|Mt. Uncanoonuc - 12/16/00
A long walk from Pam's house to the trailhead...a wonderful hike up Mt.
Uncanoonic on some delightful powder...a nice walk back...Yep, that about
sums up our Mt. Uncanoonic hike in Goffstown, NH.
Our walk started near the center of Goffstown, and you can see Mt.
Uncanoonic in the background
We made it to the trailhead, where Pam's canine friend Shadow was so happy
to be running around in the snow, picking up sticks, and knocking Kristen
At the top of Mt. Uncanoonic Kristen, Pam, and Shadow paused for a few
Shadow played keep-away with a stick (Pam and Your Webmaster weren't going
to catch him---he's fast), and he liked chewing on crusty chunks of
snow. From the top of Mt. Uncanoonic we got some nice views:
...Its sibling hill
(with the clouds rolling in)
(to the right of the large tree)
We were lucky in that the weather held off - it was cloudy but not
terribly cold and not very windy, and there was absolutely no
precipitation during the hike, other than the snow we knocked off the
trees as we went by (that sends chills down your spine -- literally!!!).
|Mt. Monadnock - Pumpelly Trail - 12/2/00
Sreedhar, Annette, Tom, Arnie, Kristen, and Your Webmaster - all
Trip report from Tom
The day was crisp and
clear. We started up the Pumpelly Trail to Mt Monadnock with six
hikers at 9:30. It grew colder as we ascended and one hiker realized
that this hike was a bit more than he bargained for. We expected
much colder temperatures on the top, so he wisely turned back early
The rest of us went up a
very steep and icy trail to the open ridges. Huge ice-and-snow
covered rocks, and beautiful snow covered spruce trees awaited us.
Annette was concerned abut footing and donned a pair of in-step
crampons from her backpack. It was slow going, and Ken, Kristen and
Arnie went ahead. Annette followed with Tom, your humble scribe, who
slipped and pulled a calf muscle and broke the hip belt of his
backpack. The backpack was repaired with a piece of line from his
backpack. He and Annette carried on a ways, but after Tom slipped
again, they decided to turn back. A passing hiker agreed to carry
the message to those at the top.
Arnie, Kristen and Ken
made it to the top, where it was so cold and windy, they didn't even
eat lunch. When the hiker told them that Tom and Annette had turned
back, they headed down the Dublin Trail to the cars. They made it
out just before dark. Tom and Annette, going slow because of the icy
trail and Tom's sore leg, shortly found themselves in the dark. Both
had flashlights in their packs but trail finding in the dark was
difficult and they were slowed to a crawl. About a half mile from
the road they lost the trail, but a compass and the position of the
slim moon guided them to the road. The flashlights were growing dim
and they were just about to dig back into the packs for spare
batteries when they found the trail again and within moments heard
Ken had gone to the
Monadnock Ranger Station to see if Tom and Annette had taken an
alternate trail down the mountain and to alert the rangers to a
possible pair of lost hikers. The rangers were reassured when they
heard that the "lost" hikers had good clothing,
flashlights and proper gear (including crampons) with them and told
Ken that the pair would probably be out by the time he returned to
the trailhead. This proved to be the case, and the re-united hikers
called the rangers back and told them that no rescue would be
necessary that night.
A grand adventure that
had a happy ending because of early communication (discussing the
option of taking the Dublin Trail out in the event of an emergency),
good decision making (turning around rather than trying to
"bull" through), and carrying the proper gear (including a
good first aid kit and space blankets, neither of which thankfully
was necessary. But you never know).
On the way home, Tom,
Annette and Kristen stopped at the Food Court at the Mall of New
Hampshire and marveled at the difference in situations. Two hours
earlier, Tom and Annette had been alone in the woods, in the dark,
with nothing to rely on except themselves and what they had carried
in their packs. Now they were surrounded by people, in a warm place,
with help only a whisper away. Their biggest decision was: Dairy
Queen or CinnaBon for desert?
Trip Report from Your Webmaster:
"Dress warm" admonished the description of the Mt. Monadnock
climb on the Bulletin Board. No kidding! Temps in the low 20s,
the trademark Monadnock wind, and snow and ice on the trail at the higher
elevations made a very challenging dayhike out of the Pumpelly Trail.
The Pumpelly Trail is about 4.5 miles long and is the
longest trail to the summit. It also runs along a ridge, so there
are many spots to get a great view, as you can see in the pictures.
Sunlight shining through the peeled bark of a tree
Dublin Lake off in the distance
North and South Pack
Glimmering lakes miles away
But it was cold. Sreedhar decided to turn
back early after experiencing a little while of New England's finest
bitter weather, and I can't say as I blame him! Not like Sreedhar's
former residence in New Orleans at all!
As we walked up the trail, the snow kept getting deeper,
from just a few patches on the ground to an inch or two nearer the summit,
which made for slippery going. There was also a lot of ice along the
trail, so Annette's crampons were put into action (she really appreciated
them). It was slow going.
About 1.5 miles from the summit Your Webmaster, who
usually runs sweep, left Tom and Annette to catch up with Arnie and
Kristen, who had gone on ahead. As the three of us broke out of the
Pumpelly Trail to hit the final approach to the summit, the wind was
fierce and the cold biting. The cold wind really saps your energy as
you're trying to make your way along! Your Webmaster tossed on his face mask,
and the three of us scampered up to the summit and found a place out of
A few minutes later a helpful hiker came by and told us
that Tom and Annette had decided to turn back instead of pushing on to the
summit, as by then it was about 2pm and would be dark in a few short hours.
Good move. At that point Arnie, Kristen, and I beat a hasty retreat for
the shorter Dublin Trail. We went back out into the wind and carefully
plucked our way down the icy top part of the ol' Dublin Trail. About
halfway down we were greeted with a nice, easy, wide path and watched the snow
and ice disappear as we continued on. Although it meant we'd have a
long walk back to the cars, we figured the Dublin Trail would be a better
bet than attempting to head back the full length of the Pumpelly, and we were right.
We didn't see Tom and Annette when we got back to the
cars, so Your Webmaster drove down the road to see if they'd come down on
another trail and were hoofing it along the roadway instead (like we did
with the Dublin Trail). I also
popped in and asked the State Park Rangers if they'd seen a tall bald guy
and his short wife, but they hadn't. :-) By the time I got
back to the
trailhead, Tom and Annette had returned and were allowing Arnie and
Kristen to warm up in their car. Tom and Annette had a difficult go
of it (Tom had pulled a calf muscle, unfortunately), but because they were
prepared with the right gear--including lights--they made it out just
Annette's Winter Wonderland
Annette and Tom coming up the trail
Annette pauses as Monadnock's peak (center) comes into view
Arnie and Kristen
Kristen and Arnie get out of the wind at the summit of Mt.
Kristen and Your Webmaster sitting on the wall of an old cellar
hole at the Dublin Trail trailhead
Whew! The Pumpelly Trail is beautiful, and I know I'll be heading
back there during the warmer weather.
But if anyone should be hiking the Dublin Trail and find a green "Tyrolia"
fleece, it had slipped out of the straps on my knappy and was my sacrifice
to the Hiking Gods this week (the Hiking Gospel according to Arnie
:-) ). If you run across it, please hold onto it for me and
drop Your Webmaster a note.