Forum Index > Trip Reports > Mount Monadnock, New Hampshire (Nov 23, 2018)
Previous :: Next Topic  
Author Message
GaliWalker
Have camera will use



Joined: 10 Dec 2007
Posts: 4006 | TRs
Location: Pittsburgh
GaliWalker
  Top

Have camera will use
PostMon Nov 26, 2018 7:33 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Mount Monadnock, New Hampshire (Nov 23, 2018)

Route: I took the White Dot Trail to the summit; retraced my steps from the summit to pick up the Smith Connecting Trail; continued down the Cliff Walk Trail; took a left on the Parker Trail to finish the loop.

The past few years our Thanksgiving break has been spent in New England, which has allowed me the opportunity to tuck in some hikes on the local mountains. Mt Monadnock, located in southern New Hampshire has become a favorite; it's located relatively close to our basecamp, has an expansive and quite beautiful summit area, and sports great 360 views. It's an extremely popular hiking spot though; not even the spicy conditions of late November deter the hardy New England crowds.

Since I had used the short and steep, but also the most popular, White Dot Trail to make my way up to the summit the past two times, I decided to switch things up this year by taking the much longer and lonelier Pumpelly Trail. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a good place to park near the trailhead, because the spots that should have been available were under deep snow. I ended up not taking the risk of leaving my car in a less than ideal spot beside the road and drove over to the substantial parking area for the White Dot Trail. I guess I would have to repeat the route I'd done twice before now.

Despite my later than anticipated arrival time of 6:45am I was the only person at the trailhead. The temperature was a frigid 5F, but calm and still, so not too bad. There was a lot more snow and ice this year, due to a recent snowstorm, so I was forced to put on my microspikes right from the start, and they were essential footwear. The snow wasn't too much of an issue due to the well packed trail but the ice was thick and nearly impenetrable for the spikes.

After a relatively moderate climb for the first 0.8mi the grade steepened considerably, at times becoming a semi-scramble. Navigating the snow and ice coated granite boulders required care and attention. It was all worth it though as I broke out of the woods and gained the open amphitheater that led to the summit block lectern.

1
1
2
2

As I made my way up towards the summit a swift wind began to blast me, knifing through my balaclava and woolen cap and into my head; it felt like I was being stabbed by stilettos of ice. All thoughts of doing careful photography were quickly abandoned. I did take pictures but they were quick snapshots. It was extremely beautiful though.

3
3
4
4
5
5
6
6

After a short stop at the summit I headed back down the White Dot Trail for a bit, where it intersected the White Cross Trail. I took the latter and descended down this for a few dozen yards, which is where I knew the Smith Connecting Trail began. Unlike the well tramped down surface of the White Dot Trail, the snow on these trails was a foot deep. There was no sign of where the Smith Connecting Trail began, and if I hadn't been there before I would not have found it.

I headed down pristine, untouched snow slopes towards Bald Rock, a sub-summit on the south ridge of the mountain. After working my through a wooded section I reached Bald Rock, which provided beautiful views of the Mount Monadnock summit and the surrounding countryside.

7
7
8
8
9
9

From Bald Rock I headed down the Cliff Walk Trail, though snowy woods. Just before its intersection with the Parker Trail a snowy ladder interjected even more fun to the ever increasing steepness of the descent.

10
10
11
11

I finished my loop hike by taking the mostly flat Parker Trail back to the parking lot. This was full of cars by now, but I had somehow managed to avoid seeing a single other soul on my entire hike.

Hiking/Photography stats: 5.6mi, 2200ft elevation gain, 5hrs

Postscript:

The next day I took the family to Wadsworth Falls State Park, in Connecticut, for a more sedate 4mi hike. Here are a couple of pictures of the beautiful waterfall:

12
12
13
13

--------------
'Gali'Walker => 'Mountain-pass' walker
bobbi: "...don't you ever forget your camera!"
Photography: https://www.flickr.com/photos/shahiddurrani/albums
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
Nancyann
Member
Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2013
Posts: 1383 | TRs
Location: Sultan Basin
Nancyann
  Top

Member
PostMon Nov 26, 2018 2:51 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Nice seeing a trip report from you, Gali. Those conditions seem so harsh, I cant imagine trying to take pictures, but yours look great!
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
GaliWalker
Have camera will use



Joined: 10 Dec 2007
Posts: 4006 | TRs
Location: Pittsburgh
GaliWalker
  Top

Have camera will use
PostMon Nov 26, 2018 4:41 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Thanks Nancy! Photography is really challenging, because the metal of the camera really sucks out all the heat from my hands, despite the thinner gloves that I slip into that make handling the camera buttons possible. I also have to take the camera battery out between pictures and keep it in a pocket where it can stay warm, otherwise its charge drains away.

Brrr
Brrr

--------------
'Gali'Walker => 'Mountain-pass' walker
bobbi: "...don't you ever forget your camera!"
Photography: https://www.flickr.com/photos/shahiddurrani/albums
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
Nancyann
Member
Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2013
Posts: 1383 | TRs
Location: Sultan Basin
Nancyann
  Top

Member
PostMon Nov 26, 2018 5:26 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
On really cold days I slip the batteries into my mitts which have hand warmers in them. That works well until they drop into the snow when I take the mitts off.  clown.gif
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Layback
Mariner's Fanatic!!!



