To zero or not.... The main question of my week after my big finish of my Winter peaks last weekend on Mt. Adams. So, I chose Mount Tecumseh because when I need a hike in a pinch but don't have time for a big expedition, I can hike Tecumseh and feel satisfied. The weather today was over cast so, I was not really worried about a view being missed. Tecumseh also allows me to sleep in. I got up at a leisurely 6am and drove up to the Ski resort (Waterville Valley) and arrived just before 9am. I was not thinking I would get a spot in the Hiker's Lot 1 at this late hour (Stay to your left when driving in otherwise you are in the valet line). I lucked out and got a spot. No hoofing it to the trail today! It's actually warm. Maybe I'm over dressed in my layers but I figure that I can strip down or vent. My pack is stripped down too. Not nearly as much food but enough for safety. Water was in my Nalgene but I probably could have gotten away with a bladder. I had a reserve water in my pack too. A slim Smartwater bottle holds enough for a refill and is super light. I hit the trail around 9am with Lil' Nugget.
Now we begin to climb. The majority of the elevation gain is on this section of the Mount tecumseh trail to the summit. It's an easy climb due to all the rocks being covered by the hard pack snow. My spikes are doing the trick although those that need less calf strain might want to use the heel lifts of their snow shoes as well as traction on them to climb. We veer off and check out the ski lift and see skiers on the upper trails. People are having a great day. Lil' Nugget and myself remain the only hikers though. We get back on trail and continue to the summit. The trail makes a slight turn and then continues to climb to the ridge prior to the summit. Lil' Nugget gets a reward for making it this far and I can rest my legs briefly. It's not long now to the summit.
Once we reach the two way summit sign, we go left (We always go left as it's less steep). Navigate a few rocky sections which are easy in the snow and a few quick increases in elevation. Without the fanfare of last weekend, we reach the summit. There is a view thanks to whoever cut it out. I remember when there was no view and it was still a great summit. I of course still do summit pictures and then we eat. Once we start to get cold, we pack up to head back down.
The hike down flies by in about an hour. Lil' Nugget and I were able to jog most of it which surprised me. I don't usually run the trails but this felt good. Of course the trails in reverse are just as good and we make it back to the car by 1pm. My standard Dunkin' Doughnuts visit is just down the road... Convenient!
Mount Tecumseh was my first hike off list so to speak... There are plenty of lists out there and I've hiked a few myself. I've hiked a few rounds as a matter of fact. I'm not completely sold on a GRID Bid. Still not thrilled to hike The Cat's, The Carter's, Isolation, or Owlie 12 total times... Although I do want to hike them again sometime. Just not sure that I'll do an official GRID... Although I have not completely counted it out either. For now, I am content to just set the goal to hike and be better than I was the previous weekend. I'm enjoying the new found freedom as well as the no pressure of just enjoying myself and my time with Lil' Nugget. The ultimate long range (Well, July of this year) goal is to finish the Long Trail from Lincoln Gap to Canada. So, these hikes between now and then will serve as preparation. However you choose to hike; have fun, hike safe, and I hope to see you all out there.