Highlight Reel: March and April 2017

The spring hiking season is definitely underway, with varying conditions from trailhead to summit, including bare ground to snowpack and everything in between.  Here are some highlights of the last two months, transitioning from winter into spring.

3.13.17 Moriah

I hiked this one solo on a cold day.  I’m not sure how cold it actually was.  My car said 10 degrees above zero and the bank in Gorham said 5.  Oh well, it was sunny, and although supposed to be windy, was not terribly windy at all.  I only saw one other person on the trek up the Carter-Moriah trail and it seemed like that was the trail of choice for the moment, as no one had come up the chimney from the Stoneybrook Trail side of the mountain.


Great view of the Presidentials from Moriah.

3.18.17 Jefferson

This one was a group effort for Karen’s single season winter finish.  It was the last weekend of winter, and with new snow fall, a group effort helped her to get to the top.  It was a super nice day, and fun to hike with many friends.  A huge congrats to Karen for a singe season winter finish!

3.30.17 Twins (and Galehead)

I put Galehead in parentheses because I didn’t actually summit Galehead, I didn’t need it in March, but hung around basking in the sunlight on the porch of Galehead Hut while Claudette made the quick trip up to the summit.  Claudette and I tackled this one together and we saw only one other person the whole day.  It was a gorgeous day to be up on the summits with blue skies and sunshine!


Almost there! South Twin in the distance from the scrub.


4.10.17 Wildcats

Claudette, Barb and I tackled the wild kitties in April.  It wasn’t too bad of a hike, but the soft snow made going a little tougher.  With extra cars, we elected to do a traverse, which was much better than going over all the Cats again and back down the ski area.  Or at least we thought so, until we hit the deep untouched snow from Wildcat A down to 19 Mile Brook Trail.   At least it was short (.7 of a mile) and the walk out down 19 Mile was packed for fast snowshoeing!


Check out the amount of snow at the platform on Wildcat D! Usually there is a set of stairs, but today it is just a ramp.

4.15.17  Lincoln and Lafayette

Claudette and I were back at again, this time Lincoln and Lafayette.  Mid-April is the time when things start to warm up even in the mountains, so we opted to head up Falling Waters before more melt out caused the stream crossings to be difficult.  We had no problems and even enjoyed barebooting across the ridge!  Another super nice day on the peaks!


Classic New England monorail. This one is about two boots wide. Monorail forms as the snow melts due to the packing down of the trail all winter season. The middle of the trails gets hard-packed, which in turn is slower to melt in the spring.


Claudette descending the Greenleaf Trail from the summit of Mt. Lafayette with Cannon ahead on the other side of Franconia Notch.

4.20.17 Carter Dome

Well, not all hikes are sunshine and views.  Claudette, Kevin, Jeff and I headed up to Carter Dome under cloudy skies, knowing we probably wouldn’t have any views.  No problem, we didn’t get rained on and still had a great day out!


No views from Carter Dome, but some times you don’t get any. It still was a fun day out with friends.

4.24.17 Adams and Madison

We got a Presi Day, although it did look doubtful at the beginning, with the clouds coming in from the north.  Claudette, Kevin and I ascended Airline and it was plenty windy and cloudy above treeline.  By the time we got to the last ascent of Adams, the winds dropped and the sun was out for the rest of the hike.  Perfect weather and we had a great time, heading over to the hut for lunch and to bag Madison before heading down Valley Way.


Classic view of Mt. Adams from Mt. Madison. Not much snow left on the actual peaks, just snowfields here and there.

4.28.17 – 4.29.17 Franconia Notch Recreation Path/Bald Mtn./Artist’s Bluff

Last but not least, Ethan and I spend a few days in Lincoln on vacation and took advantage of being closer to the mountains.  On 4.28, we drove up to the Canadian border, doing a little scouting for a possible future adventure on the Cohos Trail.

On 4.29, we had discussed hiking up to Garfield, but Ethan didn’t have a full set of gear with him – he had brought enough to trail run.  Since the weather wasn’t great, we were lacking some gear, but we did have two cars, it was time for Plan B:  redlining.  Ethan is really close to finishing the Franconia section, so we decided to get some miles in by tackling the Franconia Notch Recreation Path.  It was 8.8 miles of paved fun.

Really, it wasn’t that bad, and it was the perfect day for it.  It was cloudy and cool, and we saw probably less than 25 people on the entire path.

For a bonus, we also tacked on Bald Mountain and Artist’s Bluff since Ethan had never been there and redlined all those trails too!

It has been a fun couple of months, and now I’ll be on to my next adventure.  More on that later.


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