Training Hike: Grand Monadnock

Grand Monadnock, Jaffrey, NH


It’s an easy hike, and it’s a bounded problem. Get in trouble? Point in one direction downhill, walk that way, and within half a day, you’ll hit a road. Maybe that lures people into complacency. I saw a lot of people behaving poorly today.

The weather was warm and sunny, but the wind was robust, around 10-20 MPH in places. The trail was mashed potatoes, but with Microspikes, travel was quick and sure. I counted people wearing cotton, and it rivaled a summer day.

I get why people want to be gung-ho about their goals. But winning in the mountains, as much as anything, means that you don’t call for a rescue when you shouldn’t have needed one. A prudent ascent means you’ll show up fit and properly equipped, and turn back if things aren’t making sense any more.

OK, done with that for now.

The trail was mashed potatoes for the first half, consolidating well at the level of tree line and becoming nicely packed monorail to the summit. In the next couple weeks, snow will be entirely absent from most of the slopes. For today, it was photogenic, especially against the deep blue sky. Traffic is building as the weather warms. Cars in the parking lot sported MA tags as often as NH, and arriving as I did in the early afternoon, the lot was quite full. In short, people were out enjoying the weather.

It was a nice day to be outside.


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