I’m riding a wave of opportunities to get out and hike again. In the past couple of weeks I’ve made two overnight trips to the White Mountains to target the remaining four of New Hampshire’s forty-eight 4,000 footers. I’m combining forces with my very good friend and hiking enthusiast Tenzing, who lives in NH. Tenzing needs a few more summits than I do (7) but neither of us mind a few extra mountain hikes, so he’s doing a few repeats and so am I.
We haven’t hiked together for five years. A couple of weeks ago we had a very successful trial hike of 3,268’ Kearsarge North.
This week, I drove up to Silver Lake, NH to stay with my brother-in-law Cam, who put me up for a night so that I couldn’t have to drive up and back from a long day of hiking three more 4,000 footers: Mounts Tom( 4051’), Field (4350’) and Willey (4285’) in Crawford Notch.
We picked the best day of the summer so far to hike. I awoke to 47 degrees, and rendezvoused with Tenzing at Intervale. The cold temps quelled any lingering mosquitoes or black flies. The views from on high were much better than average, although there was some cloud cover up high. We spotted cars at two ends of our route and were hiking by 8 am.
By 9:30 AM we had completed out first 2.5 miles, trudging upward at a very good rate of 2.1 mph. The summit of Mt. Tom was reached by 10:15 AM.
Tensing informed me that he had previously submitted Mounts Tom and Field on Sept. 18, 1994.
Number two 4,000 footer- Mt. Field
After short breaks for water and snacks, we meandered up and down the ridge to reach the summit of Mt. Willey at 12:30 PM.
From there is was a long, and often treacherous descent to a segment of the Appalachian Trail, down to the parking lot off the highway.
The views from an outcropping were rewarding today:
Tenzing posted this additional information on his Facebook page: “A piece of advice anyone wishing to climb Mt Willey: try to avoid climbing and descending from/to the South. The trail is extremely steep, highly eroded, and the footing is frequently scree or loose gravel and very slippery!”
Tenzing and I have another hiking trip planed to check off two more 4,000 voters on 9/10-9/11. Then a 3 day, 2 night hike overnight in October to complete Tenzing’s last 5 and my last 1.
September and October are my favorite months to hiked spend time in the New England woods. I’m fortunate to be able to hike tough stuff and to have friends like Tenzing that I can share my experiences with.