Winter hikes

I managed to get in one fantastic hike every month.

It was a great winter – once it got started, there was deep snow and many days with outstanding conditions.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have much time to get out and enjoy it.  Still, I managed to get in one fantastic hike every month.

Dennis and Cory and Saiah enjoy the view of the Jobildunc headwall.
January: Bushwhacking a ravine on Mount Moosilauke

The summit of Moosilauke on a rather cloudy winter's day.
February: a blustery, cloudy day on Moosilauke [more photos
March: a blue-sky day with deep snow on Moosilauke [more photos]
April: fresh powder in the Franconia Range, on Mount Liberty [more photos]

Franconia Ridge traverse

Franconia mapOn a warm day in early June, I joined Aarathi and Shrirang for a traverse of Franconia Ridge from Lincoln Woods to Lafayette Place, summiting Flume, Liberty, Little Haystack, Lincoln, and Lafayette. Total 14.5 miles, 5325′ of vertical gain, 10.5 hours, 258 photos. A beautiful day!  The alpine flowers were blooming, the sun was shining, and the wind was cool. The only downside is that several hundred other hikers also realized it was a great day to hike Franconia Ridge!

Check out the photo gallery on SmugMug.

Pebble Time, Fitbit Flex, and Apple Watch.
Pebble Time, Fitbit Flex, and Apple Watch.

I also decided to test four activity trackers on this hike: iPhone 5s (i.e., Apple Health app), Fitbit Flex, Pebble Time, and Apple Watch 42mm.

Test conditions:

  • I left all four devices in their charger overnight.
  • As I left the house, I put all three trackers on my left arm.
  • I did almost no walking until reaching the trailhead.
  • At the trailhead, I put the iPhone in Airplane mode, enabled Bluetooth, and stored it in a shoulder-pad holster (thus attached to torso).
  • All three trackers had Bluetooth enabled.
  • At the end of the hike, I checked status of each device.


  • Fitbit Flex: 30,572 steps, 14.04 miles, 3394 cals, 5h5m active; battery 100%.
  • Pebble Time: 22,073 steps, 12.4 miles, 2233 cals, 3h35m active; battery 90%.
  • Apple Watch 42mm: 32,449 steps, 14.30 miles, 1156 active cals, battery 7%.
  • Apple Health (iPhone 5s): 32,354 steps, 14.71 miles, battery < 20%.

Apple Health (via Watch? I’m not sure) counted more steps, but close to the Fitbit. Watch and Fitbit had the best distance estimate. Fitbit had best battery life, followed by Pebble.

Franconia undercast

I awoke early Sunday morning to an uneven dripping sound on the roof, with the steady burble of Eliza Brook reminding me that we were spending this cool October night in a beautiful new AMC shelter high on the shoulder of the Kinsman Range.  The peaks of North and South Kinsman, and Cannon Mountain, form the western wall of Franconia Notch, whose valley would later today be filled bumper-to-bumper with leaf-peeping visitors this Columbus Day weekend. It turns out they would see nothing, while we would spend the day facing spectacular views over their heads. Continue reading “Franconia undercast”