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Showing posts from March, 2016

Belknap Range Trail Traverse.... For the WIN!

As the week moved on, I went from hiking one or two peaks in the Belknaps to a traverse. Thanks to my friend Kim whom I contacted for info on Mt. Major, she suggested picking me up at Gunstock and hiking with me for a bit. I jumped in with both feet! Studied my maps and a few blog posts... Thought briefly that I may do a patch in one day. Set my alarm for 2:30am.... This is serious business today. I got to Gunstock in just under 2 hours. Kim followed shortly and I'll be damned if I can remember the way to Mount Major's trailhead. I was half asleep still and hoping that Connie and Isis would not fight (they didn't). We both got suited up and hit the trail. The trail itself is well maintained but in the early AM, there will be ice for a while... Black ice. A couple of sections of rocks to climb around but still a quick ascent. It seemed to get light quickly and as I noticed my headlamp dimming, I just took it off. I could see well enough any way. But we both missed some sec…

AT Miles to Mount Williams

There comes a time when a person needs to explore new surroundings. The White Mountains are currently encased in ice and leaving me with little interest to hike them. No worries, the world is big and beautiful. I thought I'd stay low and head south for Mt. Greylock in North Adams Massachusetts. I parked at the side of the road where the AT crosses on Pattison RD. It's early, about 8:30am and it's cold which is perfect for the last day of winter. I wore my white puffy winter shell, hat, gloves, but had no long johns on today. This made my legs a little cold. The AT heads south over bog bridges taking you through some great sections of hardwood. It begins to climb gradual at first. So far it's been nice to explore this new section of the AT. There's very little snow down low and no ice. Looking out through the trees, you can see farm land forever and it's so beautiful. I'm only slightly distracted by road noise and a train whistle. 

As we continue through th…

Almost Whiteface

I figured I'd visit Whiteface and Passaconaway today since it was going to be such a beautiful day. I had not been there for a while and was just looking to get out. I'm always aware of the ice that collects on Whiteface this time of year so, I was expecting to either triumph or just have a nice day on the trails without a summit. Isis is of course my main concern and I hold true to my word that if I need crampons over Microspikes, She should not be hiking. It's just the way it is with me. She's my responsibility and she'll follow me where ever I go... I don't need to lead her into danger. We started on the Blueberry Ledge Trail after walking through the residential area and then turned on the Blueberry Ledge Cut Off. I enjoy this way to the summit a lot better than just taking the Blueberry Ledge Trail. 

To start, the Cut Off is a mix of snow and ice... More ice than snow really but I'm feeling good and my spikes are grabbing well. It travels by a brook t…

The Kinsmans and Bald Peak on a Perfect Day

When you are saying "What a week!" since like... Tuesday, it's time to shake things off and hike. I was desperate for Winter and after turning back last week, I got wind that the snow was in Franconia (Thanks TipToe). So, I headed for the Kinsman Peaks, knowing also that I would have some more ice to deal with. I didn't get up super early since the days are getting longer. What I did do is add more weight to the pack. Time to start training for the LT again and I am so happy. Isis and I got underway from the trailhead for the Mount Kinsman Trail on 116 just before 8am. Trail conditions started out with a light coating of snow over what had already been tramped out. The lower MKT is in fine shape and easy to travel in my Hillsounds. It's cold today and I was preparing for the wind and the eventual ice I would find but also traveling quickly this morning. 

Just after the shack on the lower trail, things start to get icy. The difference between here and the 19 Mile…