Joined: 16 Mar 2007
Posts: 5664 | TRs
Location: On a Bike
Layback
  Top

Mariner's Fanatic!!!
PostMon Nov 26, 2018 7:23 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Awesome.  Great place!
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Songs2
Member
Member


Joined: 21 Mar 2016
Posts: 29 | TRs

Songs2
  Top

Member
PostMon Nov 26, 2018 8:05 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Thanks for these photos, GaliWalker!
That was the first mountain I ever climbed. It remained a favorite for years - a workout, with a couple of rugged spots. Some brilliant fall days I saw no one else on the trails, and only a couple of cars in an unattended lot.

In the 1950s there was a food stand on top.

I always enjoy your photos, though "I am gobsmacked" would be a more accurate way of putting it.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
GaliWalker
Have camera will use



Joined: 10 Dec 2007
Posts: 4006 | TRs
Location: Pittsburgh
GaliWalker
  Top

Have camera will use
PostTue Nov 27, 2018 6:31 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Songs2 wrote:
In the 1950s there was a food stand on top.

eek.gif

--------------
'Gali'Walker => 'Mountain-pass' walker
bobbi: "...don't you ever forget your camera!"
Photography: https://www.flickr.com/photos/shahiddurrani/albums
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
Foist
Sultan of Sweat



Joined: 08 May 2006
Posts: 3526 | TRs
Location: Back!
Foist
  Top

Sultan of Sweat
PostTue Nov 27, 2018 3:15 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Is Moosilauke too far?  That was my favorite New Hampshire peak.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Songs2
Member
Member


Joined: 21 Mar 2016
Posts: 29 | TRs

Songs2
  Top

Member
PostTue Nov 27, 2018 3:39 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
@GaliWalker: Sure! Wouldn't want to be hungry! I imagine it was among the last gasp of domesticating mountaintops with built structures such as hotels. That was definitely a thing; Mt Washington still has "Sheep Meadows" (no sheep, tho). I expect if one knew where to look on Monadnock, one might find holes drilled into the rock where the food shack was anchored.

@Foist: I've never been to Moosilauke, through drove by an access road whilst cutting a diagonal from White Mntns to Tanglewood. I am unsure of the distance between Monadnock and Moosilauke. Because older New England roads followed cow paths and animal trails and mysterious cart trails, which typically had no particular destination in mind, it could take a while to get from trailhead to trailhead. Sure is pretty country.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
GaliWalker
Have camera will use



Joined: 10 Dec 2007
Posts: 4006 | TRs
Location: Pittsburgh
GaliWalker
  Top

Have camera will use
PostTue Nov 27, 2018 4:29 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Foist wrote:
Is Moosilauke too far?

Yeah, that would've been twice the distance for me, and I needed to be back by lunchtime. I'm going to keep that one in mind for later though, just not around the Thanksgiving break.

--------------
'Gali'Walker => 'Mountain-pass' walker
bobbi: "...don't you ever forget your camera!"
Photography: https://www.flickr.com/photos/shahiddurrani/albums
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
Foist
Sultan of Sweat



Joined: 08 May 2006
Posts: 3526 | TRs
Location: Back!
Foist
  Top

Sultan of Sweat
PostTue Nov 27, 2018 6:03 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
I just had this weird feeling of deja vu and then realized that we have had this exact exchange before.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
GaliWalker
Have camera will use



Joined: 10 Dec 2007
Posts: 4006 | TRs
Location: Pittsburgh
GaliWalker
  Top

Have camera will use
PostTue Nov 27, 2018 6:34 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
biggrin.gif
I have to say that I haven't hiked in New Hampshire since, except over Thanksgiving, because I discovered the Adirondacks, which are even cooler.

--------------
'Gali'Walker => 'Mountain-pass' walker
bobbi: "...don't you ever forget your camera!"
Photography: https://www.flickr.com/photos/shahiddurrani/albums
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
nordique
Member
Member


Joined: 04 May 2008
Posts: 891 | TRs

nordique
  Top

Member
PostSat Dec 01, 2018 7:05 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
I grew up in New England and did a lot of hiking and climbing while in college in Western Mass.  The last time I did Monadnock, it was in hunting season, and we ran into two hunters, sitting on their 24-pack beer containers, resting. I asked if they'd seen any 'game,' and they said no, but they gotten off a few 'sound shots.'  I asked what those were and they said they fired in the direction of what sounded like deer.  I decided then and there to turn around and head back to to the trailhead, ASAP!  And that was before I was wounded in Vietnam....
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
joker
seeker



Joined: 12 Aug 2006
Posts: 7427 | TRs
Location: state of confusion
joker
  Top

seeker
PostSat Dec 01, 2018 10:13 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Ahh your report reminds me of many cold hiking days in NH. Ten below was not uncommon as a daily high...

Have you been up around Bondcliff and Guyot and South Twin? It's a nice area IMHO. I assume you've done the Presidential range and the Franconias. some  of the other 4,000 foot mountains are quite nice. Passaconway and Whiteface, the Carter range, the stuff over by Mahousic notch, etc... Some are utterly boring.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
Foist
Sultan of Sweat



Joined: 08 May 2006
Posts: 3526 | TRs
Location: Back!
Foist
  Top

Sultan of Sweat
PostSat Dec 01, 2018 10:50 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
I did all those in myboston days.  Except mahousic notch, that one doesn't ring a bell.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
  Display:     All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Forum Index > Trip Reports > Mount Monadnock, New Hampshire (Nov 23, 2018)
  Happy Birthday LeafEater!
Jump to:   
Search this topic:

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum
   Use Disclaimer Powered by phpBB Privacy Policy