Sunday, January 6, 2008

Mount Whiteface

Sarah enjoys the early parts of The Blueberry Ledge Trail.

Saturday January 5, 2008
Hiking: 8 Miles
Mount Whiteface
Winter Peak #2
8 Hour Hike

My plans for the day had been altered a bit. The original was to hike the 32 mile Pemi-Loop that I typically run in Summer in one winter day. But with fresh snow in the whites up towards a foot in places, and not knowing if certain hellacious trails had been broken out, I decided to bail on the idea. The 2nd idea of hiking the Presidential range was squashed with the forecast of increasing winds and the chance of snow squalls throughout the day. And the 3rd option of running in the GAC 50K down in Topsfield Mass went out the window when Sarah asked me to hike with her and her friend Tim who was on her amazing trip to New Zealand 2 summers ago.

So at 8:15am we arrived at the Ferncroft parking area in Wonnalancet, NH as we decided to journey into New Hampshire's Sandwich Range Wilderness. As you can see from the photo above, the trails were packed out by those who travelled ahead of us. Lots of snow as there was anywhere from 2 feet down low to 4 or 5 feet up high. Snow covered EVERYTHING and made for a gorgeous day in the whites.
Views to the East Along The Blueberry Ledge

As we reached the ledges on whiteface we ran into some of our hiking friends, Russ and Gary. Gary was hiking Whiteface for the first time and it would be his 40th peak of the 48 all season list after his return to the car. Gary isn't very fast but he hikes with something I wish more people did... heart. Lots of heart. I give this guy a whole lot of credit for his heart and courage and wish 90% of the people I've met in hiking displayed the same. He also doesn't have a mean bone in his body and is fair in his dealings with EVERYONE he meets. Russ, Russ is just a jokester or as I chose for the word of the day.. "Jackass." We had a great time hiking with these fools.
Scoutmaster Gary

Sarah Negotiates The Ledges

As we reached the summit we ran into some more friends of ours. Steve and Rick. We all had a great time taking photos and joking around on the Cliffs of Whiteface. The views were amazing as we caught glimpses of The Presidentials, Chocorua (believe to be the most photographed mountain in the world), Sandwich Dome, Passaconaway and NH's storied Lakes Region. It was a gorgeous day as we all left our packs and headed over to the main summit to count the peak on our respective lists. We contemplated hiking over to passaconaway to bag the extra peak, but it was getting late in the day and we were all cold. From here, we all headed down the same way we came up enjoying playing in the snow like little kids. Jumping into drifts, sliding down ledges and a few spots where I pulled Sarah around by her snowshoes. It was great fun. The snow began to fly a bit as we reached the bottom and said our goodbyes.. another great day of adventure in the whites!
Mt. Washington and the Southern Presi's

Sarah and I Enjoy the Views From the Top. Lakes Region Below

All Smiles despite being cold as hell.

Week Recap:
Monday: 0
Tuesday: 0
Wednesday: 10.75 with Karl Meltzer
Thursday: 0
Friday: 10.75 (Frostbite on Belly)
Saturday: 8 Mile Hike
Sunday: 0 - GYM for S&C
Total: 29.5 Miles