With a deluge forecasted for tomorrow I thought it best to head out today. This proved to be a good choice because we were treated with light snow showers for the balance of the day without any rain. Since my 10 year old daughter has become my new climbing partner I was excited for the company. We decided to give Mt. Washington a shot, while I have been to the summit numerous time I felt a good test on my little one's legs. Last week we had stopped to get her suitable winter garb and I was able to find a complete outfit for $18 which if anything was too burly for this day. I also had the good fortune of having my brother send me a set of brand new gaiters for both her and myself. Thankfully the gaiters my brother sent for me were the exact replacement for my worn out pair. I did have to spend considerable time trying to figure out my daughter's setup. In the end they were perfect.
We hit the trail around 10 giving us ample time to achieve our objective. I smiled as two groups suited up at the same time. Two ladies, one who had a toddler strapped to her back and a group of three with a high energy puppy tagging along. From the onset I had dead legs and I got a strong sense so did my daughter. The trail was wet but we didn't hit snow until around 2500ft and then it was still spotty. The snow was much more continuous above 3600'. The path was well worn so the snowshoes stayed snugly secured to my pack for the entire day. We stopped for a quick lunch around 3000' and I assumed that we would turn back. But as has been consistently the case my youngest wasn't having that. We plodded on. I figured we would could at least reach the pond giving something interesting to finish with. Again that wasn't nearly enough for her and she wanted more. We kept chugging along finally meeting up with the party of three and their hyper puppy on their descent. They were quick to point out that we only had a short ways to go. I had already decided that we were to close to quit but this buoyed my daughter. A few hundred feet below the summit the trail traverse through an area with a shocking lack of snow. There was only a slight dusting of extremely slippery snow. This portion gave my some grief. Soon we reached the end of the packed trail. No one had actually gone to the summit they all had stopped short. Knowing the weather station and the summit were still to be had I blazed our way to the summit proper. We are both sunflower seed maniacs and we enjoyed trying to get the Camp Robbers to eat from our hands. I have many fond memories of youth feeding the birds during the winter and it was neat to share that with my own daughter. In the end we weren't able to coax any to eat out of our hands but it was apparent to both of us that they were thinking about it.
The decent went without a hitch although the lower rocky portions with minimal snow cover are exceedingly annoying. By the end we were both very happy to make it back to the car. Truth be told I was rather spent by the time I got home. Again my daughter surprised me when she tagged along to her 2 year older sisters basketball practice and participated exceedingly well in the 90 minute practice..... oh to have young legs.
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