Sunday, December 16, 2007

Winter Wonderland

I woke up early on Saturday after only accomplishing some 4 hours of sleep to get some training in. One of my weakness's is, believe it or not, power hiking uphill. There is no better way to get my hiking legs back than to go hiking. So.. Adamiata and I met up in the AM and headed north to hike in New Hampshire's Southern Presidential Range to do some peakbagging. Our peaks for the day were Jackson(4,052') and Pierce (4,310').

I was a mess today having forgotten one of my plastic boots at home... we found a fix though and I was good to go. Adam forgot his snowshoes and it was too damn cold at the car to keep my hand out of a glove long enough to pour water into my camelbak. So.. in a deshevelled mess, we saddled up and headed into the woods a barrel of laughs. Adam and I made our way up the snowy slope of Mount Jackson. Near the base we encountered 2 feet of snow which got deeper the higher up we got. Above 3,500' snow depths were around 3-4 feet with drifts of 5-6 feet. The picture above is a picture of me near the summit, posholing through some deep powder! And Below is a photo of my on the trail in this winter wonderland. The tree's looked like snow people!

As we reached the summit we mingled with some friends of ours we had ran into along the way. And we were greeted by guest appearances from some other friends, The Gray Jays. These birds are the "tree rats" of the mountains, following you along the trail, begging for food I won't get into specifics of how they survive the winter up here and what happens to them biologically.. but I was very happy to feed the guys. They land ON YOUR HAND (yes.. wild birds land on your hand) and eat from it. I fed them pieces of bread.

So.. from Jackson, shiverring in bitter winds (it was 5 below on the top with a 20mph wind.. windchill was COLD), we headed to Pierce where we ran into some other acquaintances at Mizpah Hut. Its always nice to run into old friends. Adam and I had a great time in the mountains, playing in the snow and enjoying each others company. We make a good team out there.
Here are some photos of us on the top.

After looking at these photos, its hard believe that those same mountains got ANOTHER 2 FEET OF SNOW in today's nasty Nor'Easter. I'm beginning to wonder when I'll ever get to run in the mountains again and as the saying in New England goes... "So much for that global warming huh?" We got burried here in Newmarket with a fresh foot of snow followed by sleet and freezing rain thats still falling outside. We got 8" on Thursday and all of this added to the 3 other storms we've had recently and we now have over 2 1/2 feet of snow on the ground. Below is a picture of the snow bank at the end of the driveway I had to dig out to park Sarah's car.. and yes... that IS higher than the cars.