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Mount Waumbek

It's Mount Waumbek, in Jefferson NH. 4006ft and only 7.2miles round trip. Why is today such a fight? I started out from the gas station in town since I wasn't sure if the hiker lot was plowed out from the latest blizzard. Made my way to the trail head up Mt. Starr King Road. There is a large snow pile from the plow right at the start to the trail head. Once at the trail head parking lot, I put on my snowshoes. I was thankful to not have the weight on my pack anymore. Switched Isis to her longer lead so she can run a bit. We started off on a decently packed trail. Looked like someone had dragged a polk behind them to break it out, it was so nice. Climbed past the well and continued with the steady incline, I seemed to slow down. I also felt tired but, I pushed on. I wanted this summit today.

The sun was bright and warm which was helping move the day along. The Mt. Starr King trail remained in great shape through this section too. I was dragging on the inclines but continued to…
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Mt. Watatic

Heading up North was not to be this weekend. I also could not leave Isis at home so, Monadnock was out (No dogs allowed)... Watatic was the goal. Given the below zero temps, this was probably a good choice. 1.1 miles up to the summit, makes it a decent hike for both of us. I started on the Wapack Trail off of 119, just over the border in Massachusetts. Time was no worry due to the short duration but I did pack just like every other hike... Full gear, Isis wore her coat due to the temps, and I even tossed in a tuna packet since you just never know. 

The Wapack Trail is decent here. It's well traveled and given the recent melt, even the 2 inches of snow we got was not a factor. It's still cold down here in Southern New Hampshire, still a negative wind chill, so the trail is solid. I bare booted with the intention of using spikes on the way down considering there was some ice on the trail. The elevation is only 1832 Feet but even that low, there are still a few steep sections. I…

Mount Pierce February 2017

Mount Pierce would have to be the goal for today as I slept late and didn't want to hike Waumbek just yet. And this (Pierce) would be my #2 of the 48 (again) for Rheumatoid Arthritis. So, I opted to head up the Crawford Path by the Highland Center off 302 in Crawford Notch. This would be my 10th visit to the summit and the Crawford Path is my standard route. Northern New Hampshire has received a great deal of snow in the past week and my decision to wait until trails were broken out was sound... Short dog and still building strength back. 

The lower section of the Crawford Path is well packed down and easy to travel. The temps this weekend have been warm so, there is a softening factor to the day. I am wearing my Tubbs Flex VRT's primarily for the heel lifts on the steeper sections of trail but really you can wear spikes and be OK with things. Just don't step off the solid trail or you will sink in. Not as many layers on today as it is warmer than usual but my white puffy…

Mount Tecumseh... February 2017

Mount Tecumseh from the Ski area is a decent half day on the trails. Even though it's a quick hike, I still like to get there early. For one thing, it's ski season and getting a spot in Lot 1 by the Mount Tecumseh trail can be a challenge. For another thing, I can get up there and have some summit time before the crowd arrives. I was in luck, arriving around 7:30am, I got my spot in Lot 1. Isis and myself were underway after I quick stop to put on my snowshoes. 

Mount Tecumseh trail is 2.5miles up to the summit. I always section this trail off in my mind: From the start to the ski slope view, Up to the ridge, Ridge to the summit... Down low, the first crossing is open. The trail is well packed and well traveled but I have the snowshoes on for the heel lifts which will come in handy later. Isis is having a great time running up and down the trail and playing in the snow on the sides. The second crossing is bridged and easy. I used my heel lifts for the first time after the cro…

Almost Monadnock

The January thaw is in full swing and I could not make it up north this weekend so, I went to my trusted back up... Monadnock. When I just need to get out, I head to the Old Toll Road trailhead which is about 10 minutes from my house. No need to get up super early for this one. The Old Toll Road trailhead is not maintained in winter but because there is a residence close to the trail, the road to the home is maintained. Parking can be pretty tight though and use the iron ranger for the fee. Oh, and no dogs allowed on Monadnock (I'll say more on that later). So, it's about a mile up the road tot he White Arrow Trail and from there it's a mile to the summit. Some day's this could be just a two hour trip for me. But today, I'm in no rush. Road walks don't usually bother me so, when I get to the actual start of the White arrow trail, I'm greeted with ice... As I had suspected. 

There was another hiker determined to make the summit as this was her first solo hi…

Mount Willard

All I wanted to do this week was climb to the top of a mountain. Any mountain at this point as I have been dealing with something that keeps me down. I had been thinking of Mount Willard... 2,865Ft and a 1.6mile trail. Small compared to what I usually hike. But small enough I might be able to summit.

It's a Saturday and I left my house a little after 8am. So much later than I usually leave to hike. But this is not a long hike at all so, after a cup of coffee and making myself one for the road, I loaded the car and headed for The Whites. I knew it would be crowded today since it is Saturday and as I thought, I'm parking on 302... Both the Depot, and the Highland Center are packed. It's .1 to the junction after the cross of the tracks and then we head up the Mt. Willard trail. So far, the trail itself is uncrowded but I assumed that everyone was already up there. Isis on the other hand was busy smelling markers for every dog that has hiked before her. 

The trail is super pa…

Starr King for First Day 2017

Happy New Year! Can you feel it? It's winter out there. But not like the winter we had last year. I had a rematch with Waumbek today. Parked my car by the gas station in town since the winter lot is sometimes a trap for cars who can't make it out. Seeing as it snowed a few inches last night, I made a good choice. Can't park on Starr King Rd either out of respect for the home owners there... Emergency vehicles need to be able to get through. There's also a huge snowbank left from the plow at the end of the residential road and start of the access road to the trail. No one is getting by that. It's warmer than my last trip back in December so, no insulated pants today. Just my long johns and regular hiking pants. Isis also has no jacket today (She only wears it when we hike below zero). Snowshoes are packed and I happily trade the weight to my feet at the actual trailhead. 

A note about my Tubbs Flex VRT's. This is my third winter with them. Last winter they only…