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
On a 2 day backpacking trip across the Sugarloaf mountain range in an attempt to climb six 4k peaks – South Crocker, North Crocker, Reddington, Abraham, Spaulding, and Sugarloaf, I had so far bushwhacked six miles through unmarked woods. At last, I had broken through to the Appalachian Trail and was searching for the Spaulding Lean-To site where I would camp for the night. But, after hiking uphill in one direction for a long time on the AT, I was nearing the peak of Spaulding Mountain. We should have hit the lean-to by now. Where was it? … More Backpacking the Sugarloaf Range … PART TWO
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
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to hike for so long because I’ve been struggling with stress reactions in my shins from last ski season. Injuries are so frustrating when all you want to do is be on top of a mountain. Ugh! In the meantime, I’ve decided to recall a hike from last summer when I was forced to turn around and play it smart. … More Turning around on Jefferson
My cousin just signed up for a week of hiking and rock climbing in Utah and listening to his enthusiasm brought me back to my adventure memories from last summer with Outward Bound. From sleeping under a floor-less tarp, to powdering our trench feet, to catching eddies on the white water, my nine days in the wilderness were, well… it’s hard to even come up with a word to capture it all! This January, I received in the mail the letter I had written to myself during my solo (when I opened it, clumps of dirt and a folded leaf the length or my forearm fell out all over my bed), and it really made me think and look back upon my experiences. I wrote this piece about Outward Bound and I wanted to share it, so, here goes! … More appreciating watermelon and the woods
I’ve always loved to lie in my window-side bed at night, curled up in my fuzzy blankets, listening to a storm rage by. Sheets of rain rap against my window, and wind beats against the other side of my wall. For as long as I can remember, I have loved to lie against that wall, placing my hand up to the few inches of wood and insulation that protect me from the mighty storm. Looking out my window, I feel sheltered; safe- as if I am savoring warm soup on a chilly fall day.
Beneath my open-air tarp on my 9-day Outward Bound trip in the Pisgah Forest of North Carolina, I felt a different mix of emotions when bullets of rain pounded down inches above my face, creating that loud noise of water vs tarp. I did not feel as warm and snuggly as I shivered in my wet sleeping bag, batting moths and beetles away from my headlamp. I can’t quite describe the emotions I felt as I watched with wide open eyes- the battle between nature and tarp. Spoiler Alert: Tarps do not always win. … More Living in the North Carolina Forest for 9 Days; My Experience at Outward Bound
They don’t call it Mt. Isolation because it’s easy to get to. By the time you’re at the peak, you’re at least six miles from civilization in all directions, surrounded by the towering Presidential Mountain Range, and well, covered in dirt. At only 4,004 feet, it’s the second shortest 4,000 footer, but by taking the Glen Boulder Trail, I had to hike up over a 5,000+ foot ridge that leads to Mt. Washington and other Presidential mountains, then descend to the peak. I have to admit; it feels a little weird to work so hard to get over 5,000 feet, only to drop 1,000 feet to actually summit. There are two ways up Mt. Isolation; a longer but steadier direct route, or a steeper, wilder, rocky route chock full of peaks and valleys. My dad and I went with the latter. … More Venturing Above Treeline
Hiking has always inspired me on many levels. I think just being outside with the fresh smell of Earth frees my imagination. Or maybe it’s just all that time I get to spend in my own mind on a hike. This piece I wrote about hiking with my dad received a national gold medal from https://www.artandwriting.org. … More In His Eyes; My Dad and Hiking
For my first blog post, I’ve thought and thought about why I like to hike. Why I lug myself up and over mountains, even when my body feels like it’s swimming with a weight vest. Why do I keep coming back for more, excited and ready to summit again?
It’s illogical. Why would I walk when I can drive? Why would I camp when I can sleep in a bed? Why would I push my limits to gain altitude? … … More 48 Summits and Me