Driving the Kangamangus highway to the trailhead, I admired the fresh snow weighing down evergreen branches and sparkling over parts of the Swift River. We parked at the hairpin turn with an incredible view of clouds hovering around just the summits of Osceola and other nearby mountains. I was ready to hike the Hancocks and pulled my gaiters and spikes over my boots in the frigid air. It was nine degrees, but a beautiful sunny day. It was calm at the parking lot’s altitude, but we were a little concerned about wind in the peaks. It had been a windy weekend, with windholds and rough conditions both days prior where I was skiing. Luckily, the Hancocks do not rise above treeline, and that is why we decided to hike them instead of our initial plan of Mt. Washington. … More Sparkling Snow on the Hancocks
Ironically, my last hike of 2020 was a good one. I ended off the pretty horrible year on a high note, up 4,000+ feet in the sky on a beautiful day. Mt. Tom, Field, and Willey were coated in a very thin layer of snow and ice, thanks to the Christmas Day rainstorm sloughing off a considerable amount of snow. While I was lacing up my hiking boots, securing my gators and microspikes, and pulling on all my winter gear, the car read 5 degrees Fahrenheit outside. Zealand wore her dog coat in the freezing weather. My dad and I were hiking with friends Tim and Emily Dunham, so we did a two car shuttle, dropping one at the Willey House parking lot and starting from the one at the Crawford Notch Train Depot. We started there because it was about 400 feet higher than the Willey House, so overall, we would have more downhill. … More Finishing off 2020 on a high note
Last weekend, I knocked six peaks off my Maine 4,000 footer list in a two-day backpacking trip. It was quite an unconventional loop in the Sugarloaf range, tackling (in order) South Crocker, North Crocker, Reddington, Abraham, Spaulding, and Sugarloaf with a major bushwhack in the middle. Though you may consider this loop, I certainly wouldn’t recommend it for the faint of heart. … More Backpacking the Sugarloaf Range … New Bushwhack and “Jail Trees” PART ONE
I love challenging myself on steep treks, long full-day hikes, and backpacking trips, but as I’ve found over the past few weeks, short day hikes are also really enjoyable ways to get out into the wilderness for a few hours. From the new trails behind of Sunday River to Belknap Mountain to Mt. Major, my recent weekends have been filled with little excursions to immerse myself in nature and see some pretty views. … More A Compilation of Short Day Hikes in ME & NH
The White Mountains have officially opened up and I thought I’d get my hike on (practicing good social distancing and hiking conservatively, of course). Last weekend I hiked Mt. Waumbek on Saturday and Wildcat D on Sunday. These were both peaks I had hiked years ago and were my 2nd and 3rd repeats since completing the 4,000 footers. As I was hiking, I imagined young Katie on the trail ahead of me. … More Weekend in the Whites
As Covid-19 is turning our lives upside down and changing up our daily lives, there is more time than ever to get outside. Even if bigger out-of-state trips are not recommended, we don’t have to hang up our hiking boots. We don’t have to say farewell to adventure. There is plenty of nature-time to be had locally! From quiet reflective activities to adrenaline-rush, fast-paced activities, being outdoors boosts mental and physical health, which is more important during this stressful and uncertain time than ever. In this post, I’m going to share five outdoor activities I’ve been enjoying to hopefully inspire you to get out in nature or try something new 🙂 I’ll also be including my favorite local outdoor locations for anyone who lives in the TriTown area. … More Continuing Outdoor Lifestyle During a Pandemic – 5 ways to get your adventure on!
New Hampshire 4,000 footers? Check. Maine 4,000 footers? Officially in progress.
I just hiked my very first Maine 4,000 footer, Old Speck, and felt elated to be on top of a new peak again. I had a beautiful bluebird sunny day for the Saturday hike and the temperature was in the 50s. But, don’t be fooled by the nice weather. There’s still a 4 foot snow pack in the high elevations! And, thank god for microspikes!
*Read to the end to see my GoPro edit of this hike!* … More Beginning the Maine 4,000 Footers With Old Speck – including my GoPro Edit!
You know how they say time flies? Well, it sure doesn’t fly during the course of a difficult hike. But, looking back on my five years of climbing New Hampshire’s 48, I have to say I can’t believe I finished. I’m still in disbelief about finally achieving the goal I have worked at since age 11. Finishing on the majestic Bonds was a fitting end to my epic journey. … More I made it! – Finishing my 48 on the Bonds
It may be May, but the White Mountains have a mind of themselves when it comes to seasons. From the time that I saw snow in the summer to my experiences navigating the independently functioning weather system of Franconia Notch, these mountains never seem to abide by the seasons. So, I was not surprised at all to find over three feet of snow layering the Tripyramids on this spring day in mid-May. … More it’s still winter in the mountains!
Perched on a wooden shelf in my house, the maps of the White Mountains lay wrinkled, their edges beginning to wear from years of reference. Lined up against each other, each map displays in detail different sections of the mountains. Before each hike, we always press the map we need out against the kitchen table, drawing our finger up and down the contour lines. We zip it into pack pockets, pull it out in front of the steering wheel, and occasionally at trail intersections. You see, the main goal of the maps is to orient yourself against established hiking trails. While the red lines are any map’s focal point and have even sparked the creation of “red liners,” hikers who strive to lay their bootprints across every trail, it’s often the terrain off the trail that seems to be the most compelling.
As I was planning out my path up to the peak of Owl’s Head, the red lines were little help. They led my finger in loops around the route that I wanted to take, and up an incredibly dangerous ice slide in the winter. The real and only way to ascend Owl’s Head in the winter is through a course of two bushwacks.