Training Hike: Mt Monadnock

It was a nice day to get outside. Conditions were seasonably warm and sunny, with a light, cooling breeze that felt good. The parking lot showed enough cars for us to know we certainly wouldn’t be alone, but not so crowded as to suggest the trail would be mobbed.

We hit the White Dot trailhead at around 10:00, and made our way up. In contrast to recent trips, this is the first time I’ve seen the mountain this season without any snow cover. I’m sure if I’d looked around in the darkest corners, I might have found a patch here or there, but on the whole, I didn’t see any. The runoff has subsided for the most part — the well known chutes are dry, and while there’s some mud on the approach, the rocky ledges are clean and clear.

At the top, we had fine views, with perhaps 30 miles of visibility. Clouds and haze on the horizon prevented seeing Boston or Mt Washington. A wind of about 3-5 MPH kept the black flies at bay.

On the way down, we opted for the White Cross. The upper part is still draining a lot of water, but apart from a few muddy patches here and there, the footing was almost completely dry. Down in the lower reaches, there was a bit more mud, but nothing that would slow us down. It’s fairly easy to avoid it all without straying off trail.

It’s black fly season, and they’re out in force. Some bug spray will do anyone some good. Ticks are also out, so everyone is duly cautioned to be vigilant. Lyme disease is no fun. But aside from that, the mountain is its usual enjoyable outing.

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