Variety is the spice of life!
Mt Monadnock, 3,165 ft. Monadnock State Park, Jaffrey, NH. 2018-11-15. Via White Dot, Cascade Link, Spellman, Pumpelly, and White Cross trails. Approx. 5 miles, 3 1/2 hours.
Cloudy, 25 degrees F, approx 10 MPH winds at summit. Approximately 25 mile visibility. Ice in many places, micro spikes a necessity.
It’s always good to do the familiar in a different way. One of my faves is to go up White Dot, then take the Cascade Link and come up the mountain from the more easterly side, cross over the summit and come down something that eventually leads back to the car by way of the more westerly side. There’s a remarkable difference between the biomes on either side.
Today wasn’t so bold. Ascent was by the Spellman trail, which did take in the east, but on seeing the ice that was everywhere, it just made more sense to come down the familiar White Cross trail, which wasn’t amazing, but was at least well known, and nowhere near as treacherous as I expect White Dot might have been. In a few weeks, when the snows take hold, it’ll be a different question.
Looking back, it might not have been the best idea to go up Spellman/Pumpelly, because that ice was a bear to deal with. Or maybe do so, but with more definitive traction than micro spikes. A few spots were on the hairy side. But if that were the case, the views were worth it. There’s been a lot of rain in recent weeks, and the mountain is shedding gobs of water. All the streams and waterfalls along the way were plump, and laced with icicles. I’d only ask for some sun, and the views would have been utterly superlative. But as it was, for all the slippery footing, there was a lot to catch one’s gaze.
The total trip time was slower than normal for the fact that the way going, both up and down, was thought provoking. But it’s not a race, right?
3 thoughts on “Trip Report: Mt Monadnock”
Spellman is one of my favorite trails on the ‘Nock, and coincidentally I hiked this mountain on the same day as you 11/15! (Started around 11am …) Due to the ice however, I opted instead for Red Spot out/back, which was a little sketchy in a few places, but overall manageable. (A typical “south side” hike for me is Spellman up, Red Spot down.) This day, I only saw two people (who were together) so I’m guessing we didn’t cross paths. Great day for a hike tho, before the storm!
Btw, have been enjoying your blog since before you finished the ’48. Keep it up!
I don’t do Spellman nearly as much as I should. It’s a true gem as you know. And you’re right, it’s always a great day for a hike if you can squeeze one in before a storm!