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
As I hike, inspired by the beauty of nature around me, my mind is always spinning with artistic and crafty ideas. Birch is my favorite type of tree because its unique color and pattern stand out against all other hardwoods. Large slabs of birch bark hang dead off trees, and I can’t help but collect it. I have recently begun painting this birch bark with bear silhouettes, and most recently – a colorful mountain scene. … More Introducing: Rustic Designs Gift Shop
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
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
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!
Since large destination hikes are discouraged during this quarantine period, I’ve spent some time reflecting while I’m at home doing my part to flatten the curve. What keeps coming up in my mind is a really fulfilling hiking-related experience I had in the fall. I had wanted to write about it in the fall, but I was very busy with schoolwork and then ski season started up. But now that I’ve had time to think and write, I’d like to share it here! … More Sharing my Passion
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