trails a little bit for the second ascent but I decided for me these two routes were going to be the fastest for accomplishing my goal of summiting twice in a day. One nice thing about coming back through Tux was that I had not noticed that the snow arch was still standing on the way down because I was trying to get out of the ravine before the rain got heavier, but I was able to enjoy it on the way up, The Snow Arch is always tempting to go through, when it is this hollow, but I decided to forego the risky adventure this time despite it looking very stable. Once above the headwall the clouds got dark and thick, visibility was in the “Hiking From Cairn to Cairn Range”. Right about at the top of the headwall my phone battery quit so I wouldn’t be able to get anymore pics. With the predicted thunderstorms in the front of my mind I made quick time above tree line despite very sore and tired legs to get over the summit. I touched the summit sign at 2:02PM and immediately headed down the Crawford Path. I didn’t go into the State Park Building on either summit visit. I stopped and signed the log again at Lake of the Clouds and Pointed an arrow to my earlier log entry. And then took it easy going down the very slippery slabs on the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail. I arrived back at my car 3:51PM. As I placed my pack in my car and plugged my phone in to get a final picture I heard thunder off in the distance. My timing could not have been more perfect!
Ammo Ravine in the AM
Into the Clouds. I only got one summit shot due to my battery dying on my way up for the second trip.
Tux on my way down
Tux on my way back up
The Snow Arch
Plugged my phone in and got a pic at the end of my trip back at Marshfield Station
Going for a hike in the whites on the third weekend in June seems to be one of my only set in stone traditions that I have been able to maintain since growing my family. It helps that we always are staying at a family owned time share at Attitash this weekend. This weekend has been really good to me the past several years providing amazing weather. Saturday was a beautiful day to hike Mt Madison. Jeremy my Brother in-law and I took the Pine Link trail to Howker Ridge. I needed the lower section of Pine Link for my Redline map, and Jeremy needed Madison for his 48 list.
Pine Link doesn’t mess around, you gain some pretty serious elevation shortly after leaving the parking lot, and then follow the wooded spine of a ridge for a few more miles to tree line where we then began to follow Howker Ridge Trail. Pine Link for the most part is a very dry trail with few and minimal streams. Howker Ridge above tree line has typical grades and terrain for the Presidential Range with amazing views across Great Gulf.
On the trail:
Above Treeline, the road race was going on in the distance on the Auto Road.
Me and Jeremy at the Summit. Lots of Bugs. You can see a huge fly in this picture just above my head.
Found a few spots to do My Favorite Trick
We beat feet back down and followed the same path down so that we could get back to our families quick. I had spotted a patch of Indian cucumber root on our way up, so we picked a couple on our way down for a refreshing little snack. The hike ended up totaling a little over 7 ½ miles on my tracker app and we did it in 5 hrs and 15 minutes.
We spent the past week on Mt Desert Island. Saturday I hiked Dorr Mountain via the Ladder Trail and Schiff Path. The trail ascends pretty steeply to the 1200 foot summit on mostly granite steps and a few ladders.
My favorite part of the trail was the little slot canyon you had to go through (A little video)
The sea breeze made the air chilly and foggy. Even though it was in the 70s and sunny in land it was 48 and foggy in Acadia. As I got to the top of The Ladder Trail I entered the clouds and caught my last view while ascending looking down toward my car in the valley.
On the Schiff Path there was unique cairns and large slabs to walk on that were pretty slick.
Near the summit the Schiff Path meets the Dorr Ridge Trail and you follow it for .2 miles to the summit. The summit was cloudy, cold and windy.
Its probably not recommended to descend the same way I came because of the steep slick rock but I decided to following the Ladder Trail back down. I didn’t see anyone else for my entire hike.