Training hike: Mt Monadnock

Mt Monadnock. Jaffrey, NH. Via the White Dot and White Cross trails.

Temps in the mid-40s throughout, cloudy. 2 hours up, 2 hours down.

Spring is here, and the trails are showing it. The rains that fell the other night made their mark in different ways at different areas of the trail. At the bottom, the trails were soaking wet, muddy throughout. Very wet slush until the steep bit, where it became more of an unconsolidated spring snow. And then ice up above tree line. I spent a lot of time thinking about the people who hike this mountain in cotton pants and tennis shoes, and thought any one of them would be in huge trouble hiking this day — then again, many would have turned around after reaching Falcon Spring, which isn’t that far from the parking lot. There was just that much mud and slush on the trail.

I measured a 30 MPH wind at the summit, and the scenery was an icy winter wonderland. Pictures will be forthcoming.

I took the opportunity to try out a new pair of Kahtoola K10 crampons, as well as new Marmot PreCip rain pants. The K10s were in reaction to the massive problems with balling I was experiencing with the Microspikes. I never had even a moment’s worth of balling today, so that one’s a win. The pants are good too. I had a little moisture build up early on, when I was sweating heavily. But once above tree line, as the wind cooled me down, I found the moisture drying up nicely, despite having all my windproof layers buttoned up. Given my experience with heavier Gore-Tex layers, this was a pleasant surprise.

So there it is. A nice day out, although I’d have been happier if the trail was either dried out or more frozen. While the scenery was lovely to look at, it was a bear making headway.

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